Supporting Your Well-being

During Times of Difficulty — March 31st, 2020 Edition

Dear community,

We hope you are staying well and continuing to find ways to connect socially during this time of physical distancing. Right now, we are all living through a historic event; that also means the actions we choose now have the power to shape the course of history. Each of us has the unique opportunity to help stop the spread of this virus and save countless lives by staying home and practicing physical distancing. Today's newsletter features a guide to "place-based adventures" from Cornell Outdoor Education that provide opportunities to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining critical physical distance. We've also included a virtual concert series to enjoy, a community connection event to be part of, a gorgeous calendar from the Calm app with daily mindfulness practices, tips for nourishing your body, and a story of community volunteer efforts from right here on Cornell's campus!

Wishing you wellness,

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health

COE: Place-Based Adventures During COVID-19

Cornell Outdoor Education has compiled this wonderful guide to "place-based adventures" you can enjoy wherever you are, Ithaca or elsewhere. There are options for all, whether you love seeking adventure and adrenaline or enjoy the serenity of observing flowers and wildlife. The list also encompasses a range of activity levels, so you can choose what feels best for your body and fits your lifestyle.

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"Together at Home" Concert Series

For those of you who are music lovers, Global Citizen and the WHO have created a virtual concert series called "Together At Home" in which music artists around the world are giving free virtual concerts from their own homes. "Together at Home" aims to create connection and community during this time of social distancing as well as encourage people to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home. You can learn more and see daily concert lineups on Global Citizen's Instagram page @glblctzn.

"Together at Home" Closer to Home

For those of you located in Ithaca, a group of local mental health providers are hoping to start a reoccurring community action event starting this Thursday, April 2nd at 6pm, and all you need are some pots and pans. Open your windows or stand out on your front porch and join your fellow Ithaca community members in banging pots and pans together for a few minutes while listening for the sound of others doing the same to remind us that we are still here and still a community. Help spread the organizers' message that "we are distanced but not alone; distanced but together: we can still build community while apart " and maybe relieve some stress in the process.

Hope to "hear" you on Thursday!

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Calm Calender

Download Calm's calendar for a bite-sized mindfulness activity that you can do each day with beautiful scenic backdrops each month. ⁠⠀

Nourish Your Body

During times of high stress or times when your immune system may be compromised, it becomes even more important to nourish your body with foods that fuel you and support your wellbeing. Right now, we all want to minimize the frequency of our trips to the grocery store. You can do this by focusing your shopping list on nutrient-rich non-perishables (items like canned legumes, oats and grains, lentils, shelf-stable milks or plant milks, nut butters/sunflower seed butter) and items that can easily be frozen (for example, milks, some fresh produce, bread, meats or tofu). The Cornell Food Pantry will also remain open to serve as a resource for members of the Cornell community for the remainder of the semester, providing food and personal care items.

Times of stress and adapting to changes in our routines can also spark changes in our eating patterns and activity levels; it is important to be kind to yourself and remember that these fluctuations are natural and okay. If you are experiencing concerns surrounding food, body image, or nutrition, the Cornell Healthy Eating Program, comprised of a supportive team of Cornell Health providers, is always there to help.

Bright Spot:

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Volunteers Sew Surgical Masks in Bartels Hall

As surgical mask supplies dwindle in the US, many communities have found creative ways to support those working on the front lines. Starting last Tuesday, volunteers came together (keeping six feet apart, of course) in Bartels to sew surgical masks for Cayuga Medical Center. With help from the Fiber Science & Apparel Design department to laser cut the mask patterns, mask production capacity can further increase and more masks can be distributed to those working through this crisis, including not only those working in medical settings, but in nursing homes and grocery stores as well.

View the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

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Talk/Text Resources

If you find yourself struggling or in need of someone to talk to, know that you are not alone.

The following resources are here to support you:

Cornell Resources

  • Cornell Health phone consultation (24/7): 607-255-5155

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

  • Ithaca Crisisline: 800-273-8255
  • Advocacy Center (sexual/domestic violence): 607-277-5000

National Talk-Lines (24/7)

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Trevor Project hotline (LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386
  • LGBT+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564
  • TransLifeline: 877-565-8860

National Text/Chat Services

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a crisis counselor of color)
  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678
  • National Suicide Prevention "Lifeline CHAT" service:

Get in Touch

  • Contact Catherine Thrasher-Carroll, Mental Health Promotion Program Director, at
  • Contact Amber Pasha, Public Health Fellow, at
  • All Cornell students, regardless of location, can access medical and mental health services through FREE telehealth appointments with Cornell Health (appointments may be offered by video, phone, or online, depending on your location and need). Our in-person services are currently limited to pre-screened COVID-19 testing and select pharmacy services. As always, please refer to the Cornell Health website for the most up-to-date information regarding our services.