Alumni Resources

We’ve compiled a list of Faith-Based, Mental & Emotional, and Health & Wellness resources as well as virtual events that are available for our Andrews University alumni community to access during this difficult COVID-19 situation. To access the latest Andrews University COVID-19 news bulletins, visit andrews.edu/go/covid19

Andrews Webinar Series

Andrews University’s Office of Alumni Services is hosting a webinar series on a variety of topics to help you through this time. Visit alumni.andrews.edu/webinar to learn more.

Virtual Andrews Regional Event

Listen to Dr. Andrea Luxton (President of Andrews University) share updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 at Andrews and answer Q&A from alums attending the virtual event. Following Dr. Luxton’s talk, Andriy Kharkovyy (Director, Office of Alumni Services) shared a visually appealing presentation full of pictures from Homecoming and updates about Andrews’ campus.

Livestreamed March 26, 2020. Office of Alumni Services.

Note: To Access Faith-Based Opportunities Hosted through Zoom

  1. Connect on your computer via this link: https://andrews.zoom.us/j/7922985100
  2. Connect via telephone by dialing +13126266799 and then using this meeting ID: 7922985100# US
  3. “Zoom Mtgs” will be indicated.

Journey Through the Book of James

We are inviting you into the story “In the Suffering: Finding Joy Amid Despair.” We will journey through the book of James together. This will include a weekly guide, prayer opportunities, weekly panel discussion, and Facebook livestream vespers for all of the campus community on Friday nights at 8 p.m. from the Andrews University Facebook page.

Chat with Chap Video Conference (Zoom)

Get acquainted with the Andrews University chaplains as well as others in the Andrews community. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

AU Pray Up (Zoom)

  1. Text auprayup to 31996 to receive prayer prompts right to your phone. Don’t worry, we won’t spam your phone.
  2. A 7-Minute Prayer Zoom Conference Call, Monday–Friday at 12:30 p.m.
  3. Virtual Morning Prayer Meeting, Monday–Friday at 7 a.m.

University Church and Campus Fellowship Resources

Set up an Appointment with a Chaplain, Pastor or Dean

  1. Visit our Online Campus Experience website (launching soon) to book an appointment.
  2. Need to set up an appointment before then? Email cm@andrews.edu.
  3. Only phone or video conference appointments are available.

FOR BERRIEN COUNTY ALUMNI ONLY: Service Projects

  1. We are partnering with Pioneer Memorial Church to help with local needs. Visit the Pioneer Covid-19 Update page to volunteer or communicate needs.
  2. We are also working to support our community. Join our service page on Facebook.
  3. More opportunities to help within the community are listed here.

Additional Spiritual Wellbeing Resources

Scroll through a compilation of additional online resources that are available to all here.

Scroll down to view the following sections:

  • Support Resources
  • Coping Strategies
  • Stress-Reducing Tips
  • Intentional Relaxation Ideas

Support Resources

Compiled by the Counseling & Testing Center

Helplines

Help Guides

Recommended Relaxation Videos

  1. Relax and Breath (Therapist Aid) Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that will help you reduce stress and anxiety. This video provides a brief description of deep breathing followed by guided practice.
  2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Therapist Aid) Progressive muscle relaxation is a relaxation technique that reduces stress and anxiety in your body by having you slowly tense and then relax each muscle.

Free Relaxation Apps

Note: Recommendation does not indicate endorsement.

