Self-Care for Your Online Students

Resources for creating a ‘take-a-deep-breath’ module in your online course

Photo Camping after a Storm by Michelle Bartlett

Students sometimes reach out to share stressful events that are weighing on them, partly to get the words and emotions out and partly to brainstorm a plan on how to navigate the rest of the semester and build a plan for successful course completion. During the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters, the number of stressful events was exponentially increased. These students were given grace and flexibility to the fullest and despite the world crashing down, they worked harder than I had ever seen before and turned in some the highest quality work.

Some peers had told me that an increase in flexibility meant a decrease in rigor and would ensure a decrease in the quality of students’ assignments and learning… they couldn’t have been more wrong!

Building on the things I learned from my students who worked harder when I showed them support, I designed an optional ‘take a deep breath’ module for my online courses. It is full of resources around mindfulness, time management, and self-care. Students can turn to these resources when stress has them stuck, to help pause, regroup, and move forward.

Sometimes when you are behind and it seems like stopping to do something else is the worst decision…if it gets you unstuck then you move toward the goal faster than if you hadn’t paused at all.

Here are some resources so that you can offer the same stress-reducing space for your online students. Even if students do not use the resources, they will know that you are mindful of their stress/life balance. One tip is to not crowd the space. Keep it simple and offer just a few resources so that they are not overwhelmed by the options.

Mental health issues among students are on the rise and finding help is getting harder due to COVID.


Video: What is Mindfulness

Video: Adopting Mindfulness

Reading: Seppala, E. (2015). How meditation benefits CEOs.

Reading: What is Mindfulness?

Reading: Benefits of Mindfulness

Audio: Mindful Breathing

Audio: 3-minute Mindful Breathing Meditation (Relieve Stress)

Google Folder with more Mindfulness Resources

Time Management

It would be too time-consuming to keep up a time management sheet every day…but sometimes when you shut down, filling out this form helps organize and compartmentalize the things that are pressing. Start with a thing or two to check off the list and get energized to keep going!


Relax Video

Laugh Video

ASMR Video

Exercise Video

Watch Fish Video


This is just a sampling of resources that help build a space where students can pause, relax, and practice stress-reducing techniques. What resources would you add?

Faculty Scholar | Online Course Designer | Researcher | ❤ outdoors ❤ SUP ❤ travel ❤