Four months ago, nobody could have predicted we would be living in our current situation. Cities have shut down, economies have started to shrink, hospitals are full and public spaces are empty, and many parents now have to juggle working from home while also playing teacher to their children whose schools have closed for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 has profoundly altered all aspects of society.
During times of disruption and uncertainty, much like what this current pandemic has presented, it is important that we all remain grounded in a sense of purpose and self-direction so that we can achieve more. DIEMlife provides the perfect platform for communities and individuals to connect and adapt in the face of unexpected crisis situations. We help members add purpose and meaning to their lives by helping them set goals, called Quests. Whether it is individual or community-based, identifying and defining each Quest allows for tangible outcomes while allowing each member to connect on a larger scale and work together. Oftentimes in crisis situations even the smallest of goals can seem impossible. However here at DIEMlife, no Quest is impossible – and certainly no Quest is insignificant when it comes to physical and mental health, or when it comes to helping others.
Since Covid-19 made its mark on the map, DIEMlife has been working tirelessly with individuals, organizations, and communities alike – all with the single common thread to achieve more in a time when it feels like all we are only able to accomplish less. In March 2020, DIEMlife partnered with the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC) in Vermont to help them launch their digital wellness initiative for faculty and staff of Middlebury College, Champlain College,St. Michael’s College, and Norwich University. Using DIEMlife’s platform, GMHEC participating members are able to join focus groups and achieve wellness goals through weekly Quests such as staying active every day, trying new things each week, or utilizing tools for managing stress. Not only can participants track their own progress and accomplishments, but each individual can hold each other accountable to achieving the weekly Quests. As a result, GMHEC members are well positioned to improve their physical and mental health by achieving tasks that once seemed only optimal for in-person, group accountability.
Syracuse University’s Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion utilizes DIEMlife’s platform to help digitize the Monday Mile, part of their Healthy Monday campaign. Healthy Monday aims to fight the rise of chronic disease by offering weekly prompts to help communities launch and sustain healthy behaviors. The Monday Mile challenges students, faculty, staff, and local communities to increase their weekly physical activity. After launching a one month pilot campaign with DIEMlife, Syracuse University will renew their partnership to make the Monday Mile challenge a national rollout in the near future. Participants will be able to track their progress and hold others accountable by checking in on their friends’ progress via the DIEMlife platform. Prior to Covid-19, challenge-takers could tackle the Monday Mile by walking or running together. Now with their new digital capabilities through DIEMlife, Syracuse University is well-positioned to seamlessly adapt to the current social distancing guidelines. They will successfully translate social distancing into digital and distanced socializing so their community can accomplish more.
One of the most powerful and tangible campaigns that DIEMlife remains active in today is our partnership with Sage & Zest. At the onset of Covid-19, it quickly became apparent that our healthcare workers, those on the frontline fighting the virus, would need as much support as possible. Similarly with the lockdown of non-essential businesses, restaurants realized financial hardships. After seeing success with their Syracuse, NY efforts, DIEMlife helped launch a NYC hospital and restaurant fundraising campaign with Sage & Zest. Donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations pay for quality meals for hospital staff and first responders. These donations also support local restaurants that are fighting to stay afloat. This campaign has successfully empowered the community and the individual with a sense of purpose to help support both local businesses and frontline workers, all via a streamlined channel through which to donate funds towards real outcomes – and it has been nothing short of impressive.
To date, DIEMlife and Sage & Zest have raised over $33,000 and delivered over 3,000 meals to first responders, while our efforts continue to grow.
The current Covid-19 pandemic is a crisis. The once lively streets of New York City are closer to those of a ghost town; previously filled sports arenas are empty; and brick and mortar wellness gyms and studios are closed. However despite the shrinking social life we were all once used to, the sense of community has expanded. There remains a desire for achievement and a craving for strong physical and mental wellness. By setting goals, planning for success, and harnessing community support, DIEMlife believes that even in the toughest of circumstances, everyone can lead a life of purpose, achievement, and self-direction so that we can all emerge healthier and stronger together on the other side.