Due to the need for social distancing, coursework will be delivered online and many staff will be working remotely. These challenging times are only made more difficult with the loss of in-person interactions. Below, please find resources on possible activities for you and your family as well as wellness tips. It is important to take care of yourself and others during the days and weeks ahead.
Virtual Museum Tours
Some of the world’s most spectacular museums in Europe and the Americas offer virtual tours of their collections.
For Animal Lovers
The San Diego Zoo has nine different Zoo Cams to watch baboons, elephants, koalas, and six more species in real-time. The Smithsonian Zoo has four Zoo webcams, and the Cincinnati zoo offers virtual tours of its exhibits.
Use that brainpower
Use Zoom to gather your existing book club remotely, or start one with your friends, family, and neighbors. Book lists can be found on GoodReads and Common Sense Media has a great list of titles for kids’ book clubs.
Curate an at-home film festival
Use a theme everyone might like. Some ideas are B-movie classics (think Creature from the Black Lagoon), 80’s movies, Hitchcock, Eddie Murphy, 1990’s Oscar winners, black and white classics, foreign films, etc.
Providence, Rhode Island pulled together activities to allow people to explore the city and its attractions virtually.
Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home, Mo Willems, is posting two weeks of free “draw-alongs” called Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!
Free online music lessons for kids are posted at 10-10:45 am every day on the “A Mom’s Village” Facebook site.
Community Kangaroo Metro South has free online activities for kids every day. Schedule and links are posted on their Facebook page.
Physical activity is important for mental and physical health. It can be tough to manage while staying at home, but we’ve got some great suggestions for you! Join us for the weekly meeting of the UMassD Walking Club via Facebook. Walking can energize your workday by reducing stress and building strength, teamwork, morale, and keeping us connected to our colleagues! So, join us each week virtually for some mid-day rejuvenation!! We look forward to “seeing” you there!
UMassD Fitness Director, Greg Homol, offered several resources to campus:
Dear friends and colleagues,
I know it's an understatement to say these are strange times we are living in and we're all trying to find ways to cope with the stress and uncertainty of this global crisis. I also know that exercise does two very important things that we all need right now. Exercise boosts the immune system and decreases stress. You don't need a gym, hours of time, weights, or instructors to get an effective workout. All you really need is space, your body, and as little as 10 minutes. I have included some informative info-graphics with some guidance and a suggested workout model. I have also included a collection of simple body weight exercises you can substitute and change things up to keep your workouts fun and interesting. These are just a couple suggestions., But my main message is- take some time for yourself, get your body moving, connect with nature, and get your mind off this crisis for a few minutes a day. Lift weights if you have them, run if you love it, stretch or do Yoga if that's your thing, just be sure you're taking care of yourself. We're all going to need you when this thing is over.
Be sure to visit our Instagram page @corsairfitness for more tips, workout suggestions, and more.
It’s important to take care of ourselves and those around us. The World Health Organization (WHO) created a Coping with Stress PDF, and another on Helping Children Cope with Stress PDF. Many other resources are available to help you get educated on COVID-19, address the stress and beat the blues. Please review these other resources for self-care:
- Coping with Stress
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
- Taking Care of your Emotional Health
- Emotional Health Skills at Work
- Helping Children Cope with Emergencies
- World Health Organization Coronavirus Q&A
- Coronavirus & Mental Health: Taking Care of Ourselves During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Coronavirus & Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks Response
- Taking Care of your Family during Coronavirus Fact Sheet
- Research Information: Pandemics
- Five ways to view coverage of the Coronavirus
- Speaking of Psychology: Coronavirus Anxiety
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- Talking to Teens & Tweens about Coronavirus
UMass Dartmouth also offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through ComPsych® GuidanceResources benefits that will give you and your dependents confidential support, resources, and information for personal and work-life issues. These services are provided at no charge to you and your family. Call 844.393.4983 or visit their site and enter company ID: UMASS.
Use your brain’s natural chemistry to promote wellbeing
When you’re in contact with people you love, your brain releases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, and oxytocin hormone is produced. All of these promote feelings of wellbeing and positive emotion. To some degree, many types of positive social interactions also produce these important substances in the brain. During social distancing, we are physically separated from many of those we love and have less opportunity for normal social interaction. Some may find themselves feeling a bit blue or lonely as a consequence. The good news is that there are many ways to naturally boost these chemicals in the brain and promote feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Step away from the news for a bit and try some of these suggestions:
- Massage— 20 minutes of massage has been shown to increase “feel good” neurotransmitters and hormones.
- Take a warm bath
- Close your eyes and visualize loved ones or hugging a loved one.
- Think about a happy memory with loved ones.
- Zoom, Skype, etc. with a loved one and talk face to face.
- Look at photos of things that make you happy, such as your pet, a favorite place, or close friends
- Exercise is a great serotonin booster.
- Nutrition - Research suggests that eating carbs along with foods high in tryptophan may help more tryptophan make it into your brain.