Online Wellness Resources to Help you Thrive in Uncertain Times

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Written by Sarah Joosse, Wellness@Work Coordinator

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


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


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"


Videos and Podcasts


    Mindfulness and Stress Reduction 


    Physical Activity 

    • 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!
    • 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.


      Financial Health


      Informative and Educational Talks 


      Activities for your Kids 

      • 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.


      Blog Articles


      Working Remotely 


      Mental Health  


      Coping Strategies for Stress and Anxiety 


      Supporting Older Adults and Others 


      Helping Children Thrive


      Food and Nutrition 


      Managing your Financial Wellness


      Strategies for a Better Sleep 


      Substance Use 


      Leadership During COVID-19

      Strategies to Build Resilience 

       

      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.

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