Emergency Preparedness: COVID-19

Keep Living

Right now, it’s important to continue to care for ourselves and to KEEP LIVING.

Expressing gratitude builds stronger relationships, improves health, equips a person to manage adversity, and improves overall health. Here are some ideas on how to bring gratitude to your life right now. 

Show gratitude for others

  • Say more than "Thank you". Make sure to include specifics of exactly what the person did and why you are thankful for their effort- those details are important. 
  • Shout out or a personal note. What would be more meaningful to the person- a public honor or a private accolade- either can be fine, depending on the person. 
  • A little goes a long way. People often get stuck thinking they need to create a grand gesture, but a post-it note on a desk (or a heart felt couple sentences in an email, if you're working from home) really make someone feel appreciated. 
  • Support what they love. You can show your appreciation to that person by giving a gift to a cause or community that important to them. 
  • Pay it forward. Sometimes the best way to honor a person is to help someone the way we were helped. 

Experience gratitude for yourself

Much of the benefits from gratitude is not sharing it with others, but when we allow ourselves to dwell on things in our lives for which we are grateful. Here are some ways to do give that a try: 

TED talk: Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.

 

Keep Living Tips

Each section has strategies and resources to help students, faculty and staff to Keep Living.

Mental Well-being

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is both a practice and a way of being present in the world that helps to transform our suffering into joy and peace. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you. (Bounce Back Project)

Take a few moments to notice what is happening in the moment, anytime, anywhere, using all your senses, being fulling immersed in the moment. Practicing mindfulness can help when runaway thoughts or worries seem to be unrelenting. It’s simple, but not easy. However, be patient with yourself and it can be beneficial.

Self-Care

Self-care reduces the negative effects of stress.

  • Keep it simple. Self-care doesn't’t require a huge investment of money or time, but is most-effective if done in little doses throughout the day.
  • Choose what works for you. Not everyone’s self-care strategy is the same.
  • Finding alternatives. Your tried and true methods might not be available to you, so you might need to be creative.
  • Needing more. Your body might be telling you that you’re not okay right now. Listen to it and find ways to slow down.
  • Stop comparing. You might feel you don’t measure up to others, a feeling that can be amplified during stressful times. Set those worries aside. Do what’s right for you.
John Hopkins University: Social Distancing? Here’s how to prioritize self-care

Be Real

In times of stress and discomfort, it is important to ask for help when you need it from a trusted source.  It’s okay to be honest about your challenges. Tips for talking about it: 

  • Include your spouse/partner/roommates and others in managing the household
  • Be honest about how much work you can accomplish with your employer
  • If you have children,
    • It’s okay to ask their teacher for homework help
    • Discuss expectations with your partner and ask all members to contribute
  • If you are struggling, reach out to someone. Husky Nation is in this together; we will support each other!

Alcohol and Drug Use

UChoose Strategies during COVID-19

  • If you choose to drink, keep your BAC at a .07 or less. Track your BAC: https://www.calculator.net/bac-calculator.html
  • Keep track of how much you drink & set a limit for yourself. Understand what a standard drink is to know how much alcohol you are consuming. 1 standard drink = 12oz beer = 1.25oz 40% hard alcohol = 5oz wine (I have a graphic for this if you’d like)
  • Space out your drinks - Spacing drinks over longer periods of time allows for more control over your experience and your BAC
  • Alternate alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks - Drink water to rehydrate yourself
  • Do not mix alcohol with other drugs

More information: UChoose at St. Cloud State University

Johns Hopkins: Hold the Quarantinis; Why Alcohol and Coronavirus Might Not Mix

Maintaining Recovery During Stressful Times

Recovery Resource Center

Due to COVID-19, all in-person meetings have been canceled and moved to the Zoom platform. At this time, our AA and NA meetings are the only meetings offered to the public. Recovery Coordinator Thaddeus is also available in the Virtual Lounge for students seeking additional support 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays throughout the summer. The Virtual Lounge and support group meetings are password protected to provide privacy. Please reach out to trrybka@stcloudstate.edu for the passwords.

Henry Ford: 6 Recovery Tips to Stay Sober During COVID-19

National Institute of Drug Abuse: COVID-19 Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Abuse Disorders

Resources for Mental Health, Stress and Anxiety

This is a stressful time for all of us. Offer students, faculty, and staff connections to mental health and other support services.

