Wellness Wednesday – 13 May 2020

Wellness Wednesday Weekly

Volume 1 Issue 3
Wednesday, 13 May 2020






Try Something New

Greetings UWCEA Community,

Change. It is uncomfortable for many and can bring up a variety of emotions that many people do not want to deal with. We are all going through a series of changes right now. For some this has been a welcome change of pace, and for others it has been a stream of difficult challenges that they have had to deal with. This is in no way meant to disregard the increased struggle that those with mental illness are facing during this global pandemic, and if all of these changes are causing you to need more support, we strongly advise reaching out for mental health services just as you would if you were in need of physical medical assistance. Please see the Online Counselor list in the COVID-19 Counselor Resources webpage if you are unable to access a mental health provider in your local area at this time. You may also consider these resources produced by the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19 and Mental Health. 

The reality is that we are continuing to deal with unprecedented circumstances, and grief in ways we never would have imagined on this scale. However, amid all of this, we continue to hear of stories where people are thriving in spite of their circumstances. Those individuals whose resilience and coping skills are perfectly mixed with their creativity and desire to innovate in order to make the most of this time.

Yesterday, four of our UWC Davis Scholar Partner Institutions did something that they have not done in the past, as they joined together to present their institutions in one virtual meeting to interested students and families from UWC East Africa and UWC Waterford Kamhlaba. The recording will be shared later in the week for those of you who were not able to attend. These institutions were so pleased to realize the new ways that they could connect with potential students, and the ability to engage with young people who were able to expand their horizons by learning about new places to consider for their post-secondary aspirations. The questions the students asked covered a wide array of topics, but it also helped normalize some of the concerns that many of them have expressed in different ways. The more questions the students asked, the more open the admissions specialists were, providing as much information as they could to help reassure students that they are there to support and respond to their needs and concerns.

Another new discovery arrived by way of a recent podcast by Speaker and Author Sylvia Baffour. She was recently featured on the Elegant Warrior Podcast with Heather Hansen, where she delved into the importance of being aware of our self-talk during this pandemic and the importance of our outlook on life. During the conversation she shares some new experiences she was open to in life, and the amazing opportunities that it opened up for her. If you are looking for a new dose of encouragement and emotional insight, please click here to listen to the podcast.

During our recognition of Mindful May, we encourage you all to take some time to ground yourself, and then consider new ways you can respond to the current situation while remaining positive and making the most of your moments. One way to do this is through practicing Mindful Eating. This is a practice that was introduced to the Moshi M5 students earlier in the year, and is worth trying during these uncertain times. The health benefits are important during a time such as this, and the enjoyment of your mealtime experiences can completely change your relationship with food and those you share it with.

So, in order to not just talk about it, but be about it, we want to recognize these individuals who are trying/sharing something new within our community.

Although Moshi MYP teacher Marissa Lipovsky has been practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques for years, she has had to try a new way to stay connected to the community that relies on her for her stress relieving lessons. In an effort to provide her skills and enhanced technology abilities, to the greater UWCEA community, she recently recorded these meditations for families who may need a new way of being mindful in their daily lives.

In addition, Arusha MYP Coordinator, Florence Larpent, introduced us to a new Well-being course being offered for free through Coursera. The Science of Well-Being provides an opportunity to build more productive habits and increase your level of happiness through a series of challenges.

Also, this week, we received this video from a UWC Maastricht graduate (2019), who decided to make a video of her post-secondary research and application process. Not only did she step out and try something new, she excitedly shared it with others that she hopes would benefit from her experiences. Link here

Finally, Moshi IB teacher (and new mom) Sanna Jartsjo recently shared a video that has been circulating that allows us to go beyond our current challenges and look to a better tomorrow. Here is a chance to imagine a new reality once we emerge from this pandemic. Dream new dreams with us, won’t you.

Be well,
Your UWCEA Wellbeing Committee