Words of Wellness: April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020 - Culture of Caring - Claudia Finkelstein

Topic of the Week: Self-Compassion

As we approach the second week of the governor’s order to ‘Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.’ many of you may have noticed swings in emotions, energy levels, motivation and anxiety.

This is normal during very abnormal times. We are bombarded with resources, links and advice. It seems to take too much energy to even choose a link to follow between all the email and zoom invites.

Our patience with our children or partners may be growing thin. Does this mean we are awful? Absolutely not! It means we are human.

That (shared humanity) is one of the three core elements of self-compassion. The other elements are self-kindness (instead of self-judgment) and mindfulness (instead of overidentification.)

Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneer and researcher in the field, is very clear that self-compassion is not self-pity, self-indulgence or self-esteem. If you’re interested in learning more, explore Dr. Neff’s website.  

In the meantime, you may want to start by asking yourself, “How would I respond to a friend going through this?” when you are experiencing self-judgment.

Parents’ Educational Resources

For those with children at home, it is difficult to suddenly become a teacher while working from home. Our colleagues at OMERAD put together an impressive collection of Online Learning Resources for Parents for our faculty and staff with children at home.

Popup Mindfulness Sessions

Join us for 15 minutes of guided mindfulness practice, several times a week. All sessions available via this Zoom link.

  • April 6 at 10 am: 10-Minute Gentle Stretching w/Dr. Claudia Finkelstein followed by a Mindfulness Session at 10:10 am.
  • April 7 at 12 pm: Mindfulness Session with Dr. Julia Felton
  • April 9 at 9 am: Mindfulness Session with Dr. Julia Felton
  • April 10 at 3:30 pm: Mindfulness Session with Dr. Claudia Finkelstein

Virtual Small Groups

Come together (virtually) to support each other and learn from each other. Our hope is that we can isolate without feeling isolated. Join one or all small groups this month by accessing this Zoom link.

  • April 8 at 1-2 pm
  • April 15 at 12-1 pm
  • April 22 at 12-1 pm
  • April 29 at 2-3 pm

Confidential In-House Psychiatric Consultation

Thanks to the support of both of our medical schools, Dr. Miko Rose and some of her psychiatry colleagues are offering this free service remotely. Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Julia Felton who will provide screening and intake at 810-600-9125.

Volunteer Opportunities

One way to cope with our complex feelings is to consider volunteering to the extent you are willing and able. Remember the self-compassion. Not everyone is willing or able, and that’s perfectly fine. Here are a few options:

Tips for Small Achievable Goals

Consider committing to one of these actions:

  • I will stand up and walk around my living space for 3 minutes once an hour (set your phone to ping hourly from 8-5) one day this week
  • I will call/text/Zoom a person I like/love/haven’t talked to in a while, once this week
  • I will tell my spouse/kids/sharers of space that I will be in the tub/garden/my room for an hour alone – and do it
  • I will watch this video and chuckle

We Value Your Input

The “Virtual Suggestion Box” remains active. 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

See work-related frequently asked questions on the MSU HR website.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Claudia Finkelstein at finkel22@msu.edu if you would like to discuss further.

Read more Words of Wellness from the Culture of Caring.