Students

  • SUMMER OF CHANGE SERIES

    • COVID-19: What happened?! Exploring Loss & Change June 23 & 30

    • Accepting Present Realities: Taking Care of Me – Now July 14 & 21

    • Growth & Recovery: Navigating Next Steps August 4 & 11

      Seminars are FREE & Open to ALL St. Cloud State Students

      Meeting Time: 3:00 p.m. - Seminars are 60 minutes

      Seminars offered via private Zoom & Facilitated by C.A.P.S. Clinicians

      Pre-registration is required - Call or Email C.A.P.S.

      Learn More: stcloudstate.edu/counseling or call 320-308-3171

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for students remotely by phone or online meeting. Contact them at 320-308-3171.
  • Medical Clinic and Pharmacy provides healthcare to all students while we all do our part. Call them at 320-308-3193.
  • Peer Wellness Coaching address stress and determine coping methods with a peer. Make an appointment: huskypups@stcloudstate.edu.

Faculty and Staff

Physical Well-being

Tips to Take Care of Your Body

  • Get moving. Find time every day to move your body in whatever way works for you.
  • Don’t just sit there. Stand up, stretch, and move a little bit every 30 minutes.
  • Rest your peepers. If you’re using a screen, make sure to look away and focus on something in the distance every few minutes. 
  • Don't beat yourself up if you’re not managing everything perfectly. Be kind to yourself.
  • Resist using risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or ignoring public health recommendations.
  • Spend time outside. Go for a walk in the neighborhood, and social distancing guidelines.
  • Rest. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. 

 

Physical Health Resources: 

Show Me the Science podcast: Preserving Mental, Physical Health While Isolating at Home

Sleep Foundation: Sleep Guidelines During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Huff Post: Stop Obsessing Over Quarantine Weight Gain and Cut Yourself Some Slack

St. Cloud State: Walking/Biking Maps 

 

Exercise

Exercise has been proven as a great way to relieve stress. And you don’t have to put in hours or have fancy equipment to get the health benefits to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

SCSU Campus Rec 

Undesk Your Body

Sitting for hours at a time convinces your muscles to accommodate a slouched position. Hip flexors shorten, the neck and upper spine protrude forward and the glutes and hamstrings weaken. To help you combat this, Chris Haukos, of Campus Recreation, has put together a stretching guide to help you Un-Desk Your Body (PDF). 

Nutrition

Craving comfort food during stressful times is normal. The nourishment you put in your body does impact how you feel and how your brain works. Do your best to continue to follow healthy food guidelines to fuel your body to get through difficult times.

  • Stay balanced. Focus on getting some veggies, fruits and lean protein every day.
  • Stock up on nutritious snacks. Make the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • Pay attention to what, why and how much you are eating. Notice if you are mindlessly grabbing for food, even if you aren't’t hungry. Keep portions reasonable.
  • Stay hydrated. Hunger and caffeine cravings can be dehydration in disguise.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol. Relax with decaffeinated, non-alcoholic hot or cold beverages.

Food Insecurity

As people face difficult financial times, their access to consistent food supply might diminish. 

Huskies Food Pantry 

  • All current St. Cloud State students are welcome at Huskies Food Pantry
  • Currently available: Shelf-stable food items, personal hygiene items, diapers and a limited amount of vouchers for fresh, frozen and culturally-appropriate food items at either Coborns on Cooper Avenue or Cashwise eastside store.
  • Pre-order form - Please complete and your items will be ready to pick up.
  • Contactless pick-up, by appointment
  • Location: 190 Hill Hall
  • Contact: foodpantry@stcloudstate.edu or 320-371-1366

Relationship Violence 

We know that relationship violence can increase during times of natural disasters, and victims are even more trapped now with schools and workplaces shut down.

You or someone you know in one of your classes may need assistance, and the Gender Violence Prevention Program is responding remotely.

Students, you can connect with Gender Violence Prevention Program for assistance in finding resources in your hometown or to assist with obtaining safe shelter or filling out protection orders.

Gender Violence Prevention Program

  • Help students find resources wherever they are: advocacy, counseling, safe shelter, completing protection orders
  • Minnesota courts will continue to accept, issue and hold hearings on Domestic Abuse Orders for Protection and Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
  • Available to provide advocacy and support counseling by phone or by secure and confidential web conferencing
  • Contact: 320-308-3995 or leladue@stcloudstate.edu

Additional community resources:

The Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center continues to staff its 24-hour crisis hotline. Their numbers are 320-251-4357 or 1-800-237-5090.

Anna Marie’s Alliance offers a 24-hour crisis line or safe shelter. Contact them at 320-253-6900 or 800-950-2203.

