Gentle Encouragement

Uncertainty is hard. It can be messy, anxiety producing, stressful, and scary. We can’t anticipate what will happen. So much of what we have taken for granted as both teachers and students (and people) has changed rapidly. As a result, it is more important than ever to take steps to support our wellness. While that feels challenging, especially now, I ask what it is that you are doing to help prepare and navigate this situation?

In addition to the CDC recommendations, there are several things that you can do to help ease the transition. For some of you, this will come with ease, you might be very used to the online learning environment. For others, we know this may be very challenging. We recognize the work that you are doing to keep learning, and we applaud all of your efforts. I encourage all of you to make sure you have what you need in place to ease the online learning experience. Gently prepare a learning environment in your home. Make sure that it is comfortable and free of distractions.

While it might not seem like much, the physical steps that we take walking to and from class add up. Make sure you leave your house every day. Go for a walk, enjoy the warmer temperatures. Use this opportunity to connect with a friend or family member on the phone. While we are encouraged to socially isolate, we must also recognize the importance of social connection on our wellbeing, and find alternative ways. Thankfully, we exist in a time of facetime, zoom, and video calls.

There are many options for online fitness from the comfort of your home. While I know it’s not the same as being in your fitness community, the classes are high quality and intended for home use. Several local studios will be offering online workouts, including FlyDog and Elements Yoga, VariMove, and Formula Complete Fitness. I will work to compile these resources for you, and send them out via email. I will also be working to host live stress reducing yoga sessions through Zoom, so we can connect, breath, and move together as a community.

Finally, I encourage you to reach out to your support network if you are feeling unease. I am available to by facetime, zoom, phone and email to discuss wellness strategies. Your college deans and faculty are also here to support you. The situation will continue to change, and we will continue to adapt our strategies and best practices to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

With Care,
Dr. Deborah Barry
dsb9u@virginia.edu

 

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