Supporting Your Growth & Wellbeing



As a collective USF community, we are journeying an uncharted path. While we have our individual steps, we collectively travel through transition, trials and triumph. Regardless of where you are and the distance between us, USF Counseling and Psychological Services wants to remind you that care and support are only a step away. CAPS is reaching out to provide you a (virtual) point of connection combining basic wellness strategies, coping skills, resources for dealing with loss, and tips to find meaning and motivation along the way. 

Take Care and Be Well Dons!


*Adapted from Michigan State University*

Day Structure

Without the usual structure of classes, extracurriculars, and work, it may seem like your days are all blending together! These apps can help you bring back a sense of rhythm through developing your own schedule and desirable habits.     app     4app


Is your sleep schedule irregular? Are you sleeping more than you want to be? Are you having trouble falling asleep? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", you may benefit from these sleep hygiene tips and resources!


Click here to find a list of workout options you can do at home, Zoom fitness classes, and more!


Eating & Nutrition

For tips, guidelines, and nutrition education from certified dietetic technicians, click here. Call 415.422.5797 to schedule a consultation. Click here for USDA eating tops when on a budget! You can also check out the USF Food Pantry

my plate

Why Connect?

  • To  decrease loneliness, stress, depression, and anxiety
  • To acknowledge collective trauma and experience solidarity
  • To experience love and belonging
  • To give an receive care and compassion

Five Ways to Build Stronger Connections

  1. Write a letter
  2. Pick up the phone and call
  3. Ask meaningful questions
  4. Answer questions with honesty
  5. Connect via video

Connecting with Self

Connecting with others is important, but sometimes we need to recharge on our own or remove ourselves from unhealthy interactions. Here are some tips for connecting with yourself and protecting your personal boundaries. 

  1. Limit social media use, particularly if you find yourself consuming content that impacts you negatively. 
  2. Write. Describe your thoughts and feelings. Keep a gratitude journal. 
  3. Connect with your body through yoga, dance, and staying active. 
  4. Practice self-compassion (10 Self-Compassion Practices for COVID-19).
  5. Do more of what you love and feel good at. Alternatively, try or learn something new. 
  6. If you have little privacy at home and desire it, intentionally take advantage of any alone time (e.g., take long showers, sit in the car, take "fresh air breaks" outside, linger at an empty aisle at the store).

Connecting Virtually

Spiritual Connection

Spirituality can be one way to connect with yourself, others, nature, or a higher power(s). 

For Stress and Difficult Emotions


Sometimes we need a break to focus on other things when we are feeling overwhelmed. Some distractions include: Games,books/magazines, TV, podcasts, puzzles, and cleaning.


Challenge Your Thoughts

Struggling with critical thoughts or hopeless worries? Consider trying the Triple B Exercise or Thought Defusion Technique

self soothing

Top Meditation Apps by Downloads in the U.S. for 2018

  1. Calm
  2. Headspace
  3. Insight Timer
  4. Aura
  5. Simple Habit
  6. Breethe
  7. 10% Happier
  8. BetterMe
  9. Sanvello
  10. Abide



Grounding strategies can help us get in touch with our bodies and surroundings in the present moment. Pause what you are doing and pay attention to what you can see, hear, smell, and touch in your environment. Try a Mindful eating exercise or walk around barefoot at  home and pay close attention to how every step feels.

This Youtube channel offers introductory videos to Mindfulness and guided meditations.

Need some quarantine music?

Check out this Spotify playlist

Mindfulness originated in Eastern spiritual traditions, and has been popularized in Western countries in ways inconsistent with its original purpose.

Given that COVID-19 affects all of our day-to-day lives, comfort can be found in knowing that we are all experiencing some level of loss and uncertainty. We all may respond and handle it differently. We want you to know that there is no "one way" to grieve or one "right way" to feel.

Losses You May Be Experiencing


Consider practicing self-compassion as you work through losses and changing circumstances. Try some of these exercises compiled by Dr. Kristin Neff, a renowned researcher of self-compassion.

Activism, Service, Generosty

Helpful Articles

How to Cope with Bereavement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Coping with Uncertainty During COVID-19

At some point on your journey, you may find it helpful to consider the unique opportunities for growth or possible "silver linings" during this time. Consider documenting them in some way so that you can reflect on them later.



Goal Setting

When we are feeling stuck, we need something ahead of us to work toward. Goals can help focus our energy and create a sense of purpose. When generating goals, think about your needs, abilities, and values. Setting SMART Goals is one way to achieve realistic goals within a specified time frame

Learn about Vision Boards here


It can also be helpful to think about potential obstacles you might face while working towards your goals and plan for how to address them (e.g., if your phone is a big distraction, plan to keep it in another room or on silent).

Connect with your Values

Identifying what is important to us can be one way to foster motivation. Try one of the values card sorts below and then consider how you can express your values on a daily basis.

Online values card sort

Printable version

Lean on your Strengths

Knowing your strengths can help you address problems more effectively and engage in activities that generate confidence and purpose. Try taking the VIA Character Strengths Survey to identify your strongest traits. 


Think about what makes you feel whole, grounded, or like you. It can be helpful to consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.



We asked CAPS Staff how they are finding meaning and motivation during this time.

Here are the responses in a word cloud!

word cloud

 are the responses in a word cloud!

weekly smart goals

Create your personalized SMART goal online or on this worksheet!

Visit USF's COVID-19 Resources Page

See this page to learn about what various

USF offices are offering right now. 

hand prints

Check out this resource and information hub!

Visit: Counseling and Psychological (CAPS) Services


Questions and concerns about mental health?

Check out the JED Foundation's Mental Health Resource Center.

Need Immediate Support?