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Student Wellness Guide

 

YOU matter. We care. I know I have shared these sentiments with you before, but I feel like it’s critically important to reiterate them now. Our community is trying to find our path forward at the same time our state, our nation, and our world are, too. This pandemic at times can feel overwhelming – or, at least, it can for me. During times like these, I find it’s important to try to get back to the basics and wanted to share some suggestions with you. I hope that during this time we as a community – at UMass Dartmouth and beyond – make sure that people are taken care of. Do what you can with what you have and be kind to yourself and others. Make a call, send a note, or provide some food or encouragement. We can do this together if we focus on being our best selves.

Suggested ways to ease anxiety:

Do things you love:

  • Connect with friends and family – FaceTime, calls, text, messaging, or email. During stressful times, relying on strong relationships with friends and loved ones, even if you aren’t with them in person, makes a difference.
  • Continue or explore yoga, meditation and/or controlled breathing. If you haven’t done yoga on your own, consider apps like Yoga Studio and Pocket Yoga. Interested in meditation? Check out Calm or Headspace apps. An easy way to controlled breathing is to try square breathing.
  • Tap into other ways you like to relax, too. Read a good book. Binge watch a favorite show. Prepare and eat familiar and comfort foods.
     

Follow best practices to reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel and crowds. Social distancing is a critical method for reducing spread.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) for 20 seconds.
  • Practice good hygiene – when you get home, wash your hands really well, keep your hands away from your face, especially your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Use calming strategies that work for you — and maybe try something new.
  • Making healthy, reasonable choices about what to do and what not to do will make a big difference in being able to stay as safe and as well as possible.
  • Once we adopt key precautionary measures, we can take a deep breath and do our best to calm ourselves. It’s not necessary or helpful to be on high alert all the time. This will wear you down emotionally and physically. So try to adjust your level of alertness to your immediate surroundings.
  • Safety is one of the most basic needs of all of us.

 

Do things that increase anxiety less:

  • Limit the frequency with which you stay tuned to what’s developing and when you choose to get information, make sure you are accessing credible sources like the CDC and MA Department of Public Health.

 

We’re all on this journey together. Like Chancellor Johnson said, “we might not pass each other in the halls, stop by each other’s offices, see each other in the line at Starbucks, or meet in the classroom, but we are still together. Distance does not diminish the fact that we are a united community of learners that strive to make a difference in the world.”

As we go forward, listen to public health experts who can help us navigate the path ahead. I will continue to be in touch – please let me know how we can be of assistance to you.

 

Be well,

 

VC Shannon

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