Thrive @ Cornell

Special Edition: Monday, November 8, 2021

Dear community,

The scary event of yesterday's perceived threats on campus generated a wide variety of thoughts and feelings. And while (thank goodness) the threat was unfounded, our mind/body reaction to the potential threat may be lingering. Perhaps you are feeling "shaky," or having difficulty concentrating. You may feel heavy or sluggish, or really ramped up and nervous. Whatever you are feeling, spend a moment checking in with yourself and taking a few deep breaths. Today's edition of the newsletter shares information and suggestions for bringing your mind, body, and emotions back to your natural level of homeostasis.

In community,
The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health
part of Student and Campus Life at Cornell University

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Programming note: The next newsletter will be published on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

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No one can avoid the unexpected. But these simple steps can help you better navigate the aftermath of life’s uncertainties.

  • Be kind to yourself. Some people are better at dealing with uncertainties than others, so don’t beat yourself up if your tolerance for unpredictability is lower than a friend’s. Remind yourself that it might take time for the stressful situation to resolve, and be patient with yourself in the meantime.
  • Reflect on past successes. Chances are you’ve overcome stressful events in the past—and you survived! Give yourself credit. Reflect on what you did during that event that was helpful and what you might like to do differently this time.
  • Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control. When uncertainty strikes, many people immediately imagine worst-case scenarios. Get out of the habit of ruminating on negative events.
  • Take your own advice. Ask yourself: If a friend came to me with this worry, what would I tell them? Imagining your situation from the outside can often provide perspective and fresh ideas.
  • Engage in self-care. Don’t let stress derail your healthy routines. Make efforts to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Many people find stress release in practices such as yoga and meditation.
  • Seek support from those you trust. It's common for people to isolate themselves when they’re stressed or worried. Remember: social support is important so fight the urge to isolate and reach out to family and friends.
  • Control what you can. Focus on the things that are within your control, even if it’s as simple as weekly meal planning or laying out your clothes the night before a stressful day. Establish routines to give your days and weeks some comforting structure.
  • Ask for help. If you’re having trouble managing stress and coping with uncertainty on your own, ask for help. The following resources are available to support you:

  • The Mental Health at Cornell website provides a range of campus, local, and national resources to support student mental health and community well-being:

  • If you find yourself struggling or in need of someone to talk to, know that you are not alone. Help is available any time day or night by connecting with the following resources. You don't have to be in crisis to take advantage of these free opportunities to speak or chat with a trained professional or volunteer who can listen to your concerns, and offer insight and advice.

    The following resources are here to support you:

    Cornell (24/7):

    Ithaca hotlines (24/7):

    National hotlines (24/7):

    National text / chat services (24/7):

    International services:

  • Psychologists are experts in helping people develop healthy ways to cope with stress. Find a psychologist in your area by using APA’s Psychologist Locator Service

Source: Adapted from The American Psychological Association's 10 tips for for Dealing With The Stress of Uncertainty.

Try Mindfulness Meditation

Attend One of Cornell's FREE, Guided Mindfulness Meditation Sessions via Zoom

Insight Timer - #1 app for sleep, anxiety and stress.

This meditation entitled Recentering During Times of Uncertainty was created specifically for re-centering in times of fear, chaos, and uncertainty. We cannot always control what is going on outside of us, but we can always come back to our breath.

Insight Timer has an extensive free version. Everyone who uses the app can access over 60,000 meditations, and new free tracks are always being added. Learn more, sign up here:

Let's Meditate Weekly Schedule




  • 8:30–9:00 pm — Meditation with Jingjin
    Please register here for these recurring sessions
    Once you are registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meditation



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Have you ever felt refreshed after taking a walk around Beebe Lake? Or have you been in a better mood after sitting on Libe Slope? While such positive experiences in nature may feel like they are only in our heads, research shows that spending time in nature can have real, tangible benefits for your health and well-being. Nature experiences can benefit your life as a college student by:

  • Positively benefiting your mood and improving your sense of overall happiness.
  • Reducing feelings of and physiological responses to stress.
  • Improving your cognitive ability, specifically by boosting your ability to concentrate.
  • Increasing your attention span, so you can get back to efficient studying.

Check out nearby nature spots here:

Take a Nature Break This Week

While in or near any type of nature, stop and take a pause.

Feel your feet on the earth. Take a full, deep breath in and out.

Now, one sense at a time, take time to...

Notice the colors and details you see.

Notice the sounds you hear.

Notice the air on your skin.

Notice the smells in the air.

Take another full, deep breath and allow yourself to gently smile;

and think of why you’re grateful for this bit of nature.

Cornell Botanic Gardens offers lots of places and space to take in nature. Use this map to find a spot to visit today:

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Visit The Office of Spirituality and Meaning Making

The Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making (OSMM) is located in Anabel Taylor Hall (the building on the corner of College Avenue and Campus Road, next to the Law School, closer to Cornell Health).

In Anabel Taylor Hall you will find many who are committed to serving your spiritual, ethical, and religious needs. This includes administrators, campus ministers, and support personnel who provide religious services, service opportunities, interfaith programming, conversation, and community connections. There are numerous spaces available for meditation, reflection, prayer, and programming. The Chapel in Anabel Taylor is an intimate place for services, quiet meditation, and programming.

'This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall

Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let

The wire brush of doubt

Scrape from your heart

All sense of yourself

And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,

Time will come good;

And you will find your feet

Again on fresh pastures of promise,

Where the air will be kind

And blushed with beginning.'

from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue

(Hear this piece read by BBC's Fergal Keane)

Talk With Someone

EARS Peer Mentors

Peer Mentor Drop-In hours are free and accessible on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in the evenings across campus for Cornell students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional). Check out the Peer Mentor Bios to learn more about each Peer Mentor.

See schedule here:

Peer Mentor Drop-In locations:

  • 626 Thurston Room 103 (on North Campus)
  • Willard Straight Hall Room 605 (on Central Campus)
  • Eissner Pavilion (outside of Schwartz) (in Collegetown).

Drop by for a safe and comfortable space to talk with a peer and grab some self-care items.

Let's Talk Virtual Drop-In Consultations with CAPS Therapists

Let's Talk is a free program for Cornell students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) that provides easy access to informal consultations with counselors from Cornell Health. Let's Talk is a first-come, first-served service, (no appointment necessary) and there is no fee.

For the most up to date schedule, be sure to check the website at

The fall semester weekly schedule is: