Practices, resources, and articles for individuals, parents, and educators facing COVID-19.
At Greater Good, our mission is to share scientific research that can help promote a happier, more compassionate society. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we’re committed to bringing you stories, tips, and tools for these uncertain times in our global community.
We’ll continue to update this page with resources for individuals, families, and educators. Here are our most recent articles related to COVID-19:
- How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak: Beyond good hygiene, follow these tips to help others with the way you think, feel, and communicate.
- How School Closures Can Strengthen Your Family: Read three tips for how to cope if your kid’s school closes, from Christine Carter.
- How Can We Stop Prejudice in a Pandemic?: Learn from the 2014 ebola epidemic about what drives bias and how to fight it.
- Eight Acts of Goodness Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak: Remember the acts of goodness, kindness, and heroism taking place around the world.
- How to Help Teens Shelter in Place: Teens are not made for isolation, which makes COVID-19 especially hard on them. Here’s how to help your teenager to see the bigger picture.
Connect with us live
- Join the Greater Good Science Center Tuesdays and Thursdays for Greater Good Together: 20 minutes of connection on Facebook Live. Our own Eve Ekman and Emiliana Simon-Thomas will lead a brief grounding practice and then offer practices to boost resilience, connection, or positivity. These sessions are FREE and our offering to give you a sense of community and connection during these hard times. They are easy to join: Just log in to our Facebook page Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. PST.
- The Greater Good Science Center and Reimagine are partnering to present a Daily Dose of Togetherness every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon through April 3, 2020. We invite you, for free, to join these special 50-minute virtual experiments where we’ll come together online and in community to enhance our collective well-being. Find out how to register in advance and keep up with the calendar here.
Other resources below (click to jump to a section):
Resources for stress and anxiety
- Gaining Perspective on Negative Events (practice): Take a step back and analyze your feelings without ruminating.
- Mindful Breathing (practice): A way to build resilience to stress, anxiety, and anger.
- Expressive Writing (practice): A simple, effective way to work through an emotional challenge.
- How to Transform Stress into Courage and Connection (article): Learn why fight-or-flight isn’t our only built-in response to stress, and how we can find reserves of strength and kindness in crisis, from Kelly McGonigal.
- Five Science-Backed Strategies to Build Resilience (article): Learn about 12 different exercises you can do when facing difficulty.
- Seven Ways to Help Someone with Anxiety (article): Some people are more anxious than others during these times. Find out different ways you can support loved ones who are struggling.
- Step Away from Anxiety (podcast): Author Raina Telgemeier works on getting out of her head when the nerves hit.
- How to Find Your Silver Linings (podcast): Poet and “recovering pessimist” Maggie Smith practices not fixating on what’s going wrong.
- Do You Know How to Eat a Raisin? (podcast): When life seems nothing but chaos, slowing down can be powerful. Luke Burbank tries a unique meditation practice with a single raisin.
- How to Connect with Your Body (podcast): Taking a moment to check in with our physical selves can bring a sense of calm, as actor Daniel Wu discovers.
Resources for fostering connection
- Active Listening (practice): Connect with a partner through empathy and understanding.
- Compassion Meditation (practice): Strengthen feelings of concern for the suffering of others.
- 36 Questions for Increasing Closeness (practice): To feel more connected, skip the small talk and ask these questions instead.
- Just One Thing: Relax Needless Fear Around Others (article): Fear of COVID-19 can make us suspicious of each other. Follow Rick Hanson’s advice to stop seeing other people as threats.
- Who Is Your Rock?and Is There Someone You Need to Thank? (podcasts): As we help each other through these troubled times, what if we took the time to express more gratitude? Parkland survivor Kai Koerber and author Yuyi Morales share their experiences writing gratitude letters.
Discover science-backed practices for more resilience, connection, and well-being, with step-by-step instructions on how to implement them in your life.
Learn research-tested strategies that you can put into practice today. In each episode, a guest tries a specific practice for well-being or connection, and shares their experience.
While you’re home, try our online, self-paced course, offering skills to boost resilience and well-being in your life. Results from tens of thousands of our students show that it helps them reduce stress and feel more connected to others.
Made in collaboration with Holstee, this toolkit includes 30 science-based practices for a meaningful life.
Well-being resources for parents
Articles for resilience
- Three Ways to Boost Your Resilience as a Parent: Take these steps to feel less overwhelmed.
- Why Parents Need a Little Self-Compassion: Here are three practices to bring a little mindfulness and calm to your busy day.
- Emotion Coaching: One of the Most Important Parenting Practices in the History of the Universe:Here are ways to help kids navigate challenging emotions now and in the future.
- How to Survive Your Toddler’s Epic Tantrum: Rest assured, you can learn not to lose it during your child’s tantrums (and to prevent meltdowns in the future).
- How to Decipher the Emotions Behind Your Child’s Behaviors: Being open to your child’s thoughts and feelings can help with the trickiest parenting struggles.
