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Support your well-being by sprinkling your favorite well-being tips throughout your daily life.
These tips are organized by approximately how much time is needed to experience them. We know that time is so often our limiting variable. The assortment of tips that can work for you is unique to you, so review the tips, reflect on your well-being, and most importantly, try out some new things! We're always adding more tips to this page, so please send suggestions for new tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- <10 Minutes
Send a “Gratitext”
Take a deep breath and consider people in your life for whom you have gratitude. Who has been there for you, really seen you, shown up for you or taught you something that is so important to you now? Take a moment and translate these feelings of gratitude into a text or even old-fashioned letter. Send it and be curious about what comes back to you or not.
Accept where you are right now
Remind yourself that all feelings are temporary, and take care of yourself accordingly. This could mean creating a work from home structure, setting up a daily mental and physical health routine, taking time to say goodbye to things that have changed, and reaching out to old and new sources of support. While there is much outside of our hands, there is a lot we can do to feel empowered and regain a sense of agency.
Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
Check in with yourself
What am I grateful for today? Who am I checking in on, or connecting with, today? What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today? How am I getting outside today? How am I moving my body today? What positivity am I creating or cultivating today?
Acknowledge your fears, anxieties or concerns – it’s ok to not be ok
Give yourself some space and compassion right now. Whatever you’re feeling right now is valid. Give yourself time to grieve the plans you had made for the year, the hopes you had cultivated for yourself and your community.
Before bed write (or say out loud) three things you’re grateful for
This practice is one of the most studied “best practices” of well-being. It seems simple, and it is, but it can have a strong impact on your well-being and energy. Stick with it, it takes awhile for the effects to build, but they are so worth it.
Wherever you are, choose one of your senses and simply contemplate how awesome you have the capacity to detect things and changes in things in your environment. I am sure we can now build robots to hear and smell and taste and see and touch but this is surely NOT easy. And can a robot reach into your messy purse and find exactly the thing it is looking for: lens cleaner vs tissue, lip balm vs battery?
Laugh out loud for no reason
You ever “faked” a laugh and then got sucked up in that positive feedback loop of riotous joy? Fake laugh, little real laugh, ha lol, oh no ROFL! Bonus points if done with somebody else.
Notice the good in the world
There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counterbalance the heavy with the hope.*
Witness and attend to beauty
There's nothing to do, no productivity or output possible, just give your attention towards the aesthetically pleasing.
Seek news from reliable sources — and in moderation
Feeling anxious and seeking certainty through consuming information is a normal (and even adaptive) response to stressful situations, but overconsuming news can heighten this anxiety to levels that no longer serve us. Try not to become too absorbed in news coverage for long periods of time, and find opportunities to disconnect from the barrage of constant updates. Good news rarely makes the headlines, so remember that upsetting news is disproportionately represented in the media. There is always more good than we see even when there’s so much bad. Set limits for yourself, e.g. checking news only 10 minutes in the morning or mid-day (checking news at night often disrupts sleep, not recommended) and check-in with yourself so you know when to make adjustments to your news consumption plan.
Pet a cute animal
If you’re not allergic and find animals so freaking cute, find one, pet it, you feel that? Yeah, that’s oxytocin and it’s an essential part of the feeling that is comfort. Don’t have a pet or something comfy readily available? Google “Baby Yoda/Grogu” and go down that rabbit hole a squishable cuteness!
Move from "taking for granted" to gratitude
In this moment, ask yourself, What am I taking for granted? That I am alive? That my spleen works? That my favorite restaurant will be there the next time I crave it? Simply pointing your attention to what you assume to be true (and will always be true) ... takes that thing from a place of unconscious entitlement to conscious valuing. When we appreciate something it’s value goes up...like the housing prices in the Bay Area.
Drink enough water today
Check in with your body, it’ll tell you how much it needs.
- <10-60 Minutes
- Read a book/short story for fun
Fiction preferred, make it an intentional and mindful espace to another world.
- Reflect on your well-being
What does it mean to you, how you do know when you “have/do/feel it”, what/who helps you be/do/feel well.
- Self-soothe daily
How do you soothe your mind, your body, your heart. Often things that make us feel comfortable, safe, and cared for are great sources of soothing. Seeking and creating comfort is essential during times of uncertainty.
