There is strength in numbers. We are all in this together.
We understand that extraordinary circumstances have changed the course of this semester for students. We at the Health and Wellness Center are here to provide resources and support for students during this difficult time. Information is provided below to help students navigate their wellness needs.
Wellness Tips During Physical Distancing
It is common to feel a range of emotions while practicing physical distancing. These are unprecedented times, but there is solace in the fact that we are all in this together. Even though we are not meeting each other in person, we can still connect in other ways. Over the next two weeks, the Health and Wellness Center will send out daily wellness tips to help keep your mind, body and spirit centered while we are on this extended break. In addition, if you would like to connect, we are offering weekly, online Skype sessions with the Wellness Coordinator for those who are interested, to check in, ask questions, share stories or just say hello! Please email us to schedule a Skype session.
To help get us started, below are five tips to stay well during physical distancing.
Avoid virus exposure.
Physical distancing only works if we keep a distance from others. That means, avoiding crowded places and refraining from gathering with friends in person. By staying home, you are doing your part to reduce the spread of this illness.
Reduce media exposure.
It’s easy to keep the news on 24/7 and to check in with social media daily, however this constant connection to media can increase anxiety and cause fear. Checking in at the beginning and/or end of the day is a healthier amount of media exposure compared to staying connected to it all day long.
Get some fresh air.
Staying cooped up in the house without leaving for the next few weeks, if you are not sick or experiencing symptoms, may not be necessary. Stepping outside your house, sitting on the steps or in your backyard, taking a walk or run around the block, are all healthy ways to get fresh air and can help improve mental clarity.
It’s easy to stay connected with others with the help of facetime, phone calls, emailing, skype and other ways to connect virtually. Take this time to call a friend or loved one.
Keep a schedule.
It can be easy to sleep in, binge watch tv shows, or feel like the days blend together. Make a schedule that allows you to get your work done, build in some down time, as well as self-care.
As a suggestion, an example of a schedule could be:
- 8am-9am: Wake up, breakfast
- 9am-11am: Class work
- 11am-12pm: Fresh air/self-care
- 12pm-1pm: Lunch
- 1pm-3pm: Class work
- 3pm-3:30pm: Connect with others virtually
- 3:30pm-4:30pm: Take a walk. Try an online meditation or yoga class
- 4:30pm-6pm: Class work
- 6pm-7pm: Dinner
- 7pm-9pm: Class work
- 10pm-11pm: Relaxation
- 11pm: Bedtime (avoid looking at phone/social media after this time)
Keeping a Positive Mind Frame
Research has proven time and again that there is a definite link between positivity and health. People who think more positively, who see the glass as “half full”, are shown to be happier and healthier. This positive mind frame can also help when faced with adversity. How we choose to look at something, think about it, and act on it can affect our happiness.
Below are tips on how you can improve and maintain a healthy mind frame.
Look for the good.
Unexpected and uncontrollable things happen which can cause us to feel anxious, angry, frustrated and many other emotions. Instead of simmering in all the “cant’s” or being stuck in the fact that things are different from what you want them to be, try to look for the good. For example, being stuck at home for a few weeks at home might feel restrictive, but choosing to be grateful to have this extra down time from your usually busy schedule, spending time with family, getting laundry done, getting extra sleep, homemade food, etc. can all be an upside to this new schedule.
Learning to adapt to fluid situations is an important concept to learn but can be difficult. Being resilient means that we know we can’t control everything but we can control how we respond to events and what we decide to do about it to move forward. These new social distancing recommendations that the country and world are facing right now means that we can be resilient by trying to make the best of the situation each day.
Meditation has many benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety, to improved health and happiness. Meditation can be something we practice on our own in a quiet room, online watching a YouTube video or with an app such as “Headspace” on our phones. Learning to quiet our minds is a healthy tool and can help during times of stress and uncertainty.
At the risk of sounding cliché, we can all benefit from “stopping to smell the roses” from time to time. We are all so busy, that when things slow down, even unexpectedly, we can benefit from taking a moment to enjoy the little things. Going for a walk without your headphones and listening to the birds chirp or calling a friend or loved one to share a funny story. A mindset of gratitude and faith and trying to maintain a calm perspective can be very reassuring during difficult times.
Looking for more? Try some online resources as well!
Virtual Wellness Resources
Feeling bored? Looking for something fun to do? Try out a Virtual Tour, Meditation or other online resource!
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- The Louvre
- British Museum
- Uffizi Museum
- Guggenheim Museum
- Vatican Museum
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- International Spy Museum
- NASA Tours
- Museum of American Revolution
Free Yoga Videos
Wellness Resources for Faculty and Staff
Offices and Departments on Campus
- Counseling Services is maintaining information on resources available during COVID-19 on their office’s webpage, including information about available support, links to free mental health resources, useful websites for addressing stress and anxiety and information on local and national crisis resources. Additionally, Counseling Services has a pre-recorded version of the faculty/staff training program “Recognizing and Responding to Student Distress.” If you would like the video links and supplemental resources, please email Counseling Services’ Office Manager, Carol Ann Ester.
- Health Services has updated their office’s webpage to provide important health information regarding COVID-19 including wellness tips for staying safe and healthy, practicing physical distancing (also known as social distancing), and other helpful resources, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 page.
- The Needs Assessment Team exists to facilitate the early identification of students of concern, so that comprehensive plans can be developed to best support the needs of the students and the community. You can make a report to the team by clicking this link: Needs Referral Form.
- Stonehill's Faculty & Staff COVID-19 FAQ, Resources, and Updates
- Intercultural Affairs Office Resources
- The Center for Writing and Academic Achievement
Wellness Instagram Accounts
- Health and Wellness Center’s Instagram is @stonehillhealthandwellness
- Alcohol and Other Drug Committee’s Instagram is @stonehill_aod
Additional helpful resources for faculty on addressing mental health issues with students include:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- JED Foundation and JED’s Recorded Webinar on Faculty Tips for Supporting Students Online
- The Steve Fund
- Active Minds: Faculty Resource Guide