Need a wellness break? These may help.

November 9, 2020

Amid our personal experiences with the pandemic, the election, and being human in this world, it’s an understatement to say this has been a time of elevated anxiety. We’ve got some suggestions for books, events, and activities that might help you find an outlet.

Make something new  

Explore images from artists’ books in our collections, and find inspiration for your own creative expression.

Many artists’ books are created from found materials, including fallen leaves and used packaging. Some, like those from Ediciones Vigía, emerged during times of significant social and cultural disruption.

Don’t consider yourself an artist? You might surprise yourself. And research shows that making art can help you imagine a more hopeful future, among other benefits.

Listen to human stories

If you’ve tried those “coffee shop sounds” and “coworker space” tracks to play in the background in this time of social distancing, you might also want to tune into audio plays performed by LA Theatre Works.

Connect with a book

Poetry has ways of examining identity, grief, and wonder in surprising, poignant ways, perhaps because of the possibilities for interpretation when language has been constrained. Our collection in OverDrive includes poetry collections from Reginald Dwayne Betts, Claudia Rankine, and a new anthology edited by Joy Harjo.

We also have books on reconnecting with yourself and de-stressing and creating.

Of course, you might just want to find an escape in fictional narratives.

Examine art and nature 

Our image resources list contains paintings, photographs, maps, and other visual work from around the world, including this extensive collection from Artstor.

Join a university wellness session 

As part of the Democracy & Debate theme semester, the university is offering a number of post-election support resources for students and for faculty and staff, including resources to support student organization members and strategies for framing class discussions about the election.

Student Life also offers tips and advice for managing coursework amid COVID-19 and other stressors.

Other tips for managing stress

RecSports is open and includes a list of recreational offerings and suggestions, including many virtual classes and activities.

You can also explore specific self-care strategies from our friends at U-M Counseling and Psychological Services:

Need to talk to someone? You can request a private counseling session if you’re a student, or explore emotional health support and coaching available for faculty and staff.

by Emily Buckler

"Boats at Rest" by Arthur Wesley Dow, 1857–1922. The Art Institute of Chicago. Accessed through Artstor for noncommercial use.


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