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Prioritize your physical, mental, and social-emotional health through COVID-19
As we adjust to a difficult new normal, how to help ourselves and others can be unclear. Making your own physical, mental, and social-emotional health your priority will help you support family, friends, and neighbors as they do the same.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Understand what healthy means for you. Take a few minutes to consider what each element of health means, and what it means for you personally. Has your doctor provided you a specific diet or activity goal? Perhaps those guidelines are your ‘physically healthy.’
- Connect with yourself and others daily. Find a few quiet minutes every day to check in with yourself. How are you doing, physically, mentally, and emotionally? Perhaps being flooded with media makes it hard to focus, or working from home while your children are there is overwhelming. Knowing how you’re doing is the first step in making a healthy choice, whether it’s a walk around the block, a phone call, or a little extra sleep.
- Find resources that work for you. Check into the resources below. They include many ways to connect, including virtual classes, meet-ups, wellness apps, and free professional support. The best ones for you are the ones your most likely to stick with.
As you consider physical, mental, and social-emotional health, know that ‘healthy’ looks different for each of us. Meeting ourselves where we are, with compassion, is the healthiest step we can take.
Physical health refers to how well our body functions as it should. Physical distancing helps reduce the risk of disease; it also reduces opportunities for physical activity. Finding ways to maintain activity and commit to preparing healthy meals can help you maintain your physical health.
- The Whole U gets you moving with Zumba, strength training, yoga and more.
- Assess the ergonomics of your home work station with tips from Hall Health.
- Visit Eating Well – resources from The Whole U that include recipes, educational, and stories about eating well from around the world.
- UW Medicine provides regular tips for feeding, moving and loving your body.
- There’s an app for that: myfitnesspal, Couch to 5K, and myplate are a few that can help you track your progress.
Mental health is a positive regard for ourselves and others, and our ability to cope with stresses and adjust to change, make healthy choices, and meet the demands of daily life. COVID-19 is a challenge to mental health across the globe and in each of our homes. It’s important to acknowledge that. If you don’t feel like your normal self, that’s normal.
- The Whole U is hosting virtual workshops, including yoga and meditation.
- UW Medicine offers a guide for what to do if you’re feeling anxious about COVID-19.
- UW CareLink offers a number of mental health resources, and can refer you to counselors using video technology for up to five free sessions.
- The Child Mind Institute helps parents support children during COVID-19.
- There’s an app for that: Sanvello, Simple Habit, and Headspace have free resources.
Social-emotional health is our capacity and practice of productive interactions with others, the ability to relate, and processing and expressing emotions appropriately.
- UW CareLink offers a free webinar: Coping with uncertainty about COVID-19, along with resources for navigating a number of areas of life during this time.
- UW Combined Fund Drive has compiled a resource page for UW employees to contribute their time, talent and treasure to help during COVID-19.
- When you have UW meetings, try UW Zoom for more social connection than phone alone. Create your free Zoom account to connect with family and friends, too! They’ve added free resources to support adults and kiddos.
- United Way of King County has resources for community volunteers.
- Coping and self-care from the CDC is a national resource for use during crisis.
Always seek help when needed. If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
- UW CareLink is available to all UW employees and their families 24/7.
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19.
- Professional development and wellness while working from home.