Practicing Self-care in the Time of COVID-19

Thursday, March 4, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Jennifer Danilowski, part-time faculty, psychology and SAMHSA implementation coordinator, facilitated a conversation on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, for 32 students on the “Flow in the Time of COVID-19,” an interactive discussion on how to enhance well-being, decrease anxiety and depression and engage in optimal activities for navigating through a global pandemic.

An original examination of positive psychology was introduced by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1995) by way of Flow — a term that encompasses a state, rather than a trait, of transformative well-being and posits that individuals can enrich their lives through awareness of this state. Csikszenthihalyi states, “A person can make himself happy or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside,’ just by changing the contents of consciousness.”

To kick-off the session, Jen asked the attendees to define the phrase “go with the flow.” Some answers included “being calm,” “to not push against prevailing behaviors,” “relaxed” and “carefree.”

Ways to maintain flow during stressful times were discussed:

  • Goals are clear and purposeful: Establish clear goals and guidelines for success.
  • Reduce self-consciousness: Feel interconnected with the activity or other individuals involved in an event.
  • Time distortion and skill level challenges are controllable and balanced: Choose to engage in activities that balance challenges.
  • Intrinsic motivation drives the activity and may become autotelic: Complete activities and develop a sense of gratification as a step toward a future goal.
  • Success is achievable: Focus on completion so that failure ceases to be an option and how to overcome obstacles to promote success.

At the end of the session, student Leah Basaria shared, “Self-care is a great way to get yourself ready to step into the flow, and in turn, flow becomes self-care.”

This presentation was part of the Valencia Psychology Speakers Forum. Click here for additional resources regarding FLOW. For more information on upcoming sessions, contact Professor of Psychology Derek Schorsch at dschorsch@valenciacollege.edu.

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