Wellness Blog

Staying Healthy During Challenging Times

During times of uncertainty and change, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. For most of us, our way of life looks nothing like it did a few weeks ago. Adjusting to a new “normal” of e-learning while physical distancing, isolating, or even in some cases quarantining can be quite challenging. Taking care of your emotional and physical health during this time can help you have more control of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so that you can be more productive and cope better with the stressors life is throwing at you. It is perfectly normal for you to not be feeling quite yourself right now. Please know that you are not alone and that LFA’s Wellness Team is here to support you through this difficult time, even if we can’t be physically together.

Below are five behaviors that each of us can benefit from by adding into our everyday routine. This blog will be updated every few days with new and exciting ways to keep these behaviors going in all of our lives.      

  1. Connect with others.
    • Most of us are confined to our homes right now. Spending quality time with our family is important. Playing games, doing puzzles, and trying out new recipes can be a fun way to connect with one another. However, we may miss spending time with other people who do not live in our home with us. Luckily, we can still keep in contact with others virtually. Not only can we video chat, we can play games online. Be creative in the way you connect with other people. Remember, we are practicing physical distancing, not social distancing.   
    • Resources:
      • Got gamers in the house? Common-Sense Media features family-friendly games and other helpful resources.
      • New in The GuardianDr. Lea Waters shares videos to support families who are in isolation.
  2. Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Day.
    • Mindfulness is a powerful way to handle stress, and live life more fully. Mindfulness is all about living fully in the present moment, without judgment, and with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. It’s about breathing, noticing what’s happening right here and now, sending a gentle smile to whatever you’re experiencing in this moment (whether it’s easy or difficult), and then letting it go.
    • Resources: 
  3. Seek beauty to savor and appreciate.
    • Immersing ourselves in art, music or nature—be it inside, outside or virtually—boosts our positive emotions. By exploring the resources available to us, we learn where our interests lie, which in turn increases our engagement and helps give us a sense of control over our new situation.
    • Resources:
      • Google Arts and Culture is a virtual treasure trove, providing visitors with tours of hot spots, street art, museums, and more.
      • Listen up! NPR offers this comprehensive list of live concerts to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
  4. Get physical.
    • Taking care of your body helps you feel better mentally, too. Most gyms are closed right now, but that doesn’t mean your exercise routine needs to end. If you can, exercising outside while practicing physical distancing can be a great way to stay fit. If you have to stay indoors, there are many ways to stay active. Coach Eric, Trainer Dave, and Trainer Katie will be posting exercises and workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home. Also, keep your eyes open for Zumba and Yoga.
    • Resources:
  5. Find your purpose
    • Every human benefits from a feeling of achievement—often connected to what we believe is our purpose in life. While practicing physical distancing, it may at times feel like academic work is our sole sense of purpose. It is important that we make a difference in the lives of others, within our families, communities and beyond.
    • Resources:
      • You could send a card to a loved one in a Senior Facility or Nursing Home. Or take a few minutes out of your day to make a card for a hospitalized kid and follow directions for sending it here.
      • Donate to food banks including toilet paper if you have a large stash. Some hourly workers and single parents are finding it hard to afford extra supplies. Here is one organization.
      • Reach out via one of these great ideas from Random Acts of Kindness — be sure to check out their kindness calendar!
      • From practicing gratitude to building optimism, Positive Psychology is offering great resources and activities you’ll want to try.

The LFA Wellness Team will be adding to this page every few days. Please remember that every LFA faculty and staff member is here to support you through this. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns, or if you are in need of support.

Blog Posts

The toll of the nightmarish COVID-19 pandemic has renewed the focus on mental health and well-being and increased our capacity to care for one another. As we all grapple with the violent acts happening across the United States and the ongoing stressors of COVID, the importance of empathy and compassion become more and more apparent. Tensions are high as we join multitudes throughout the nation who are bracing for the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial. We acknowledge that we are all approaching this situation from different perspectives and that emotions can run high in our attempts to process and engage with each other. Moreover, we recognize that the outcome of this trial will affect us differently. Throughout the dual pandemics, we have worked together and connected as we grapple with and process the national tragedies and various traumas that unfold. The Offices of Pluralism and Multicultural Affairs and Counseling would like to center our wellness as individuals and as a community and remain mindful of both our own and each other’s wellness. We are sharing some self-care tips and resources shared by friends at other schools.

Ongoing Self-Care Tips

  • Decrease social media and take a break from the news. Take a step away from media consumption as needed to give yourself a break from the endless cycle of news.

  • Name how you’re feeling. Try not to exist on auto-pilot. Anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, unease, and/or relief, to name a few, are all things we may be feeling, and we all respond differently to different emotions. Having more information as to what you’re feeling allows you to respond most appropriately and effectively.

