The Cornell Quaranzine

Supporting Your Well-being - Fall 2020


Dear community,

After a few weeks of going through the what, why and hows of online classes, perhaps things are finally starting to set in, and one could say we are approaching this “new normal” that we have been hearing so much about! Although this expression probably elicits a collective groan from most college-aged students, the semblance of any kind of normalcy does offer opportunity for the sort of reflection and maintenance that we do when we are not constantly worrying about the next piece of news or update.

As we begin to approach a level of routine and regularity, it is perhaps a good moment to begin to practice mindfulness of our own self, and of our surroundings and community. This week’s issue will highlight some of the ways and activities we can engage in to remind us to notice our breathing as well as the beauty that surrounds us as Fall approaches!

Wishing you wellness,

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health

* If you would like to continue receiving issues of the newsletter each week, follow this link!

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But First- A Self Check-In

Meet a few of your emotions: Anger, Disgust, Joy, Fear, and Sadness. (From the movie Inside Out)

Do you ever feel like they’re more in control of you than you are of them? For some of us, it might seem like our emotions have been working overtime this year, facing new realities almost every week. With all the external events that have marked 2020, combined with our own internal challenges, it’s possible we’ve found ourselves feeling overwhelmed some, if not most of the time. On top of this, we’re now faced with the task of balancing our emotions with the responsibility of being a Cornell undergrad, graduate or professional student. From deadlines to dissertations, grades to grading, internships and fellowships, not to mention intimate relationships, it's understandable that we sometimes feel overwhelmed.

When you think back, how do you typically respond to this sense of overwhelm? Andy Puddicombe, co founder of the Headspace meditation app, reminds us that “We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it.”

Mindfulness is the ability to know what's happening in your head at any given moment and not get carried away by it. You give yourself permission to feel the emotions that come with experiencing the different seasons of life. You allow thoughts to enter and leave your mind, without judgement. Before you get swept up by the tsunami, you pause and observe, making space to respond in a healthy way.

You may be wondering, how can you do that? Doesn't mindfulness require some type of enlightenment? And hours of dedication? Not quite. Experts encourage us to take just 10 minutes of our day (that’s less than half of an episode of your favorite streaming show btw) when we notice an emotion growing and asking ourselves some simple grounding questions:

  • What thoughts am I currently having?

  • How is my body reacting to this?

  • How am I breathing?

  • What am I hearing?

  • Where am I right now?

Check out Andy Puddicombe's TedTalk below. And also a short clip on "Why Mindfulness is a Superpower." Now take a deep breath. You've got this!

All it takes is 10 mindful minutes | Andy Puddicombe
Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower: An Animation

Let's Meditate Program - for beginners & experienced folks

Let’s Meditate is a free, guided, mindfulness meditation series sponsored by Cornell Health, in collaboration with numerous campus partners.

During this time of Coronavirus and social distancing protocol meditation sessions will be held virtually M-F, via Zoom meeting links.

Music Inspires Mindfulness - Wellness Wednesday Event!

Wednesday, Sep. 16th, 8-9pm

This is an online event.

The celebrated Cornell violin professor Ariana Kim will be playing some solo Bach works for the Tatkon Center's weekly "Wellness Wednesday" virtual event. To begin the program, Cornell graduate student Seth Strimas-Mackey will provide an overview on how we can use music and meditation to bolster our sense of connection to self, present time and place - in other words, mindfulness. I can hardly think of a better introduction before we delve into the world of Bach's solo violin music!

Check it out here!

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Reflect Cornell is Back! Monday September 21, 2020 5PM

Please join Reflect for a COVID-friendly, online event Monday September 21st at 5 PM. As always, you can expect open and honest conversation, as well as an opportunity to win a Starbucks voucher! We are for students, by students. Bring your whole self; we welcome you with all your intersecting identities.

Link to the Facebook event to RSVP:

Cornell Botanic Gardens: “Using Street Art to Inspire a Balance between Humans and Nature”

Cornell Botanic Gardens presents "Using Street Art to Inspire a Balance between Humans and Nature," a talk by Eder Muniz

Quick COVID-19 Updates

Cornell Students: Live Smarter

Cornell Student Behavioral Compact Updates

FYI: Effective Sept. 16, the university will move back to COVID-19 Alert Level Green Do not mistake this as an indicator that we can let our guards down. If we have learned anything during the pandemic, the virus can spread quickly, easily, and within very small groups. Based on what we have learned over the past two weeks, the university will keep the limit on student gatherings, with the exception of classes, to 10 people or fewer. The decision to go to Green is based on a variety of factors, many of which you will see reflected on the COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard. Each one of us must continue to take every precaution to keep both our campus and local community safe.


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The art of self-kindness and how it can help us cope with stress

Self-kindness can boost our mental health and help us navigate stressful situations. Mindfulness can help us become better at recognizing when we need more self-kindness. .

Observing the breeze blow gently through the trees, savoring the delicate taste of a morning cup of coffee or curling up with your favorite fuzzy blanket and chatting with a friend on Facetime: far from being an extravagance, as these acts of self-kindness have sometimes been treated, they are in fact the fundamental building blocks of strong mental health.

In a world that is increasingly time-pressured and an economic model that has an unyielding focus on improving efficiency, it is easier than ever to overlook or de-prioritize your personal feelings and needs. But according to psychologists, the art of self-kindness, although something that can be honed, is not something that should be optional.

For more on how to nurture self-kindness:

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

  • EARS peer counselors phone consultation 3-11pm M-F; 7-11pm S/S: 607-255-3277

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

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 counselor of color)

  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678

National Suicide Prevention "Lifeline CHAT" service:

Get in Touch