NIU official announcement
Coping with stress and anxiety during this challenging time

Dear Colleagues,

It is not unusual if concerns around the coronavirus pandemic are causing increased stress and maybe even some additional anxiety in your life. This is a normal and expected reaction. The way individuals respond to such an occurrence can cause strong emotions to surface, such as feeling overwhelmed, fearful, sad, confused, angry, helpless, out of control, lost and/or sometimes even numb. This is especially true as you try to make sense of all the information confronting you on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. 

This is a unique time for all of us, and everyone will respond to this current situation in a different way. In addition to taking all the necessary precautions shared with us via campus announcements, the
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) & Training Center wants to remind you of some things you can do to help keep your mental well-being maintained:

  • Focus on very basic things that you can do to take back your power and exert control in your environment.


  • Reassert a sense of control over your fears, without overreacting and risking contributing to your own fears and anxiety.


  • Connect in a safe way with people in your life who you trust, who help reassure you and who you can turn to for support. Be ready to give that same support to others who need it from you, in a safe manner. Maintain your healthy relationships.


  • Stay informed without overdoing it. This might mean placing limits on how much time you spend on social media, reading comments of others, or even watching all the news alerts. It is all right to let others know you might be limiting your online time; be sure to offer them other ways to contact you if necessary.


  • Stay connected with hobbies and interests that stimulate and relax you physically and mentally.


  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that the strong feelings of uncertainty or anxiety will fade.


  • Try to maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.  


  • Don’t forget to remember your wellness and take care of your body. BREATHE. Stretch. Meditate. Try to remember to eat balanced meals, stay active, rest and get plenty of sleep.


The EAP staff is currently working remotely through Sunday, April 5. However, we are available to assist with questions and emergencies. All our counselors and staff will be available via phone, email or online appointment to aid our university staff. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions, concerns or needs. We appreciate your patience as we work together to respond to you and the needs of our university community during this time. We WILL get through this together. Please don’t be afraid to reach out at 815-753-9191.


Brian Smith
Director, Employee Assistance Program and Training Center

This message has been approved for distribution by the appropriate NIU party and is distributed by the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications. NIU Mass E-Mail Policy