Health & Wellness

'The Bus' And Other Favorite Steelers and Penguins Team Up To Provide Coronavirus Coping Tips

Watch the "Mind Hacks" they're using to stay sane. They'll make you smile, and help you and your family learn how to feel less stressed.

I have something in common with Pittsburgh Penguins Colby Armstrong and Brian Rust, and Steelers Jerome Bettis, and Troy Polamalu, and no, it's not great athletic prowess! Like everyone, I'm also struggling with extra anxiety because of the fear, stress, uncertainty and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's why these sports stars are participating in campaign produced by an organization called Embrace Pittsburgh (FYI, you don't have to be from Pittsburgh to enjoy and learn from it). Their "Team Up To Cope With COVID" campaign is designed to help with our emotional well-being at a time of when we're especially vulnerable to emotional upset.

Meg and the athletes talk about how to negotiate emotional bumps in the road of life.EMBRACE Pittsburgh

The campaign includes a series of videos, hostd by the highly entertaining "Meg," and featuring some of your favorite Pittsburgh athletes. These short family-oriented videos offer coping skills or "mind hacks," based on the advice of mental health professionals using a concept called dialectical behavioral therapy which teaches ways to change negative thinking patterns.

The first video describes something called self-soothing, or ways to calm yourself when things appear to be out of control and you're feeling upset. Who knew a tough guy like Brian Rust loves his blankie when he's stressed?

The second video in the series describes a thought process that uses the acronym S.T.O.P. to help you remember the steps to avoid overreacting when you're under stress. Steelers Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis is the co-host of this one:

Eventually there will be seven videos, all featuring popular athletes and their "mind hacks." There's also a social media component, with regular practical tips from therapists and experts on EMBRACE's Facebook page, and a coronavirus emotional resources page on the organization's website.

This is the type of regular coping advice you'll find on the organization's Facebook page. FYI, they like acronyms!Embrace PGH/Facebook

Even better, while you're taking advantage of the "mind hacks" for your own emotional well-being, if you share them with others, you'll be helping people facing personal crisis because of the pandemic. Embrace Pittsburgh will donate $4.12 (the Pittsburgh area's primary area code) each time a video is "shared" from their Facebook page or website. The money, up to $41,200 will go to the Pittsburgh Foundation's Emergency Action Fund, where you'll find tons of other COVID resources on all topics.

How can you start something good?

What a wonderful way for a group of experts -- and some of our favorite sports stars -- to help us make life OK during the coronavirus pandemic!

Don't forget to share the videos so Embrace Pittsburgh can keep making donations to the Pittsburgh Foundation's Emergency Action Fund. You can also make a contribution directly to the fund by clicking here.

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