By Amanda Joerndt
The Youngstown State University Office of Alumni and Events is helping YSU students, faculty and alumni stay virtually connected during the coronavirus pandemic through Facebook Live discussions.
Heather Belgin, associate director of the Office of Alumni and Events, said this is the office’s first attempt at hosting a virtual presentation, and she hopes it won’t be the last.
“We plan to do more Facebook Live lectures on our page throughout this time of staying at home and likely into the future,” she said.
Tammy Sos, a part-time instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Science at YSU, hosted the first Facebook Live discussion sharing the six dimensions of wellness: spiritual, emotional, physical, social, intellectual and environmental awareness.
The discussion currently has over 700 views on the Youngstown State Alumni Engagement Facebook page.
“In addition to the numbers, we were happy with the interaction during and after the lecture between viewers and Tammy and the positive comments received from those who watch it,” she said.
Sos started the discussion by expressing how important mental health awareness is, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a lot of change happening right now and it’s happening very fast. Some people are unsure of how to address those things,” she said. “There’s six dimensions that go into feeling whole and well.”
Sos explained how easy it is to get caught up in negativity during challenging times.
“We are bombarded with news and a lot of it is not great news,” she said. “Connecting with yourself and others more and just to check back in with yourself.”
Self-care allows an individual to feel more control during uncertain times.
“We can’t take care of others until we are OK and we can take care of ourselves,” Sos said. “We’re just trying to develop those personal ethics and values that help us find a purpose and something bigger.”
Sos said learning new skills and activities are productive ways to spend your time indoors.
“Take this time to catch up on things and learn something, learn a new language, try furthering your education about something in your field,” she said. “I picked up a coloring book a couple weeks ago, and it feels good. It’s just a mindless activity.”
Sos explained when people experience heightened emotions such as fear and worry, the first thing they should do is recognize those emotions and take action on them.
“We can’t just let it sit here and simmer on the burner because it’s going to boil,” she said. “ It’s important to redirect that energy. Connect with somebody that shares the same kind of humor you do and relieve that stress.”
“A lot of times a person will go and sit in nature somewhere, and they just take the time to breathe the air and hear the sounds around them,” Sos added.
Sos said being able to volunteer and stay mindful of your community during stressful times is an addition to keeping busy during the COVID-19 crisis.
Students should also try to stick with a normal schedule to feel motivated and encouraged to finish their courses.
“One of the things you can do is try to stick to as normal of a schedule as possible. If you’re supposed to be at work by 8 a.m., get yourself up and read to work at 8 a.m.,” Sos said. “When you’re doing your schoolwork, make sure you’re working on that topic at the time you would be in that class.”
Sos ended the discussion by saying when all else fails, go outside.
“Keep it simple. Don’t overthink what you’re doing,” she said. “Move more and sit less. Definitely do that as much as possible.”