In this issue:

  • Houston Happenings
  • Insta-Fitness
  • MS4 Advice
  • Online Interaction
  • SPOTlight
  • Takeout Tips
  • TAO
  • Thrive at UT
  • Webex World
  • Wellness from Home
  • Wellness Warriors
  • ZOOM-ing Into Fall
The Well is a monthly newsletter that serves to
positively impact the well-being of the McGovern student community
by highlighting a myriad of wellness-related content.
Click here to share your thoughts on The Well!
ZOOM-ing Into Fall
Welcome back to our regularly scheduled content! For those of you who are new, The Well is a monthly newsletter from the Wellness & Resilience [W&R] Committee. Our aim is to cultivate a culture of wellness, which is more important than ever during the unprecedented events of the status quo. Each issue centers around a unifying theme, with this issue nodding towards our shift to the virtual learning environment through our playful title, “ZOOM-ing Into Fall”.

With transition comes the opportunity to forge new connections. While meeting peers might now happen over two-people-unmuting-themselves-at-the-same-time or the endless pings of joining an all-class meeting, we’re hoping to bring you ways to connect to fellow medical students and the greater Houston community. Whether you’re thinking about catching a movie or snagging a bite, curious about endless outdoor spaces or how to find (or grow) your inner zen from home, we have you covered. If you’re looking for a long-term and sustainable option towards attaining mental clarity, check out Headspace, which is free for 2 years through McGovern’s AMA coverage for all medical students. The W&R Committee is here for you - follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay connected. Otherwise, see you next month! 
Takeout Tips
For all its traffic, humidity, and *relatively* lacking outdoor recreation [talking to you Austin people], Houston totally makes up for it with its food. Being one of the most diverse cities in the US has many benefits and one is undeniably incredible cuisine.

Houston Restaurant Weeks [HRW] is an annual event where Houston restaurants curate multi-course pre-fixed menus at set prices to benefit the Houston Food Bank. From August 1 - September 7, they’re offering 2-3 course lunches and brunches for $20/person and 3-4 course dinners for $35 or $45 per person. Your med student budget may cry foul, but you might be able to convince yourself it’s worth it [it is]. Many of these restaurants, some of the best Houston has to offer, normally charge these prices or more just for a single entree.

But...COVID? This year, many of the HRW restaurants are offering their menus to-go! Meals really are huge - two roomies could definitely split and be satisfied. Check out the HRW website for the full list of participating restaurants and see below for a few recommendations.

HRW options:
  • Hugo’s $$$ | Amazing 3-course brunch option and the best Tres Leche
  • Le Colonial $$$| Kaffir Lime and Coconut Custard are delicious

Other takeout recs:
  • The Burger Joint $$ | Sweet potato fries are delicious and big enough to split. Burgers and sandwiches are mostly in the $7-12 range. And they have a punch card. 
  • Gusto Gourmet $-$$ | Arepas do not disappoint!
  • Les Noo’dle $-$$ | Try the Pho Bo, big enough to split and/or have leftovers. 
  • Rim Tanon $$ | Ties with Thai Gourmet for great Thai food, and much closer to TMC! It’s all good, and again, dishes are big enough for leftovers. 
  • Tacos Tierra Caliente $ | Great tacos for a great price. Cash only! Usually located in the parking lot across the street from West Alabama Ice House.
Being stuck at home makes it easy to plop on the couch instead of the yoga mat, but during these crazy times we need to take care of ourselves and work in some physical stress relief--and prevent DVTs. Gyms may be opening up, but there are still plenty of virus free [and just plain free] at home workouts to explore. Check out a few of our favorite Instagram accounts. Grab an accountability buddy and get to it!

@kayla_itsines is arguably the queen of the Instagram fitness community. She has her Sweat App that costs around $5 per week, but also regularly posts free circuit-style workouts on her page and IGTV! She and the other trainers involved with @sweat have made an effort to make all workouts home-friendly with no equipment needed.

@dogpound and @barrys have both been live hosting and posting free workouts, so right now you can try out their classes without breaking the bank! 

@blogilates shows us how to tone up without needing a reformer machine, and has great stretching videos to help you undo all your couch-potato-at-home tension.

Two great non-Insta workouts are the Peloton app, which has a 30-day free trial [with running and strength workouts in addition to biking ones], and a short NY Times workout that kept us active during STEP studying. It’s only 7 minutes, so it’s easy to squeeze in even on a super tight schedule. Happy sweating! 
Wellness from Home
Feeling a little stir-crazy lately? You are not alone! It is perfectly normal to feel like your wellness has taken a toll while staying home, but here are some helpful tips to mix things up and refresh your routine. A great comprehensive resource to browse is The Medical Student Wellness Guide created by the Nutrition in Medicine student organization. Some highlights from the wellness guide include maintaining good sleep hygiene by having a cut-off point for screens and school work. This can help you wind down and relax before bed and may improve sleep quality! If you find yourself in need of a short mental break during the day, coloring can be very therapeutic and relaxing. A great free coloring app is Happy Color. Or if you’re old school and prefer an actual book, Johanna Basford makes some beautiful options. Pro tip: listen to an audiobook while you color. This is a great time to read those books you’ve been wanting to read but “don’t have the time to.” You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get through a book while you color for even just 20 minutes each day.

