A Message from the RSGSU: Keeping Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak
This last week has seen some unprecedented changes and certainly stress from many angles. We are now frequently told to stay safe and keep well, but what exactly does that look like? Besides practicing social (aka physical) distancing and proper hand hygiene - what should we be doing to stay well? To help you manage this difficult transition period we’ve collaborated with the Mental Health Committee to offer you some strategies and resources for keeping well.
Strategies for RSI Students to Stay Well During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Seek Practical, Credible Information at Specific Times of the Day
Review the credible resources below to educate yourself on the key information, try to keep perspective and limit your time watching the news/scrolling Twitter if you find it’s too upsetting.
- Develop a Wellness Plan
During such challenging times, it’s important to reflect and develop an individualized plan for wellness – this can help you better cope and adapt. So, commit to setting aside time, review the resources below, identify the points that resonate with you, set goals and share your plan with loved ones to keep you on track.
- Connect with Fellow RSI Students on Slack
Do you have a question regarding virtual classes? Are you worried about how these changes will affect your research project? Are you interested in exchanging wellness plans? Have you come across a useful resource/funny tweet that’s worth sharing? Let’s strengthen our online community and increase usage of the #general channel in the RSGSU 2019-2020 Slack. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the Slack channel.
- Keep to Your Daily Routines As Much As Possible
Keeping to your daily routine may be difficult in light of these uncertain times and especially when working from home. As much as possible, keep to a schedule, structure your day as if you’re still at work/the lab. Try to dedicate a specific space for work, make a plan for what you need to work on for the day and make a definitive finishing time each day.
- Exercise Regularly and Practice Habits that you Enjoy and Find Relaxing
Find time to fit in an exercise routine, a mindfulness session or a hobby you enjoy during the day. Being engaged in something you enjoy will help reduce stress. For example, try going outside for some fresh air – you might be surprised how much this small thing can help. If you need inspiration, there are also plenty of tutorials online that you can follow along to – one we like is Yoga with Adriene. Feel free to share ones you like on the Slack channel!
- Be Okay with Being Unproductive Sometimes
This is not a usual circumstance. A lot is changing very quickly. That can be scary and stressful – so it’s ok feel scared and stressed. Give yourself permission to take time to adjust. We’ll get through it together.
Mental Health Resources
- WHO’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak
- WHO’s Q&A on Mental Health during COVID-19
- Insulating for Isolation: A Mental Health Checklist for Getting Through Quarantine
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
U of T Resources
- Toronto Public Health
- Peel Public Health
- Public Health Ontario
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
Keep well – we are in this together!
Steph, Jackie & the RSGSU Mental Health Committee
Rehabilitation Science Graduate Students' Union
Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Rehabilitation Sciences Building
500 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7
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RSGSU Mental Health Committee