Practices for parents and kids
- A Loving Space for Kids’ Emotions: Show love to your children by helping them process emotions.
- Pleasant Events Calendar for Kids: Help children cultivate self-compassion by planning enjoyable activities.
- Reminders of Connectedness: A subtle way to induce kindness, particularly in kids.
- Superhero Motivation for Kids: Use pretend play to encourage children to persevere through difficulty.
- Body Scan Meditation: Feeling tense? Feel your body relax as you try this practice.
Videos for parents and kids
- How to Help Your Child’s Compassion Grow: Parents can encourage their kids to practice kindness and caring toward themselves and others.
- How to Help Your Kids Feel Loved:Loving bonds between parents and kids can help kids grow into compassionate adults.
- Train Your Brain to Be Kinder: Boost your kindness by sending kind thoughts to someone you love—and to someone you don’t get along with—with a little guidance from these students.
A free online resource for social-emotional learning practices you can weave into your new homeschooling plan.
Well-being resources for educators
Activities and practices for mental health
- Addressing Students’ Stress and Anxiety: How can we support our students in navigating stress and anxiety so that they can feel a greater sense of safety and well-being right now? Here is a set of practices you can share with students at the college, secondary, or elementary
- Stress Management for Educators: Try some or all of these practices to experience a greater sense of well-being and resilience yourself.
Activities and resources for learning from home
- Discover Your Purpose: Eight Practices for Middle School, High School, and College Students: Share these practices with the bored and restless teens in your life. Research tells us that young people with a strong sense of purpose are happier, healthier, more motivated, and more resilient.
- SEL Kernels: A set of specific K-6 activities created by Harvard’s EASEL Lab that are commonly used to support the growth and development of social and emotional skills and competencies.
Other coronavirus well-being resources
- Being Resilient During Coronavirus, from Dr. Rick Hanson: Learn tips for feeling safe in a time of fear and threat with this video, meditation, and podcast.
- Coronavirus Sanity Guide from Ten Percent Happier: Get live weekday talks with meditation teachers, guided meditations, and lectures, many of which are specifically related to COVID-19. Health care workers also get free access to the Ten Percent Happier meditation app.
- Selected Links: The Behavioral Side of the Coronavirus from the Behavioral Scientist: Read insights about the psychological and behavioral patterns underlying our response to COVID-19.
- Real-time Resilience Strategies for Coping with Coronavirus from the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience: Follow this list of valuable tips from experts on resilience and emergency management.
- The Crisis Kit: 5 Tools for Helping Clients Through Turbulent Times from PositivePsychology.com: Mental health practitioners can use these five exercises to help clients find calm, a sense of control, and acceptance.
- Free Live & Online – Daily Meditation & Support Groups from Mindful Leader: Thirty-minute sessions held Monday through Friday from March 23 to May 1, including 15 minutes of silent meditation and 15 minutes of reflection and discussion.
- ArtsWave Edition of Mindful Music Moments, from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera: 10 weeks of daily doses of guided meditation set to music.
- Mindful Poetry Moments and the On Being Project: Participating schools, individuals and organizations will be offered recordings of poets reading their work. The audio will be accompanied by mindful prompts and meaning-making questions like “Does this poem encourage gratitude? How?” and “What’s a line in this poem that brings a strong visual image to your mind?”
- Kind World Explorers, from Camp Kindness Counts, a Greater Good Parenting grantee: A guidebook to support parents with distance learning that provides activities and example conversations that families can have to help foster communities of compassion.
- Resilient Parenting, from Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, a Greater Good Parenting grantee: A digital, online parenting tool that can be made available to any families in need of support. It includes topics such as self-care, addressing trauma, how to have difficult conversations with children, and many other very pertinent topics for these times with a focus on character-building. This tool is a partnership between a social worker/case manager and a family, via phone, tablet or laptop that allows for weekly reflection, sharing and support. To receive it, email Kamia@lssmn.org.
- Parents and COVID 19: Helping Your Children, from InfoAboutKids.Org: Here are suggestions for talking with younger and older children about COVID-19, as well as suggestions for parents.
- How to Talk to Children about Difficult News, from the American Psychological Association: Instead of shielding children from the difficult news around us, adults should talk to kids about what is happening.
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019, from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: This resource will help parents and caregivers think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect their family— both physically and emotionally—and what they can do to help their family cope.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus, from PBS KIDS for Parents:Share age-appropriate information, provide reassurance, and what they can do to help during COVID-19 pandemic.
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), from Healthy Children, American Academy of Pediatrics: Tips for parents about what they need to know about COVID-19.
- Ten Strategies for Educators’ Well-Being, from Sea Change Mentoring: A handbook for schools during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Support for Teachers During the COVID-19 Outbreak, from Facing History and Ourselves: Find readings and videos that you can use with your students, even while teaching online. Facing History and Ourselves will also be holding webinars on March 18, 25, and 26 focused on digital learning.
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