- Make a nighttime ritual
focus on what relaxes your body and mind, avoid stimulating activities (screens, fast-paced media, etc)
- Reach out for help
If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help from your community, and/or mental health professionals. There are people ready and waiting to help you through these challenging times.
- Look through old photos of your life
OMG how freaking cute are you?!
- Connect to your power
We wish we could control much more than we do. So what do you actually have control over, no matter how small? Step into the power you have, move with intention, connect to your inner and outer resources.
- Identify your signature strengths
Explore your strengths here → 24 Character Strengths
- Appreciation of Respiration
Pressing pause multiple times a day to breathe mindfully is a good idea anyway. Now add gratitude. Say thank you to your lungs for taking care of you LITERALLY every moment of your life: past, present and future. Especially in 2020 when the breath is threatened in so many ways, take a moment to be grateful for the most basic and precious act that indicates and supports life.
- Call a friend you haven’t connected with in awhile
It’s ok. We all fall off the keeping-up-with-friends game. Call them up, text them at least, even if it’s just to let them know you’re thinking about them….we don’t always have the energy for conversation, but still want people to know they are known, cared about, and remembered.
- Find a long-term project to dive into
Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15-hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show or podcast, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.
- Find lightness and humor each day
There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie. We all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.
- Find your own retreat space
Think about how to create a separate space for work and for relaxation. If it isn’t possible to separate your spaces, try creating rituals to help you mentally transition between activities.
- Deprioritize productivity
Take opportunities to not be “productive” and instead focus on cultivating your emotional intelligence, sense of joy, and overall well-being. What you need is unique, so practice the kinds of self-care that are most important for you.
- Read a book/short story for fun
- >60 Minutes
Make a homemade version of a favorite food
that amazing frozen Trader Joe’s fried rice, I can make that…..soy-glazed salmon from that bougie restaurant I’ve never actually been to, pffft watch me elevate it
Build a self-care menu
Self-care looks different for everyone. Preventive strategies build your capacity to handle challenges in your life, while reactive strategies actively restore your capacity following a recent challenge. There's no magic formula to build the perfect self-care menu, just make sure that you have both preventive and reactive strategies that work for you. Build your own self-care menu here. Remember that self-care are the actions within your sphere of influence that positively impact your well-being. Self-care alone is insufficient to support your well-being. Importantly, a full support network of care includes community and professional care. Learn more about self-care here.
Connect to your spirituality
How do you explain the mysterious and connect to something larger than yourself and this world? What guides your sould and helps you stay connected to that which is important?
Do something from the very beginning
Bake from scratch, plant a seed, knit a scarf, DIY some boba, impress yourself.
Explore and try new things
Try a brand new hobby or one that you’ve been waiting to try that doesn’t connect to units or grades. Read books that aren’t assigned in class. Work on a project that is for no one but yourself. Create a biological/chosen family tree. Get into a mode of physical activity that makes you feel connected to your body.
Find the lesson or meaning
Life can often seem sad, senseless, and at times, relentlessly challenging. What can we learn from these challenges, whether about ourselves or the world? What needs to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world? And still what can we find that gives us hope, inspires us, buoys us for even a short time. We can hold and make space to honor real human suffering happening in our world, and simultaneously practice hopeful visioning for the future.
Learn something outside of your current interests
Connecting with multiple types of knowledge, approaches, and fields keeps your mind sharp, your trivia night facts varied, and reminds you of why you love your own interests in the first place! Sometimes it's also good to remind ourselves that learning doesn’t just exist in a classroom (or on Zoom), and that we have the power to always be learning about things for ourselves and communities, not just for grades, recognition, or achievement.
Make connection a priority
Whether it's through virtual hangouts, game and movie nights, class discussions, homework sessions, therapy and coaching sessions – it is imperative that we continue to feel connected to each other. Staff and students are working creatively and quickly to bring people and resources together to meet all of our needs. Use the resources listed here on top of whatever makes most sense for you and your relationships.
Make someone you care about a care package
Ask them what they like, put it in a box, let the happy tears commence.
Practice a recipe from your ancestors/culture
Connecting to our ancestors through food is as human as it gets. Don’t let good food, good people, and important memories be forgotten.
Stick to a routine
Build a schedule that is varied and includes time for self-care, not just work and productivity.
Write your story
Who have you been, who are you now, who will you be?