"Social distancing doesn't need to be lonely or stressful."
That's the message The University of New Mexico's Student Activities Center is pushing as it rolls out its news Virtual Activities website. The website comes as students, faculty and staff work mid-semester to transition operations remotely.
"The idea from the virtual activities website came from our staff at the Student Activities Center," SAC Director Ryan Lindquist said. "Most of the Spring events we work on had to be cancelled and we wanted to find a way to keep students engaged during the practice of social distancing."
The website features a list of activities, programs, and ideas for how to connect with friends, groups, and community resources during the COVID-19 pandemic including: amusement park rides, exercise programs, museum tours, Netflix party, social distancing bingo and Zoom meeting instructions.
"SAC believes involvement and campus community play a very important role in student development and we have had to find a new way to interact with and engage our students," Lindquist said.
The site also lists tips about how to stay physically and mentally healthy. It encourages students to take a walk, run, or bike ride, while remembering to keep a distance of 6 feet from all other people. The site also has links to businesses offering free workout videos.
UNM Associate Professor, Peter Pribis, who specializes nutrition and dietetics said as students transition to accessing everything remotely to keep in mind their diet.
"I'm telling my students that they have to choose to stay positive," Pribis said. "It's important to take one day at the time, create a daily schedule and follow it. They should also try one day internet fasting, while eating healthy foods to boost immunity."
SAC staff is continuing to add to the list as they discover new activities, any other great ideas are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.