“Do the good that’s in front of you, even if it feels very small.” 

   -Sharon Salzberg

(click "Always show content from this sender," at the top of this email to see some great photographs featured in this newsletter!)
W e l l (n e s s)

Photo: Little Skellig from Skellig Michael islands; Republic of Ireland; Eryn Trauben


Dear classmates,

The heaviness of the past few weeks is palpable by all. As our class collectively grieves with those who have experienced tragedy, we are reminded that our experience here in medical school exceeds the daily grind of lectures and exams.

As lectures continue and exams draw near, we now have the opportunity to practice acting in kindness and compassion under stressful circumstances. We are all here because someone, somewhere vouched for our ability to connect with those around us. No matter how small, each act inspires a cascade of goodwill that brings us closer together. 

With gratitude,

Picture: Rachel Carson Conservancy, Joseph Aryankalayil

Wellness in Action:

What are small ways we can support those around us?

Whether sending that text you've been thinking about sending to let someone know you're thinking of them, or practicing "active listening" when talking to a friend, there are many, small ways we can connect in kindness with those around us.

Tools for Active Listening
Come Sit with CIMIG!

Starting TOMORROW (Thursday 11/9), CIMIG will be offering meditation sessions led by Dr. Shere-Wolfe on Thursdays from 12-1pm (exact dates on Medscope). 

Date: 11/9, and Thursdays to follow (on Medscope)
Location: HSF II - 516 (5th floor)

These sessions are designed to improve the well-being and decrease stress of MS1 and MS2 students
This is a hands on series where students will be practicing mediation in a friendly and open, group setting. We will leave time for introduction, discussion, and reflection. The primary goal of this series is to allow students to experience the practice of Vedic philosophy through meditation and to gain a better understanding of themselves. 


Krista Tippett, from "On Being" interviews Ellen Langer, a psychologist studying mindfulness at Harvard University. Her unconventional studies have long suggested what neuroscience is now revealing: Our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them. Naming something play rather than work — or exercise rather than labor — can mean the difference between delight and drudgery, fatigue or weight loss. What makes a vacation a vacation is not only a change of scenery, but the fact that we let go of the mindless everyday illusion that we are in control.

Ellen Langer says mindfulness is achievable without meditation or yoga. She defines it as “the simple act of actively noticing things.”
Click *HERE* to listen
classmate well(ness) 
Wellness and self-care are as varied and personal as each of us. There's no one way to do it. Here, we highlight a classmate and the tools they use to stay balanced. 

Janet Karanja, class of 2020:

CIMIG: Hi Janet! How is self-care looking like for these days?

Janet: For me, well(ness) never looks the same and is always evolving. It has been an undulating journey between moments of pure bliss and tears that don’t seem to dry, but I have learned that well(ness) also involves an understanding and peace in knowing that it is ok to not be ok and to find an anchor to help you through it all. My anchor, besides my family, are the friends and peers that I have the privilege of learning with. I learn that I am not alone.

Also, the counseling center helps tremendously as well!

Another source of peace for me also comes from the world around me. Taking time to appreciate the small things in life, like studying outside and appreciating the sun beams through the leaves or talking to some local Baltimoreans about their daily lives outside of our campus. Though this may be tough to do on a busy schedule, I recommend changing up study spots when you feel tired or uninspired, especially to locations throughout Baltimore, from Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffee Shop to the Peabody Library.

Just remember: It’s ok to cry, just remember why you are crying, find someone to cry with you, and collectively figure out what you can do about it. <3


Have a beautiful photo? We want to feature it!

Email us with your favorite photo -- of the tree outside your house, a piece of graffiti that made you stop and pause, whatever it is -- we'd love to highlight it in our Photo of the Week! email to:

About us.  
The word 'well' is defined and used in many ways. As an adverb, it can refer to an action done "in a kind or friendly manner," "with skill or aptitude," "satisfactorily," "with careful or close attention," "in a way appropriate to the circumstances," and "as one could wish." As people, not to mention as students, we are constantly striving to do well, live well, perform well, balance well: simply, to be well. It is empowering to realize that doing something well can mean a range of outcomes. As an adjective, 'well' is defined as "being in satisfactory condition," or "being a cause for thankfulness." When we are well, it is cause for gratitude. This is juxtaposed perfectly by the medical definition of 'wellness,' a noun meaning "the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal." It feels both useful and beautiful to gather these meanings together as we approach our daily pursuits of doing well, being well, and improving our wellness. Well(ness) reminds us that with intention and care, we can be well in many ways while pursuing wellness, and that our efforts might bring us closer to a better, more satisfactory outcome - perhaps even an outcome of gratitude - emotionally, academically, or physically. 

Wellness at UMB:
Events and Programs

4:30 p.m. | SMC 351Join a thoughtful discussion about culture designed to increase awareness and provide a deeper understanding of different attitudes, concepts and communication styles.

11:30 a.m. | SMC 1st FloorCelebrate World Kindness Day by dropping in, decorating a cookie, and a thank you card for Baltimore's fire fighters and police officers, including our very own UMB security officers.

Noon | SMC 353This presentation will explore how family relationships set the model for interpersonal relationships. Come learn ways to recognize family relationship patterns and set healthy boundaries.

5:15 p.m. | SMC 353In this 3-week series, we will practice on using tools to de-stress in our most stressful time of the year - FINALS! Learn to control stress, even as you are experiencing it.
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