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Taking Care of Your Health and Wellness During the COVID 19 Outbreak 

As the Coronavirus spreads and communities respond with increasing protective measures, we must be mindful of the need to maintain our health and wellness through establishing new routines and practices to support healthy living.  Social distancing and shelter in place orders are changing the way we learn, work, socialize and ultimately how we take care of ourselves.   With the shifts and changes to our daily life coupled with looming uncertainty about the future, many of us are feeling anxious and stressed.  Below are tips and suggestions for how to care for yourself and maintain your health and wellness during these difficult times. 

Health & Wellness Guide
Read about how you can take care of your health during the COVID-19 outbreak by downloading the document or reading below.
Download Health & Wellness: COVID-19 Guide
Stay Connected During Social Distancing

As online learning removes the in-person social networks that we depend on for support and connection, it is critical that we find new ways to maintain our human connection.  As we physically distance ourselves consider reaching out via text, phone, engaging in gaming platforms, social media platforms and video conferencing.  Challenge yourself to reach out to friends and family daily.  Reaching out will remind loved ones and friends that they are not alone.   

Create a Schedule & Routine

As your university commitments, clubs and activities fall away from your schedule it can be tempting to relax into the freedom and space of your new schedule.  Sadly, this can morph into a lack of motivation and purpose as you find yourself aimlessly going through your day. It is critical to build in structure to keep you motivated, engaged and on top of your assignments.   

Exercise Regularly

As gyms and fitness centers close their doors it is important to find new ways and approaches to incorporate regular exercise in your day.  Besides utilizing information and/or videos from Campus Recreation, there are many free online offerings from yoga to HIIT classes. It’s simply a matter of finding what will work best for you.  Connect with a friend to create accountability and make sure you get your workouts in. Consider reaching out to the same friend you would go to the recreation buildings with on campus. That person can become your virtual accountability partner moving forward.  You can text your friend to let them know you are starting your workout or even video chat as you exercise.   

Reduce Stress

Finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety is critical to your overall health and wellness.  Please be sure to take breaks from social media, news outlets, and course work throughout the day.  Typically, moving between classes and walking across campus naturally creates those breaks for you.  Now that you are at home, you will need to create meaningful breaks for yourself.  Find activities to engage that will help you deal with stress, anxiety and the overwhelm of uncertain times.  Try taking time to read a book, keep a journal, meditate, get out into nature, explore a new hobby, etc.   

Get Plenty of Sleep

Reading endless news articles and getting up to speed with online learning can be exhausting.  Try to maintain regular sleep cycles by going to sleep and waking daily at approximately the same time.  If your cell phone’s constant delivery of news stories and updates are keeping you up into the wee hours, consider charging your phone in another room so you can get some shuteye.  

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Stress can drive many of us to unhealthy eating habits but now is a critical time to maintain our most healthy approach to eating to give us the energy and stamina we need to deal with all the shifts and changes.  Hold off on binging on junk food and take care of your mind and body by fueling it with healthy choices. 

Online Resources from Health Promotion and Wellness
Mindful Making Self-Care Toolkit
The Mindful Making Self-Care Toolkit is filled with mindfulness practices and resources to help you improve your health and wellbeing during COVID-19. Activities in this guide focus on mindful making, mindful breathing, and mindful movement all aimed at helping you care for yourself during this time of heightened stress and uncertainty. This guide was created through a collaboration between Student Engagement Programs and Health Promotion and Wellness. Please note that the Self-Care Toolkit is an inaccessible document at this time.
Download Self-Care Toolkit

Health Promotion & Wellness Services Available During Remote Learning

During this time, Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW) is still offering various services. They are offering the following services remotely:

Students can also leave a phone message at 814-863-0461 to schedule appointments. Please leave your full name, Penn State Access ID (abc123) and a phone number with area code. A staff member will contact you by phone or email during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).