Staying Healthy During COVID-19

Staying Healthy During COVID-19

Happy first day of a new school year! This might be your first day of college or your final year here at DePaul. Wherever you find yourself now, it is certainly an exciting and unique time. With that said, it is also a challenging, stressful and uncertain time. We all struggle at times to put our own health -be it mental, physical, emotional or spiritual- at the top of our list of priorities. With the switch to online learning, working, (even friendships at times) it can be challenging to maintain our own health. If you find yourself struggling to find and maintain your health during COVID-19, these tips from Dr. Elizabeth Cozine, a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic, might be helpful.



  • Exercise: Exercise any way possible! Whether it be running or walking, working out in your living room or utilizing an app on your phone, exercising can help keep your body healthy and your mind clear. There is a lot of evidence that exercise not only improves our physical health but it can be exceptionally beneficial to our mental health as well! Exercising can also help lead to a better night’s sleep (and sleep is our next suggestion!).
  • Sleep: Levels of stress and anxiety can both be elevated right now. Your body needs time to rest and recuperate; sleep is the ideal time for that. Try to get into a normal sleep routine; going to bed and waking up around the same time as frequently as possible… you may even be able to sleep a bit longer now that you don’t have to commute to class! Somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep a night are recommended for adults.
  • Meditation: I always find I have trouble shutting my brain down for the night when it’s time to sleep. Meditation before bed can help quiet your thoughts, calm your body and decrease your stress. In the long term, mediation can also improve you ability to handle and cope with stress!
  • Eating Healthy: Eating healthy might not mean radically changing everything you eat and starting a rigorous diet. Rather, you could try to incorporate a few healthier foods into your normal eating habits. That could mean buying a few more fruits or vegetables at the store or trying to cut down your overall meat consumption. It could even be as simple as having a fruit smoothie instead of a milkshake for dessert! Giving your body some healthier food will help it function and feel better. Additionally, you may even feel a boost in your energy and mood by incorporating some healthier options into what you eat.
  • Connection: Connection can seem exceedingly hard during COVID. Between masks, physical distancing and sooo many zoom calls, our connection to those around us can feel strained. It may be helpful to reframe “social distancing” guidelines as “physical distancing” guidelines. Maintaining healthy connections with those we care about can be particularly beneficial to our mental and physical health. Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts are all great ways to connect virtually. A physically distanced hangout with a limited number of people in a park, backyard or on a walk could also be a great way to reconnect with friends and family while maintaining safe boundaries.
  • Boundaries: Last but certainly not least is boundaries. With the switch to online classes and for many online work, the line between home, school and work has become increasingly blurred. Our homes have also become our classrooms and offices. It can be difficult to set down school work or turn off our emails for the night. This ever present responsibility can be draining and extremely unhealthy. Setting boundaries for school and work in your home is especially important now. It might be helpful to create some physical separation between working space and non-working space at home. That may mean a physical barrier to block off work space like an office or curtain or it may mean that your desk is only for work and your bed is only for sleeping. It may also be helpful to set concrete times for school and studying, for work and checking email and even for relaxing and decompression. As you schedule time for all your responsibilities, be sure to schedule in time to take care of yourself as well.



It is important to remember that it is still crucial that we all continue to wear our masks, wash our hands and physically distance as much as possible. This is no doubt advice you have heard many times. While it is not the focus of this post, when discussing health during COVID, we cannot look past these simple practices that will keep us and everyone around us safe and healthy.

Hopefully these tips will help you start this year off right and allow you to maintain a healthy, happy and successful year! Starting school alone can be stressful. Adding in a global pandemic and online classes can make this time even more stressful and challenging. The Office of Health Promotion and Wellness is here to support you now and throughout the year. We are here to listen, help and meet you where you are. Please reach out at any time via email, phone or social media (see below), we’d love to hear from you!


Phone: 773-325-7129


Social Media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @healthydepaul


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