COVID-19 Coping Resources
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for many of us. Fear and anxiety about a disease, as well as the uncertainties and changes that effect our personal and work lives can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Cope and thrive by focusing on self-care activities such as staying active, getting outside, eating nutritious foods, taking relaxation breaks, sleeping well, and staying positive. You'll find a variety of resources on this page.
Join Sharon Morisi, LICSW, CEAP, from the Dartmouth College Faculty Employee Assistance Program for a free webinar, Coping with Uncertainty: How to manage ongoing stress with our new normal, which will be offered on the below dates:
Ask for Help: Faculty/Employee Assistance Program
Take A Relaxation Break
Take Care of your Emotional Health: Manage Stress & Anxiety
Stop the Spread of Germs
Energy & Stretching Breaks
Give your Eyes a Break
Boosting Your Immune System
Your Dartmouth College Faculty/Employee Assistance Program, in partnership with GuidanceResources, gives you, our employees, and your family members confidential support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. Watch this video to learn more.
Receive up to 8 counseling sessions per issue with Dartmouth's counselor, Sharon Morisi, or a local provider (most sessions are taking place virtually via phone or zoom), legal support, financial information and access to work-life solutions. These services are provided at no charge to you. There are two ways to access your Faculty/Employee Assistance Program (F/EAP) resources:
- Call 844.216.8308
- Visit www.guidanceresources.com and log in or click on Register and enter your company ID: Dartmouth and then follow
the registration prompts. You will find timely, expert information on thousands of
topics, including relationships, work, school, children, wellness, legal, and financial.
You can search for qualified child care and elder care, attorneys and financial planners
as well as ask questions, take self-assessments and more.
If you're enrolled on the Cigna medical plan through Dartmouth, see Telehealth information below for additional options for talking with a licensed counselor or psychiatrist via phone or video.
Confidential virtual counseling is also available to faculty and staff with Daveen Litwin, the College Chaplain, and with the United College Ministry advisers of multiple faith traditions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Simple tools such as deep breathing and visualization can help us relax and gain control
of our stress.
View a hands-on way to learn simple relaxation techniques.
Access free downloads on topics such as deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness, guided imagery, guided progressive muscle relaxation and relaxing instrumental music.
Although there are a lot of uncertainties, try and focus on what you can control at the moment such as practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently throughout the day, and getting outside every day.
Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and well-being.
Getting enough sleep, at least 7 - 9 hours, will also help you manage your stress. Learn tips on how to quiet your mind at night.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a variety of resources available for managing stress, especially in an outbreak such as COVID-19. Visit the below links to access these resources:
- practice physical distancing (stay 6 feet away from others)
- wear a face covering (see Dartmouth's policy)
- cover your cough/sneeze
- avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
Learn more about how to protect yourself and others here.
Social distancing means staying at home and away from others as much as possible. If you need to go out for essential reasons like food and medicine, maintain a distance of approximately 6 feet from others and wear a face covering (it must cover both your nose and mouth).
Although we are practicing "physical" social distancing, we still encourage you to be "virtually" social - use technology such as FaceTime and Zoom to connect with family and friends and try playing a game like charades or trivia, or just have a nice long chat.
When working remote, try to incorporate the below tips. It's also important to remember good ergonomics in our “new” workspace. These tips from Environmental Health & Safety will help you optimize your work environment at home to keep you feeling healthy.
- Create a separate workspace, if possible, or wear a headset and listen to music to help block out distractions.
- Get ready for the day as though you were going to the office; even though you may be tempted to stay in your PJs, it's best to get dressed to initiate the start of your day
- Create a schedule and prioritize your to-do list for the day to help stay focused and organized
- Incorporate short energy breaks throughout the day to move, re-hydrate, take a mindful minute, stretch, and step outside to get some fresh air. These will help you feel more energized, regain focus, be less stressed and be more productive.
- Stay connected with your team so you don't feel isolated by committing to speak with someone on your team at least once a day and use video conferencing through Dartmouth's zoom capabilities
- Focus on the positives! For example, you may be saving time since you're not commuting to the office, you may be saving money because you're not eating out for lunch, or you might be able to get some extra house chores done during your lunch break.
- View a toolkit with tips on being a virtual employee including how to set up a daily routine, stay focused, and connect with your colleagues.
- If you are a manager/supervisor, view tips on how best to manage your virtual team, how to provide effective feedback and how to keep your team connected.
Watch this free webinar, Master Working from Home with Microsoft Teams, for some other great tips.
Remember, Dartmouth employees have free access to Zoom. This is a great way to connect with team members and other colleagues while you're working remote. Consider scheduling regular check-ins with your team to help stay connected!