 

Coronavirus Health Information

What to do if you are sick

If you are sick, stay home and call for guidance first. DO NOT go directly to a medical facility without calling first. This applies to everyone.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not go to a medical provider, but call for guidance:

  • Fever or Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Students

  • Call the St. Cloud State Medical Clinic with your COVID-19/Coronavirus health questions. Our medical team is will answer your call Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. St. Cloud State Medical Clinic: 320-308-3199 

Faculty, Staff and Students

  • Stearns County COVID-19 Hotline: 877-782-5683
  • CentraCare Connect to speak with their medical team, 24/7. 

Treatment

  • Healthy persons with mild symptoms: recovery and isolation at home. What to do if you are sick
  • People with underlying health conditions and experiencing symptoms or have had an exposure: call one of the triage lines listed above for evaluation.
  • People experiencing more than mild symptoms: call one of the triage lines listed above for evaluation. 
  • For updated information on how long to remain in isolation, refer to the CDC's page: What do to if you are sick

Learning/Working from home

Strategies to make the transition to working, learning and living in the same space 

Set a routine

  • Get ready as if you’re coming to campus.Take a shower, get dressed, and prepare for your day as if you were leaving the house.  
  • Set up a work station. Have a space for your work time. When you are at that space, you are less likely to get distracted.
  • Set a schedule. Your schedule might not look the same as it did 3 months ago, but find something that can work for you now. A schedule will help you feel some sense of normalcy.
  • Schedule self-care.Yoga, walking, meditation, journaling, listening to music, whatever it is that helps you take care of yourself. Schedule this into your day and consider it an important meeting with yourself.

Take care of your body

  • Get up and MOVE! 3 minutes for every 30 minutes of sitting.
  • Fuel your body with healthy foods and water.Fruits, vegetables, and water are the best choices for your health.
  • Sit in a good chair – or get rid of it! Standing is great for health.Try to stand for a few minutes of every meeting. 
  • Set a consistent sleep schedule. Your body needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Setting sleep/wake times will help to bring normalcy.

Balance

  • Set realistic expectations. You might not be able to work at the same level during this time; that’s okay. Recognize that your capacity might be diminished right now. Talk with your professors/supervisor if you’re struggling to keep up with your work.
  • Be Real. It’s okay to be honest about challenges. If you are struggling, reach out to someone. Husky Nation is in this together; we will support each other! Hey, You Okay? 

WCCO: Maintaining Healthy Boundaries While Staying at Home, Dr. Shonda Craft

Announcing a New Online Resource for All Minnesota State Employees

In response to COVID-19 many of us find ourselves unexpectedly working as part of remote teams, either because we are working from home or because many of our colleagues are. This course will share tips and resources for:

  1. Taking care of yourself
  2. Supporting each other
  3. Finding new ways to do the work

Accessing the Training

All courses are available through Employee Self Service/ELM.

  1. Log in to the State of Minnesota Self Service site using your eight digit State ID Number and password. (The one you use for paycheck and insurance information.)
  2. Click on the ELM tile.
  3. Choose Find Learning under Quick Links and then search for “Tips for Navigating Work.”
  4. Choose the “Enroll” button and then use the blue “Launch” link to start the course.

Helping Others

Cloth Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued recommendations of the use of cloth masks in public when physical distancing of 6 feet (2 meters) or more is difficult to maintain. As of July 25, 2020, the state of Minnesota is requiring use of face coverings in all public indoor spaces and businesses. 

  • Why? Many people with the virus won’t show symptoms right away or ever and can still infect other people. Wearing a mask can help protect others around you.
  • When to wear:
    • Essential trips to public settings where maintaining distance of 6 feet is difficult to maintain
    • If you are sick
    • While you are caring for someone who is sick

St. Cloud State's statement regarding cloth face coverings

Minnesota Department of Health: Face Covering Requirements and Recommendations.

Instructions for Sew and No Sew mask options from the CDC 

CDC Face Covering Do's and Don'ts

Do: 

  • Make sure you can breathe through it
  • Wear it whenever going out in public
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
  • Wash after using

Don't: 

  • Use if under 2 years old
  • Use surgical  masks or other PPE intended for healthcare workers 

More CDC face covering recommendations

Hey, You Okay?

You can strengthen your community if you’re worried about someone in 5 steps:

  1. Ask Hey, You Okay? Just asking the question shows you care.
  2. Be there. Don’t jump to giving advice or to fixing the problem, listen to the person’s worries and concerns.
  3. Lend a hand. Encourage action- one small way they can make a healthy choice to take care of themselves.
  4. Keep in Touch. Check back with them in a few days to show you care.
  5. Be Real. If you’re struggling, reach out to someone and let them know. There is help available.

More information: Hey, You Okay? 

