Window sill garden
Container gardens are one way to garden and relax during COVID19

Summer Newsletter: Wellness

Student Farm Summer Newsletter: Wellness

By Carlos Wolf, Environmental Science and Management ‘20

With the current COVID-19 pandemic and the stress from everyday working and college life, it is important to remember to take some time out of each and everyday for yourself. Keep reading to see what wellness professional Emilia George and lead student farmer Alany Valle do to maintain their wellness, as well as some helpful suggestions for maintaining your own. 

Interview with Emilia George
Mental Well Being Health Promotion Specialist with Each Aggie Matters

What does wellness mean to you?   “Wellness is self-defined. To me, it means checking in with physical, mental, and emotional health on a regular basis. Additionally, having access to adequate food, shelter, and hydration is a priority. If needs aren’t met, it’s difficult to do your best”.

What are your thoughts on wellness and gardening?   “...Gardening and produce in general have a huge impact on wellness. For those who can access fresh produce, it 100% impacts wellness. It can only be seen as beneficial”.

What have you been doing for wellness during this crazy time?   “My partner and I are cooking more, as well as being more creative in the kitchen. We’ve also increased our farmers market visits. In addition to trying to check in with myself everyday, I’ve had to remind myself it’s a pandemic, checking everything off the list for the day isn’t an accurate measurement of productivity like it used to be”.


Interview with Alany Valle
Lead Student Farmer in the Ecological Garden, Student Farm

What have you been doing to help get you through this quarter?   “I've been exercising more this quarter, because being inside all day isn't preferable. Going to work is another welcome distraction, as I get to work outside with plants. I find that living with many roommates has been a good way to keep social. Additionally, I find video chatting with friends and family to be beneficial, as I now have time to reach out to people”.

How does working at the student farm benefit your health?   “It helps me because, even though our lives have all changed drastically, the farm and nature have remained relatively unchanged. It adds a sense of normalcy to be able to go to work and have things be stable”.

Taking care of yourself could be as quick as five minutes, or as long as several hours. One activity that benefits both mental and physical wellness is gardening. I personally don’t have much space in Davis for gardening. That said, gardens don’t have to be large, or even outside. I utilize my kitchen window sill as my garden space. As can be seen from the image on the right, I have a basil plant, some scallions, and an avocado starting in my new setup outside of Davis. A wide variety of produce can be grown indoors or in limited space environments. If you are in a house with a yard, it’s possible to grow even more varieties of produce. If gardening isn’t something you are quite ready to jump into, below are some additional suggestions that may serve as a welcome mental break:

Cooking, baking, making playlists, reading books or news articles (students, staff, and faculty have free access to New York Times through the UC Davis Library), playing video games, call/video call with friends and/or family, meditation, and working out (here are some suggestions if you don’t know where to start) or go check out the ARC website. For more immediate and/or professional help please visit some of the resources below. 

The UC Davis Student Health and Wellness Center and their counseling services or wellness services. Additional help can be sought at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Crisis Text Line, and for LGBTQIA+ people in crisis, The Trevor Project provides access to trained counselors for people in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk.


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