Navigating uncertain times is rarely easy. Whether coping with the stress of crisis management, managing the burden of urgent responsibilities, or simply adjusting to the upheaval of daily norms, such periods can make almost anyone feel lost in a sea of emotions.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented troubling experiences that span the globe. Virginia Tech’s Hokie Wellness strives to equip students and employees with the tools and endurance necessary for finding a path through exactly this type of situation.

“We’re dedicated to helping people effectively care for themselves, even during the most challenging of times,” said Swathi Prabhu, Hokie Wellness’ Mental Health Initiatives coordinator. “I like to remind people: Resiliency is not a personality trait. It's actually a set of skills that each of us can learn and use.”

Here are a few tips on how anyone can begin to develop this critical skill set.

Feel the Feels

  • During times like this, it is normal to experience several feelings at once. Setting aside defined periods of time to reflect on thoughts and to hold space for the feelings that arise may be helpful. In doing so, be gentle with yourself and invite self-compassion as you experience the changes that may be occurring around you.

Focus on What You Can Control

  • In times of uncertainty so much can feel beyond our control; however, we should remind ourselves of the actions can take, such as getting a full night's sleep and incorporating movement into our new routines. Establishing structure around daily activities like these can help us create a sense of normalcy.

Communicate Effectively

  • For many, this is a time of significant changes – even within our personal spaces. Whether your home is filled with family members who are trying to pursue work and educational goals, or you live alone, chances are that you feel more isolated than usual. Actively communicating with friends and family can help each of us adjust more smoothly as we transition. Effective communication involves clearly stating your needs and wants, while also considering those of others in a mutually supportive way.

Tap into Your Resources

  • With changes in environment, it's easy to feel like you have to navigate this alone. Remember, though - we're all in this together, and there are resources available to support mental and emotional well-being.  Consider checking out resources in your community and those continuing to be offered by Virginia Tech. These include but aren't limited to the virtual offerings found at

Virginia Tech is currently following public health guidelines, which include advising people to stay at home and to practice social distancing, so many of Hokie Wellness’ usual offerings have been modified and made available virtually.

The Health and Wellness areas of Virginia Tech would also like to know how we can better support students through their online services. Students are asked to please take a few minutes to complete the VT Student Health and Wellness Needs Assessment. The survey will remain open through April 14 and the responses will directly impact the types of services that we offered in the near future.

Share this story