Planning Ahead for a Safe Spring Break
The following message by Janet Cruz, MD, Director, Student Health Services, and Marla Gold, MD, Director, Return Oversight Committee, with recommendations and resources to ensure a relaxing and safe spring break was sent to the Drexel community.
Dear Students and Colleagues,
As the University finalizes plans for the spring academic term, the Return Oversight Committee would like to provide recommendations and resources to the Drexel community to ensure that we all have a relaxing and safe spring break later in March.
In light of the significant health risks associated with travel, and to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community, Drexel University strongly recommends:
- Members of the Drexel community refrain from traveling;
- Students, faculty and professional staff remain in their current place of residence and safely engage only with those individuals within their pods; and
- Members of the Drexel community refrain from engaging activities that may put them at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Such activities include parties and smaller, indoor gatherings with members of more than one household.
That said, it is important that we all take the time to decompress, recuperate and regenerate, given the incredible strains and stressors brought on by this pandemic. We are all in this together and we know it’s not easy. The goal is to socialize safely, take care of ourselves, and do everything possible to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
As you begin to plan safe and smart ways to unwind during the week, either by yourself or with those in your household or pod, here are some “Week of Wellness” suggestions to help you de-stress and refresh before the start of the new term.
Establish and Maintain Your Pod
To combat social isolation, Drexel continues to recommend that students form a pod, which will allow you to socialize while still being mindful of public health. A reminder for students that a pod is a group of up to 6 people who follow a shared set of safety practices to protect one another from COVID-19. It may consist of people who share a household (such as off-campus group housing) or others who agree to form a consistent unit. The most important thing is to stick with your pod for any in-person activities. Don’t attend gatherings with people outside of your pod. For guidelines on forming a pod and discussing your safety practices, view this new Guide to Forming a Pod [PDF].
Athletics and Recreation
Take a walk, go for a run, or sign up for a virtual class via Drexel’s Virtual Rec Center. Whatever you do, just get moving! A reminder that virtual classes include Core Conditioning, Yoga, and Total Body Bootcamp — each include 30-minute classes which can be viewed on the Drexel Rec Center’s YouTube account for easy access at any time.
Student and Employee Counseling
Mental health is not separate from physical health. You don’t need to go it alone. Now, more than ever, it’s important to seek assistance should you wish to speak to someone to help navigate emotions and put plans into place to help address stressors.
For students, Drexel’s Counseling Center therapists are able to conduct teletherapy using a HIPPA-compliant, confidential Zoom platform to preserve students' privacy. Students who would like to schedule an appointment with a therapist can email email@example.com or call 215.895.1415. An after-hours emergency line can be reached at 215.416.3337. Counseling Center staff also will be offering virtual workshops and other self-help modules, downloadable at the Center's website. Another valuable digital resource, 7Cups , is available to all students who want to anonymously reach out for peer counseling. Finally, for students in recovery or seeking support around substance-use issues, the Haven offers a variety of supports for our students. Contact phillycollegiaterecovery.com or call 215-282-6686 for a list of their ongoing meetings and virtual events.
For employees, please feel free to access free, confidential counseling sessions through Drexel's Employee Assistance Program by calling 888.628.4824. Additional resources can be found on the Human Resources COVID-19 Resources page here.
Finding Purpose and Fulfillment
A reminder that Drexel has 300-plus student organizations that are available to interact with online. Whether it’s finding a new organization to join or attending an event, students are encouraged to search DragonLink to find new ways to engage with their fellow students
Looking to give back to your community? Find a volunteer opportunity that speaks to you via the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement’s database.
Unplug and Reconnect
Incorporating just 10 minutes of healthy activity into your day can add up to a significant difference in your health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Gather your pod or simply go by yourself. Just be and breathe. Check out the Campus Philly's Spring 2021 Resource Guide for ideas of things to do around Philadelphia.
Eat Well, Feel Well
Take time during the week to expand on your cooking skills. Not only will you learn something new, but you just may find a delicious and nutritious new recipe that tastes great and is also great for you. Check out these great cooking tips from Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, professor in the Department of Food and Hospitality Management in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, on how best to find your creativity in the kitchen. There are also some healthy and delicious recipes designed by Drexel students to try, as well!
We hope that these suggestions provide some guidance as you consider how best to spend your spring break in a safe and beneficial way. In the weeks and months ahead, it is important to remain vigilant, adhere to the health and safety protocols put forth by the University, and to continue to take care of yourselves and those around you.
Janet Cruz, MD
Director, Student Health Services
Marla J Gold, MD
Director, Return Oversight Committee