Dear Students of Chuo University
COVID-19 (Corona virus) has hugely changed our world and is putting a great burden on our lives. With the campus closed, the opportunity to meet new people has greatly decreased and students who have started new lives living alone might be feeling even more anxious. Some of you might feel fearful, irritated or angry during this difficult time away from your normal life.
These feeling are very natural and this kind of situation can make you feel stressed which, over time, could affect your mental and physical health.
In light of all this I would like to tell you four things that I am now doing in my daily life that I find helpful.
Firstly, lead a life with discipline and structure. It is particularly important to wake up at a fixed time every day.
If your life rhythm is disturbed, it would be better for you to wake up early rather than to go to bed early. This helps you to adjust your biological clock. Use an alarm clock or ask a housemate to open the curtains at a fixed time to let the morning light into your room.
Secondly, do everyday tasks consciously and carefully. If you greet, eat, clean up, work or study with all your heart, you can feel refreshed and this can lift your mood. If you feel anxious or angry, I recommend you sit down on a chair and focus on your breathing for a few minutes with a relaxed posture. Even if some random thoughts come into your mind, you can simply focus on your breathing again. This should help you to become calmer. If you want to know more about this technique, you can read one of my favourite books:
Daily life overcoming stress – self-care for mind, body and brain by Hiroaki Kumano
Thirdly, do something different. You could do indoor exercise, read a book, listen to music or watch a film for a change. The more variety you have, the more it will help in coping with stress. I would suggest you limit this to about one hour a day.
As part of my new routine I listen to the radio every day. I recommend listening to 荻上チキ[Chiki Ogiue] Session－22（TBS radio weekday10pm), as it examines the current news from a variety of aspects and aims to seek the truth.
I do not deny the usefulness of TV programs but I suggest that you do not watch TV programs about COVID-19 too much because it might raise your anxiety. So I recommend you take a break from TV and rather get your information about COVID-19 from the websites of public organisations and local authorities.
Finally please keep contact your friends and family regularly to support each other using email or social media.
It is a hard time for all of you in this emergency. The Student Counselling Centre opens and can be contacted by telephone and e-mail for support.
Please do not hesitate to contact us about any mental and physical health issues, interpersonal relationships, your studies, or any other academic issues you may have. We will aim to support you as much as we can.
Apr. 30 2020
Campus Social Worker in Korakuen Campus