Online Wellness Resources to Help you Thrive in Uncertain Times
Navigating these uncertain times with the COVID-19 virus may cause you to experience feelings of anxiety, loneliness or stress. Wellness@Work offers deep compassion to you at this challenging time and hope that some of these resources help you cope with stress or anxiety you may be experiencing.
Access to counselling is available to U of G employees 24 hours per day, seven days per week through the University's EFAP provider, Homewood Employee Health toll-free at 1-800-663-1142.
The World Health Organization (2020), has provided the following suggestions for anyone who is asked to be in quarantine:
- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings
- Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing
- Exercise regularly
- Keep regular sleep routines
- Eat healthy food
- Keep things in perspective
Below, we have compiled a variety of online wellness-related resources to help you thrive while the world around us is rapidly responding to the global pandemic:
Self-Assessment Tools for your Mental Health
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health have compiled a list of credible self-assessment tools to help you determine if further assessment may be necessary.
Mental Health Phone Apps
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health have compiled a list of apps for your Windows, IOS and Android devices. There are apps that help you focus on meditation practices, stress reduction, building resilience and more.
- YMCA has a list of mental health apps, organized by topics including stress, sleep, and anxiety.
- Woebot is an automated conversational agent (chatbot) who helps you monitor mood and learn about yourself.
Virtual Peer Support
- Peer Support Groups are available virtually through CMHA on topics such as Anxiety, Depression and Hope, Resiliency, Gratitude, Substance Use and others.
- Big White Wall is an online peer-to-peer community, offering a proven way to get better together through anonymous conversation.
Practical Tools and Daily Practices
- The Greater Good Science Centre have over 70 daily practices you can try out to help you focus on areas for growth including optimism, happiness, mindfulness, resilience to stress, connection, and more.
- Greater Good's Guide to Well-being During Coronavirus from the Greater Good Science Center
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health have an inventory of different ideas for creative ways you can take a break. They also list a variety of tools to help with your personal development, including building resilience and communicating more effectively.
- YMCA's guide to setting up for a home workout to stay well and healthy.
- Dr. Tayyab Rashid has compiled 101 Strengths-based Actions to Connect, from a Safe Distance
- The Random Acts of Kindness foundation has hundreds of free resources to help you cultivate kindness, including monthly kindness calendars and activity suggestions to keep you busy.
- WE Well-being has developed a number of resources in collaboration with leading mental health experts, with practical tips to reduce anxiety, build resilience, and support your well-being and the well-being of others.
Courses and e-Learning
The teams at Dialectic and Red Maple Coaching have partnered to launch Coping with COVID-19 Learning Snippets for free. The program consists of five short, scenario-based lessons based on some of the common challenges we’re facing in our work and personal lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each snippet takes two minutes to complete and provides a takeaway to help us navigate our new realities. Anyone can sign up. Here's how:
- Go to the Learning Snippets website.
- Click “Sign up for free.”
- Enter your email address and create a password.
- That's it! One snippet per day for the next 5 days will be sent to the email address provided.
U of T has launched a free online course called "Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19"
Yale is offering a free course called "The Science of Well-being"
Athabasca University is offering a free course called "Navigating Extraordinary Times"
Videos and Podcasts
Mindfulness and Stress Reduction
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health have developed video exercises for stress reduction and deep relaxation.
- CALM has a series of mindful breathing exercises to help reduce stress
- MindWell has a Tool Kit with videos and resources related to mindfulness
- Be Present Guided Meditation - 10 minutes of guided mindfulness.
- Unable to get outside for a walk? Enjoy the Summer Fresh Flowers video
- 20 Minute Mindfulness Meditation for Being Present from the Mindful Movement.
- Calming Practice for Coronavirus Anxiety, Guided Mindfulness Meditation by Neil Seligman
- Meditative Story - An online podcast
- Guided Compassion Meditation from the Greater Good Science Centre
- U of G Athletics are now offering live-streamed fitness classes throughout the week. Follow "Gryphons_fitness" on Instagram to view the weekly schedule and live-stream the class. The classes are available online for up to 24 hours after they are live streamed.
- Have you been sitting at your desk for too long? Maybe working from home has you sitting on a hard chair or awkwardly set-up causing aches and pains. This quick 10-minute stretching routine from Gryphons Fitness will help!
- Try a 15-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) workout with U of G's Fitness Program Supervisor, Lynne Skilton-Hayes.
- Lalit’s Classical Yoga for Total Health and Awareness is being live streamed via WebEx on Tuesdays at noon. The link is emailed out by Lalit to those on his mailing list, or can be found on the "events" tab of the Wellness@Work website.
- Random Acts of Exercise Videos are short videos created by Dr. Sally Willis-Stewart and 4th year Human Kinetics students demonstrating different exercises you can build into your day for a quick break.
- HuffPost have compiled a list of streaming services, online resources and fitness apps and narrowed down their favorite stay-at-home services for staying active while in a quarantine.
- YMCA has compiled a variety of home workout videos, for both you and your children.
A video with Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity with The Conference Board of Canada on Financial Health Management
Informative and Educational Talks
- The Mental Health Commission of Canada has recorded a presentation on Helping Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- The Conference Board of Canada has a podcast and a video series sharing Dr. Bill Howatt's thoughts on self-compassion, dealing with isolation and coping with social distancing.
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health are releasing new videos with tips on how to manage during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Watch U of G professor Dr. Jamie Gruman in his TedTalk “How to Recharge your Batteries in an Age of Relentless Demands.”
- Lynda.com has a variety of free courses and video resources available to U of G employees. Use your U of G email address to sign in.
- How to Clear your Head with Greater Good Science Center
- Being Kinder to Yourself from the Greater Good Science Happiness
- Watch a video recording of the “Psychology of Well-being” panel discussion with researchers from U of G’s Centre for Workers’ Health and Wellbeing.
- Health and Safety to Go! from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Activities for your Kids
- Gryphon Summer Clubhouse
- Camp Create 2020: AGG's Art Camp-To-Go program
- Creative Encounters with Science: Camp-in-a-box experience
- Follow @GuelphGryphonSummerCamps on Facebook for activity sheets, including artwork challenges.
- Follow @uogarboretum on your social channels for scavenger hunt activities, informational videos from Interns and activity ideas.
- 50 Coping Skills for Kids from the YMCA
- Virtual Field Trips to places like the aquarium, museums and other virtual school activities
- Heart-Mind Online has an inventory of resources for families with the latest research, activities, interviews and more.
- Laptop Ergonomics While Working Remotely and Ergonomics Working Remotely by U of G's Occupational Health and Wellness team
- How to Avoid Zoom Fatigue While Working from Home from Thrive Global
- How to Stay Focused and Productive When Working From Home from Thrive Global
- Struggling to Focus at Home? You're Not Alone from Times Higher Education
- How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing from Scientific American
- Working from Home: Try These Unexpected Tips to Help Boost Your Focus at Home from Thrive Global
- “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Working from Home During COVID, With and Without Children from the Canadian Psychological Foundation
- 32 Proven Tips for Working From Home by People Managing People
- How to Regain Momentum When You Feel Stuck and Unmotivated by Thrive Global
- Working from Home: 5 Environmental Factors Affecting your Well-being by Purdue Global
- CMHA has shared a variety of resources with coping skills that work effectively and ways to manage the uncertainty of life during COVID-19
- CAMH's Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic is full of great resources, including an article on Challenging Worries and Anxious Thoughts
- Ten Ways to Stay Well During the COVID-19 Pandemic by MindWell
- Mental Health and Substance Use Resources by WDG Public Health
- Strategies to Maintain your Mental Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic from CAMH
- 5 Methods for Thriving in Uncertainty by Thrive Global
Coping Strategies for Stress and Anxiety
- COVID-19 Public Resources from Public Health Ontario
- Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety from Harvard
- The Managing Stress & Anxiety from COVID-19 program from Starling Minds is free and confidential
- Positive Psychology Strategies for Keeping Stress at Bay Through the Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis by Thrive Global
- Stress and Burnout for Front-Line Staff Info Sheet from CMHA
- Coping with Stress from Stress Strategies
- Fear and the Coronavirus: Why you should not be afraid by Thrive Global
- Coronavirus Anxiety Is Normal. Here Are 6 Creative Ways to Counter It by Thrive Global
- Tips to Reduce your Stress and Boost your Immune System by Thrive Global
Supporting Older Adults and Others
- Tips on Talking to Someone in Crisis During COVID-19 by the Mental Health Commission of Canada
- Social Distancing: Here's how to help older adults change their routines by The Conversation and Guelph Today
- Supporting our Campus Family: How to support one another at this difficult time by U of G's DHR
- How to Talk With Loved Ones Who Aren’t Taking Coronavirus Precautions Seriously by Thrive Global
- Building Communities in Times of Pandemic by Live Work Well Research Centre
Helping Children Thrive
- Parenting During a Pandemic by Homewood Health
- Talking to Children about COVID-19 and It's Impact by CAMH
- COVID-19 Resource Hub by KidsHealth
- How to Help Your Child Build Resilience Against Coronavirus Anxiety by Thrive Global
- How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19 from Psychology Today
- Supporting Families During COVID-19 from Child Mind Institute
Food and Nutrition
- Read about Meal Ideas that Support Social Distancing and Eating to Support Mental Well-being from Dietitian Lindzie O’Reilly.
- Check out new recipes from U of G chefs on the Hospitality Services "Cook like a Chef" page.
- Watch “Learn to Make Pasta Primavera.” U of G Chef Valerie prepares a yummy pasta dish sharing tips and tricks for the recipe.
- Looking for inspiration for some new recipes? Check out the following sites for some recipe ideas:
- You can find some yummy vegetarian recipes in the Rock What You've Got cookbook, while also learning more about preventing food waste.
- View the top 3 winning recipes from The Great Wellness@Work Recipe Contest to view a breakfast, entree and dessert dish that are all vegetarian!
- The Health and Performance Centre also has a list of recipes available.
- The Student Nutrition Awareness Program has a list of meatless options available on campus.
- The Dieticians of Canada have put together a recipe book for Nutrition Month 2020.
- Learn more about EFAP’s Nutritional Coaching Program in this Q&A interview with an employee who used this resource.
Managing your Financial Wellness
- The Government of Canada has compiled resources on managing your financial health in challenging times
Strategies for a Better Sleep
- Strategies to Promote Better Sleep in these Uncertain Times by Harvard Health
- Why Getting More Sleep During the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Essential by Thrive Global
- Read Kathy Somer’s article on Getting a Better Sleep
- The Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction has compiled a variety of credible resources on COVID-19 and substance use
- The Government of Canada has launched "Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support" with tools and modules on addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues.
Leadership During COVID-19
- How to Lead With Strength and Wisdom in Times of Crisis by Thrive Global
- These Communication Skills Will Help You Be a More Effective Leader — During the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond by Thrive Global
- Workplace Resources from the Mental Health Commission of Canada
Strategies to Build Resilience
- Use Homewood Health’s Self-Care Starter Kit to help you set new goals to improve your overall health and well-being
- Mental Health Commission of Canada has a COVID-19 Self-care and Resilience Guide
- Dr. Robyne Dafoe-Hanley shares her tips for Everyday Resiliency in this summary of her webinar
- Psychological Health and Resiliency Toolkit from MyWorkplaceHealth and Dr. Joti Samra
- Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine by The Greater Good Science Centre
Photo credit: Brooke Anderson
We will continue to update this list as new resources are shared to help you focus on your personal wellbeing at this challenging time.
Additional wellness resources are linked to on the Resources tab of our website, broken down by the type of support you are looking for (i.e. mental health, grief and loss, physical activity, etc.). You can also check out our "COVID-19: Tips to keep you healthy and reduce the risk of infection" blog post for further information.