Wanting to get out of the house? [well, perhaps when it’s a little cooler outside] Go for a walk, jog, run, bike ride, stretch or whatever you prefer to get some fresh air. The change of scenery can help boost your mood. Suggestions: Buffalo Bayou, Memorial Park, Rice trail, Hermann Park trail, Hermann Park Centennial Gardens, your apartment hallway, or neighborhood! Everyone is feeling a little out of their normal element. Take time everyday for yourself whether that’s trying a new recipe, starting a new book or TV show, or soaking up some sunshine. Little changes can help combat that cabin fever!
Online Interaction
With COVID continuing to impact our daily routines and the way we socialize with others, many have run out of fun ways to stay engaged with friends and family while social distancing. But fear not! This month, we’ve rounded up some unique and exciting ways to interact online for free:

Netflix Party | The Netflix Party extension for Google Chrome allows you to watch anything on Netflix simultaneously for free. It synchronizes your playback and provides you with a sidebar chat so that you can “omg!!” and “did you see that?” and “no way...” in real time!

Among Us | Play this game with a larger group and help prepare your spaceship for takeoff. However, beware - an imposter has infiltrated your ship and is attempting to sabotage your mission! Win by voting the imposter(s) off the ship and completing all individual missions. Pro tip: make this game even more fun by playing it over FaceTime, Zoom, or Discord.

New York Times Mini + USA Today Crossword | Attempt to join the one-digit club on the NYTMini [completing the puzzle in under 10 seconds] or race your friend on the USA Today. For something more relaxing, call a friend and complete the crossword together. The best thing about these crosswords is that they’re free and updated daily! 
MS4 Advice
I joined a running club in medical school and found that it was a great way to interact with new people outside of medicine, get some endorphins, and explore new parts of Houston. I was even able to run a few marathons during medical school and it was great to have other goals besides doing well academically.

Find study buddies who challenge you to think critically, know your favorite Trader Joe’s snacks, and can make you laugh. Those are friends worth having not just in medical school, but for life.

| Grace Howard, MS4
COVID has shut down a lot of coffee shops to any would-be studiers. Finding a coffee shop, let alone any place, to study is a hassle; here’s a list of places open and their details:

  • Fondren Library | Next to the beautiful Rice campus. Great on the weekends, but not open late during the week.
  • Retrospect Coffee Shop | Open and outdoor space near Axelrad on 3709 La Branch St. Great for morning studying.
  • Buffalo Bayou Coffee | Looking for a place closer to downtown? This coffee shop offers great indoor seating and one great cup of coffee.
  • Slowpokes Coffee Shop | This spot is farther north but offers free parking for 3 hours, any type of coffee, and chill vibe.
Webex World
Zoom has been getting all the attention these days but did you know Webex also has some cool features? With most McGovern meetings and lectures taking place on Webex, here are some tips to help you get acquainted.

Share videos with the group. 
  • Share Share Multimedia enter the URL and it adds it to the side panel for all participants
Share a specific application without showing your whole screen. You can even share a particular web tab so everyone won’t see how many tabs you keep open. The box and arrow button called “Share content”, right next to the video camera button along the bottom gives you the option to share anything.

Bonus tip: keep scrolling down after you hit the “Share content” button, and you can share a white board with the group 
Accidentally stayed unmuted during a meeting? You can enable a feature to temporarily unmute only when you’d like to talk. 
  • Audio “Unmute temporarily by holding the spacebar” [make sure the checkmark is there to enable the shortcut]

Frustrated by the constant dinging every time someone enters or exits the meeting? There’s a way to mute the dings..if you are the host.
  • Participant Entry and Exit Tone [make sure there’s no check mark to disable the feature]

You can change your virtual background before you enter the meeting!
  • Before you enter, choose the button on the upper left corner labeled “Change background”
Wellness Warriors

The Wellness & Resilience Advocacy Subcommittee was busy this summer completing and distributing the Financial Cheat Sheet which serves as a supplemental financial aid resource for the incoming class. Now, the Advocacy team wants to hear from you to learn how they can best serve the student body.

Please complete this short survey for a chance to receive McGovern swag!
09.23.20 | WELLNESS FAIR
Houston Happenings
If COVID has you thinking that there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go in Houston, think again! Here’s a list of events happening around Houston that are socially distanced approved.

Check out Discovery Green’s “House of Cards” art installation, which features oversized playing cards showcasing various pieces of artwork. At night, it will be lit up, creating the illusion of the house of cards rising, collapsing, and being rebuilt.

Grab some fresh and local seasonal produce at a Farmers market! There are a few around Houston, but Urban Harvest is definitely the most popular. A lot of Farmers markets are offering drive-thru options to maintain social distancing.

Explore Memorial Park’s Eastern Glades – it’s a new project that features 100 acres of previously inaccessible parkland, which means more places to picnic, walk through trails, or relax on a boardwalk.

Watch a movie at Sawyer Yards! This open space, drive-thru movie theater projects films onto an almost 100-foot screen, but most importantly, you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own car.
September is the peak of hurricane season.
Check out the W&R Committee's
Emergency Preparedness Guide: Severe Weather for what to do before, during, and after the storm.

Are conflicts or concerns causing you undue stress? Don’t forget about UTHealth’s newly created position: the Office of the Academic Ombuds. Robin Dickey, PhD, MA, LPC, is available as a listener, mediator, and coach for all members of our UTHealth family. Make an appointment today!
TAO | Therapy Assistance Online
The Student Health and Counseling Clinic is excited to announce a new wellness tool available to all students, faculty, and staff at UTH. TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) is an interactive, self-guided, web-based program that consists of tools and educational materials to help you learn about and change how you think and feel. 
Thrive at UT
Thrive at UT is a free app designed to enhance UT student well-being and help busy students live their best life. Thrive helps you make small changes in your routine that have powerful long-term impacts.
Brought to you by the McGovern Student Wellness & Resilience Committee
Newsletter Staff: Lauren Beal, Michelle Chen, Jay Garza, Sarah Linson,
Pooja Prasad, Nina Quirk, Jordan Shive, Ayana Taylor, Ashley Tom, Tori Waters
Questions, Comments, or Contributions to The Well,
please email