Free Courses to Maintain Mental & Physical Health During a Pandemic

As I write this, the smoke from the numer­ous for­est fires across Cal­i­for­nia are mak­ing the air qual­i­ty ter­ri­ble, so we are being told to stay inside. How­ev­er, the heat­wave is mak­ing it insuf­fer­able to *be* inside. And we also have to be wary of COVID-19 and wear a mask. You could say this is a slight­ly stress­ful sit­u­a­tion. And a lot of us are deal­ing with even more than that–job sta­bil­i­ty, rent, and on and on. Just typ­ing this made me anx­ious!

Dur­ing this time we should try not to neglect our men­tal health. For­tu­nate­ly Cours­era offers free online cours­es about Men­tal Health and Well-Being.

The Cours­era video above comes from a Face­book live event that fea­tures Yale University’s Lau­rie San­tos, who teach­es Coursera’s Sci­ence of Well-Being course. This 30 minute Q&A dives right in to our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, with San­tos out­lin­ing a pro­to­col for men­tal health that should be as much a part of your reg­i­men as wear­ing a mask and wash­ing your hands with soap (while singing Hap­py Birth­day to your­self, don’t for­get.)

Here’s a top ten of Cours­er­a’s most pop­u­lar health & well-being cours­es to check out:

  1. Mind Con­trol: Man­ag­ing Your Men­tal Health Dur­ing COVID-19 from Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
  2. The Sci­ence of Well-Being from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty
  3. Find­ing Pur­pose and Mean­ing In Life: Liv­ing for What Mat­ters Most from Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan
  4. Stan­ford Intro­duc­tion to Food and Health from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty
  5. A Life of Hap­pi­ness and Ful­fill­ment from Indi­an School of Busi­ness
  6. Pos­i­tive Psy­chi­a­try and Men­tal Health from The Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney
  7. Hack­ing Exer­cise For Health. The sur­pris­ing new sci­ence of fit­ness. from McMas­ter Uni­ver­si­ty
  8. Intro­duc­tion to Self-Deter­mi­na­tion The­o­ry: An approach to moti­va­tion, devel­op­ment and well­ness from Uni­ver­si­ty of Rochester
  9. Bio­hack­ing Your Brain’s Health from Emory Uni­ver­si­ty
  10. Man­ag­ing Your Health: The Role of Phys­i­cal Ther­a­py and Exer­cise from Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

San­tos answers ques­tions from view­ers, cov­er­ing top­ics like avoid­ing ten­sion and argu­ments with our loved ones, stay­ing informed on the world with­out cre­at­ing more anx­i­ety, how can frontline/healthcare work­ers com­bat anx­i­ety, how to keep your­self pos­i­tive when liv­ing alone with­out fam­i­ly or friends, how to keep pro­duc­tive and healthy at work with the threat of lay­offs, how to look for a new job after being laid off because of COVID, how to help your child who is miss­ing their school friends, how do we cre­ate good expe­ri­ences to cre­ate good mem­o­ries, what we can do about sleep prob­lems, how to care for fam­i­ly mem­bers with COVID while also work­ing a job, and how to show ran­dom acts of kind­ness dur­ing this time (which is what San­tos cov­ers often in her Hap­pi­ness Lab pod­cast).

Over­all, focus on self-com­pas­sion, San­tos says, which has to be the start­ing point for all of this. When you enroll in these cours­es, Cours­era gives you two options. You can enroll as a paid stu­dent and get a cer­tifi­cate at the end. Or choose to “audit” the course (as shown here) and the course is free. Just like in col­lege! All the learn­ing, none of the blue book essays!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Online Psy­chol­o­gy & Neu­ro­science Cours­es

Cours­era Makes Cours­es & Cer­tifi­cates Free Dur­ing Coro­n­avirus Quar­an­tine: Take Cours­es in Psy­chol­o­gy, Music, Well­ness, Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment & More Online

1,500 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties

Free Cours­es on the Coro­n­avirus: What You Need to Know About the Emerg­ing Pan­dem­ic

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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  • noel says:


    I just reg­is­tered and start­ed check­ing out that ” Find­ing Pur­pose” course.

    It is just more of the usu­al ridicu­lous garbage that only a pathet­ic imbe­cile could stand to put up with for more than about 10 min­utes !


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