Wellness – Fall 2021 Newsletter 2

By September 28, 2021April 5th, 2024Smeal Academy Newsletter

Fall 2021 Resilience – Week 2

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending weekly emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

This week, we are sharing some strategies to support wellness for you and your students.

Pause and Take a Breath…

It is hard to believe that we are already a quarter of the way through the semester! Our lives are a whirlwind of activities, adaptations, and anxieties that cause us to feel anything from exhilaration to exhaustion, and everything in between.
First and foremost, remember to notice and accept whatever it is that you are feeling. That is information you need to respond in a way that best supports your well-being.

A recent blog post on BetterUp’s website outlined seven types of rest, as defined by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D. These include: creative, mental, physical, social, emotional, sensory, and spiritual rest. Often, sleep is not the only “time-out” your brain and body need in order to recover from the constant pressures of daily life. You may be excited to learn that a wide variety of activities can give your nervous system the break it needs to recover. These ideas, which span all seven types of rest, include:

  • Take a walk in nature (creative rest)
  • Put your devices aside for a while (mental rest)
  • Sleep (physical rest)
  • Turn down an invitation and recharge on your own (social rest)
  • Write in a journal (emotional rest)
  • Meditate or pray (sensory rest)
  • Volunteer for something meaningful (spiritual rest)

Finally, take just a moment to pause – relax your shoulder blades down your back body – sit up tall – take a deep breath in – exhale – and savor this moment of being human. Sometimes a little breath can go a long way.


Cooks-Campbell, A. (2021, August 11). 7 types of rest (because you need more rest in your life). BetterUp.

Current News

  • Smeal Academy Video Tip: Accessing Zoom Recordings Through Kaltura
    Are you trying to figure out how to access your Zoom recordings in Kaltura? Check out this web page and watch the short video to learn the basics of how to access your Zoom videos.
  • New Analytics Now Available in Canvas
    New Analytics gives instructors the ability to evaluate student performance in published courses, track and analyze participation, identify at-risk students, and determine the effectiveness of various teaching strategies.  More information about monitoring student performance with analytics is available in Penn State’s Canvas Learning Path.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Supporting Distressed Students
    CAPS will help lead a session about Supporting Distressed Students and Red Folder Resources. The Red Folder initiative is a guide to help faculty, staff, and others who interact with students to recognize, respond effectively to, and refer distressed students at Penn State.Join us Tuesday, September 28 from 12 to 1 p.m. am via Zoom.

NOTE:  Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1:  Mindful Making
    Penn State’s Mindful Making and Health Promotion and Wellness teams have created a beautiful website with a variety of activities that you may try yourself and/or in your classroom. Looking for journal prompts or an idea for a walking meditation? They have it all here along with many other activity ideas.
  • Tip #2:  Explore Mindfulness
    Penn State’s Health Promotion and Wellness Team has also curated a website devoted to mindfulness resources. Check out this amazing list of apps, books, podcasts, and websites that can support your mindfulness journey.


Helpful Websites


Check out the eLDIG website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: course-support@smeal.psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.