As we begin the start of the Fall term I am filled with both a sense of the need for both optimism and self-care. I would say that one's capacity for optimism increases with their time invested in it intentionally, along with the practice of overall self-care.
Over the last year and a half, UCC and the rest of the world have seen our share of difficult times that have made it difficult for many to be optimistic. Amy Cuddy and JillEllyn Riley in The Washington Post coined the term "pandemic flux" for the state of the pandemic we are currently in. After experiencing a heady rush of relief in the summer, when the pandemic seemed to be at an end, the rise of the Delta Variant has caused a rush in anxiety, and in some, a sense of pessimism and fear. The human mind and body has built in ways of dealing with stress and trauma, but when the trauma is ongoing, like the Pandemic, it is completely normal to feel exhausted and anxious, and find it difficult to maintain optimism. There is something helpful about validating and normalizing that this is a difficult time we are all living through and that if your feeling anxious or down - that is 100% normal.
And while we normalize for ourselves that it may be normal to feel down and to allow ourselves grace, this means it is EXTRA important to be intentional about building in Self Care and intentional practice of optimism. Optimism could mean finding time each day to focus on what is good and what you have to look forward to. It could mean taking a small step towards a goal and celebrating that. It could mean sharing a hopeful quote each morning with yourself and/or a friend. There are all kinds of ways to be build in optimism. See the below graphic for an idea for each day of the month of October.
If you like the above calendars visit Action for Happiness each month to get the newest one here: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars
Part of being optimistic, is also remembering that you may need help or support to maintain your optimism and that is okay! See below resources for mental health support for students and employees.
- Employee Assistance Program: call 866-750-1327 Visit: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEBB/OpenEnrollment/2021-OE-Handout-RBH-Flyer.pdf
Mental Health Support Resources in the Community open for Staff and Students:
Visit the following link and scroll down to "local mental health resources" for a list of counselors and therapists in the Douglas County area: https://www.umpqua.edu/campus-mental-health-community-resources
Hanna Culbertson - Contact
MSW CSWA, Wellness Counselor, Student Services