Bearcats, we are apart and we are also together. During this time of great disruption and fear, we seek opportunities to begin or deepen a spiritual practice, to connect with one another, to find joy in the midst of sorrow, to create meaning from what is going on around us, to begin to envision a way forward. As the pace of our days slows, as we learn how to be in community at a distance, as we discover that we might just be able to dance alone (or in small family units, or six feet apart!) as beautifully and joyfully as we do in a big group, may we reach out to one another and offer support.

We will be regularly posting resources, articles and practices here on our website that may be helpful as we navigate these next weeks together. Please send any you would like to share to, and we’ll add them to this list!


Resources for spiritual care in a pandemic


Life can be challenging enough - add in the massive disruption, displacement and loss that we are experiencing as a result of the global Covid-19 Pandemic, and it's enough to make a person look for some help!  Here are resources from a variety of spiritual, humanistic and religious traditions to help us all live and love the lives we have right now - even in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty.

  • Connections and Community: Consensual Eye Contact for Relieving Stress Biology Professor Emma Coddington shares research on how sustained eye contact, as a regular practice, can increase our levels of oxytocin - kinda like hugging does, but you can do it from 6 feet away!
  • Zoom Exhaustion is Real: Finding Balance and Staying Connected "Let’s be present to absence, without becoming absent to presence. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it to develop this new capacity."  If you are feeling worn out by Zoom meetings, this article by a mindfulness practitioner offers advice about how to stay connected and take care of yourself.
  • Greater Good Center's Resources for Covid-19 UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center's Guide to Wellbeing During Coronavirus has many wonderful resources for individuals, parents, educators and health care professionals.  Lots of ideas for fostering connections while practicing distancing.
  • Caring for Self and Others in Hard Times; Some Spiritual Tools and Tips Here are a few step by step suggestions for caring for yourself and others during this difficult time. This is an invitation to calm your mind and spirit from anxiety and fear and live in the present moment.
  • Coloring Pages - from museums! Coloring can be really relaxing.  If you're looking for some interesting projects, many museums and libraries around the world have put their own coloring books from their collections (anatomy, botany, ancient manuscripts) online.  Grab some colored pencils or crayons and check it out.
  • San Diego Zoo Animal Live Cams Relax while watching animals explore their environments and interacting with each other! There are many different animals to choose from!
  • YMCA 360 Classes Exercising can be a great way to relieve stress, stay in tune with your body and enjoy some activity from home! The YMCA offers many free online classes for fitness in a range of exercise styles and difficulty levels.
  • World of Wonder Travel Travel the world from the comfort of your home! Collect passport stamps as you go adventuring.
  • Berlin Philharmonic
  • Atlanta Zoo: Panda Cam Learn more and help support these sweet animals. Animal care doesn't stop because the Zoo is closed!
  • CorePower Yoga Yoga is a great way to center oneself and can be a very rewarding practice to strengthen the body and bring peace to the mind.
  • London 360 Tour Were you planning on Spring Breaking in London, England? Well even if you weren't, this video allows you to take a 360 tour of the bustling metropolitan city from the comfort of your couch. Now you'll know all the spots to visit when quarantine is over!
  • Ouwehand Park, Netherlands: Polar Bear Cubs Check out these super cute Polar bear cubs! They're adorableness will surely brighten your day.
  • Poetry Foundation Come read poetry and discover new artists! Poetry can be an excellent way to express your emotions and experiences, both through reading and writing!
  • Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her repetitive polka dots and peep-show-like chamber rooms that create the illusion of infinite space. Six of her Infinity Mirror Rooms, part of a retrospective of her 65-year career, are on exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle Symphony Music moves us in powerful ways. From all-time favorites to contemporary classics, discover the 2020–2021 season with Thomas Dausgaard and the Seattle Symphony. Come explore the vast range of music available!
  • Nine Calming Poems for Anxiety Nine calming poems for anxiety, to help ground you when the world feels like too much. Selections from poets such as Joy Harjo, Emma Lazarus and Ursula K. Le Guin.
  • The Libby App for Libraries The Libby App (accessible by download or online) allows free access to public library ebooks and audiobooks!
  • The Great Wall of China Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China! Learn about and explore this ancient wonder of the world.
  • Tips for Building Blanket Forts Blanket forts are a great way to release your creativity and embrace some light fun and entertainment! They can also allow for great quiet, contemplative space!
  • Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR Music feature your favorite musicians performing at All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen's desk in the NPR office. Hear Wilco, Adele, Passion Pit, Tinariwen, Miguel, The xx and many more. This is the audio version of the podcast. A video version is also available.
  • Calm Blog From the popular mindfulness company Calm, this blog contains many free resources for centeredness and mindful living, ranging from guided meditations and yoga sessions to story readings to aid in peaceful sleep.
  • Chloe Thing's 2 Week Shred Are you interested in working out from home but unsure of what kind of exercises to do? Try out Chloe Ting's 2 week shred. It's a great way to start moving those limbs! Take it at whichever pace feels most comfortable for you.
  • Virtual Rides with Disney Are you a Disney lover but bummed the parks are closed? You can still ride some of your favorite attractions virtually! Click the link to experience some of the Disney magic from your home.
  • Calming Books Recommendations Here is a list of 12 calming books to help you take a deep breath and relax! A selection from novels, memoirs, and non-fiction.
  • On Being: A Care Package for Uncertain Times The popular On Being podcast shares a wealth of spiritual resources, from podcasts, to poetry, to meditations, that provide perspective in these unprecedented times.
  • The Moth Story Hour Podcast The Moth's mission is to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience. 
  • The Three Secrets of Resilient People TED Talk Hear from researcher and author Lucy Hone on three things to lean into during tough times to grow your resilience and be able to live and grieve at the same time.
  • An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness What makes you happy? Have you ever wondered why? Join us as we take an experimental approach on what makes people happier and how simple moments of gratitude can change your experience of life!
Willamette University

Office Spiritual and Religious Life

University Center (UC2)
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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