You Can Do This! – Healthy Thinking Tips

Stay Connected

With the current quarantine, it is difficult to see friends and family. Here are some tips on how to stay connected.

Study together online: Host a Zoom meeting and invite your classmates. This will give you a much-needed dose of socializing. The Navigate app makes it easy to reach out to your friends and invite them to join. Keep each other on track and organized with weekly assignments.

Virtual viewing party:  Unable to watch your weekly shows with all your friends gathered on a couch? Binge-watch a new Netflix show from the comfort of your respective couches instead. Simply pick a show or movie and watch it at the same time. Then, do a group video chat once it is over to talk about it.

Workout with a friend: Set a time each week and call a friend or family member on facetime. Go through your weekly workout or yoga routine. Make a weekly challenge to either walk outside or workout for a certain amount of time. This will keep you active and help you stay on track.

Volunteer online: The easiest way to volunteer is to encourage your friends and family to go to an organization’s website and help them raise money. You can also make masks for nursing homes to help stop the spread. Have a skill like graphic design or coding? Offer your services to a non-profit for free.

Virtual book club: Sick of watching TV? Host a virtual book club instead. Read a chapter a week and on Friday or any other day host a Zoom meeting and discuss. This will give us all a much-needed break from streaming hours of TV.

These are a few ideas on how to better stay connected during the quarantine.

Jeramie Walkup, Career Services

Easy to Feel Overwhelmed

During this time, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.  Try this – Stop what you are doing.  Stand up and turn in a circle.  Then sit down and tackle your project again.  For me, this helps to reset my brain and start over with new eyes.  It also usually makes me smile because I feel silly.  But it works!  Don’t give up – we are almost there!  Panther Strong!

Heather White, Strawberry Plains Counselor

Enjoy the Health Benefits of a Sunny Day

If you are feeling overwhelmed or a little down with all of the events swirling around you, take a moment and go outside in the sunlight. The sun helps the body release those feel good endorphins so that you will get a boost in mood. It also has the added benefit of providing Vitamin D which improves the immune system which we all need right now.

I have noticed that many students are studying and sleeping in the same area, so they only leave their bedrooms to eat. We all need a change of scenery from time to time. Generally, being outside allows you to connect with nature and the world around you. Try studying on your front porch or in your back yard as most Wi-Fi will still work there. Just be sure to practice social distancing!

If you are still feeling down, be sure to reach out to the Pellissippi counseling office for suppor

Melissa VanDyke, UPEP Business Liaison

Working WITH Family

First for my daughter, when all of her classes went on line we thought she needed a designated place to do her school work. We had a small table she is using as a desk and we put it in a room that has a lot of sunlight. She did buy an organizer for her pens and paper. Yesterday she brought in a succulent and placed in on her table. 

I start my work at the same time every day and stand up every 30 minutes. I also have my desk in the same room as my daughters. If the weather permits we eat lunch outside and take a walk in the afternoon.

Other then that we just plug along and are thankful that we are able to do our work and school work from home. If we get a little down we will turn on some up beat music (and sometimes sing along haha).

Lisa Nipper, Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment and Planning

Keep Moving

If you’re taking online classes from home:•

  • Stand up and walk around while you read and answer emails and other messages on your laptop or phone.
  • During a zoom call, stand up and pace, or stay seated and do leg lifts, knee lifts, and toe curls. Keep a weight under your desk for biceps curls. Do standing push-up against the wall.
  • Take a short walk during lunch, or in place of coke break.
  • Set an alarm on your computer or phone to remind you to take an activity break. For example, take a one or two minute standing or walking break every hour.

Other ideas to get moving:

  • If you are on social media or can search the internet, check for live streaming exercise sessions or activity challenges that you can participate in.
  • Turn on the radio and dance in the house, alone or with a partner.
  • Walk up and down your stairs. Take every other step to give your legs a good workout.

LaQuinta Jackson, UPEP Career Specialist

Negative Thoughts Trigger Negative Feelings

We used to believe that depression or anxiety is what made people think negatively; but psychologists have found that people who struggle with anxious or depressed feelings first had negative, pessimistic, and distorted thoughts that produced those feelings. Try this exercise to identify and replace these negative thoughts. First, think of examples of your own thoughts that led you to feeling depressed and anxious. Then…

  1. Describe the event that prompted you to feel depressed or anxious;
  2. List the thoughts that promoted those bad feelings;
  3. Replace the negative thought with a more realistic, positive thought;
  4. Notice the difference in how this makes you feel.

The thoughts you have during a given circumstance have a strong influence on the feelings generated. Stay strong, Panthers!

Kathy Douthat, Hardin Valley Counselor


Design a personal journal and write a letter of encouragement to yourself on the opening page. Write down both short- and long-term goals and the steps that will assist you in accomplishing your goals. Think of your dream trip and go on a virtual vacation. Make sure you check out the favorite tourist attractions for the area.  

Rhoda Stone, Division Street Counselor

Getting My Degree

These are things I had to realize while in grad school. It took me a whole 4 years to get my master’s degree.

  • This race to completion can be at your pace. If you attempt the race with the goal of doing it fast, you can burn out before the finish. If you attempt the race of just walking, completion will be far from sight. But if you give yourself time to quickly conquer some parts, yet slow down to understand other parts, you will finish the race on time.
  • Our dreams can become reality, one choice at a time. What choices are you willing to make?
  • Allot time just for a break. Maybe every couple of hours give yourself 15 minutes of something else. For me, it was going to love on my pet, or stretching outside of my workspace.
  • Before bed, list 3 things that were positive in your day. Progress counts!
  • It’s ok to ask for help.

Paris Palmer, Magnolia Avenue Counselor

Take One Moment at a Time

This is a scary time, but you are not alone. Nobody expects you to have it all together right now – I don’t think any of us do. Just take one moment at a time and give yourself grace. In a tough moment, take five minutes and stop, breathe, and think of a happy place. In your happy place, put yourself completely in the picture with all of your senses. Smell the air, touch a leaf, listen to a brook, etc. Everyone has five minutes. We will get through this to the other side. Together. Panther Strong.

Heather White, Strawberry Plains Counselor

Some of the resources to support you: