Virtual Health & Wellness Resources
This is a compilation of free or inexpensive virtual resources, including apps, websites, podcasts, articles, and more. If you would like to suggest a resource for this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BTW Peer Educator: Talk to a BTW Peer Educator for more information about alcohol safety and resources.
- Brandeis Counseling Center's - Alcohol and Other Drug Services: For confidential support, explore the alcohol and other drug services provided by Brandeis Counseling Center.
- Alcohol Emergencies
- Massachusetts Drug Abuse Treatment Center listing
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Young People's Meetings - Boston, MA
Colds and Flus
Staying Informed about COVID-19
When faced with a crisis, it is natural to try to regain control by learning everything we can about the situation and immersing ourselves in the news. However, too much exposure to negative or frightening "worst cast scenario" news stories can be counter-productive or even paralyzing.
While it is important to be informed, it is also important to take breaks from the news and practice positive coping strategies that will empower you to move forward. Be judicious and intentional with your news consumption. Be sure to seek out trusted information from reliable sources.
- Brandeis University Coronavirus Website
- Rocket Doctor: This website allows you to write in specific questions related to COVID-19. Your questions are answered by volunteer medical and / or public health professionals (epidemiologists or health economists) with an MPH and/or MD degree within 24 hours. All answers include at least 2 trusted sources. You can also read the answers to other people's questions on the website. (Please note: this website does not provide individual medical advice. If you have personal medical concerns, it is important that you seek medical assistance at the Brandeis Health Center or in your home community.)
- WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp: When you text "hi" to +41 79 893 1892 over WhatsApp, you'll receive back a text from the World Health Organization (WHO) that includes a variety of menu items for the latest information, like novel coronavirus infection rates around the world, travel advisories, and misinformation that should be debunked.
COVID-19 Wellness Resources
- 14-Day Quarantine Wellness Guides: Use these guides for activities and strategies to maintain wellness over a 14-day quarantine.
- Cooking at Home in the Time of Coronavirus: The Bon Appétit staff have compiled a fantastic list of recipes to get us through, highlighting recipes with 5 or fewer ingredients, recipes that freeze well, recipes for comfort foods, and recipes for pantry staples like canned tomatoes, pasta, and beans.
- Easy Recipes to Cook While You're Self-Quarantined: The New York Times offers recipes for simple dishes that can be made mostly with what you have on hand. This article is part of a larger collection of self-quarantine-friendly recipes.
- How to Exercise Safely During the Pandemic: When you exercise outdoors, should you wear a mask? Should you run next to or behind another person? The experts share tips in this video from National Public Radio (NPR).
- I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share: Scott Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year on the International Space Station. In this op-ed, Kelly shares his tips and strategies.
- 40 Meaningful Things to Do at Home During a Pandemic: Here's a list of 40 meaningful activities you can do (that are free or only of modest cost) when you’re self-isolating at home or stuck in quarantine.
- Ten Percent Happier: Coronavirus Sanity Guide: The meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks on this page will help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos. We’re adding more resources as they're created - so keep checking back.
- Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by coronavirus by quitting smoking and vaping: This article written by Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director of the Center for Tobacco Research Control & Education, makes the case for why smoking or vaping may increase your risk of harm due to coronavirus. He argues that stopping smoking, vaping, and avoiding secondhand exposure should be added to the list of important preventive measures.
- A Guide to Safer Sex and Coronavirus Disease (pdf): This guide was published by the NYC Health to advise folks on safer sex practices during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Brandeis Counseling Center: The Brandeis Counseling Center has counselors with expertise in disordered eating and body image concerns, as well as therapy groups. Call 781-736-3730 to request a confidential appointment.
- Newton-Wellesley Hospital: Brandeis students can access nutrition counseling through our local Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Students can schedule an appointment online without a referral.
- Brandeis Health Center: Staff can meet with students to review concerns, or refer students to a nutritionist off campus. Call 781-736-3677 to schedule an appointment or ask for a referral.