We encourage short energy breaks throughout the day, even when working remotely, to move, re-hydrate, take a mindful minute, and even to step outside and get some fresh air. These will help you feel more energized, regain focus, be less stressed and be more productive.
Below you will find some great stretches put together by the Environmental Health & Safety team.
Please note: Stretching, when done correctly, should not be painful. It is normal to feel a pulling sensation in the muscle, but pain is to be avoided. If you are doing a stretch and you feel pain, discontinue the stretch. If you have had any problems, or surgery, please contact your health care provider before you start a stretching or exercise program.
Do each stretch slowly. Hold each stretch for about 15 seconds unless otherwise noted. Click here to view or print the full stretching document.
Virtual spiritual resources for those seeking calm, connection and sustenance in relation to the challenges of COVID-19.
Mindfulness Practice Group - Wednesday mornings at 8:00am
Contact Tucker.Center@dartmouth.edu to be added to the email list and connect with a weekly Zoom Mindfulness Sit.
Dartmouth Zen Practice
For a schedule of "Zen on Zoom" go to http://www.UVZC.org
With all the Zoom meetings taking place, our eyes may be getting more screen time. Be mindful of this and give your eyes frequent breaks throughout the day by taking breaks from your computer. Try switching some zoom meetings to phone calls, or try these other tips -
- Take regular breaks using the "20-20-20" rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
- Make a conscious effort to blink as often as possible. This keeps the surface of your eyes from drying out. You might even want to put a sticky note on your computer screen reminding you to blink often!
- Try palming. Rub your hands together for 10 to 15 seconds until they feel warm and energized. Then gently place your hands over your eyes, with the fingertips resting on the forehead, the palms over the eyes, and the heels of the hands resting on the cheeks. Don't touch the eyeballs directly, but hollow the hands slightly and allow them to form a curtain of darkness in front of the eyes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. Envision the eyes absorbing the darkness like a sponge, while also welcoming healing warmth and energy from the hands. Invite the eyes to grow soft and spacious, and enjoy this break from visual stimulation. Continue this palming action as long as it feels soothing—for just a few seconds or up to five minutes. When you are ready to emerge, gently remove the hands from the face and slowly open the eyes.
With the COVID-19 pandemic upending normal work/parenting procedures and the transition back to school, whatever that may look like, it will be an immense adjustment for both students and their parents. To help ease the stress and anxiety of working and parenting, check out the below resources:
Working & Parenting During a Pandemic Support Group - 2nd Thursday of the Month
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes to how we work and what school looks like for our children. Balancing parenting, along with these new changes such as working remote, children attending school remotely, hybrid, or homeschooling, may cause additional stress in our lives. Join other working parents for an informal discussion to share ideas, coping strategies, and receive support from each other. This group will meet once a month on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 12 – 1 PM and is open to any working parent at Dartmouth College. Sharon Morisi, LICSW, CEAP, from the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program and Courtney Rotchford from Wellness at Dartmouth will help to facilitate the discussion.
- Coping with Pandemic Anxiety as Kids Return to School Webinar - listen to the recording
- Check out the on-demand library for other recorded webinars that may be of interest
Other Parenting Resources
Dartmouth's well-being partner, Virgin Pulse, has created a comprehensive well-being guide (you do not need to be a Pulse participant to access these resources). Find facts on COVID-19 as well as many resources, tips and support on reducing stress, staying active, being productive, sleeping well, and eating healthy.
If you're enrolled on a Cigna medical plan through Dartmouth, use Telehealth to access medical and behavioral/mental health 24/7/365 - even on weekends and holidays. Connect with quality board-certified doctors and pediatricians, as well as licensed counselors and psychiatrists anywhere via video or phone.
- MDLive offers care for minor medical and behavioral/mental health care. Watch this short video to learn more.
- TalkSpace is an online therapy platform for you to connect with a licensed behavioral therapist via text, video and voice.
Access a financial resiliency guide.
Access a comprehensive resiliency guide.
Access information on how to boost your immune system.
There are many free well-being apps on topics such as meditation, yoga, HIIT workouts and more.
- Happify: for Stress and Worry - Overcome negative thoughts, stress, and life's challenges. - This app is free to any Dartmouth employee enrolled in a Cigna medical plan. To download the free version of the app, click here.
- iPrevail - Get mental health support 24/7 with on-demand coaching, lessons, & more. This app is free to any Dartmouth employee enrolled in a Cigna medical plan. To download the free version of the app, click here.
- Calm - Free resources page includes soothing meditations, sleep stories, mindfulness resources, meditations for kids and more.
- Stop, Breathe & Think - short guided meditations for mindfulness and compassion
- Down Dog - yoga, yoga for beginners, HIIT, Barre and 7 Minute workouts.
- FitOn - free fitness app