BWell Staff Tips: Coping + Connection

We all find different methods of coping and connecting helpful. Here are some of the ways BWell staff and student staff have been "coping during covid." Read through and see if any of these approaches might work well for you!

What is getting us through:

MOVEMENT

  • I have been taking morning and afternoon walks, rain or shine. Waving and chatting with neighbors - even from 6+ feet away - reminds me that I am part of a larger community. The fresh air and daylight always makes me feel a greater sense of wellbeing - Naomi

  • My friend and I have started an improv dance video exchange to keep us moving and creating. We give each other new songs and movement prompts a few times a week. Then, we send each other videos of our finished works. As students who are used to having regular scheduled times in our schedule to move and dance, it feels good to reconnect with my body and find that inspiration again. - Emily

  • I started to practice yoga every morning and do at home workouts every evening following videos. It’s a good way for me to stay physically active and stay calm during this uncertain time. Although I still miss the gym at school, I feel I am benefiting a lot from the daily exercises. Sometimes I also take a little walk outside around the neighborhood. It’s nice to see the flowers are blooming and the spring is coming. - Yufei

FOOD

  • I have been enjoying the extra time and access to my kitchen to cook myself and loved ones colorful, delicious meals, including some treats to get us through dreary days. - Elliot

  • Every day, I cook a new dish for my household for dinner.  We get to try something new and delicious, I get to use my creativity, and we get to bond over food even though we have been working separately all day.  I make sure to incorporate everyone’s food needs and to make enough so that we all have leftovers we can eat the next day for lunch. It has been part of my self AND community care work!  - Alana

  • I have been making sure to drink plenty of water.  It sounds so simple but I found that because I was out of my regular routines I was forgetting to stay hydrated and started to feel more sluggish.  I definitely have a bit more energy now and adding this practice to my days wasn’t a heavy lift. - Tanya

  • I’m participating in supporting the local economy by getting local produce deliveries and signing up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) share from a local farm. In times like these it's become even more apparent that we need to rely on the people closest by to help us get through hard times, and supporting local farms feels like a win-win for me: I feel safer about getting food that hasn’t passed through so many hands, it’s more sustainable for our earth and it keeps the local economy alive. - Elliot

CREATIVITY + JOY

  • I have joined in on streaming concerts where I got to experience a sense of community.  Playing music loud throughout my house and singing along. Listening to some of my favorite songs that I haven’t heard in awhile or that remind me of people and places I love.  Music can conjure hope and positive energy and makes me feel renewed. - Tanya​

  • I have been making art as a creative expression of my personality and current emotions and a way to pass the time (even during zoom calls). Because schoolwork can be all-life-encompassing as a Brown student, I am glad to find some time in my schedule now to be able to express myself creatively. Customizing earrings, embellishing old pillowcases or working on a large quilt/blanket creation to keep my hands busy while watching tv, listening to podcasts, attending zoom lectures or face timing with friends has kept me from getting bored most days and gives me something to be proud of when I complete a project. Working with shiny objects, colors and textures that give me joy has brought me something to look forward to in this uncertain time. - Pazia

  • Funny movies have been a key part of my weeks.  It would be unsustainable for me to try and pretend that things were always peaceful and to not be aware of the very real needs happening (always and also) due to COVID-19 and its impact on communities.  Alternatively, to never give my brain and heart a break would also be unsustainable and I find that too much constant awareness does not provide me the ability to be present when I am most needed.  So brain breaks are in order and I have found over the last few weeks that watching a totally ridiculous comedy, often one with Melissa McCarthy or something I may have liked in the 90’s, has been a great way to unwind and disconnect.  The less tethered to reality the plot line is, the better, and I am grateful that I have been able to access these types of movies fairly easily online.  I’m not sure what this week’s movie will be but I hope it is funny, ridiculous, and gives me a chance to belly laugh.- Alana

CONNECTION

  • I have been snuggling my cats and renegotiating our ideas about snack time, bedtime, and who gets to sit where!  When they are curled up in my lap, I try to let myself be fully where I am, and in that moment, everything is alright.  Whether you have a cat, a dog, a lizard, or a favorite stuffed animal, snuggle time can be helpful for soothing or even watching videos of animals can provide distraction and relief.- Alana

  • I have been making sure to carve out time in my day when I am not looking at a screen but still connecting with others. My friend and I are both re-reading one of our favorite novels and then talking about it (by phone, not Zoom!) a couple times a week in an impromptu book club of sorts. - Naomi

  • I’ve been catching up with friends who have been hit hardest, especially ones in New York City who have been quarantined for weeks, it helps me to feel connected and I think it also helps them to hear from people in other places! - Elliot

REFLECTION

  • Social distancing and self-isolation has required that I slow down and be still during times when I would typically hurry and rush. What can I learn from this stillness?  Is there quiet? Craving? Fear? What emerges when I listen? All things are welcome and each feeling and sensation is an opportunity to deepen my relationship to myself. I have been taking opportunities every day during this period to listen to myself, my body, my spirit. I am eating when I am hungry, and reaching out when I need connection.  This time has something to tell me and I have the time, and am taking the time, to listen. -Alana

  • I am finding it important to remind myself on a daily basis that, despite the very strange and trying time we are in, the past happened and it matters and the future is coming and is something we can look forward to and make some (tentative, flexible) plans for, even if we can’t be sure quite what it will look like. I have turned this into a daily practice by journaling about one experience I am grateful to have had in the past and one experience I am looking forward to having in the future. - Naomi

  • I heard someone recently talk about how this period of isolation is a lot like childhood for many of us, in the ways that our homes were our whole worlds when we were young. What did you do in your childhood that felt soothing or creative? Maybe there’s some things we can do to replicate those feelings these days with the new skills we have as adults? As a child I was a dreamer, so I’ve been dreaming a lot about a better future by using my imagination. I also appreciate the opportunity to see others’ imaginations through books and shows. Our minds have an incredible power to transport us to wherever we want to go! - Elliot

  • Meditation, prayer, and mindfulness practice have been more essential than ever for me to maintain perspective, groundedness, and find context for difficult emotions: stress, fear, frustration. I have had to reach into my toolbox and also add to it, learning new practices as well as reconnecting with ones I have used in the past.  This video, a Tonglen meditation practice guided by Pema Chodron, was shared by a friend and I have found it especially helpful in these challenging times. - Alana

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