- Brandeis Hospitality: Brandeis Hospitality can assist you in navigating the dining options at Brandeis. Email email@example.com to schedule a consultation. Additionally, the Brandeis Hospitality website has a lot of important information, including menus, nutrition tips and dining hours and locations.
- Multiservice Eating Disorders Association (MEDA): Resources and support groups for college students
- National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): Resources for students, family members and friends
- The Renfrew Center: Local eating disorder treatment center
Fitness and Exercise
- Yoga with Adriene: This YouTube channel's mission is to connect as many people as possible through high-quality free yoga videos.
- Aaptiv: Aaptiv provides over 2,500 audio-based guided workouts allowing you to exercise without looking at a screen. In addition to outdoor running, strength training, and pilates, the app also includes yoga and guided meditation. Aaptiv costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 for a year subscription. However, through a partnership with UNiDAYS, Aaptiv offers a 50% discount for students.
Down Dog App: Down Dog provides a studio-like yoga experience in the comfort of your home. Down Dog will be offered for free until April 1, 2020, and until July 1, 2020 for all students and teachers (K-12 and college) and healthcare workers.
- Do Yoga With Me: This website offers hundreds of free streaming videos of yoga for all skill levels. In response to the coronavirus, Do Yoga With Me is offering a 2 month free subscription to anyone staying at home.
- New York Times Six-Minute Workouts: These three short workout videos will get your heart pumping and give you a full-body workout without a trip to the gym.
- YMCA: Tai Chi Videos: This unique martial art is for all ages and levels. Tai Chi promotes strength, coordination, posture, concentration, and energy level.
Mental Health Support
- Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty (pdf): Worry and anxiety are common problems at the best of times, and when it takes over it can become all-encompassing. Psychology Tools has put together this free guide to help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.
- Grounding Exercises: Grounding exercises are helpful for many situations where you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or distracted by distressing memories, thoughts or feelings. If you find yourself getting caught up in strong emotions like anxiety or anger, or if you catch yourself engaging in stressful circling thoughts, or if you experience a strong painful memory or a flashback, or if you wake up from a nightmare with a pounding heart, grounding exercises can help bring you back down to earth.
- SAM App: SAM is a free app to help you understand and manage anxiety. The app has been developed in collaboration with a research team from UWE, Bristol.
- MindShift App: MindShift™ CBT uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety. This app is free.
- CBT Thought Diary: With this thought diary, when you're feeling down you can document your negative emotions, analyze patterns in your thinking, and reevaluate your thoughts. It may even help you recognize ways to deal with your unhelpful patterns of thinking. This app is free, but offers paid features as well. It is only for Apple OS devices.
- WoeBot: WoeBot, an artificial intelligence-based companion, will chat with you and offer you hundreds of tools to learn about yourself and improve your mood whenever you need them. This app is free, but contents are limited. Users can upgrade to premium for more options.
- PTSD Coach: PTSD Coach was designed for those who have, or may have, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This free app provides you with education about PTSD, information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD.
- Self-Compassion Guided Meditations & Exercises: The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website offers a number of guided meditations and exercises to foster self-compassion.
- Therapy for Black Girls (website and podcast): Therapy for Black Girls is an online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. This resource helps connect users with therapists in their local area and hosts a free podcast. Therapy for Black Girls also hosts an online community called The Yellow Couch Collective; registration for this service is $9.99 per month.
Mindfulness & Sleep
- Headspace: A meditation and mindfulness app that offers audio and video lessons for meditation, movement, focus, and sleep. Headspace is now free for Brandeis students!
- Calm: This award-winning app offers calming music, video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching, and meditations to help you sleep and keep you calm and relaxed. There is a 7-day free trial and then the app costs $69.99 per year.
- Insight Timer: This free app offers guided meditations for sleep, anxiety, and stress.
- Liberate: Liberate is a free meditation app by and for the Black & African Diaspora. Meditation categories include ancestors, love, self worth, gratitude, microaggressions, mindfulness, and more.
- I Am - Positive Affirmations: How many negative thoughts have been endlessly repeating in your mind? Daily affirmations help rewire our brains, build self esteem and change negative thought patterns. Choose from many daily intentions and set reminders to be delivered throughout the day. This app is only available on Apple iOS. There is a free version, as well as a premium subscription that costs $2.99 per month or $19.99 per year.
