Join us for our Passport to Wellness Program! Complete activities to improve your physical and mental wellness, share with us, and earn a virtual badge for each activity. See below for the list of activities and how to get your badge.
** Special thanks to Matthew Daly for designing the badges!
Did you know that watching the effortless motion of swimming aquarium fish may increase relaxation and improve overall mood? And that the more fish, the greater the positive effect? Take a quick mental health break and get in the swim!
How to get your badge: Experience the ocean world through one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s many camera sites - https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/monterey-bay-cam - the sites include the kelp forest, a coral reef, and sea otters. Take a screen capture and email your photo to email@example.com.
Chill out by our aquarium and count the number of fish. Send the number of fish to firstname.lastname@example.org (note – don’t stress about getting the number right!)
The National Library of Medicine’s Graphic Medicine: Ill-conceived and Well-drawn online exhibit explores the use of comics to tell personal stories of illness and health. Learning away from the classroom keeps minds active and curiosity flowing. Take a break and learn something new!
How to get your badge: Explore the online exhibit (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/graphicmedicine/index.html ) and email your favorite fact learned to email@example.com.
The Harn museum has many art pieces depicting healing spaces or immersing the viewer or participant in a contemplative, reflective environment. Check out Harn open hours and COVID-19 restrictions before visiting.
How to get your badge: Email an image of the Harn piece or healing garden that you found most relaxing to firstname.lastname@example.org. .
LET’S GET CREATIVE!
Creative expression – visual, musical, movement-based, expressive writing – appear to decrease anxiety, stress, and mood disturbances, thus positively impacting health and well-being. Take a break to engage creatively, give your mind a rest, and hone your focus.
How to get your badge: Take a photo of a creative project that you’ve completed and email to email@example.com
HAVE A SNACK
Diet can have numerous effects, positive and negative, on mental and physical health. During difficult times, our dietary habits often change to the more comforting. The act of preparing food, whether simple or complex, can be a satisfying or positively distracting activity.
BEAU THE THERAPY DOG
We love Beau. His face makes us happy. Even Beau’s picture brings good feelings, while petting his fluff calms us. We aren’t the only ones moved by animals. Animal-assisted therapy is a data-supported practice offering benefits for hospital patients and studying students.
How to get your badge: Watch a puppy or kitten cam at explore.org or follow these cams https://www.waterford.org/resources/live-animal-cams-for-kids/. Or follow Beauthetherapydog, Thelentilbean, buttercuptherapy, kenziethegreyt on Instagram. Send a screen shot to firstname.lastname@example.org
Attend one of our in-person therapy dog sessions and take a selfie of you with Beau. Email to email@example.com
Art projects can help reduce stress by creating “flow” states. Flow states allow someone to be fully present and engaged - a state promoting creativity and focus on the moment with distractions receding from the mind. There is a sense of joy with little self-awareness or judgment.
How to get your badge: Consider making your own designs for buttons- you can design for free at https://www.wackybuttons.com/ . Make a series of designs small enough to fit in a 1.5-2.0” circle and share on Instagram with the hashtag #quarantinebuttondesign. Send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoy exploring the woods, or the beach you are not alone. Research shows that nature - in a forest, or garden, on a beach or boat, promotes well-being. In Japan, shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, is prescribed by doctors. Combining nature and art further enhances health.
How to get your badge: Explore nature, through local parks or virtually though webcams at explore.org, Zoos and Aquariums. Record what you see in some way- photography, drawing, sound recording. Consider submitting observations via iNaturalist.
How to get your badge: Email one of your recordings (photo, sound, screen capture) to email@example.com
A PUZZLING ACTIVITY
Working on a jigsaw puzzle is a way to relax and refocus on a task, while also to help reduce stress. It also can improve problem solving skills and attention span. Finally, it develops observational and visual-spatial skills - helping to see the details or the bigger picture.
How to get your badge: Try a virtual puzzle, such as the National Geographic Photo Puzzles, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/games/photo-puzzle-jigsaw/ Jigsaw Planet also has free virtual puzzles https://www.jigsawplanet.com/. Or try a physical puzzle. Take a screen capture or photo of your finished product and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meditation has demonstrated multiple beneficial effects across various populations. Of particular interest to students, it has been shown to improve memory and attention. In one study of college students it even appeared to buffer the potentially stressful effects of finals week.
How to get your badge: Attend one of the Midweek Meditation sessions, 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, 12:15-12:45, https://ufl.zoom.us/j/831431526 or try one of the guided meditations here: https://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/hsclwellness/homewellness. Email email@example.com to let us know which session you attended.
Get up and move to offset all of the sitting you do throughout the day. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, exercise has also been found to promote mental health and improve memory. Even short periods of exercise have been shown to be beneficial.
How to get your badge: Take a RecSports class, live via Zoom or virtual on their YouTube channel: https://recsports.ufl.edu/how-to-stay-healthy-and-active-at-home/ . Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which session you attended and your favorite activity from the session.
Use one of our under-desk exercisers to offset all of the sitting you do throughout the day. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, exercise has also been found to promote mental health and improve memory. Even short periods of exercise have been shown to be beneficial.
How to get your badge: Email to email@example.com a photo of yourself using the exerciser.
There are a number of e-books available for checkout so you can explore wellness topics at your leisure. The collection includes books on: stress relief, exercise, meditation, and more. Curl up with a good book and feed your mind.
How to get your badge: Check out a wellness e-book from our collection. Some suggestions are available here: https://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/hsclwellness/homewellness. Email the title of the book and the most interesting fact you learned from it to firstname.lastname@example.org
The HSCL Wellness Collection, located under the stairs on the 1st floor, is available for checkout so you can explore wellness topics at your leisure. The collection includes books on: stress relief, exercise, meditation, and more. Curl up with a good book and feed your mind.
How to get your badge: Check out a book from the wellness collection and send the book’s title to email@example.com
Daytime naps have been shown to enhance learning, cognitive performance, and emotional state. In these stressful times, a short nap can help you to feel rejuvenated.
How to get your badge: Take a 20-minute nap in the afternoon when your energy level starts to wane. Email a photo of your favorite nap location to firstname.lastname@example.org
Get in the swim attribution: 'fishes by Laymik from the Noun Project'
Let's Get Creative attribution: 'Art by Flatart from the Noun Project'
Museum Button attribution: Jim Moske @JImMoske Twitter
Have a snack attribution: 'Soup by joe pictos from the Noun Project'
Therapy Animals attribution: 'Pets by Anne Bittencourt from the Noun Project'
Button designing attribution: 'design by nitut786 from the Noun Project'
Explore nature attribution: 'nature by Alexander Skowalsky from the Noun Project'
A Puzzling Activity attribution: 'Game by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project'
Meditation attribution: 'meditation by Miho Suzuki-Robinson from the Noun Project'
Exercise attribution: 'Exercise by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project'
Wellness attribution: 'Book by Mike Rowe from the Noun Project'
'sleeping by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project'