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Welcome to the fall of 2020! What a unique time to be attending professional school. As our world grapples with this pandemic and our nation unravels in areas of social justice there has been so much change in the way we live our lives. Together, we are facing both the significant suffering – and the potential opportunities – inherent to these very surreal experiences.
Resilience: As human beings, it is inevitable that we face challenges and hardships from time to time. When life throws us a curveball, it is important to develop skills in order to cope with these situations in a healthy way. Resilience is the ability to face life’s difficulties head-on. People who are resilient don’t experience less distress or anxiety, but they handle tough situations in ways that allow them to overcome adversity and bounce back. We can always work on being more resilient. Here are some steps to help us along the way.
Reframe Your Thoughts: Look for small ways that you can tackle the problem and make changes that will help. Focus on the positive things you can do can help get you out of a negative mindset.
Seek Support: Talking about the difficulties you are coping with doesn’t make them go away but sharing with a friend or loved one can make you feel like you have someone in your corner.
Focus on What You Can Control: There is only so much we can control, and it is pointless to focus on what we can’t control. Instead, focus only on the things that are in your control. Even when the situation seems dire, taking realistic steps to help improve the situation can improve your sense of control and resilience.
Snaggs is available to talk with you by Zoom or telephone. Any student who would like to schedule an appointment is encouraged to do so. Send an email to Sharon.Snaggs@tufts.edu
Here are some things to do and see in Boston this weekend!
For those of you who are new to the area, Welcome to Boston! Whether you’re studying remotely in your home or venturing out to class, Boston is a great place to be. We’re known for our beloved Boston Red Sox, history throughout the city, and mouth-watering North End Italian food! Take some time to get outside while the nice weather lasts and check out the area (safely – don’t forget to wear your mask!). Taking some time for yourself to recharge helps energize your mind and body… fresh air does wonders!
For all of you who are new to Boston, here are some fun facts:
- It’s the only US state capital with a coastline
- There are 23 distinct neighborhoods
- The colors of the MBTA have a meaning (The Green Line goes through Boston’s ‘Emerald Necklace’ parks, the Blue Line runs under Boston Harbor, the Red Line travels near crimson-colored Harvard and the Orange Line partly runs down Washington Street, which was originally named Orange Street).
- A golden pinecone sits atop the golden dome of Boston’s State House.
- The Boston Public Library, founded in 1849, was not only the first public library in the United States, but when the first branch opened in East Boston in 1869, it became the country’s first branch library system.
- Boston Common, established in 1634, is the oldest public park in the United States.
- The oldest restaurant in continuous service in the United States is Boston’s The Union Oyster House, established in 1826.
Upcoming Wellness Activities:
Friday, September 4 – Fridays, October 2
Tai Chi has often been called “meditation in motion” and is a great way to unwind after a day of classes and/or to clear your head for evening classes or homework. Join us for a 30-minute session that will focus on basic warmups, stretches, and simple exercises that are rooted in the principles of Tai Chi. Beginners are welcome and no special equipment or attire is needed. Comfortable clothing and an open mind are all you need to start learning a series of relaxing movements that can be performed anywhere and anytime.
Mondays from 5:00 – 5:30PM https://tufts.zoom.us/j/5407895176
Weekly Drop-in meditation:
Mindfulness Group (MMG) is offering weekly drop-in meditation. If you would like to be added to the MMG listserv to receive the weekly notification, send an email to email@example.com
Lace up your sneakers, grab your mask and join us for our Step Challenge! The Fall weather is rolling in fast, making it the perfect time for a walk in the crisp air… so let’s get moving, Jumbos! Please record your steps below and we will announce a winner from each program at the end of each week.
Virtual 5K Run/Walk:
Saturday, September 12 or Sunday, September 13
Low stakes shake it out, easy to follow movement for 30 minutes. Some dancing, a lot of jumping around and lunges.
Hosted by Olivia Fauver, TUSM, 23
September 14th at 7:30pm https://tufts.zoom.us/j/94557587645
September 28th at 7:30pm https://tufts.zoom.us/j/93942732131
Time Saving Tips for Healthy Meal Prep!
What you eat is incredibly important to your overall health, functionality and performance in school. Good nutrition is more than sustenance, it is all about keeping your energy and ability up! To accomplish this, we suggest investing in a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot or Instant Pot to save prep time on the weekends, as well as preparing your food at the start of each week and using leftovers from those meals to feed you throughout the week.
Grocery Staples to Fuel Your Brain
- Fruits and Vegetables for a variety of vitamins and antioxidants (banana, blueberries, broccoli, etc.)