Coping Strategies

Compiled by the Counseling & Testing Center

  1. Connect with others (family members or virtually/by phone).
  2. Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends.
  3. Relax your body.
  4. STOP, BREATHE, then THINK.
  5. Pace yourself.
  6. Know your limits; be intentional about how much information you consume.
  7. Get as least 7-8 hours of sleep each night; eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables; drink plenty of water; and engage in physical activity (the Andreasen Center of Wellness offers online exercise classes on their Facebook and Instagram pages!)
  8. Manage your tendency to worry and become anxious by asking yourself whether the things you are worked or concerned about are real or hypothetical.
  9. Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Embrace uncertainty with a sense of calm and quiet resolvethat you will use healthy coping strategies to cope during these difficult times and that you will seek help when needed.
  10. It’s okay to feel the pain of loss. Be gentle with yourself.
  11. Some people find prayer and meditation to be extremely useful, especially during times of distress.
  12. Maintain hope and positive thinking; consider keeping a journal where you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well. Remember that your thoughts strongly influence how you feel and behave.
  13. If you are quarantined at home, and you’re worried about physical symptoms you or your loved ones may be experiencing, call your doctor or health care provider. Ask your provider whether it would be possible to schedule remote appointments. In the event that your doctor is unavailable and you are feeling stressed or are in crisis, call the hotline numbers listed on this page for support.
  14. Do not hesitate to seek out a behavioral health professional or counselor to help you work through your emotional concerns (see some resources below).
  15. If you are feeling suicidal call 911, or the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Important things to remember

  1. Remaining in a place of calm will allow us the greatest amount of energy to clearly process, problem solve, and arrive at potentially life-saving solutions. Exercise patience and endurance. This crisis may last longer than we think.
  2. Individual members of groups will most likely respond based on how they interpret the group’s response to stress. In other words, if the group is highly stressed, individuals in the group will tend to also become highly stressed.
  3. Social distancing measures which will help reduce the spread of the virus and promote health are often diametrically opposed to our need for survival which is often dependent directly on how we experience a sense of community and belonging.
  4. As members of the collective group, especially those of influence, it’s important to develop strong coping responses and demonstrate personal traits of resilience and inner strength. As we do that, individual members of the groups we belong to will also be attracted to, and embrace, those responses.

Stress-Reducing Tips

Compiled by the Counseling & Testing Center

  1. Stay informed, but be intentional in choosing reputable sources of information and limit your overall daily exposure to the deluge of information that’s now streaming through every corner of the media.
  2. Limit your conversations about the pandemic and its impact. The more you focus on distressing news, the greater your stress.
  3. As a Michigan Executive Order calls for us to shelter in place over the next few weeks, you’ll need to create a daily plan—especially if you have children—that allows you to attend to multiple dimensions of your life (i.e. times for meals, play, sleep, catch up with work, exercise, home maintenance, meditation or prayer, connecting with friends virtually, etc.)
  4. Taking some time, 15–20 minutes, each day may be sufficient. Mind renewal activities may include a progressive muscle relaxation routine, a guided imagery experience (reflecting on God, nature and other peaceful things), a series of stretching movements, etc. A relaxation app on your phone may provide you with a number of relaxation opportunities. Most are free to download. Laughter has amazing healing properties.
  5. Remember that your thoughts play a major role in how you feel. Your automatic thoughts strongly influence your emotional response. Negative thoughts yield negative emotions while positive and optimistic thoughts yield positive emotions and hope.
  6. Choose a hopeful message, a positive quote or your favorite Bible verse about overcoming or God’s power in your life, and place that message in strategic locations where you will be able to refer to it throughout the day. When your thoughts gravitate to negative speculations, replace them with your empowerment thought for the day.
  7. Remember that you operate within a comprehensive system. Your physical health greatly impacts your emotional health and vice versa. To remain in an emotionally stable place, you need to take care of your immune system. Attending to your immune system not only helps in protecting you from the virus but also helps in your remaining emotionally sound.
    • Be intentional in setting aside 7–8 hours of sleep per night.
    • Be intentional in drinking plenty of water. Remain hydrated.
    • Be intentional in increasing your intake of nutritious foods.
    • Be intentional in reducing emotional eating and your intake of non-nutritious foods.
    • Be intentional in engaging in some form of exercise, preferably outdoors, but not necessarily. At the very least you can walk continuously around your home for 15–20 minutes daily. Some music may help with the monotony.
  8. Nurture your need for community and belonging during these challenging days by becoming more creative in connecting positively virtually. In the Italian town of Sienna, residents sang as a community from their balconies to create a sense of fun and solidarity. Examples of community building activities may include:
    • Multiple groups choosing to watch a movie at the same time, then creating a chat to review the movie.
    • Facetiming friends and family.
    • Using media to establish video or audio connections.
    • Selecting group games that promote discussions, dialog and creative thinking.
    • Especially if living alone, opening a phone line between your residence and another and engaging in conversations while attending to life in your home.
  9. Monitor your own fears, worries, frustration, sadness and anger, and be intentional in reaching out to others you trust to talk about those feelings.
  10. Monitor your feelings of guilt and worries about personal and professional responsibilities that may have been affected by this crisis. Stay in the moment, try to be flexible, and don’t allow non-essential things to deplete your energy, especially at a time when you need to be at your emotional best to make decisions critical to your survival and that of others.
  11. Remember that your personal response to this crisis impacts not only you but those around you. Reach out to your contemporaries and those of the younger generation with calm and peace. You don’t have to be fake, but embrace your faith, your resilience, and your spirit of hope and optimism.
  12. You may have personally known someone who died from complications of COVID-19 or, as most of us, you may feel a sense of grief and loss as you hear about the thousands who are in hospitals or have lost their lives within the past few weeks. Acknowledge your personal or collective feeling of grief, and be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission to experience the process of grief. It’s okay to feel the pain. Healing is usually on the horizon.
  13. Strengthen your connection with the God of the universe through meditation and prayer. Connecting with a most powerful and compassionate God in our moments of uncertainty and fear reassures us of safety and restoration. It is in our most helpless moments that God’s presence and holding power can be most felt.
  14. Remember that being created in the image of an omniscient and omnipotent God gives us access to His powers of healing and restoration. Tell yourself repeatedly that we will live through this crisis and we will move beyond this moment. This belief needs to be at the forefront of your mind throughout the day. Choosing to stay in a place of positivity and hope gives you an extra edge, especially in difficult times. The world around us may operate from a place of worry and despair, but we who believe in a personable and compassionate Almighty God will achieve “perfect peace” in the midst of the storm. Hold on to the promise in Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (NKJV).
  15. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember that it is a sign of courage to seek help and healing.

