Keep on Being Well
A few reminders to help you be and stay well.
Navigating the anticipated stressors of daily life can often be challenging enough. When unexpected stressors emerge or when we are faced with uncertainty, it can be tough to know how to cope.
There is a lot of information out there already on proactive things you can do. We’ve put together a few tips and resources. You’re not alone - we’re in this together.
- While many are calling what is happening right now, “Social Distancing,” staying away from others physically doesn’t mean that we are alone or isolated. Our staff and students are finding innovative ways to remain socially connected
- Many VCU Offices are providing virtual services to help support you during this time:
- It’s especially important during times of crisis to rely on others for emotional support. Take the opportunity to reach out to loved ones- FaceTime, set up video calls or create group chats. Or, join one of the University Counseling Services Support Groups being offered in response to the pandemic. There are general groups, a support group for students of color and a group for health professional students. To find out more about the groups and to sign up, visit counseling.vcu.edu.
- No internet? You could try writing a letter or setting up an old-fashioned chat on the phone.
- Not sure who to call for support?
- 7cups to connect to a volunteer listener.
- Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
- If you’re feeling alone or struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
- Continue to engage in activities you find meaningful and connect with others who care about those activities. Sign-up for a live Virtual Fitness class or eSports tournament through Recreational Sports.
- Wait, what? Didn’t we just encourage connection? Sometimes disconnecting from a constant stream of information can be helpful in managing worry and anxious feelings. Try taking a break from social media or snoozing certain news outlets for a designated period of time.
- Take some time to put pen to paper. Journaling your thoughts can also be a great way to examine what is happening in your head.
Talk about it.
- Chances are, there are others who share your concern. Sometimes naming what you feel helps provide perspective and makes it feel less scary or big. Who could be a trusted ally for you?
- University Counseling Services can be reached at (804) 828-6200 for Monroe Park Campus students and at (804) 828-3964 for MCV Campus students.
- For spiritual support, the Interfaith Campus Ministries Association provides information on religious activities and resources across the many faith-based organizations on campus. Visit their site for more details.
Practice behaviors that sustain us over time.
- Nutritious food, adequate rest, ample hydration, physical activity and time to relax are all critical to helping our bodies keep us well. Visit Recreational Sports virtual programs to find exercise classes from Les Mills, live virtual classes, outdoor adventure online challenges, and other ways to continue to engage in physical activity.
- Check out this Mental Health Care Package from University Counseling Services to help you cope.
- Check out this Google doc from The Well with additional resources to help you boost your mental health.
- If you have been putting off or not prioritizing your well-being, this can be a great time to refocus and pay attention to what you need!
- Quick tip: If you want to start a new self-care routine, consider starting small and tying the new habit into an existing one. Do you brush your teeth? Next time you brush, you could try introducing 3-5 minutes of deep breathing into your routine. When you brush again, it will remind you to also set aside time to breathe and relax.
- In times of stress, we may have the urge to reach for the things that comfort us in the moment. These aren’t always the things that will help us stay well for the long haul. Try taking a few deep breaths to see if the craving will pass.
- Did you know that you can schedule a virtual smoking cessation appointment with a Health Educator at The Well?
- If you find you are turning to substances to cope with stress or anxiety, consider seeking additional support.
- Worried about finances? You can still book virtual appointments through the Money Spot to talk with a peer coach.
Remind yourself that you got this!
- What skills have helped you cope with tough events in the past? Remembering how you have dealt with past challenges may help build your confidence to get through what’s happening right now. You’re likely more resilient than you may initially think!
- Not sure? Take the opportunity to try something new. Meditation has been shown to help with stress, anxiety and sleep issues. Learn how to meditate with this beginner’s guide. The app Insight Timer is another great, free tool with thousands of guided meditations that range from one minute to two hours, so there are options for all levels of practice.
Tune into what you need.
- Chances are, if you tune in and listen to what your body and brain are telling you, you will get a sense of what you need in this moment. Notice your thoughts and emotions and then determine what next steps may be most helpful for you.
- Being mindful is about being present in each moment without getting carried away by your thoughts. The following are a few prompts to help ground you in the present moment:
- What is your favorite color? Look around the room you are in and find all the things in the room with that color.
- What is your body doing right now? Does it feel tense or anxious? Try shifting positions or doing something physical. Try stretching, dancing, or moving with the rhythm of your natural breath. Then check back in about how that felt. Does your body feel different?
Want to keep your routines going?
Recreational Sports has been busy preparing virtual programming that is available to everyone at no cost. Check out what's available at the new Virtual Programming section on the Rec Sports website!
They will be launching today at 10 am with an info session about the programs that will be available. You can sign into the MyRecSports portal using your CAS credentials.
Content and program reminders will also be shared on social media:
We are here to help!
Here are some additional resources that are available for you during this time.
- COVID-19 updates from VCU
- Student Health FAQs
- VCU Keep on Learning
- University Counseling Services Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Advocacy Program: Confidential advocates are available by phone, email, or Zoom to support students who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, harassment, or who have questions about relationships or supporting survivors. Advocates can provide details and support for: the criminal or Title IX reporting process, academic or housing changes, medical or mental health care, referrals to community providers, and more. Advocates can be reached through the main counseling line at 804-828-6200 or at Myoptions@vcu.edu.