Community, Connection and Coping: Remote Resources

Welcome to BWell’s Remote Resources Page. We hope the connection and empowerment tools offered here can help us continue to build community and nurture wellbeing as we learn to navigate our Brown experience across new distances.

Each week we will add a new collection of resources. Click on a week below to open the drop down box.

You can also visit our regularly updated services page for information on all of the BWell resources available to you.

Week One

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • Maintaining connection to community.

    • I have been attending online community group meetings every day through programs like Zoom.  My community members check in and share how they are taking care of themselves, express their needs and vulnerable feelings, and receive support and encouragement from each other.  Throughout the day I have daily check-ins with different members of this community to maintain connection, accountability, and provide reciprocal care.- Alana

  • Daily movement - outside whenever possible. 

    • 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

  • Prioritizing nutrition and enjoying 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

  • Making time for music

    • 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

We want to hear from you!

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding? Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on our website for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools:

  • You can read up on ways to take some extra good care of yourself on our Self Care Techniques for Stress Relief page, skills that can be applied no matter where in the world you are!  

  • A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in our wellbeing. Use BWell’s sleep assessment tool to review your sleep hygiene practices and identify strategies that can help you get better rest.

  • Sign up for Wellness Texts! Text keyword BWELL to 66746.

Week Two

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • Life with pets!

    • 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

  • Checking in with friends and family.

    • Each day so far of this “social distancing” period, I have reached out to at least one friend or family member, particularly those who I haven’t checked in with as recently, with a text or call. Remembering that we are all together in this separation exercise is really helpful for me. Connecting with important people in my life and finding out how and what they are doing grounds and soothes me. - Naomi

  • Meaning-making, self-reflection, and meditation.

    • 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

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding? Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on our website for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools for this week:

  • Use this worksheet to select strategies to maintain self-care and develop a full self-care plan.  You can type right on the worksheet and take a screenshot to save it or download and save the worksheet to fill it out later.  

  • Wondering how to structure your days? Finding balance between pleasure, achievement and connection is key to overall wellbeing. From Psychology Tools Limited: “If you’re in some form of physical isolation or distancing, it can be helpful to organize a daily routine that involves a balance between activities that:

 

 

 

Week Three

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • 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

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding?
Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on our website for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools for this week:

  • Use this fillable PDF from BWell to choose and try a daily practice to nurture your wellbeing.   Pay attention to how it makes you feel. Continue the practice if it is working for you or consider trying something else if it is not proving helpful. PDF iconDaily Practice (1).pdf

Week Four

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • New Recipes: 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

  • Past and Future Journaling: 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

BWell’s fantastic student staff are sharing self and community care strategies they are using:

  • Dancing Together: 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, Student Office Coordinator

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding? Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on this page for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools for this week:

  • You can use this worksheet to map your social support network. Who are the people or communities in your life which offer you the four key types of social support (Emotional Help, Practical Help, Sharing Points of View, and Sharing Information)? Download the fillable pdf: PDF iconsocial supports.pdf

  • This week, we have been thinking a lot about how we can maintain connections during social distancing. Here is a graphic with some key tips and strategies:

Week Five

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • 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 

BWell’s fantastic student staff are also sharing self and community care strategies they are using:

  • I've been sharing my schoolwork with my family to keep me more engaged! Transitioning to online school in the solitary space of my childhood bedroom has been challenging and lonely. Although I miss the camaraderie of study spaces on campus and the energy of collaborating on work with friends, I've been finding new ways to enjoy learning. I've been reading aloud to my mom as she cooks, watching documentaries for class during family movie night, or bringing up my coursework at the dinner table. - Emily

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding? Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on this page for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools for this week:

  • Are you experiencing continued intense feelings of concern and worry? During times of heightened stress and anxiety, the concepts of reframing can be important tools for emotional wellbeing. Here are some modified reframes from ZenCare which offer a few examples of how you might counter catastrophizing thoughts about the epidemic:

    • Worry #1: “I live in a highly populated city, the virus could spread to me quickly." Reframed: "My city has a lot of infrastructure and resources in place to face a challenge like this."