Intentional Relaxation Ideas

Compiled by the Office of Alumni Services

  • Reduce screen time before sleep: Be intentional about turning off your electronic devices to unplug from screen time at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Drink a cup of tea: Hot herbal tea, especially chamomile, can help you unwind at the end of the day.
  • Meditate: Set aside a block of time each day to focus on your spiritual journey through prayer, quiet meditation, and time reading the Bible.
  • Read: Use the extra time at home to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Explore the concept of hygge: Create cozy spaces for yourself to relax and soak in the moment.
  • Try deep breathing or yoga: Follow along with an online yoga video to stretch your body while intentionally breathing deeply, or simply spend a couple minutes each day taking long, slow breaths in and out.
  • Gratitude: Be intentional about counting your blessings through a gratitude app, journaling, or mentally reviewing what you’re thankful for each day.
  • Write: Release your stress through journaling or writing.
  • Coloring/Drawing: Engage your artistic streak through drawing, painting, crafting or other creative outlets. Advanced coloring books are another relaxing way to be artistic.
  • Music: Listen to uplifting music that soothes your soul. Or, if you have a musical background, spend time singing, playing musical instruments or creating songs.

Tips for Staying Well

Building our immune systems and staying well is especially vital during this crisis. A few reminders:

  • Prioritize getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Fresh air is important, spend time outside each day.
  • Eat nutritious, healthy meals that are built on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
  • Follow handwashing and personal hygiene guidelines.
  • If you are sick, rest! Do not try to exercise too soon.
  • Build time for exercise and fresh air into your schedule to keep motivated. Maybe it’s setting your alarm early each day to join an online fitness class, going for a walk every day during lunchtime, or lifting weights at 6 p.m. every day. Make a plan, set a daily routine, and remember to take a complete rest day each week!

