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A Message of Wellness from Dean Bertone and Dean Melnyk

As you continue with classes, it is important to make sure you pay attention to your physical and mental health and wellness practices. The Ohio State University has created a "Keep Well" resources page for the larger university community. To help support specifically graduate students, the Graduate School worked collaboratively with the Chief Wellness Officer during this time of change, to create 13 tips for wellness that connects you to university and other resources.

GRADUATE SCHOOL AND CHIEF WELLNESS OFFICER

Alicia L. Bertone, DVM, PhD
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School
ENGIE-Axium Endowed Dean’s Chair

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, EBP-C, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
Vice President for Health Promotion
University Chief Wellness Officer
Dean and Professor, College of Nursing
Executive Director, the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for EBP

Develop daily activity routines.

  • Just like your daily routine when you leave the home, when staying at home make a routine for your daily activities such as your sleep routine, consistent mealtimes, exercise, etc.
  • Daily routines add predictability to the day and helps with both mental and physical reduction of stress.

Doing your coursework and research from home.

  • It is important to create a healthy workspace for yourself as it will help you be more productive and minimize chances of additional mental and physical strain from poor workspace conditions.
  1. Working from home? Here’s how to make your setup more ergonomic.
  2. 9 Tips for a Healthy Ergonomic Workstation - Mayo Clinic
  3. 32 Working from Home Tips You Can Do Right Now

Stay connected while practicing physical distancing.

  • Set a schedule to use email, phone, Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Google Duo or other applications to connect with advisors, colleagues, friends, and family.
  • Use social media or video to share experiences with others like a:
  1. video coffee break with a colleague
  2. facetime dinner with a friend
  3. cook a meal and have a friend or family member cook the same meal then share that experience through social media.
  • The important element is to engage in typical activities with family, friends, and faculty, yet find a way to do them even if you are in separate locations.

Connect with Elderly family members or friends.

  • Use social media, phone, and video applications to connect to elderly friends and family that may be more isolated because of COVID-19

Plan opportunities for physical activities.

  • Make a schedule for exercise such as using indoor fitness equipment, taking a walk around your neighborhood, walk your dog, practice yoga in your yard.
  • Going outdoors is beneficial but you should practice guidelines for social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-family members.
  • If you have children, integrate them into your physical activities to add a social family element
  • Find ways to use technology or social media to connect with each other while doing physical activities such as using a video chat to do an exercise routine with a friend or family member.
  • Remember, exercising helps develop endorphins and keeps your immune system boosted, which helps us to feel better and stay healthy.

Practice good self-care and engage in programs that help you to do so.

  • The Office of the Chief Wellness Officer, in partnership with the OSU Health Plan, YP4H, EAP, and the Office of Student Life has created a comprehensive health and wellness website with online programming, resources and evidence-based tips on how to stay health and cope successfully with the pandemic. https://wellness.osu.edu/COVID-19
  • Enroll in the 8-week series “Staying Well and Calm in the Midst of the COVID-19 Storm that begins on Wednesday, April 8 at 12:30 pm.
  • Enroll in the evidence-based MINDSTRONG program, which is a 7 week cognitive-behavioral skills building program that has shown to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety and depression as well as improving academic performance. Email MINDSTRONG@osu.edu to enroll.
  1. Your Plan for Health & Wellness Resources 
  2. Wexner Medical Center – Mind Body Therapies 
  3. College of Social Work – Office of Field Education and Self Care Resources 
  4. Six tips for Ohio State Students


Make use of elemental health resources.

  1. Resources for students through the Counseling and Consultation Service, including the CCS video series 

Excess stress can impact information processing and memory.

  • Find ways to be kind to yourself and realize that the stress we are all experiencing due to COVID-19 his temporary.

Limit the amount of engagement with COVID-19 news.

  • Too much news about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and stressful.
  • Pick a few specific ways you plan to stay up to date about the most current news and stick to your plan.
  • Children can also be worried about themselves and others in this time. Talk to your children regarding what they are seeing and hearing through social media. If they have questions, answer them age appropriately. Try to only answer their specific questions. Providing additional information can create more stress. Also try creating safe spaces for children to play (allowing them to play people getting sick, going to the hospital, etc.) act out their emotions through repetitive play will help your child cope. A module on this topic is available at https://wellness.osu.edu/chief-wellness-officer/covid-19-resources
  • Adolescents will be more likely to communicate with their peers. Be sure to check in with your adolescent children regularly and notice changes in their behavior, such as being more anxious or sad. These may be signs that they may need additional support from you or others.
  • Take care of yourself by talking with other adults about your worries and concerns. This will allow you to be calm and respond age appropriately to your child/adolescent.

Don’t Make Major Life Changing Decisions

  • During times of stress “a foreshortened sense of future” can make one feel they should reassess their lives.
  • Major changes in a student’s life and career should wait till the stress of daily life settles down.
  • Any changes should be made in consultation with advisors before action is taken.

Isolation at home can lead to unhealthy even self-destructive behavior.

  • Find ways to daily reach out to family and friends through social media, video chat, or other activities to maintain personal connections with others.
  • Be aware of your own personal habits in how you deal with stress and isolation, to avoid engaging in possible excessive drinking, drug use, or overeating

Make time to express yourself or learn new skills.

  • Express yourself regularly through journaling, singing, creating arts and crafts, or simply talking to friends and family.
  • Keep learning new skills such as playing the guitar (Fender Free Lessons), learn to design video games (Free Unreal Courses), explore online dance communities (Flux and Flow on Facebook).
  • Many hobbies are now being translated online and can easily be found through social media pages and by searching for youtube topics.

Think positive!

  • It is important to focus on positive things in your life. On a daily basis, look for at least one positive thing.

Other COVID-19 and Wellness Resources

University links:

Information about coronavirus and the University’s response
Guidance for students, faculty and staff
Keep Learning: Resources for students