Words of Wellness: April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020 - Culture of Caring - Claudia Finkelstein

Topic of the Week: A Word About Trauma, Followed by Tips and Resources
We have heard that some members of our College of Human Medicine community are feeling that the Culture of Caring is really “only for survivors” particularly because of the use of the term Trauma Informed Principles.

We want to let you know these principles are a way for institutions to be maximally welcoming and inclusive, and not perpetuate trauma or re-traumatize any of us. Whether you have experienced your own personal trauma or not, these principles can support you.

We are now in the midst of a collective trauma, the pandemic. Whether you or your family are front line workers, have small children, or are experiencing anxiety, there is bound to be something very different and uncertain in your life these days.

Following traumas such as this one, we may become paralyzed, we may bounce back, or we may grow and become even stronger than our baseline. Our environment can be supportive of this growth using trauma informed principles. The principles are simple to state, harder to live by.

These principles are:

  1. Safety
  2. Trustworthiness and Transparency
  3. Peer Support
  4. Collaboration
  5. Promoting Empowerment, Voice and Choice
  6. Acknowledge Culture, Historical and Gender-related Issues

So please know, the Culture of Caring (using trauma informed principles) is here for YOU. To that end, we offer some tips and resources for you.

Tips and Resources
As our stay in place order continues, sometimes we need reminders about the coping strategies that help and refreshers about how to find them. In today’s update, we will review some ways to keep yourself sane.

Laugh: Whether your taste runs to poor ‘dad jokes’ or more adult-rated, neurotic, angsty humor, or you just want to keep reveling in Pluto, sometimes you need to put the worry down and enjoy a good laugh!

Move: You may enjoy these free offerings from the Y:  Keeping healthy at home and virtual workouts. Or you may want to try some simple stretching.

Or you may want to venture outdoors for a walk around the block, or just leave your chair and walk around your space every hour or so.

Breathe in, Breathe out: Join us for virtual support or 15-minute pop-up mindfulness sessions. We are recording mindfulness sessions in case you can’t make it. Below are the dates and times for this week. All sessions are available via this Zoom link.

  • April 14 at 9 am Julia Felton
  • April 15 at 9:30 am Claudia Finkelstein
  • April 16 at 1 pm Julia Felton
  • April 17at 8:30 am Claudia Finkelstein

Interested in attending these events? To add to your Outlook calendar, 1) close the message so you are back in your list of email messages, 2) click on the message and drag it to the calendar icon at the bottom of the screen, 3) when the appointment screen pops up, change the date/time to those of the event, 4) add the zoom link 5) click Save & Close.

Learn: The MSU Work Life Office has many offerings, including a daily Coffee Talk at 10 am. Check for recorded talks if you missed one of interest. Or try a course from Health4You.

Be Contagious: Moods, like viruses, can be highly contagious. Last week, I was having a bad day. I had not showered or ventured out from my four walls for several days. One of my zoom calls was with a cheerful, calm, supportive person. He told me he had just gone for a bike ride and informed his staff that he wanted everyone to put on their “away” message and step away from the computer at least daily. He gently nudged (not nagged) me to do the same. I took his advice and went for a brisk walk outside and returned in a far better, calmer mood.

Send us your questions, suggestions or even a one liner letting us know one thing to help yourself feel better in difficult times. Clicking on the link will allow you to send a confidential email to Culture of Caring. Remember to remove your signature if you would like to remain anonymous. Click here to submit suggestions, concerns, and questions.

Read more Words of Wellness from the Culture of Caring.