- Fatty Fish such as Tuna and Salmon (Omega-3 fatty acids) and other Lean Protein such as Greek yogurt, beans, peas and lentils (High-satiety food that will hold your focus)
- Complex Carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa, are better than sugars and white bread at sustaining energy for long periods of time
- Leafy Greens such as spinach or kale (rich in brain-healthy nutrients such as vitamin K and folate)
- Dairy Products such as low fat cheeses, Greek yogurt, skim/soy/almond/coconut milk
- Healthy Fats such as olive oil, coconut oils, avocado, nuts, seeds and natural nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew)
- Dark Chocolate in moderation (antioxidants)
- Green Tea (in moderation)
Tip: Try adding oatmeal or whole grain toast with peanut butter at breakfast to keep you fueled throughout the day.
Tip: Smoothies are a great way to add in extra fruits and veggies such as spinach, berries and bananas.
Try making individual packs of frozen fruits/veggies to save time in the morning. Save yourself time (and money) for the week. Spend some time during the weekend to organize your list and prepare meals ahead of time. Make dishes that will provide multiple meals throughout the week. Make your grocery list in minutes!
How do you start your day?
First things first of course, coffee. Most mornings I will go to hot yoga before making my way to school for the day. If not, do some sort of workout to set the tone for the day!
How do you balance your academics and your personal life and how has that changes as you transition to studying remotely and taking classes online?
Academics and my personal life both ebb and flow a bit. In the MD program, we have an exam every 3 weeks. During week 1, I make sure to take some extra time for myself and hang out with my friends and family. As week 2 comes around it’s longer days of studying and less downtime. Week 3 is mostly focused on academics.
After transitioning to remote classes, I had extra time because I wasn’t spending ~1.5 hours round trip commuting to school. Though I was sad to miss out on the social aspect of being on campus, I now have time to cook myself fancy dinners, go on morning/evening walks, and even watch some Netflix! The extra time in my day has definitely been one of the silver linings of the pandemic.
What do you do for fun and how challenging has it been during the pandemic and this period of social/physical distancing?
I love going out to eat at various restaurants in Boston. Of course, with the pandemic, that has not been an option. Though, my sister and I start thinking about what we will cook for dinner almost as soon as we wake up in the morning! It’s been fun, delicious, and a great way to have something to look forward to as a reward after a long day of class/studying.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
Since we have been studying at home and I have access to my whole kitchen for snack making, I have been making sourdough toast covered with hummus, sliced cucumber, and “Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning” from Trader Joe’s! It’s so good, I have it almost every day! If I’m feeling fancy (and have time to steal herbs from my sister’s garden), I will also make tabbouleh to go with it! Pre-pandemic, I spent a fair share of dollars at the MedEd vending machine getting sweet potato chips. After a long day of studying, those definitely count as healthy haha!
How do you destress, and have you done anything differently during this pandemic?
My main way to destress is by exercising. I was an athlete in college so this has always been my go-to, though now instead of basketball my main form of exercise is yoga. I try to take an hour every day to practice regardless of what is going on at school. It keeps me grounded and a lot more pleasant than if I wasn’t practicing!
During the pandemic, my yoga studio shut down but luckily, they were quick to switch their classes to Facebook live and podcasts. At first, it was hard developing a home practice, but these classes have become my lifesaver. I have also tried to go on a run a few days a week to mix it up and would gladly welcome any tips on how to make that more fun!
What surprised you about the medical school program and living in Boston?
I grew up right outside of Boston and had lived here before starting school at Tufts, so I am familiar with the city. That being said, I have been pleasantly surprised at how cool my classmates are. Everyone has such a unique background and brings a different perspective to studying medicine.
What advice would you give to your future self?
Eat the dessert and don’t take life to seriously!
Student Wellness Advisory Committee:
Jessica Stanley, D23, Jessica.Stanley@tufts.edu
Samantha Capizzo, D22, Samantha.Capizzo@tufts.edu
Caroline Nelson, D24, Caroline.firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Choi, GSBS, Catherine.Y_Choi@tufts.edu
Caitlin Sutherland, MBS, email@example.com
Christina Damon, M23, Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Ganser, M23, Christine.email@example.com
Anne Scott Livingston, Friedman, Anne.Livingston@tufts.edu
Hannah Paoletti, Friedman, Hannah.Paoletti@tufts.edu
Follow us on Instagram @tuftsstudentwellnessadvising
Tufts recognizes the importance of easy access to confidential mental health counseling. For non-emergent issues, our counselors from our TalkOne2One program are available on campus, five days/week as well as by phone for students who are engaged in clerkships and not available to meet in person. Counselors are also available by phone 24 hours/day, 7 days/week for urgent issues. Please call 1-800-756-3124 to schedule an appointment. We highly encourage students to participate in the counseling program and emphasize that counseling is part of a comprehensive wellness strategy.