We hope this note finds you safe and healthy, amidst the extraordinary circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on us all. We wanted to reach out with a few updates on what we’re doing to try to support our community during this challenging time – and how you can get involved if you are interested.
New Wellness Series: Stay Well at Home with The Well Project
As you may know, last week we launched the first session of our Stay Well at Home with The Well Project series. This bi-weekly (every other week) video/chat series features women living with HIV sharing positive approaches to help navigate the isolation and other challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing so many of us to experience.
The next session will take place next Wednesday, April 22, when The Well Project community advisory board (CAB) member Wanona Thomas will lead us in an introduction to opening and balancing the seven main chakras. Attendees will learn what chakras are and where they are located. The session will also act as an introduction to meditation, highlighting its benefits (including helping us explore new insights into our inner beings). If you haven’t done so yet, please register today! (Note, if you already registered, you do not need to register again!)
Interested in presenting? We are also looking for hosts for future sessions and hope that some of you will submit ideas! With the help of our CAB, we designed this series to focus on concrete skills or activities that can be used as a positive outlet (or distraction!) for coping with the challenges we are all facing. Examples of sessions could include a cooking lesson, an art project, yoga, DIY projects, learning the newest Tik Tok dance, or even how to use certain social media tools like Tik Tok or Instagram stories. But really, we are happy to consider any and all suggestions you have as long as they provide a positive outlet for our community. Everyone who hosts a session will be paid an honorarium. Please submit your ideas here!
Missed the first session? If you missed the first session last week, you can check out the recording for Vision Planning with CiCi, in which CiCi Covin, another CAB member, led us in creating vision boards, with a focus on utilizing times of change as a catalyst to be more intentional with our goals. It was an hour of laughter and connection and wisdom (and many calls for CiCi to run for president!). This recording could serve as inspiration for your own submission, or just as a reminder of what an amazing community we all have in each other.
New COVID-19 Resources
The Well Project developed this diverse list of trusted resources to address the broad impact that COVID-19 is having on our community, including our social justice, advocacy, gender equity, medical, and mental health care needs. The guide includes community-based information, federal and clinical resources, recommendations on handling sex and coping with stress, interactive resources, information for providers, and more. The guide will be regularly updated; if you have suggestions, please send them our way. Check out the guide here!
Developed by a group of HIV organizations, including The Well Project, this fact sheet in question-and-answer format will be regularly updated based on the best information available on COVID-19.
Blogging During (or About) COVID-19
We recognize that life looks nothing like it did a couple of months ago. For many, that may mean that blogging has become difficult or impossible (logistically, intellectually, and emotionally). For others though, blogging can provide an important chance to channel some of that stress. Whichever side of things you find yourself on, we understand. If you would find it helpful to read about how other women living with HIV are managing the new pandemic, please check out a few recent blogs below. If writing yourself feels like it would be therapeutic, please send your blogs our way! And if you are not currently a blogger with A Girl LIke Me, and you are interested in becoming one, please send us an email!
- Feelings about COVID-19 – Escalice
- My Anti-Stigma Message – Lynnea
- Isolation – Angel S.
- Getting Through COVID-19 Together (Virtually) – The Importance of our Online Support Community – Krista Martel
We hope that you are finding ways to manage the stress and isolation that we are all experiencing right now. Please know that we are here for you – if you have other ideas for ways that we can support our community through these times, please let us know!!
Sending love and peace,
The Well Project team