Virtual Care Package

Photo of Bellingham Bay at sunset with silhouette of pine tree in the foreground.

Virtual Care Package

Blue background with outline of branches and leaves

WELCOME

Counseling, Health & Wellness welcomes you to a fall quarter unlike any other. While these past few months have been filled with uncertainty, grief, tragedy, and challenge, one thing remains certain – we’re here for you! Take a moment to explore this virtual care package as part of caring for your holistic health and well-being. We’ve compiled resources, coping tools, and information to help you prepare for this new academic year. A year in which resilience, self-care, and community connection have never been more important. As part of the Western community, we’re in this together. 

Be well, 
Counseling, Health & Wellness Services 

Welcome from Dr. Sislena Ledbetter

Welcome from Dr. Ruby Casiano

Outine of vines.

COPING & SELF-CARE

It’s ok to not be ok right now. To expect the same of ourselves during this very abnormal time is unrealistic. Be gracious, compassionate, and tender. Here are some ways to take care of your wonderful self. You deserve to be safe, cared for, and loved. 

THE BASICS

SLEEP: Practicing sleep hygiene, getting consistent sleep, avoiding naps, etc.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Move your body regularly in a way that feels right for you, such as walking, dancing, stretching, or another form of exercise.

NUTRITION: Eating consistently throughout the day and nourishing our bodies and minds.

ROUTINE: Creating structure, having a schedule, using a planner/calendar.

TIPS FOR COPING

  • Limit news consumption 
  • Create a dedicated workspace 
  • Spend time outdoors 
  • Find outlets for your emotions (e.g. journaling, creating, drawing, playing music, sharing, social support...) 
  • Engage in distraction (e.g. hobbies, Netflix, cleaning, organizing, podcasts...) 
  • Practice grounding yourself (e.g. meditation, prayer, mindfulness, being present...) 
  • Practice self-compassion 
Outine of vines.

TRAUMA, LOSS, & UNCERTAINTY

Living amidst a pandemic, confronting systemic racism, and trying to live your best life is challenging to say the least. Coming to college also means you may be away from family, community, and the usual supports you rely on. Grief is a normal response to these types of stressors and traumatic events. Here are a few things to help maintain perspective and put into context what you may feeling:

We’re in a collective state of grief over the loss of: normalcy, being together, opportunities, security, expectations, loved ones, etc. 

We’re responding to traumatic events and circumstances. Trauma has a direct impact on the body’s central nervous system, which is known as the fight, flight, or freeze response. Trauma can show up in many ways including: Anxiety, stress, muscle tension, trouble sleeping, irritability, apathy, depression, digestive disturbance, and avoidance to name a few. 

We’re faced with so many unknowns and that is hard to accept. With uncertainty we often try to seek control, create structure, and return to what is familiar.

Photo of Deidre Evans.

Message from Deidre Evans,
MSW, Survivor Advocacy Services Coordinator

Home is not always the safest place for everyone. During this time of remote learning and physical distancing survivors may be experiencing an increase in safety concerns and feelings of isolation. You are not alone and support is available. Everyone deserves to be treated with love, dignity and respect in their relationships. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and abuse, support is available.

Outine of vines.

SOCIAL CONNECTION

Quarantine, physical distancing, isolation? It’s no wonder we’re all feeling a little less connected. While we have to get creative with staying connected, there are still plenty of ways to be together, apart. How have you found connection lately? 

TIPS FOR CONNECTING

  • Mindful social media use 
  • Turn on your video in virtual spaces 
  • Call, text, FaceTime, email, send an actual letter! 
  • Virtual hangouts (e.g. Houseparty, Netflix Party) 
  • Spiritual and cultural practices 

Message from Dr. Chris Edwards

Message from Kelsey Johnson, MA

Outine of vines.

RESILIENCE & BUILDING HOPE

Times like these test our ability to find meaning, purpose, and hold on to hope. We become more resilient when we look towards community and tap into our inner strengths, together. Need some help getting started? We did, too. Here’s some questions to get your wheels turning: 

  • What are your strengths? 
  • What makes you uniquely you? 
  • What motivates you? 
  • What are you passionate about? 
  • What are you grateful for? 

CAMPUS RESOURCES

Downloadable Virtual Care Package PDFs Below