College of Education Self-Care

  • Participants at the self-care drum session
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Self-care on Thanksgiving

November 23, 2020

Dear MDECOE Community,

This Thanksgiving is like no other that we have ever experienced,  and the reality of this pandemic is hitting home in a hard way. We have been advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to only share our Thanksgiving meal with family members, and then only a small group. Never have we needed to pay attention more to our own self-care and encourage this activity in others. Natalie Stein, a fitness and nutrition expert with a leading digital self-care platform, Lark, offers the following simple and wise guidance for us all this Thanksgiving 2020.

1. Embrace “different.”

Thanksgiving is about traditions for many families, but some of those traditions may be impossible this year. Instead, think about new traditions you could start, or how you might be able to modify those traditions.

2. Take a walk.

There is always time for getting physically active, even if it means delaying the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner. Getting moving, especially if you can get outdoors, helps improve mood, reduce stress, and enable better focus. It can also improve appetite for Thanksgiving dinner!

3. Reach out.

You may be stuck at home alone or with your family or roommates, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy time with people outside of your household. In fact, using video chats means you can connect with pretty much anyone, regardless of where they are.

4. Order in.

If cooking a turkey, sides, and desserts do not sound worthwhile for just your household members, or if covid-fatigue is making you feel burned out, why not explore other options? Many restaurants are open this year due to financial pressures from measures to control the virus. You can support them by ordering your entire dinner, or you can lower the burden on yourself by ordering part of your dinner, such as a few sides or a dessert. To stay safe, just ask for contactless curbside pickup or delivery.

5. Give thanks.

The purpose of Thanksgiving can be forgotten in the rush to get things done, but taking time to identify some things you are grateful for can make life seem a lot brighter and do wonders for your mood and health. This year, in particular, friends, family, health, delivery people, and technology may be on many people’s minds when it comes to gratitude.

6. Help someone.

Helping others is one of the best ways to improve your mental and even physical health. If you know people who are lonely, invite them to your Thanksgiving on zoom, or leave a pie on their doorstep. You can also try donating to a food bank if you are lucky enough to have enough food or a few extra dollars.

Please see the COE self-care website for more  self-care resources for faculty, staff, and COE students this Thanksgiving at:

May you all have a wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving despite this challenging time!


Shari and Josh