By Danielle Ojeda
San Antonio- At Our Lady of the Lake University some students may feel sick, not from coronavirus but, from the stress of dealing with a pandemic while receiving an education.
Since March, local city leaders have enforced stringent measures in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
However, as the weather drops the infection rates rise and the way of life students knew before the outbreak remains a far reach.
Julie Kneupper, Health Education Resource Officer at Our Lady of the Lake University, explained that feeling sick or stressed from pandemic anxiety is normal.
“There are a lot of intense emotions right now”, stated Kneupper, “having a sense of anxiety is not unusual at this time.”
Feeling drained and fatigue from the current events surrounding COVID has become common for many students in their first year of college, living away from home, or carry multiple responsibilities outside the classroom.
Laura Miguel, OLLU Junior, has felt overwhelmed from the stress and anxiety of coping with the outbreak.
“I do feel lonely at some points because I get anxious about not leaving my room but I also want to stay safe,” said Miguel.
She is a third year resident at OLLU and had to transition from the college life she knew before the outbreak to one that now has many restrictions.
Maintaining a healthy emotional, mental, and physical well-being can be difficult while adjusting to times of covid. That is why, Kneupper suggested a few ways to support a positive mentality from home. They are as follows:
- Focus on getting 15 min. of exercise a day
OLLU Campus Recreation provides free online at-home workouts for all students.
- Limit news intake
Kneupper said taking a break from live updates and cutting off news intake can reduce intense anxiety.
- Take up stress reliving hobbies
Activities like yoga, meditation, and learning how to cook or bake, might occupy your time with positivity instead of filling it with stress or anxiety.
- Participate in virtual organizations
OLLU’s International Folk and Culture Center host weekly virtual events free for all OLLU students.
- Plan ahead
If you are planning to visit a small group of family or friends over the holiday break, remember to plan ahead and get tested before traveling. Receiving test results before coming into contact with your loved ones can relief the anxiety and lower the chance of infection.
OLLU provides free COVID testing on campus that requires no appointment and little to no wait time. People who test there are able to receive results 24 – 48 hours after being tested.
Health Services now provides free 24-hour online care services for all OLLU students who feel sick, stressed, or anxious. This service allows access to professional health advisors and presents the option to let students choose who they want to meet with.
“Accept your feelings because you are not alone,” said Kneupper.
For more information on OLLU’s health care services visit ollu.health