COVID-19 has been described as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Characterizing COVID-19 as a pandemic is not an indication that the virus has become deadlier. Rather, it’s an acknowledgement of the disease’s geographical spread. The uncertainty about this new virus can lead to stress and anxiety, and a sense of helplessness.

Things may feel out-of-control right now. You are probably facing a lot of unknowns and disruptions. With classes being moved online, there are many changes that you will have to adapt to, from potentially being isolated to the way you approach studying. Try to be patient. Making a plan and adjusting your studying will help you feel more in control.

We want to reach out to our students to offer you a sense of calm. During this pandemic, it’s important to take care of yourself, to keep anxiety from overwhelming you, and to stay positive.

At Pass the OT, we are here to support you and we will offer anyone a free 15 min call, if you are interested and need the extra guidance.

Here are some tips to help you through this time:

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OVER
Try to shift your focus away from thinking about COVID-19. This is a great time to be even more prepared. You can really focus on your studies.
· Set aside dedicated study time.
· When you take a break from studying, spend time doing things you enjoy, that help you feel calm and balanced. Meditation and yoga are great ways to alleviate and control stress and anxiety
· If you’re confined to your home, don’t be afraid to do things that are low-contact, enjoyable, and healthy – go for a walk outdoors.

STAY CONNECTED TO OTHER PEOPLE
Connecting with family and friends might be more important than ever. Stay in touch with instructors and classmates.
Whether on the phone or via Skype, talking to people has been proven to reduce depression and feelings of anxiousness. But try not to talk all about the coronavirus!

Remote collaboration is definitely possible. Use group chats and video calls to stay in touch with or to work with fellow students.

CREATE A NEW ROUTINE
Even though your venue for learning has changed, you still need to continue with your studies. Setting a schedule for yourself can help provide structure and keep you motivated. Following your schedule will help you have a feeling of normalcy and prevent you from falling behind in your work.
· Try not to procrastinate.
· Make time that is dedicated to studying.
· Draw-up a study schedule that includes time to complete assignments, time for exercise and self-care, and time to relax and de-stress.  

MANAGE YOUR FEARS
A good way to manage any kind of fear is to arm yourself with the facts. Accurate information is an effective way to allay unrealistic fears. Monitor your exposure to the news. It’s important to get the facts, but it may not be helpful to hear reports over and over. Stay away from social media and up-to-the-minute news. Focusing on “horror” stories fuels anxiety and fear.

PUT THIS DISEASE IN CONTEXT
Knowing how to minimize your risk can reduce your anxiety. We’re exposed to health risks every day. With good hygiene habits, such as frequently washing your hands, you can reduce the risk of communicable diseases.


PUT YOUR RISK INTO PERSPECTIVE
Keep yourself informed, check for factual updates on the virus from trusted sources like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Refrain from obsessively “Googling” about the virus. Try to make sure your level of fear does not exceed your risk factors.

Life may be overwhelming and scary at the moment but you have the opportunity to make the most of your current situation. You have time on your side, to focus on becoming even more prepared to achieve your goal of passing the OT Exam. Avoid becoming consumed with fear and anxiety. Don’t procrastinate, use your time wisely. At Pass the OT, we’ve got you covered. We’re here to support you and to help you get the most out of our web course.

Please keep in mind, this too shall pass. This current situation is temporary. You’ll get back on track and things will get back to normal. We don’t know when, but it will happen.