Virginia Tech® home

After a Flu Outbreak

Flu After Icon Large

Increase Your Psychological Resilience

Certain strategies can help you “bounce back” from difficult events and bring new emotional strengths:

  • Identify how you cope with a crisis. Identify your coping strengths. What other crises have occurred in your life? How did they affect you? How did you cope? Did your coping style work? Are there other ways you might cope?
  • Foster healthy attitudes and beliefs. Crises and difficult circumstances are stressful but can be overcome. Focus on finding solutions and ways to improve your situation.
  • Choose nurturing and healthy behaviors. Identify your goals and move toward them, even though progress may seem slow at times. Take decisive action in protecting and preparing yourself and your loved ones, rather than letting the pandemic situation make your choices for you.

Coping with stress and anxiety in a pandemic

Some ways that you can cope with stress and anxiety are:

  • Get accurate information from reliable sources.
  • Educate yourself about the flu pandemic.
  • Maintain your normal daily routine, if you can.
  • Exercise, eat well and rest.
  • Stay active, both physically and mentally.
  • Stay in touch with family and friends.
  • Spend more time with your children. Talk with them (as is age appropriate) about flu.
  • Maintain a hopeful outlook. Be prepared for things to get worse, but remember that authorities around the world are working hard to make things better.
  • Find comfort in your spiritual and personal beliefs.
  • Keep a sense of humor.

Professional help

Seek professional mental health care for yourself or your loved ones if you or they experience:

  • Loss of sleep, frequent nightmares or disruptive and intrusive thoughts.
  • Feelings of depression or feelings that lead to an inability to engage in usual activities.
  • Disorientation, extreme memory difficulties or losing awareness of time, date, and place.
  • Hallucinations or delusions, such as hearing or seeing things that are not here, extremely unrealistic thinking, or excessive preoccupation with an idea or thought.
  • A previously identified mental health condition recurs or becomes worse.

If these circumstances occur, contact your personal physician or mental health provider. If you are currently working with a mental health provider, ask how services will be provided during a pandemic, and consider or discuss how you might get needed support or assistance from family and friends. See Emergency Support Contacts. You can also find local mental health resources through the U.S. National Mental Health Information Center on-line or by calling the toll-free number 1-800-789-2647.

For more information on the flu, see: