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In Response to the Ongoing Racial Violence 

The BMC Health and Wellness Center grieves the ongoing series of violence toward Black individuals and communities, as well as ally communities. This violence adds to the already overwhelming chaos and stress of the current pandemic. We strongly oppose discrimination, hate, and intolerance and stand in solidarity with our Black students, faculty, and staff. 

Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination have a relentless impact on mental health, physical health, and well-being. Many reactions can ensue from these events, such as fear, anger, and grief to name a few. Below you'll find resources you can connect with to process how systems of oppression and traumatic events impact your feelings, beliefs, and identities. 

Although supporting our students who feel directly impacted by racism is paramount, we also strongly advocate for the antiracist education and allyship of all students, faculty, and staff. We hope that the resources below resonate with members of the BMC community as ways in which we can both support those who are hurting and join to facilitate a more inclusive and supportive environment for all. 

Reggie Jones, LCSW, MSS, MLSP
Associate Dean of Health and Wellness


Greetings to all Incoming Students!
You may already be aware of this information, but just in case you need a little more clarity, here is a brief summary of the steps to take to complete the required health forms. July 1, 2020 was the deadline for forms to be submitted. If you haven't submitted, please visit Health Requirements for Incoming Students  for more info and submit ASAP! You may access the required forms through your student Patient Portal:

There are 5 required forms for you to submit:
❐ SHS Social/Medical Form and Privacy Policy
❐ Student Health Form (4 pages)
❐ Immunization Record
❐ Authorization for Minors (if applicable)
❐ Sickle Cell Waiver (for athletes)
Start on the HOME PAGE to access the forms:
  1. Please complete the SHS form by selecting REQUIRED FORMS. 
  2. Print the Student Health Form and take to your health care provider to fill out by selecting REQUIRED FORMS. Once completed by your health care provider, please submit your Student Health Form by selecting UPLOAD (instructions to upload documents included).
  3. Please enter your immunization dates by selecting IMMUNIZATIONS.
  4. If you are under the age of 18 years old, also  review and sign the Authorization for Minors.
  5. If you are a student athlete, also complete the Sickle Cell Waiver.
Questions? Please contact our clinical coordinator: Monica Hawkins at

Thank you and we're looking forward to meeting you in the fall.  

Check out this First Aid Checklist of items that you may find helpful to bring with you to campus.
Follow Us on Spotify: BMCHere2Listen
Check out this month's collaborative playlist: RISE UP! activism playlist
Add the tunes that help you keep on keeping on. #blacklivesmatter


Healing in Action: A Toolkit for Black Lives Matter Healing Justice & Direct Action  

  • “As a network, we have alignment on the necessity of direct action. As a whole, however, we are less clear on the relevance and implementation of healing justice... But healing justice is the work; taking care of ourselves and each other is how we live more fully in our principles and values.” 


Disclaimer: Like all resources we share, the content provided here is intended for informational purposes only. The statements, remedies, and techniques described below are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease or substitute medical care by a licensed health care practitioner. 

CDC Fact Sheet: Riot Control Agents (tear gas, pepper spray, etc.) 

Amnesty International: Safety During Protest 

Herbal First Aid Aftercare for All Who Have Experienced Police Violence:  Plant Medicines for Resilience! 

Dear Athena: I’ve eaten all the cupcakes Bryn Mawr has to offer, but I still feel like I’m having a hard time caring for myself. There’s always a lot going on and there’s so little time. What should I do?  -- Perpetually Drained  


Dear Perpetually Drained,  

It can be helpful to take a step back and think about your experience in a context that is broader than your own life. Why do so many people feel like it’s so hard to care for themselves? Perhaps it’s no mistake. Several oppressive forces (like white supremacy) have a big stake in keeping people overworked, undervalued, disconnected, and preoccupied with a range of destructive, draining stressors. From the unjust burden of having to fight for one’s basic security and safety to organizing life around the misguided value of equating productivity with worth, it’s no wonder it feels like there is no time to rest. And for those who fill their time trying to fight the very forces that exploit, confuse, and drain us, each moment spent resting can feel like an indulgent waste.  

And yet, rest we must. The physiological impacts of chronic exhaustion and stress can be grave. Mayoclinic staff note that “[t]he long-term activation of the stress-response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follows can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including: anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, [and] memory and concentration impairment.”  With this in mind, here are some suggestions for prioritizing the seemingly impossible, while still enjoying cupcakes. Yum. 

1) Politicize your self-care.  

  • Caring for yourself is a political act and may be more aligned with your values than you think. You may have heard Audre Lorde’s quotation “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Do you know where it’s from? Check out her collection of essays called A Burst of Light and ground yourself in some really rad, moving thinking about the value of self-care.  

  • You might also enjoy checking out this recent article, Rest as Reparations, from the New York Times. A highlight: “Rest is key to connecting to the wisdom of our ancestors and creating a new world. It is pushing back against white supremacy and capitalism.” 

  • Let yourself be inspired by folks who are prioritizing meaningful self-care. See link to 11 Black Queer/Trans Folks Discussing Self Care below!  

2) Get support!  

  • Consider finding a buddy to check in with about how caring for yourself is going. Chances are your friends could use support around caring for themselves too! You could have weekly phone check-ins, share google calendars where you write down what you intend to do and whether you’ve done it, send text reminders – whatever works for you!  

  • Build simple reminders to care for yourself into your day.  

  • Curate your Instagram feed and follow mental-health and self-care focused accounts. @thenapministry and @ihategender are some counseling center staff favorites!  

  • Set a couple of daily alarms to remind you to take some deep, grounding breaths.  

In solidarity,
Perspective I


Dear Perpetually Drained,  

I want to start by affirming that life is incredibly demanding, especially for students. Between classes, assignments, personal lives, jobs, and the demands of daily living, genuinely restorative self-care can certainly be challenging to squeeze in. Here are a few thoughts that might help you shift your relationship to the time you do have.

1) Get clear on your values and organize your life with your values in mind.  

  • If your life is cluttered with things you feel like you “should” do, you’re taking the precious resource of your attention away from the things you genuinely want to focus on, potentially including yourself. Get curious about the way you use your time.  Is there anything you can give up, step away from, or delay in service of making more room for your actions to be in alignment with your values?  

2) Rest smart.  

  • Use whatever time you can make to do things that are genuinely nourishing. What brings you a sense of fulfillment? What helps you feel like you are valuable, cared for, loved? Maybe having a rich conversation with a close friend, taking ten minutes to stretch your body, journaling, or giving yourself a massage. Before you begin a "restful” activity, consider asking yourself the following question: “What purpose am I hoping this activity will serve?” For example, does scrolling on Twitter nourish you? If not, you can make a different choice.   

3) Don’t undervalue the small stuff.  

  •  It is easier to take care of oneself in small ways over time than to recuperate after getting depleted. It’s also easier to begin caring for oneself when you’re doing well than to start when you’re in crisis. What would it be like to set an alarm and build in a few minutes of deep breathing three times a day? What would it be like to spend five minutes each day meditating or journaling, noticing your feelings, thoughts, and needs? What would it be like to firmly decide that getting fewer than seven hours of sleep isn’t an option? Small gestures in the direction of your wellness add up, and together they can make a big impact.  

Perspective II

Want to submit a Dear Athena question? Email with "Dear Athena" in the subject line.

Screenshot from article “Self Care for People of Color After Emotional and Psychological Trauma.” 

Read the full article here

11 Black Queer and Trans Women Discuss Self-Care by L.G. Parker 

I practice self-love by creating with the intent to be present and non-judgemental. I create with the intent to honor Black [queer] ancestors and honor my own creativity. To honor my creativity, I let myself create whatever it is I may want to in the moment, whether that’s a beat from a sampled record, painting, collaging or writing. I also move and breathe. I love to walk and practice yoga. Self-care is also about community. I enjoy being in community celebrating life, talking shit [or just being] with other Black queer people. - Blair Ebony Smith, student in Syracuse (pictured above)

Click on this instagram post for specific tips when feeling hypervigilant, alone, numb, overstimulated, anxious, hopeless, and/or stuck in place. 
Copyright © 2020, Bryn Mawr College Health & Wellness Center, All rights reserved.

Health & Wellness Center
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 

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Bryn Mawr College - Health & Wellness Center · 101 N Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr College - Health & Wellness Center · Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2859 · USA

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