EAP can help employees manage COVID-19 stress

· 2 min read

EAP can help employees manage COVID-19 stress

Nebraska is among 20 universities joining the Aspire Alliance, a three-year, national project designed to enhance recruitment, hiring and retention of STEM faculty.
Craig Chandler | University Communication

News regarding COVID-19 has created stress for many. For others, it has added to existing anxieties. The stock market has responded with a downturn, and many are unsure whether to travel or attend social gatherings.

It is healthy to have a respect for COVID-19, the flu and other communicable diseases, but panic is not needed. Accurate information, preparation and evidence-based practice are powerful tools.

The Employee Assistance Program is offering information to help navigate this time of uncertainty:

  • Keep Perspective: Find information about COVID-19 from reliable sources: the CDC website, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's COVID-19 website. Learning what is known about this virus is helpful in combating anxiety, speculation and the media frenzy.

  • Be Prepared: Review the facts and protocols in place that apply to infectious diseases. Get an annual flu shot. Wash hands, frequently, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Limit News Overexposure: Limit the time spent listening to news about the virus. Sensational news stories can perpetuate unnecessary anxiety.

Also, schedule time to participate in healthy activities with the following examples:

  • Engage in a lifestyle that encourages resilience and a healthy balance as a strategy to combat anxiety.

  • Facilitate resiliency with flexibility, humor, a positive view of the future, spirituality, creativity, and a view of life returning to our regular activities and schedules in the future.

  • View any crisis as difficult but not insurmountable

  • Believe in your ability to solve problems

  • Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise

  • Get enough rest

  • Seek enjoyment (stop and appreciate the things that are important to you: family, nature, music, etc.)

  • Enjoy moments of mindfulness (a smile, the smell of a flower, a cup of coffee, reading a good book, petting your dog, a movie, time with friends and family, etc.)

If you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed about this, psychological support is available. The Employee Assistance Program will be available for face-to-face counseling sessions as long as the employees are instructed to work on campus. Counseling by Zoom and phone is available currently and will be available for any alternative work structure in the future.

The Employee Assistance Program office can be contacted at 402-472-3107, 1-888-445-9881 or by email.