Bounce Back: Promoting Health Through Happiness

We can strengthen our community by showing appreciation and having fun with those around us. Here are some ideas:

  • Express Gratitude- write a letter to someone and express appreciation. Be specific by giving specific examples and by sharing what their deeds mean to you. Commit to sharing it with the person.
  • Random Acts of Kindness- something small that you can do to show you care about someone else, usually as a surprise and done without any expectation.
  • Social Connection- if you’re there for others, they are more likely to be there for you.

More information: Bounce Back Project 

Celebrating Milestones during COVID-19

Celebrating our accomplishments together is vital. Some of our traditional ways of celebrating milestones like the successful completion of the academic year, graduations, retirements are not available right now. It’s still important to acknowledge these achievements. They remind us why we’re working hard, and that we’re all in this together.

Here are some alternative ideas to keep in mind as you are preparing to celebrate:

Family and Friends

  • Have a party: Plan a celebration with family and friends with Zoom or Facetime. The celebrant could offer a few comments about their experiences and thoughts to commemorate their accomplishments.
  • Parade: Create a celebratory parade of vehicles with special signs, balloons, streamers, etc.
  • Yard Sign: Create a large yard sign or banner that friends/family could stop and safely sign outside with congratulatory comments and well-wishes
  • Shout outs: Just because you can’t be face to face, doesn’t mean friends and family can’t share their well- wishes, memories or hopes for the future. Send a card or record a video with your toast to the special person.

Photos

  • Get dressed up and pose for pictures.
  • When the school mails home your diploma, you can make a celebration out of opening the envelope.
  • Share notable photos from periods throughout your life on social media or in messages to loved ones in celebration of how far you’ve come.

Find time to reflect

  • Share your stories about the time you’ve spent, the ways you’ve grown, what you’ll miss and what you’re looking forward to.
  • Show appreciation for those who’ve helped you along the way. Send an email or call to share why you’re grateful for them.

Festivities, Food and Fun:

  • Decorate your home in ways that symbolize the occasion.  If craft supplies aren’t readily available, use items you have on hand or create a space outside for a celebration.
  • Cook a special/favorite meal, bake a cake (use candles!)
  • Get zany- this is a very unique period of time, so let your celebrations reflect it.
  • Watch notable commencement speeches: Michelle Obama, CUNY 2016)
  • Enjoy celebratory music from our own St. Cloud State Wind Ensemble: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 1; October 2019 

Stay Connected

We might be physically distanced, but we can work to stay social in solidarity. Dr. Monica Garcia-Perez, professor in the Department of Economics, shared her perspective on how to Stay Connected in an essay published in St. Cloud Today. In it she shares what has been working for her and ideas for us all to consider to help us Keep Living. At the bottom of this page are some suggestions for technology that can help you keep connected with one another. 

St. Cloud Today: Professor shares her advice on Staying Connected during Social Distancing

Cleveland Clinic: How to stay connected to loved ones despite social distancing

8 Technology Aids to Stay Connected

Technology can be helpful to keep people together, and there are lots of options. Here's a list of well-regarded, user friendly choices. 

Messaging/Calling Apps

  • Whatsapp is connected to people's phone numbers. It offers text messaging, phone calls, and video calls, as well as to send and receive photos, videos, documents and voice messages; it is more private than social media, and it allows video calls for up to 4 people. Whatsapp can be installed on a phone.
  • Facebook Messenger and Messenger for Kids is connected to Facebook accounts, with a version available for children’s use. There are parental controls for children’s usage that allows parents to have that one-on-one conversation with others.
  • Google Hangouts offers free messaging, and video/voice calls. It can be installed on smartphones and as a Chrome extension. It is very flexible.
  • Skype provides video chat, voice calls, and text messages between devices with the app installed; user accounts are required.

Group Activity-based Apps

  • Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that allows multiple parties to watch movies and TV shows together and chat in real time.
  • Houseparty is described as a “face-to-face social network” that allows users to host group video chats and playing games together. The app is available for iPhone/iOS, Android, and macOS.
  • UnoFreak allows players to create accounts, create or join public and private games of Uno.
  • Kahoot is a website that can be used to create trivia quizzes and games. Used in conjunction with a video call app (such as Zoom), the host can share their screen to allow games at a distance

More Information

  • Keep Learning

    Information, strategies and resources for students to help you successfully continue on your educational journey.

     

  • We Want to Know

    We are here to help.
    If you have academic, technical, financial or personal concerns, this is an easy way to get connected to the St. Cloud State University resources that you need.

     

  • Keep Teaching

    Information and resources for faculty members to help you get up and running with your online courses.