April 3, 2020
Campus virtual groups boost body, mind and spirit
COVID-19 is driving home the importance of striving to keep our bodies, minds, and spirits in good condition. Caldwell University is reaching out to provide digital ways for faculty, staff, students and alumni to stay connected and healthy.
CAMPUS MINISTRY AND PRAYER
Staff members Colleen O’Brien and Dana McStowe in Campus Ministry have launched an online rosary. The Campus Ministry Weekly Virtual Prayer Service meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. through Google Hangouts Meet. The service includes the Mass readings of the day and the recitation of the rosary as a group. O’Brien says sprayer intentions are welcome. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to join the prayer service by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus ministry is also holding its student community gatherings virtually on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Senior Brooke Pherson has been joining the rosary and campus ministry group remotely. “I’m really grateful that despite being off-campus we’re still able to come together in prayer, especially because my parish is closed. It’s obviously not the same but I’m so thankful for Colleen and Dana for putting the rosary call together, as well as the other campus ministry gatherings.”
The Grotto Rosary Ministry is continuing monthly where anyone can submit their prayer petitions online at https://www.caldwell.edu/grotto-prayer-request. The next rosary group will meet Tuesday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. through Google Hangouts Meet. Reach out to staff member Colette Liddy at email@example.com if you would like to pray the rosary on the 14th and she will send you a Google Hangouts Meet invite to connect.
Counseling Services is providing students with remote online and telephone counseling. Additionally, students can take part in different virtual groups.
“Baby How You Feelin’? Anxiety, isolation and remote living in the COVID crisis” meets every Friday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Google Hangouts Meet via Caldwell Gmail. Robin Davenport, executive director of counseling services, recognizes that students are dealing with rapid changes as a result of the COVID-19 virus, including adapting to online coursework, being away from classmates, friends, and loved ones and missing their normal routines. This group provides a safe virtual space where students can connect with each other and find ways to practice self-care as a group. “We want to help students be mindful about the media they consume, prioritize their emotional and physical well-being, and find ways to make connections during an isolating time,” said Davenport. For students to participate, all that is needed is a Gmail account, internet connection, and a microphone. Davenport says students do not need to use their video cameras if they do not feel comfortable. They can join and drop-in, even for just five minutes.
A virtual Weekly Meditation is held every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. at Google Hangouts Meet via Caldwell Gmail. Meditation can help create a sense of calm, improve sleep, foster relaxation and strengthen concentration, said Davenport. “This group is perfect for maintaining social distance and finding a sense of peace during these turbulent times.” A discussion period is held after the meditation. “Participants can talk about the impact of COVID-19 on our sense of well-being and how the practice of meditation can help us regain our stability,” said Davenport.
The Wellness Center is hosting a Women’s Empowerment Group every Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Google Hangouts Meet via Caldwell Gmail. This is a place for college women to connect with other women regarding shared concerns such as learning how to be more assertive, dealing with difficult people, enhancing self-esteem, and respecting personal values and cultures. Davenport says women of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate in this growth-enhancing group. Students can join any of these virtual groups by emailing Counseling Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director of Health Services Cindy Striano says it is vital for everyone to strive to boost their immune systems through exercising, getting adequate sleep and clean eating. “Even the little things matter as we all work to fight the spread of the virus and keep ourselves healthy and safe.”
Twenty to 30 minutes of exercise every day can go a long way in improving health. “This can be as simple as a walk in the fresh air while practicing social distancing of at least six feet,” says Striano. Eating cleanly, she says, includes reducing unhealthy snacking and drinking adequate water each day. She advises “doing your best to get at least seven to nine hours sleep per night… during stressful times when sleep is often interrupted, use deep breathing or meditation to help encourage sleep.”
Striano is also reminding everyone of the imperatives of “washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water multiple times throughout the day and after you have touched surfaces, before and after going to the bathroom and before touching your face or eating.”
Students can speak with a nurse by sending an email to SHS@caldwell.edu to schedule a time to ask general health questions or questions about COVID-19. They can use the same email to schedule an appointment with the school physician during the hours of Monday 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or at other specific times as scheduling allows.