Tips for Students During COVID-19 Pandemic
Limit social contact. While it may be tempting to continue with Spring Break trips and travel, or hang out with friends more frequently during the extended break, it is wise to avoid non-essential travel, crowded places, social events with more than 10 people, restaurants, and bars. Practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet of distance from other people and refraining from hugs, kisses, and handshakes.
If you are sick, stay home. Even if it is something that you'd normally be able to power through, be considerate of others (especially our friends with compromised immune systems and the elderly) and stay away from others.
If you have traveled, self-quarantine. If you have been to a country or city that has confirmed cases of COVID-19, it is likely that you have been exposed. Consider self-quarantining for 2 weeks and seek medical help if you develop symptoms. Consider having very limited contact with the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, if you have decided to travel or are not practicing social distancing.
Classes and Academics. Do your best to create a good schedule to stay up-to-date with your classes and assignments. Log in to lectures, read your text, and access University-provided resources. Unless the University closes completely, all university resources for academic services will be available via remote delivery - even the Career Center! Contact the offices that you utilize and learn about how they can help you during this time. You may even check out some of the resources that you never took the time to use.
Dating and Intimacy. Refrain from the use of dating apps to meet people in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. Help do your part to limit the spread of the virus by limiting physical contact with people who live outside of your household. FaceTime could be a great way to get to know someone during this time of social distancing, don't you think? Don't forget that all of the elements of consent and healthy relationships still apply in online communication.
Emotional Well-Being. The Student Counseling Center is operational for TTU students and can provide resources and counseling for students struggling with stress, anxiety, loss, grief, or depression related to the pandemic. The University also provides free access to Therapy Assistance Online for students. Don't be afraid to reach out to them, or another mental health provider if you are struggling. Maintain your routine related to worship, therapy, and recovery meetings. (Did you know that you can attend an online AA meeting?) Likewise, be aware of friends and family who may be struggling and offer them resources and support.
Coping with Isolation and Disappointment. It's hard to be isolated from friends and family. Consider starting a project you've been meaning to work on, ready a book, watching a TV series, or journaling to keep yourself busy. Call or video call your friends and family in isolation and try to stay socially connected without being physically together. Everyone is coping with the disappointment of canceled events, trips, and many people are worried about their jobs. It's OK to be worried or disappointed. Try to find hope in knowing that it won't be like this forever.
Social Life during Social Distancing. There are tons of ways to stay connected when you are physically isolated, you just have to think outside the box. Prioritize online meetings of your student organizations and leadership opportunities. Don't skip just because you aren't there in person. Try getting a virtual book club together with friends and meeting online weekly to discuss. Share podcasts or TV shows that you love with your social networks and call friends to talk about it.
Alcohol and other Substance Use. We all know that using alcohol and other substances can weaken our immune systems. A strong immune system will be vital to your long-term recovery if you get sick. Additionally, those with strong respiratory health are most likely to recover easily from COVID-19. If there has ever been a time to stop or reduce your alcohol use, or stop smoking or vaping, it's now. Try not to cope with boredom or isolation by using alcohol or other substances. RISE is here to offer online coaching for those interested in working on their substance use.
Exercise and Eat Healthy. Take regular walks outside, go for a run or bike ride, or take advantage of online fitness videos or yoga classes. Use some of your free time to cook healthy meals or grow a garden.
Help Others. Oftentimes, helping others is the best medicine for mental and emotional well-being. If you are young and healthy, consider grocery shopping and delivery for someone more vulnerable. Offer childcare to friends and neighbors who are required to work while schools are closed.