DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Hey Students! News You Need > Coping with COVID-19
By Carolyn Brinckwirth /
April 9, 2020 /
Posted in: HEY STUDENTS! NEWS YOU NEED /
The shift from life before COVID-19 to self-isolation and social distancing has been difficult for everyone. DePaul staff and faculty have worked around the clock to develop efficient modes of remote learning, as well as countless resources to supplement the closure of physical services and facilities offered by DePaul.
So, what are DePaul students doing to cope with the wave of unprecedented changes in their day-to-day lives?
We talked with peer health educators from the Health Education Action Team to get advice from student experts on maintaining peace of mind amid all the uncertainty. We also checked in with a few non-expert students to get some insight on how they are navigating life among the virus.
One of the main concerns shared by DePaul students has been learning how to cope with anxiety, stress and depression brought on by these changes.
"I recommend limiting your use of social media and not overwhelming yourself with the news," says Christine Augustin, a senior and peer health educator. “Know your limit. Do not allow fear, anxiety, sadness to overtake you and your body. Try to focus on and embrace the present to reduce distractions. Meditation, prayer, reading and listening to inspirational or motivational podcasts and music are also helpful practices."
Senior Hanna Lavin has made a concerted effort to heed Augustin's advice.
“I try not constantly look through the news, and instead go on a walk or run, or occupy my mind with a puzzle," she says. “Maintaining a positive attitude and mindset is essential."
Mindfulness looks different for everyone. First-year student Myori Felix has been practicing in her own ways.
“Having to move out of the residence halls for the remainder of the year was definitely the hardest part of this situation. Having to leave all of my new friends and saying goodbye to life as I knew it was heartbreaking," she says. “I'm balancing the time spent between watching TV or being on my phone."
Peer health educators also note it's also important to maintain healthy relationships with friends and family while continuing to social distance from others.
“Check-in with family and friends to maintain contact, and schedule Facetime calls throughout your day," says graduate student and health educator Josean Amill. “Have lunch over Zoom or have a virtual movie party, which you can do through Netflix now! These are all ways to maintain healthy relationships with your loved ones while still practicing social distancing."
Staying active while staying indoors can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. Augustin suggests stretching, creating fitness goals, doing
Zoom Zumba classes with DePaul instructor Ashantis, or exercising with a friend on Facetime or Zoom.
Admitting how hard fitness can be without gym access, Amill also suggests live sessions through social media.
“Follow fitness accounts of people who are providing
free, live, at-home workout sessions through Instagram," he says. “I have been working out with @trainwithquan, who is a Chicago-based personal trainer providing Instagram live at-home sessions every day. They are easy, and a great way to stay active."
What about health and wellness resource and services from DePaul?
“In addition to the Ray's remote classes, Health Promotion and Wellness has launched a new series called Wellness Wednesdays," Augstin shares. “We will be talking about all things related to health and wellness during this 30-minute bite-sized session, checking in with one another, diving deep into holistic well-being and offering a time to re-energize and rejuvenate during the busy workday."
Social distancing is hard, but there are many ways to stay busy while still taking care of yourself in a healthy, sustainable way. To see more of the HEAT members' advice and information,