Words of Wellness: March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020 - Culture of Caring - Claudia Finkelstein

Is there any other story this week or last? We know that the strains of keeping our institution running are present even in the best of times. Now, we are struggling to keep focus on work while simultaneously taking care of our youngsters who are out of school or childcare, our elders who are at risk, and our own uncertainties. There is no shortage of conflicting information.

These may be life, career and society defining days. Days when we can rise to the occasion of helping when we are called on and able to do so. Days when we need to pace ourselves and accept that we need some help or a break.

It is a time of balance in uncertainty. We need to stay informed without being overloaded. We need to stay careful and responsible without panicking. We need to adjust our daily schedules… the list goes on. Today’s email is meant to share useful tips and resources to may help you in this difficult time.

Wellness Tips

  • Create a workspace, a schedule and time for breaks and exercise.
  • Remember to move your body from time to time. Our at home workspaces may be less comfortable and ergonomic than those at the office.
  • Find ways to remain connected with coworkers, family, and friends.
  • This quarantine may give you time to reflect. The information below will share ways to connect and opportunities to share suggestions or ask questions.

Suggestion Boxes

We have placed suggestion boxes in Flint, Fee Hall and Secchia as well as GRRC. We have received many suggestions and have triaged, closed or acted on many of them (thank you to Operations team for new shelves in the restrooms at Secchia).

We will not be checking these boxes during the time of isolation. However, our Virtual Suggestion Box remains active and has expanded to include suggestions. This is not the route for medical or policy questions, rather a place where you can let us know what you would like (i.e. More small group sessions, resources for parents of young children, mindfulness exercises, etc.).

To give us input, click here: Share your COVID-19 concerns, questions & suggestions

Other helpful resources:


We recently launched a pilot program of free, short-term confidential in-house psychiatric consultation for faculty and staff. This program was intended to complement existing EAP, Teladoc, and peer support services.

During these days of the pandemic, the need to limit in-person contact is high, as is the need for support. For this reason, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Miko Rose and some of her psychiatry colleagues will be offering this service remotely during this time.

Remember, this is a confidential, short-term service. Crisis patients, and those requiring long-term, intensive care will be referred to outside providers.

Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Julia Felton who will provide screening and intake at 810-600-9125.

Virtual Small Groups

Last week, we facilitated three virtual small groups. We are happy to continue to provide them, in the hope that we can isolate without feeling isolated. Feel free to suggest times and topics for future meetings. The pleasure of seeing each other and sharing experience is, of course, enough of a topic.

Ideas to Entertain Yourself at Home

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

Read more Words of Wellness from the Culture of Caring.