As a college student, it feels as if I am constantly being told “Remember to wear your face coverings”, “Practice social distancing”, and “Stay home if you are feeling ill. “Now, all those things are important and should be practiced during this time, but it is easy to feel overwhelmed by this too. You see these words being used all over social media, news articles, campus updates and announcements, and it may even be used on a regular basis by your friends and family. It is no secret that this pandemic has taken over our lives and has grown to be one of the most important things we think about every day.
It is also no secret that while learning to deal and cope with all the changes of moving into the dorms, learning the new course delivery, finding ways to socialize safely, and so much more; that you can forget the basics such as keeping yourself healthy, and remembering to practice basic hygiene and cleaning.
Keeping yourself healthy should be one of your top priorities and does not have to be complicated. While living in the dorms, and balancing a social and academic schedule, it can be easy to forget basic health tasks. In hopes to ease this stress, I have listed below some tips on how to make sure you stay healthy while living in the dorms this fall.
Tips on how to stay healthy in the dorms this fall:
- Drink enough water.
- Get enough sleep.
- Do not stay cooped up in your dorm room 24/7; it is important to stay active and to get fresh air
- Wash your face coverings often, including when you are inside campus buildings and when you are close to people outside.
- Wash your hands often.
- Consider taking multivitamin or an immune system support vitamin.
- Visit University Health and Counseling Services (https://www.uww.edu/uhcs) if you are feeling sick.
- Do not share drinks, food, or eating utensils with friends.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you, and make sure to use it after touching a public surface.
- Avoid touching your face after touching a public surface and before washing your hands.
- Clean your dorm room often, this includes dusting and wiping down handles.
- Do not attend in-person lectures if you feel you are sick, and make sure to contact your professors ASAP if you cannot make it to class.
- If you choose to go home for a weekend, make sure to check in with your family about their current health status. If they are sick or are feeling ill, reschedule your visit home.
- Eat a balanced diet, this is one of the easiest ways to make sure that you are getting enough vitamins in your diet.
- Talk to someone if you are feeling stressed. It is important to be open and honest with yourself about how you are feeling both mentally and physically.
- Do your laundry weekly, and make sure to wash your hands after touching the laundry machines.
- Change out your toothbrush every few months.
- Wash your dorm dishes, such as cups, plates, or utensils you may use on a regular basis
- Wipe down your laptop, iPad, phone, or any other electronics you may use daily.
- Wipe down all items you may share with your roommate, such as light switches, TV remotes, lamps, etc.
- Avoid sleeping or laying in your bed with clothes that you wore outside that day. Germs can stay on your clothes longer than you think.
- Wash your sheets, pillowcases, and comforters regularly. This doesn’t need to be a weekly task but try and do it monthly.
- Remember to vacuum. Vacuums can be rented out by your dorm buildings, and by doing this you are cleaning your carpet of germs and particles that may have clung to your shoes and outside clothes.
- Complete the daily screener for COVID symptoms before leaving your dorm.
- Make sure you check out the Warhawks Return website at https://www.uww.edu/warhawks-return. for the most up-to-date information on what is happening on campus.
For more information on the practices around campus that are going to be enforces during this time, you can visit https://www.uww.edu/documents/mmr/WarhawksReturnPractices.pdf. This document also outlines a series of steps of how to stay healthy, for not only students, but the campus community. If you are living on campus, I highly suggest reading through tis document to familiarize yourself with how campus is working to make sure you and others stay safe.
Lastly, it is very important that if you feel you are showing signs of COVID-19 that you contact the UW-Whitewater COVID Hotline (call 262-472-1362 or email email@example.com) ASAP. They will give you more information on the steps to follow next.
It is important to remember that the University Health and Counseling Services is here for you. If you are feeling particularly stressed and anxious during this time, you can visit https://www.uww.edu/documents/uhcs/CoronavirusAnxietyWorkbook.pdf to read more about Managing Coronavirus Anxiety. You can also schedule an appointment with the UW-Whitewater Health and Counseling Services at https://www.uww.edu/uhcs. The Health and Counseling Services is offering phone, video and in-person visits for you to use during this time.