What do you need to successfully navigate the uncertainty of pandemics?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a “perfect storm” of stressors, both short- and long-term, predictable and unpredictable. As the most basic elements of daily life became uncertain, a team of professors from Oregon State University’s School of Psychological Science developed a course for students and community members — with more than 3,300 enrolling — to help explain what happens within our brains during stressful periods, how stress affects the body, how the prolonged trauma of quarantine can impact children and families, and to offer some evidence-based coping skills.

Dr. Kathy Becker Blease: Director of the School of Psychological Science, OSU
Regan Gurung: Director of General Psychology Program, OSU
Kate Gallagher: Coordinator of Contemplative Studies Initiative, OSU

Christine Coffin: Director of Communications, OSU

Simple Things You Can Do to Cope

Here are daily practices that the three panelists are using themselves to help cope with the stress of the pandemic:

  • Move your body through physical activity such as yoga, walking or hiking.
  • Moderate your use technology and take time to be offline
  • Spend quality time with family members eating a meal or watching a movie together. Be sure to laugh!
  • Meditate or use relaxation practices
  • Read fiction
  • Take time to be outdoors in nature

Take the Free, Online Course

Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health. To further explore the psychological science behind the stress, anxiety and loneliness that a pandemic can bring and learn ways to cope, enroll in this free, 10-week course. You’ll earn a certificate of completion when you finish, and you can join at any time.

Visit the Punch Through Pandemics with Psychological Science website for more information.