    • Worry #2: “I’m immunocompromised and may be susceptible to severe symptoms if I contract the virus.” Reframed: "I have a well-informed healthcare provider who will let me know if or when I need to make changes."

    • Worry #3: “I should not have left my home today. Anyone could threaten my health.” Reframed: "I’m doing the best I can, and so are the people around me."

    • Zen Care further suggests that “when you find a way to reframe a negative belief, try to commit to it for a while. You might be surprised at how your energy and mood can shift, just by adding a more generous alternative to your concerns.”

  • Take just a minute to communicate your worries and release bothersome thoughts. Try this interactive, 60-second meditation tool to ease anxiety at Pixel Thoughts.

Week Six

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

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

BWell’s fantastic student staff and volunteers are also sharing self and community care strategies they are using:

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 facetiming 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, SHAG Peer Educator

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding? Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on this page for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools for this week:

  • Escape into SHAG’s Virtual Sex Week on Instagram (www.instagram.com/shagbrownu). Access podcasts and brochures created by SHAG peer educators to learn about sexual health topics ranging from mental health and sex to destigmatizing STIs. 

  • In a mindful journaling group with Nicole Annete from http://journaljunky.blogspot.com/, we learned this incredibly helpful and informative technique.  In utilizing the 5 A's of Mindfulness, you can gain perspective on your thoughts and feelings and see how they move and shift with different modes of perception.  The 5 A’s of mindfulness are:

    • Awareness
    • Attention
    • Acceptance 
    • Affection
    • Affirmation

Use this journaling sheet to try applying the 5 A’s to something weighing on your mind. Download the fillable pdf: PDF iconmindful journal.pdf

Week Seven

 

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • 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

BWell’s fantastic student staff and volunteers are also sharing self and community care strategies they are using:

  • 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, Graduate Student Office Coordinator

What is working for you? What might be other things which would support you in having a sense of wellbeing, community and grounding? Click here to let us know and we will share your strategies on this page for others to learn from.

Here are some additional tools for this week:

  • We have found that during this time, grounding has been more important for us than ever. Grounding exercises help us to stay in the present moment and can help to relieve anxiety and worry, allowing us to regain clarity and focus. This resource (from the Arizona coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence) offers a helpful collection of grounding exercises to try. 

  • Here is a quick and easy exercise called “Take Five” or “Five Finger Breathing” to help you relax and get centered.  This video is a shorter explanation, developed for young people, to help them practice the technique.  If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and the science behind how it works, this video, by Brown’s own Dr. Brewer provides some context and information as well as a demonstration of the technique.

  • With finals period layered on top of the Covid-19 stresses, we are re-sharing this self-care worksheet, where you can select strategies to maintain self-care and develop a full self-care plan.  You can type right on the worksheet and take a screenshot to save it or download and save the worksheet to fill it out later.  fillable self-care worksheet.pdf

 

 

 

Week Eight

Current circumstances have certainly been challenging for us all and have required many of us to dig deep to find ways to maintain a sense of grounding and focus. Here are some self and community care strategies the BWell staff are using to nurture our wellbeing during this time:

  • While routine can be soothing, lately I have been feeling the need for variety and newness. One way I am bringing a little novelty to my days is finding new walking routes and pockets of my neighborhood that I have never been in before. I am challenging myself to not repeat a walk route for the next 10 days. Discovered this week were a lovely little wooded path and a hilltop house with an elaborate, amusement park like backyard.  - Naomi

Here is an additional tool for this week:

As the semester draws to a close, this will be the last of our weekly posts. We hope they have been helpful for you! Soon we will be posting an easy to navigate page with the "best of" the resources we have shared over the past eight weeks. 

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