Humans are social creatures, and we crave variety. While social distancing is important and necessary to reduce the impact of COVD-19, it can negatively impact your mental health. To help WSU students maintain their mental health, this page contains tips on self-care and ways to stay involved, engaged and active while practicing social distancing. As programs become available we will continue to update this page.

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As of March 26, 2020, all resources on this page are free or have free options or trials.

Things to Do

Staying in Touch

Practicing social distancing doesn't have to mean total isolation. Here are some resources for keeping in touch, even from a safe distance.

  • Zoom isn't just a tool for attending classes remotely — it can also be used to connect with your friends, student organizations and study groups!
  • Skype is a well-known program for voice and video chatting.
  • Discord is similar to Skype, but with more features.
  • Twitch allows you to watch and chat with people doing everything from gaming to cooking to teaching.
  • Use Spotify to create a collaborative playlist with friends.
  • Watch Netflix with friends.
  • Check out these online communities



Self-care isn't just pampering yourself (although that can be a component); it's a necessary exercise in seeing to your human body and mind's needs to ensure wellness and maintain resilience. Here are some tips and resources for taking care of yourself.



Try to keep a routine. It's okay to break routine sometimes, but not having a routine for an extended period of time may affect your sense of time and negatively impact your mental health. Your relationships with others can also suffer if you are not awake and available when others are.

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Sleep hygiene is crucial for mental health.
  • Bathe regularly. Staying clean reduces illness and infection, and soap and water are one of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting COVID-19.
  • Change into clean clothes to start your day (even if it's just a different pair of pajamas).
  • Try to keep a regular schedule for meals.
Body Resources

Giving your body the resources it needs to take care of itself is essential to feeling good and maintaining your mental health.

  • Be sure to drink enough water. You get a lot of water from your food intake (because most foods contain water), but if you're thirsty: drink!
  • Eat regular and adequate meals, both nutritionally and calorically. If you cannot perceive your hunger and fullness signals (such as due to illness or chronic energy deficits), create a meal plan and stick to it.
  • Allow yourself to eat when you're hungry and to eat foods you like. Your body is smart and knows what it needs, and what to do with the food you eat; if you need less food because of reduced activity level, your body will let you know.
  • If you need more food (which may be due to any number of bodily stresses such as fighting an illness, stress and anxiety, a history of energy deficits, or exercise), allow your body to have the resources it needs without guilt.
  • If you are hungry to the point of nausea, drinking a soda can help; some find the carbonation helps make soda easier to drink, and the high sugar content helps boost your blood glucose, reducing the nausea and allowing you to prepare and eat more food.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Sleep hygiene is crucial for mental health.
  • Ensure you have any necessary supplies. Social distancing (or "distance hygiene") is an important measure to mitigate the spread of disease, but items like food and medication are necessary to ensure well-being.
Mind Maintenance

Here are some tips on keeping your mind in a positive space, even while practicing social distancing.

  • Socialization is a human need. Stay in touch with friends and family. Don't be afraid to reach out just to chat.
  • Spend time with pets if you have any and they are accessible.
  • Unless expressly prohibited in your area or you are sick, try to get outside for a bit each day. Vitamin D is important for maintaining your health and feeling good.
  • Do something you enjoy each day. Try to stay active and busy doing enjoyable things.
  • Take time away from screens. It's okay (and for many, necessary) to engage in activities that involve screens, but be sure to engage in screen-free activities as well.
Living Space

Your environment can have a major effect on your happiness and mental health. Here are some tips on managing your living space, especially if you are spending more time there than usual.

  • Keep your living space organized, functional and comfortable. While it makes sense to leave things out if you will use them again soon, living in a cluttered space can wear on your mental health — especially if you're not able to spend your time elsewhere.
  • If you're going to be in a temporary current living situation for more than a couple of days, it can be helpful to settle in and allow yourself to take up space. Even if your living situation is temporary, living as though your situation is temporary can be draining and stressful, which can negatively impact your mental health.
  • Dispose of trash promptly; don't allow food containers or other waste to stay in your space after it stops being useful. Absolutely don't leave food lying around outside of a container or fridge.


Staying Active

Staying active can be tough when your routine is disrupted. Check out these options for getting some exercise in, even during a pandemic.


Reading is a great way to pass the time, and it's a great topic of conversation!

Movies and Videos

Run out of Netflix? Check these sites for more interesting (and sometimes educational) video content.

Virtual Museums

Take a virtual tour of world-famous museums around the globe!

Disclaimer: Wichita State University, Student Affairs and Care Team have not assessed the quality or veracity of information linked on this page. Please use your best judgment.