- Mantra: Nothing is more uplifting than self-told words. Using positive mantras can decrease stress and improve performance on challenging duties. This app offers more than 10000+ affirmations from 10 different categories. The app is available only for Apple iOS. There is a free version, as well as a premium subscription that costs $19.99 per year.
- Mindfulness Resources from Center for Spiritual Life
- Mindful Monday Group
- Group Exercise at Brandeis
- National Institutes of Health: Understanding Sleep
- National Sleep Foundation
Nutrition and Cooking
- Food Network Kitchen App: This app offers over 80,000 recipes from Food Network experts. There is a free version of the app with access to recipes, and a paid version that includes videos of your favorite chefs cooking live.
- Loss of Appetite in Anxiety: Everyone responds to anxiety differently. Some seek food to cope and soothe and others lose their appetite entirely. Not eating has a cascade of effects - loss of energy, difficulty sleeping, heightened emotions, difficulty concentrating, and so much more. If you or someone you support has lost their appetite due to anxiety, consider these support strategies.
- Campus Connection Points: This is a list of ongoing, drop-in or scheduled times for students to have casual or structured connections through conversations. Find links to campus resources and information about how to get connected with Brandeis community members who want to support students. The first step to getting connected is to reach out!
- Resilience: Framework and Campus Resources: A Brandeis University Resource Guide, Created March 2021
Sexual and Reproductive Health
- American Sexual Health Association (ASHA): A rich web resource for information about various sexual health topics, including communication with partners about sex and safety
- Bedsider: Information about birth control methods and how to access them
- Planned Parenthood: Information about a variety of sexual and reproductive health topics
- ASHA's Inspire Community: Online discussion and support groups for people with STIs
- Scarleteen: A wealth of information and essays about sex and sexuality for young adults
Smoking and Cannabis Use
- CDC Quit Smoking Resources: This website provides information and tools to help you quit smoking, including the quitSTART app, quit hotlines in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Vietnamese, and other free tools.
- T-Break Guide: This website provides support and guidance for taking a 21-day T-Break (tolerance break) from cannabis. A guided T-Break helps to bring down your tolerance and find better balance with your use.
- Grounded App: This app tracks your cannabis use and tolerance for those trying to quit or take a tolerance break.
- Brandeis Intramurals: eSports Leagues: Brandeis is partnering with Mission Control to offer the IM e-sports leagues. Using this platform, entrants will play one match a week against other Brandeis students using their PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch from the comfort of your own home. The season will run for three weeks followed by a one week playoffs.
- Department of Community Service - Virtual Resources: The Department of Community Service webpage provides support and guidance for students who are looking to stay engaged with service in the Waltham community, and in their home communities. One way you can get involved is by writing letters to the elderly.
- Discord App: This free app, originally designed for gamers, allows groups of friends to create a shared server and host chats on different topics, as well as an open audio channel if folks would like to chat as if you were working or gaming in the same room.
- Netflix Party: This free Google Chrome extension lets you synchronize what you're watching on Netflix with friends and chat about the movie - or whatever!
Substance Abuse Recovery
- Virtual Recovery Resources (pdf): In an infectious disease outbreak, when social distancing and self-quarantine are needed to limit and control the spread of the disease, continued social connectedness to maintain recovery are critically important. Virtual resources can and should be used during this time. This tip sheet from SAMHSA lists resources that can be used to virtually support recovery from mental/substance use disorders, including recovery support organizations, online meetings, articles, and more.
- Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
- Marijuana Anonymous meetings
- Narcotics Anonymous meetings
- Al Anon meetings
- Community Care and Comfort
- Education and Training
- Navigating Health and Safety
- Spotlight Events
- Virtual Health & Wellness Resources
- Health and Wellness Newsletters
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- BTW: Bridge to Wellness Peer Educators
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- Health Center Home
The Office of Health and Wellness Promotion is located in the Shapiro Campus Center, room 247.