Tim Koberna is the Head Athletic Trainer and an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Hope College. He is passionate about student resiliency and grit, and approached CAPS about ways to collaborate to support all Hope students–in particular, the approximately 600 student-athletes–during this time. In that spirit, he writes the following to the Hope community in his second of a series of posts.
We continue to see change daily with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in our state, communities and personal lives. In order to deal with these changes effectively, having a wellness plan for your mind, body and spirit is essential. Below are 10 tips to help you with continued wellness during these changing times. Each of the following tips can be associated with maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit.
1. Find a routine and stick to it
- Have your day planned and stick to it; eat breakfast, attend classes, and engage in physical activity, social time, reflection time etc. Consistency is important. If you attended chapel in the past, watch the video posts each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. Even now. If your course lectures are recorded, “attend” class at the time you normally would as much as possible. (Take notes on the things you would have asked in class or sorted out with a classmate in the hallway after class.)
2. Dress for the day you want
- Plan your dress for the day. It is easy to stay in comfy clothes, but if you are remotely attending class, meetings etc., it is still important to dress for success. Your dress will likely still affect each day’s outcomes. Rep your Hope College apparel if that helps you both stay comfortable and get into the college mindset when your environment tells you otherwise. (Order something online from the Bookstore if that helps!)
3. Move for at least 30 minutes
- Make it a point to exercise, walk the dog, go for a walk with music (Hope College Concert Series has a Spotify playlist) or a podcast (here’s a good one from Tony Dungy), or work outside in the yard. Are there any tulips blooming where you live? However you choose, find some time each day to be active whether you do so alone or shared with others (with appropriate social distance, of course).
4. Reach out to others
- Yes, use social media to connect with friends, connect with distant family, mentors, or those who could use a personal lift. Also, a phone call to check in, say “hello,” or ask if they need anything, can mean a great deal to individuals. Sharing scripture, especially in this Easter season, is also a great way to connect and maintain spiritual health.
5. Limit media conversations about COVID-19
- It is important to be informed, but take information and updates in small amounts rather than being consumed with media coverage and the negative opinions of others. One of the local Grand Rapids news stations has a thorough update at the same time each day–that’s one way we are staying informed!
6. Notice good in your community
- Even in difficult times there is good to be found. Stop and take notice of what your neighbors, churches, schools, and businesses are doing for the good. Have gratitude for, and be inspired by their contributions, and feel hopeful for the future. Mr. Rogers encouraged children to “look for the helpers.” For more info about this classic figure in American culture, a Hope alumna has written a book about his life!
- If an opportunity presents itself, which you feel is safe, then go ahead, roll up your sleeves, and get involved in helping to make a difference. This will likely contribute greatly to your own sense of health and well-being. Not sure where to get started? If you are part of a local church (in Holland or at home) perhaps they can find you a place to serve. If not, check with Volunteer Services at Hope.
8. Eat well, stay hydrated and sleep
- Think back to all of the lessons you learned in Health Dynamics: maintain good eating and hydration habits during these stressful times as well. Avoid unnecessary snacking and choose beverages wisely; if you’re feeling more anxious lately, be mindful of your caffeine intake. Proper nutrition and hydration will serve you better in your academic endeavors and fuel your body for your desired physical activity. Additionally, proper nutrition and hydration contribute overall to better sleep. Set goals for water intake, sleep duration, and number of healthy foods you can fit in a day. Hope’s national health survey results historically show that Hope students are better than the national average at eating their veggies!
9. Find something you can control by being creative
- Make time for things that you enjoy. Whether your hobby is exercising, reading, listening to music, or doing puzzles, include it in your daily plan. Block out other distractions and enjoy this time for yourself. These activities are what people mean when they talk about self-care.
10. Living in isolation while not isolated
- Live your life one moment at a time knowing that you are not alone. Remember, we are all in this together, and we will get through this together. Seek wellness through connections–body, mind, and spirit–as best as you can. Know there are people of Hope who care for you and who are ready to help you move forward to live your best life. Have HOPE!
If you would like to connect with someone in CAPS, call our office at 616.395.7945 during our office hours.