  • Take time to care for yourself. Whether processing with friends, family, or on your own, make sure to take time to care for yourself. Seeking support from trusted community members and loved ones and/or supporting them can be healing during times of stress and uncertainty.

  • Sleep, eat healthy, exercise, be in nature, breathe. We cannot emphasize these self-care tips enough. They may seem minor, but they are the key to staying centered and more in control.


Please feel free to contact any of the following people should you have any questions or are interested in processing this more.

Jen Madeley:
Sarah Collins:

Office of Pluralism and Multicultural Affairs 
Lusanda Mayikana:
Tameka Carter:

If you’re feeling lonely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. Over the past few months this pandemic has definitely left most of us feeling a new level of disconnect and loneliness. Without social connections, it’s easy to feel lonely or isolated. Social connection is one of our fundamental human needs and it impacts our mental health, physical health, and longevity. Positive relationships with friends and family help us thrive and it’s important for your health to stay socially connected. Right now, we are abiding by the rules in place to protect the health of ourselves and others by practicing physical distancing; this doesn’t mean we have to be socially distant too.

So what can we do about this heightened level of loneliness and disconnection in our lives today? There are three reflection questions you can ask yourself. 

1. What usually triggers feelings of loneliness for you?

You should start by figuring out what triggers your feelings of loneliness. Your list may include: 

  • The global pandemic with its physical distancing and the wearing of masks may be keeping you from being able to connect with those around you.

  • Few (in any) social gatherings can leave you feeling disconnected from friends.

  • Restricting travel may leave you feeling emotionally disconnected from family and friends living afar.

  • Virtual school can leave you feeling distanced from your friends at your school.

  • Too much togetherness with family at home can lead to more arguments and feeling emotionally disconnected from one another.

  • So many canceled community events can bring up feelings of loss, but also feelings of disconnect from missing out on the collective fun of concerts, community block parties, sporting events, movies, plays, etc.

  • Normal life transitions such as moving can bring up feelings of grief, and may also trigger feelings of loneliness when you leave one place when you feel known and start over in a new place where you don’t feel like anyone truly knows you (yet!).

2. Where can you add more connection with others into your life? 

Once you have figured out what some of your loneliness triggers are you can come up with some creative ways to connect with others (being mindful of our current parameters). Things such as: 

  • Figure out what you are and are not comfortable doing in person.

  • Write and mail a letter to a friend or family member. 

  • Stop and talk to people when you’re outside, while still physical distancing.

  • Create virtual fun, like online game nights or Zoom book club meetings.

  • Take part in weekend activities.

  • Invite someone new to go for a physical distancing walk. 

  • Come out of your room (even for a short time) and spend some time in common spaces. 

  • Join a club during club fair.

  • Thank the frontline workers for their service or participate in other types of service work. 

  • Continue your normal texts, phone calls, and face time sessions with friends and family near and far.

3. What are some ways you can reconnect with yourself when you’re feeling lonely? 

It is important to be able to reconnect with yourself during this time of disconnection and distancing from others. Examples of ways to do this are: 

  • Talk about your feelings of loneliness with a school counselor or therapist.

  • Write it all down- journaling is a great place to process your feelings about journaling.

  • Find time to do something you love such as watch your new favorite Netflix show.

  • Do some research of your own on loneliness- find out more about this topic online, in books, on podcasts, etc.

  • Create time to sit with your feelings of loneliness and allow yourself space to really feel these feelings.

  • Prioritize your self-care by eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, getting the right amount of sleep for your body, etc.

  • Go outside and focus on the natural beauty all around you.

  • Go for a walk to clear your mind and get some exercise.

  • Work on mindfulness and concentrate on your five senses to help ground you in this moment.

  • Focus on gratitude and all the things in your life that you’re truly grateful for right now.

The distance and emotional disconnect from others due to this pandemic has been hard across the board in all areas of our lives. If you or someone you know is feeling sad and lonely, please reach out to a counselor, advisor, teacher, dorm parent, coach, or other trusted adult for help and support so you don’t continue to feel so alone during these prolonged, difficult times.

Dear LFA students and faculty,

As many of you know, we are currently living through a lot of history. There is more news out right now than many of you know how to deal with. Despite the need to stay educated and informed, we as a community must recognize that we also need to take care of ourselves. This is a reminder that it’s ok to take a break and focus on yourself rather than others. Even the smallest things count as self-care if you’re overwhelmed. Down below we have linked some resources that could possibly help you.

– Wellness Prefects Briana Murphy ’21 and Gigi Taillon ’21