Hello to our Wonderful CHC students,
Our hope is that this email finds you all safe and well. We wanted to reach out to you during these stressful times to assure you that the CHC Counseling Center staff is keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We also wanted to offer some tips that may be helpful in navigating these troubling times. We will keep it brief and try to check in regularly with more Q-tips (Quarantine tips).
Adjustment. Life is full of times when we need to adjust. Every day we are faced with situations that require us to adapt, move in a different direction, or be flexible with our situations and ourselves. I’m sure you all remember your freshman year at CHC. There was so much adjusting that you needed to manage – new friends, new faculty, new freedoms, and increased demands for your time and attention to name just a few. But you met the challenge and found new resources in yourself and your surroundings. You moved forward. This current situation is an extraordinary adjustment – no one saw it coming. All of us were largely blindsided. But it is possible to draw on your past experiences and renew your confidence in your extraordinary ability to adjust and adapt to meet this challenge. You are resilient.
Keep a routine. During stressful times it is important to keep a routine or a schedule. It is so easy for all of us to think that there is nothing to do for the day and therefore we can waste the gift of time that the day offers. During this medical pandemic there is much that we can’t control and being out of control is frightening. But we can try to experience some control with our daily routine. Simple things like get out of bed (unless, of course, you are feeling sick) get dressed in clean and comfortable clothes. As much as possible, nourish yourself with healthy foods. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Learn something new. How often have we said to ourselves, “I wish I had more time to learn about….” This may be that time. Pick a topic that interests you and read about and watch whatever you can so that you learn something new and feel that you are making progress with your personal growth. Be proud of yourself at the end of the day – you are making it – you are meeting the daily challenge. You are resilient.
SHARE chain. A SHARE chain is something you can start with your friends and family.
S is for Self. Share something about yourself – a thought or feeling, a concern or struggle. We are fortunate that there are so many social media platforms to create a sharing web. Or maybe just a phone call or a text. Maybe you are anxious. Share it. Maybe you are lonely. Share it. Maybe you are finding it difficult to get motivated. Share it. Likely you will hear back about ways that others have dealt with the same issue. Maybe you are finding some peace in this isolation and quietness. Share it. It is wonderful to hear about hope and peace. No matter what you are experiencing, there will be others who are feeling like you do. More than likely it will become a time for mutual support and closeness despite the social distance.
That leads me to the H in the SHARE chain. H is for Hope. Share your hopes. Stay hopeful and positive as much as possible. Share your hopes with your friends and family. We could all use that!!
A in the SHARE chain is for Aspiration. Share your aspirations. What do you aspire to? This is a way to keep your goals alive. Work towards something that will keep you moving forward in the direction of your dreams and goals. Learn a new subject, have an exercise goal, rewrite your resume, stay in touch with friends, etc. It doesn’t have to be big – managing your emotions or managing your day are great goals. Share what you are doing with your friends – new ideas will be circulating for everyone!
R is for Reflect. First, reflect on yourself – what have you learned about yourself. Adversity requires that we dig down deep to our inner resources. Has anything surprised you as to your gifts, skills, and talents in the face of adversity? Share those insights. Adversity also gives us a glimpse of what we need to develop in ourselves. What is missing that would make our lives more fruitful and productive when this crisis abates. It is an opportunity to look at the emerging person you hope to become.
Finally, E is for Empathy. Share your empathic thoughts for the suffering in the world today. We are all suffering in a variety of different ways. Concern for loved ones on the medical frontline, health concerns, financial concerns, concerns about almost everything in the future. What is happening is real and it can feel overwhelming. Reach out to your friends and family with empathy and hope. Share your love and concern. Be empathic for yourself too! You deserve your own love and concern. These are tough times.
Take good care of your wonderful selves. You are all so valuable to us, this world, and your families and friends. Please know that we are keeping you close in our thoughts and hopefully soon we will all be back together on our beautiful CHC campus. Stay safe.
Dr. Sheila Kennedy (email@example.com)
Dr. Lisa J. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)