Wellness and Connection

By: Devon Rember, Assistant Director - Facilities


On March 14th, when Temple closed its doors due to COVID-19, I was unsure what my day to day would look like. In the beginning, it was difficult to build structure and balance in my day. Sleep patterns were off, eating habits were inconsistent, limited ability to exercise and lack of social interaction with family friends and my students was tough. Early in the process, I channeled most of my energy into two areas: my fitness/health/wellness, and fostering relationships with my immediate family and students to make sure they were all okay and transitioning to the new normal.


Living an active lifestyle was a priority therefore I decided to build a home gym, and this was the best decision I could have made for myself. Having the opportunity and privilege to be able to exercise at my own pace has been nothing short of amazing. I am fortunate to have the ability to create this for myself and do not take it for granted because my experience in quarantine would be very different without it.


In addition, I made it a priority to stay connected with friends/family via virtual games, Zoom happy hours, and other social media platform interactions. Having a partner throughout the process has been a big help on this end. Having my fiancé and myself working from home is a new thing for the both of us, but we created some rules and a framework to help us manage this pandemic together. We have each other and it is great to be able to have “someone” during these times. Being alone through all this would present a different set of challenges for me, I think. Lastly, I have been doing a lot of work around the house cleaning, organizing, planting indoor/outdoor plants, and just chipping away at the “honey do” list.


There have been quite a few bad times, and with the recent violent acts against and murders of black and brown women and men, the last few weeks have been extremely exhausting both emotionally and mentally. I have been enraged, sad, confused, frustrated, scared, and the list goes on and on. However, I continue to show up on my Zoom meetings as if everything is okay, and I smile as if I am not in pain. I work really hard to “keep it together” while others are living their lives as if this national problem of police brutality is only a black issue. In the midst of all of this, I continue to work to create safe spaces for black and brown people, as well as organize ways to change the narrative and provide insight and information to those who want to help be a part of the movement. Every day I try to make sure I honor how I feel, let it take its toll, and move forward the next day.