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Self-Care Resources

We realize the shift to a remote learning environment comes with a variety of challenges. You may be having a lot of reactions and feelings, all of which are valid and important. We’re finding new ways to be here for you. We are providing select remote services to help you maintain social and academic well-being. Please also check out these self-care resources.

Social Distancing Does not Mean Social Isolation

  • Find creative ways to connect with friends (online coffee date or dinner, Zoom Pictionary, virtual movie night, play an online game with friends).
  • Make time to check in with yourself and others about your mental and emotional well-being.
  • Enjoy time outside with a friend.
  • Make time to check in with yourself and others about how you’re doing. Talk about your reactions to what’s going on right now. Set boundaries if you need to. (“I need to take a break from talking about X – I’ll let you know when I can come back to it.”)
  • Leave messages of community support with sidewalk chalk.
  • If you are part of an organization or religious community, follow them on social media. Many groups are finding creative ways to stay connected.
  • Join us for online workshops and coffee conversations.
  • See this flyer from Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services

Practice Social Distancing Even if You Seem to be Healthy

Social distancing is recommended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Even young, healthy people without symptoms can carry the virus unknowingly and pass it on to others. Although you may experience only mild symptoms, you may not be aware of underlying health risks among friends and family who could become seriously ill or die.

At Mizzou, we are doing our part by eliminating close contact in classroom, social and living situations. You can do your part by practicing social distancing. Here are examples of safe and unsafe social behaviors:
Practicing social distancing by avoiding:

  • Attending or hosting parties.
  • Participating in contact sports.
  • Spending time in close proximity to anyone, even family, who does not live with you (e.g., riding in a car, hugging, shaking hands, visiting one another’s home).
  • Sharing food, drinks, towels or other personal items with others.

Safely connect with people outside your household:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others when you are outside your home.
  • Keep your social circle small. Identify one or two people to spend time with outdoors (e.g., sitting or standing six feet from one another while you talk).
  • Take a walk or a bike ride with a friend while maintaining social distance.
  • Wash your hands often — and immediately after touching something that belongs to someone else.
  • Call, text, video chat or write a letter.

If you are an essential worker and must interact with others, take care of yourself and others:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when outside your home. There are many ways to make a mask at home.
  • If possible, put your clothes in the washing machine immediately when you get home.
  • Take a shower or bath immediately when you get home.
  • Avoid using a co-worker’s phone, work station or work tools.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Tell your supervisor if someone you’ve spent time with is sick.

Practice Self-Care and Self-Compassion

  • Notice your feelings and reactions without judging them. Pay attention to what you need and identify one thing you can do to meet your needs.
  • Take a break from the news. Staying informed from reputable news sources is important, but overexposure can increase anxiety and overwhelm. Recognize that regardless of new events unfolding, the recommendations that are within individual control stay the same. It isn’t necessary to get every update in real time.
  • Try something new. Make a new recipe. Get back into reading. Use makeup tutorials. Start a craft project. Plant a garden. Download TikTok and learn how to dance!
  • Move your body in ways that feel good. Bonus points if sunlight is involved! There are many options for yoga and other workouts online if you need to relax or burn off anxious energy. Remember, there’s no pressure to exercise to change your body during a public health crisis (or any time).
  • Make sure to laugh. Watch a funny show or video, reflect on fun times and inside jokes with friends, browse social distancing memes (or make your own).
  • Be kind to yourself. Download Sanvello and explore the self-care tools.
  • Take a mindfulness break with Student Health & Well-Being. Try other breathing apps like Calm or Headspace.
  • Take advantage of the increase in online resources for any interest. Attend a virtual dance party or take a museum tour. Follow your local movie theaters, libraries and musicians to learn about other events.
  • Many things happening right now are not within our individual control. Focus on what is within your control (the ways you can care for yourself and your community). Remember that this is temporary.

Connect With Nature

  • Make sure to go outside even while practicing social distancing. Sit in the sun. Go for a meandering walk. Notice that the birds are still singing and flowers are starting to bloom in many places.
  • Care for your houseplants, or buy a small plant the next time you go out for groceries.
  • Take advantage of zoo and aquarium live streaming videos.
  • Share photos and videos of your pets and request them from others.

Nurture Your Body and Mind

  • Develop a new skill or hobby (try a new recipe, craft or instrument).
  • Move your body in ways that feel good (walking, dancing, yoga, biking).
  • Practice healthy sleep habits
  • Be kind to yourself! Explore Sanvello’s self-care tools.
  • Take a mindfulness break every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at noon.
  • Mizzou has online workshops on mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Check out for various other ways to stay connected during this time.

Practice Effective Work-at-Home Strategies

  • Make a schedule. Set aside specific times for work and relaxation.
  • Break down larger projects into manageable tasks. Identify one thing you can do. Try starting with the easiest task to get started, or the hardest task to get it out of the way.
  • Set a timer to get started and stay focused. Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Repeat as necessary. If an important idea distracts you, write it down and re-focus.
  • Use campus resources: Disability Center, Learning Center, Career Center and Canvas.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Substance Use Safety

Since COVID-19 attacks the lungs, individuals who smoke or vape tobacco/nicotine or cannabis may be at higher risk for progression and adverse outcomes if infected. Use of these substances can also lower immune functioning, making risk of infection higher. Additionally, individuals who use opioids (prescription pain medications), may have lower respiratory and pulmonary functioning and could be at increased risk for negative outcomes of COVID-19¹. Here’s how to minimize your risk.

If able, avoid using substances. Substance use can impact physical and mental health, which may be vulnerable during this time.

If you are using a substance, do not share paraphernalia (e-cigs, cigarettes, pipes, etc.) with others as this can increase risk of transmitting COVID-19.

If you use opioids or have a friend or family member who uses, have naloxone (also called Narcan) available in case of overdose.

Naloxone is available without a prescription at most pharmacies and can be paid for out of pocket or with insurance.2

¹ National Institute on Drug Abuse. COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders. March 24 2020.

2 Partners in Prevention. COVID-19: Stay Safe and Healthy. 2020.

Find Ways to Help Others

  • Many communities are creating support networks to take care of one another. Social media and local news sources are great ways to learn about what is happening in your community.
  • Check on friends, neighbors, or family who are more vulnerable or having a hard time.
  • Donate to local food banks.
  • Buy a gift certificate to a local restaurant or small business.
  • Donate blood.
  • Follow guidelines for prevention. Avoid large gatherings and maintain 6 feet distance with others when possible. Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands often.

If the Pandemic Affects You Financially

Don’t hesitate to use resources available.

  • Tiger Pantry is an on-campus food pantry for students, faculty, and staff. Check their website for updates to their operations during this time.
  • Many utility companies will not be charging late fees or turning off utilities. Many internet providers are offering two free months for new customers.
  • If you are trans/non-binary and are in need of emergency funds, contact Mizzou’s Gabriella Rosé Justice Support System.
  • Many communities have created support networks to take care of one another. Social media and local news sources are good places to look for these.
  • For resources specific to your community, the United Way COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund can be reached at 1-866-211-9966.