Social distancing is critical for the mitigation of COVID-19. Though these practices are designed to keep you healthy, the side effect is that being apart from others can have an impact on your well-being. It’s important to make conscious choices about health and wellness during this time. This list is designed to provide some tips and things to consider as you take care of yourselves and others during this time.
Living with others during the pandemic can present challenges and considerations for staying safe. Here are some useful tips to help you stay healthy while sharing your living space (pdf).
Healthy social connections improve our capacity to cope with stress and can boost our overall physical and emotional well-being. In a time of social distancing, it may be difficult to maintain social connections and social support. To alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, here are some ways to stay connected:
Being physically active includes any body movement produced by the skeletal muscle that results in energy expenditure. This means that whether you enjoy a more structured workout, playing sports outside while physically distancing or cleaning your kitchen, all forms of movement are physical activity. Physical activity has numerous benefits for your body and mind.
If you want to be active, here are some tips:
It can be difficult to maintain your regular eating habits while also practicing social distancing. Paying attention to your nutritional needs during this time can help you stay well. Your daily routine may look very different while you’re practicing social distancing. Remember to plan for meals and snacks (eating every 3-5 hours) and listen to your body. Here are a few tips:
Sleep strengthens your immune system and your body's defense against contracting viruses and infections. It’s also essential for daily functioning including maintaining your mental health and overall well-being. Here are some sleep tips:
You may actually be spending a lot more time with the same people. Whether you’re with a partner, friend, or roommate, navigating this dynamic can be challenging. Continue to communicate about your needs and boundaries, and to practice the 7 C’s of Healthy Relationships. Additionally, keep in mind the following:
As more aspects of daily life have shifted online, whether they are related to classes, work and/or social events, it is important to acknowledge the relationship between technology and health. There are many factors to consider when maintaining a healthy relationship with technology while staying home and spending more time using screens. Here are some tips to help improve your mental and physical health while utilizing technology more frequently:
Finances may already be a concern when you’re a college student -- undergraduate or graduate. A crisis like a pandemic can create more financial worries. There are financial support services available if you find yourself in need of them. Here’s what UT Austin has to offer:
During the school year it can be difficult to engage in hobbies and activities unrelated to school or work. During this time of social distancing, maybe you now have more time to make it a priority to explore creative ways to take care of yourself and engage in new activities. By doing this now, you can help to create lasting habits that span past this uncertain time. Here are some ideas:
Longhorns take care of each other, whether online or off. While engaging digitally with your peers, you can still practice bystander intervention. Being part of a community that looks out for each other even when practicing social distancing includes recognizing when someone’s digital presence is starting to show signs of extreme stress such as:
Choose to connect online with someone you are concerned about. Act to schedule a video or phone chat. Let them know that they are supported by someone who cares. There are resources like the Behavior Concerns Advice Line if you’re concerned about a student, faculty, or staff member’s behavior.
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