Tips on staying healthy
Do NOT be a social butterfly
While it may be tempting to utilize your extra time to travel or hang out with friends more frequently, it is wise to avoid non-essential travel, crowded places, social events, restaurants, and bars. Practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet of distance from other people and refraining from hugs, kisses, and handshakes. If you have roommates, you will need to discuss the best options for minimizing risk while continuing to live in close proximity. It is also important to remember that while you may be able to efficiently recuperate from this illness, you may also transmit the virus to more vulnerable members of the population that are not able to successfully recover.
Have no fear, there are still many ways to stay connected with friends and family when you are physically isolated. Utilize online technology to visit with friends and family members, as well as conducting meetings for your group projects and student organization meetings. Don't give up on your projects or moving your organization forward just because you can’t be there in person. This situation is a great opportunity for you and your peers to try “outside the box” projects or plan for future events beyond this semester. It can also be fun to suggest podcasts, movies, or TV shows that you love with your friends and then call to talk about them.
Emotional well-being and coping with isolation
It is natural to struggle with stress, anxiety, loss, grief, or depression related to the pandemic. Don't be afraid to reach out to University Counseling Services or another mental health provider if you are struggling. This is also a great time to utilize online support services offered through your church or other online therapeutic options. A great online resource for OSU students is TAO. This service is free to OSU students and does not require an appointment with a counselor. There are several helpful videos students can access from this link. Also, be mindful of friends and family that may also be having a difficult time with the current situation and pass along these resources to them and offer them support as well.
Even for introverts, being isolated from friends and family can be very challenging. Use this time to work on a special project, read a book for fun (not just your academic texts), catch up on your favorite shows, start packing if you plan to move in a few months, deep clean your apartment, update your resume, work on research, or start a cool craft project. Stay connected without being physically together in the same space. Remember that we are all coping with the disappointment of canceled events, trips, and many individuals are not earning money for the time being. It is natural to feel stressed, worried and maybe even depressed. Be support systems for each other and remember that while this is a very frustrating situation, it is temporary.
If you are feeling cooped up, restless, lethargic, unmotivated, irritated, on edge for no apparent reason, and/or having difficulty concentrating on what is in front of you, you might be showing signs of cabin fever. Find out more about cabin fever and how to combat it.
During this unusual time, many of you may be experiencing feelings of grief. Feelings of grief include a profound sense of loss and/or longing for what used to be. It is also common to feel sad or upset in knowing that many things will not be experienced, or will not ever be the same. It is normal to feel this way considering many events we were looking forward to will not be taking place. We are grieving the loss of making memories with our friends, graduations, and many other experiences. Find out more about feelings of grief and loss.
Without a doubt, the COVID – 19 pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty in our lives. Not knowing how long social isolation will last can lead to anxious thoughts that can feel overwhelming, as well as activate the fight or flight response in our bodies. In addition to dealing with concerns about the disease itself, many students are also feeling anxious about successfully navigating the move to virtual academics or online classes. Please explore the following links for more information on COVID-19 Anxiety and Virtual Academic Anxiety.
In order to remain successful in your courses, consider creating a schedule to help you stay current in with your classes. Be certain you are watching your on-line lectures, read your textbook assignments, and utilize the resources that are being offered to you by OSU. If you find yourself in need of something, contact the appropriate department. If you do not know who to contact, begin the process by contacting your academic advisor or a course instructor.
Alcohol and other substance use
With so much extra time suddenly available, it may be very tempting for some to engage in excessive substance use and abuse. However, excessive alcohol and drug use significantly weakens the immune system. A strong immune system is imperative when fighting and achieving full recovery from illness. It has never been more imperative to discontinue or reduce the use of alcohol, marijuana, or vaping, as strong respiratory health is imperative in order to recover from COVID-19. Coping with boredom or isolation by using alcohol or other substances is definitely not the answer. The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (ASAC) is available if you find yourself struggling. Find out more about alcohol and substance abuse.
Dating and Intimacy
With the growing popularity of dating apps, now is a good time to get to know new individuals. However, it is not a good idea to meet people face-to-face during the COVID-19 pandemic. Limit the viral spread by avoiding physical contact with people who live outside of your normal living situation. Utilize FaceTime and other video chat options to increase social distancing.
A healthy relationship is a connection between individuals that involves good communication, respect, trust, honesty and support. Even the healthiest of relationships can become more difficult at times. When trying to promote healthy relationships, there are things we can do to help to minimize emotional and physical damage, while maximizing the quality of our time together. Learn more
Exercise and nutrition
Don’t be afraid to go outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Though your favorite gym or workout facility may be temporarily closed, you can still use the great outdoors to take walks, go for a run or ride a bike. To access at-home workouts provided by the Department of Wellness, please visit Group Fitness at Home or our Exercise Library.
Use some of your free time to experiment with new recipes. Follow along with one of our Easy Eats with Student Wellness recipes. Additonal healthy recipe options are available at Shape Your Future OK. If you find yourself in need of assistance or unable to provide groceries for yourself or your family during this time, please visit Our Daily Bread.