Just like you, the University Counseling Services at VCU is venturing onto a new path, a new reality associated with COVID-19. We are reaching out (virtually, of course! #PhysicalDistancing) and sharing ways to help you take care of yourselves, no matter if you are in Richmond, VA, in the US, or across the globe.
Self-care looks different for everyone. We encourage you to customize this document to your own needs, abilities and resources. Choose at least one or two things to do each day that focuses on what you need in the moment to care for yourself in this time of change.
For more information and resources check out our Facebook or Instagram pages.
Human beings are hard-wired to connect.
[Image description: Outdoor scene at a park with a lake and blue skies and white text. Alt Tex COVID 19: Social Distancing in public parks and trails. Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms. Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails. Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains. Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence as you pass. Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6’ from other persons at all times.)
[Image description: A rainbow jar that says: Healthy Love with different color hearts around the jar on a purple background. Alt-Text: Healthy Love: Respects boundaries, encourages growth, honest communication, willing to compromise, grows together, works through problems, affirms feelings, focuses on resolution, respects independence, knows love languages, trusts]
Take time for some stress relief. Laughter can be one of these ways and has been associated with psychological health benefits
[Image description: black cat lay on a brown couch. Alt-Text: Stay inside, practice social distancing, clean yourself constantly . . . OMG, I’ve become a housecat!]
For students with children, not hang school or the ability to physically go to the library, museums or parks can be especially challenging. Here are some free resources to entertain and engage with your young ones:
[Image Description: Daniel Tiger cartoon washing his hands with an adult tiger. No text.] photo credit: PBS
Below are a variety of apps you may enjoy or find useful in improving your mental health and wellness. We are not endorsing any of the apps specifically, as they are not maintained by Virginia Commonwealth University or University Counseling Services.
Headspace will teach you the fundamental techniques of meditation and mindfulness. The basics courses are free and work to decrease stress, increase movement, and improve sleep.
Reflectly is a free journaling app that utilizes artificial intelligence to help you structure and reflect upon your daily thoughts and emotions.
Moodpath is a helpful app mood tracking app and can be a guide towards increasing your understanding and awareness of your emotions.
Happify integrates mindfulness, positive psychology, and CBT into activities and games that can help challenge negative thoughts, stress, and life's challenges.
Mindshift can help you change how you think about anxiety. Includes strategies to deal with everyday anxiety, as well as specific tools to tackle sleep, test anxiety, perfectionism, social anxiety, performance anxiety, and panic.
Youper has a chatbot, "emotional health assistant," designed to help users identify, track, and process their thoughts and feelings.
My Plan is a tool to help with safety decisions if you, or someone you care about, are experiencing abuse in their intimate relationship. myPlan can help you identify, navigate, and provides resources for a range of relationship abuse concerns.
Remente helps individuals take small steps every day towards their goals. The app uses a system of tools and insights to help you lead a richer, happier, and healthier life.
Sanvello is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness meditation, strategies shown to provide effective relief for mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression.
Calm is a web-based program and multi-platform app for mindful meditation to help improve sleep, reduce stress, boost confidence, and improve emotional wellness through the use of guided meditations, soothing music, and bedtime stories.
Stop, Breathe & Think is a meditation and mindfulness app that helps you find peace anywhere. It allows you to check-in with your emotions and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel.
These apps may not be sufficient to meet everyone's mental health needs. If you need additional care and treatment, please reach out to UCS. Clinicians and Advocates are available to speak with you. Please call 804-828-6200 Monday - Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm.
[Picture description: Yellow background with a drawing of a brain holding blue balloons of what can be controlled and letting go of pink balloons that cannot be controlled. Alt-Text: Holding on to what I can control, staying connected, helping others, sleep, eat, drink, move, the info I consume, taking sensible precautions, speaking to myself in a kind way, how I respond to emotion, looking after myself, how I spend my time. Letting go of what I can’t control: what-ifs, unknowns, other people’s behaviors, what’s next.] (photo credit: @thepsychologymum)
Some people might need more than what is listed in this virtual package. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening or is experiencing a mental health emergency please contact University Counseling Services. Your campus community is here to help!
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 804-828-6200 to speak to a crisis clinician. For a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.