Andreasen Center for Wellness

The Andreasen Center for Wellness is offering workout tips and healthy recipes on their social media pages, and has compiled a list of additional resources you can check out.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Currently, outdoor activity is still permitted under Michigan’s orders. Remember to practice social distancing and keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others, but otherwise don’t hesitate to spend time outside.

  • Ride your bike
  • Go for a run
  • Walk your dog
  • Kayak or paddleboard down a river or lake
  • Try your hand at gardening or tackle that yardwork you’ve been avoiding
  • Recruit your immediate family in a backyard game of volleyball or to join you in a birding challenge.

Tip: Still too cold in your state? Layer up your clothing — gloves, scarf, hat, hand warmers, etc. Remember the saying “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”

Indoor Workouts

Online Classes and Apps

Build your own home workout routine, or try one of the many free or paid apps available to help you along your fitness journey.

  • Peloton Digital Membership: Download the Peloton app, which can be downloaded straight on your phone or tablet, to enjoy strength training and yoga classes at home. Peloton is currently offering a 90-day free membership trial to their app.
  • Nike Training Club is a FREE app that you can download for iOS or Android to join workouts or programs designed by trainers.
  • Pilates for Sports is offering a FREE 28-Day Challenge showcasing their home workouts.
  • Beachbody On Demand is popular among some athletes for the 1100+ workouts available through their paid online streaming service.
  • Follow along with a free online yoga routine. Yoga with Adriene and BrettLarkin Yoga are two of the more popular yoga channels on YouTube.

Strength Training

Create a beneficial, challenging workout for yourself using any exercise equipment you already have at home such as dumbbells, resistance bands, or even your own body weight. Build your own workout routine or download one of the many free or paid apps available.

Treadmill

Have a treadmill at home? Try these ideas to liven up your workout.

  • Intervals: Alternate between 1 minute at a fast run then 1 minute at a slow pace. Play around with the length of time between fast and slow.
  • Pyramid: Build your time and/or intensity to a peak, then decrease. For example: 3 minutes at 11 min/mile pace, 2 minutes at 10 min/mile pace, 1 minute at a 9:30 min/mile pace, 30 seconds at a 9:00 min/mile pace, then decrease back to 1 minute at 9:30 pace, 2 minutes at 10:00 pace, and finally 3 minutes at 11:00 pace again.
  • Inclines: Simulate a hill workout by gradually increasing the incline on your treadmill. A sample 30-minute beginner workout could be a 10-minute warm-up (flat/no incline), 5 minutes at a 2% incline, 5 minutes at a 3% incline, 3 minutes at a 5% incline, 2 minutes at an 8% incline, then a 10-minute cooldown (flat/no incline), at whatever pace is comfortable to you (or challenge yourself by keeping a slow, consistent pace throughout the workout).
  • Zwift Run: Purchase the Zwift app to run virtually with friends or a running club through a variety of beautiful and challenging terrain on your tablet, phone, smart treadmill or Apple TV.

Indoor Cycling/Spinning

If you have a spinning or exercise bike at home, there are a variety of ways to create a motivational indoor workout. If you’re a serious cyclist who owns a road bike but you’re stuck indoors, you could consider buying a trainer or rollers.

  • Peloton Digital Membership: You don’t need to own a peloton bike to take advantage of the Peloton app, which can be downloaded straight on your phone or tablet to deliver engaging motivational biking classes. Peloton is currently offering a 90-day free membership trial to their app.
  • Zwift, TrainerRoad and Sufferfest all pair best with outdoor bikes set up on smart trainers, but you can download their app and adapt your home exercise bike to enjoy their fun, challenging workouts.
  • CTXC has a YouTube channel with several free cycling workout videos simulating real outdoor rides.
  • Build your own workout using intervals (e.g. alternate 2 minutes at a fast or hard intensity with 2 minutes slow & easy), pyramids (see treadmill section for an example), or do hill simulation by increasing the difficulty level on your bicycle.

Andrews University’s Office of Student Life has compiled a wonderful list of resources and ideas for staying mentally engaged and socially active during isolation.

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