The Other Side Effect: Staying Mentally Well During COVID-19

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Life has changed dramatically in the past few weeks. While following social distancing guidelines is good for our physical health and is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, sheltering in place and working from home can lead to unhealthy habits, loneliness, and a sedentary lifestyle. While isolated at home, you’re not alone if feeling scared, uncertain, and vulnerable. As we’ve needed to quickly adapt our lifestyles, it is more important than ever to stay mentally healthy. Time can speed or drag, but with this new norm, your mental wellbeing should be your top priority.

If you are exhibiting symptoms of severe anxiety or depression it’s important to seek professional help. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255

Here are some ways to decompress, destress, and improve your mental wellbeing:

Well Being Support for all: Modern Health is offering free mental health resources including live meditation exercises, free live virtual sessions, skill building workshops, and digital programs for the average person, essential workers, and HR teams. Modern Health also offers essential worker support sessions on a weekly cadence and additional meditations for the essential worker population. 

  • Block your time: It’s always tempting to work through lunch and during any spare time. However, when you’re working at home it’s important to build in time for meals, household chores, exercise, and even coffee breaks.
  • Work it out: Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your mood. Classpass is offering free online workouts until June 1 and Beachbody offers a low-cost subscription to over 70 online workouts, including ones designed for pregnant women as well as children.
  • Decompress to destress: Stress is natural, but managing that stress is an important part of mental wellbeing. Apps such as Calm and Headspace both offer free trials to help you meditate and unwind.
  • Stay connected: Being separated from family and friends can feel isolating, but thanks to technology you have the power to be social right from your own home. Apps such as Zoom and Houseparty have free versions available.
  • Eat to stay healthy: While alcohol and sugar may sound divine, unhealthy eating can torpedo mental wellbeing. Eat fresh foods and stay healthy using grocery delivery services, such as Instacart. In addition, fresh produce is available through Farm Fresh to YouImperfect Produce on the West Coast, the Midwest and parts of the East Coast, while Misfits Market serves the East Coast. You can also support your local restaurants using delivery services such as Postmates, Caviar, Grubhub, Seamless and Uber Eats.
  • Talk to a professional: Individual coaching or virtual therapist appointments are great outlets for managing stress and anxiety. For those in customer-facing positions, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are especially prevalent between 2-4:00 p.m. Book a session to be prepared to fight the mental funk.

    Coping with COVID-19: Keeping anxiety and uncertainty at bay
  • Anxiety is common, but don’t give up the fight: When you’re starting to feel anxious, do something small to take back control, feel a sense of accomplishment, and experience joy. These small wins fuel self-confidence and keep anxiety at bay.
  • Ditch the device: It’s easy to pass the time watching TV, scrolling your phone, or looking for the latest news. By stepping away from our phones you can encourage a healthy, positive mentality for yourself and your family.

    In addition, many employers offer some exceptional resources to offer you the help and support you need during this difficult time. You may have access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) through some medical carriers as well as extensive benefits through life and disability insurance companies. From virtual visits with counselors, to webinars, to free financial services to help you manage economic stress, you have access to a supportive virtual network to help you tackle life’s challenges.

    Click here for more information on EAP programs.

    Help and support for healthcare workers: Ginger is offering US-based health systems free on-demand behavioral health coaching for their frontline healthcare workers through June 2020. Employers can offer Ginger to their workforce, which offers virtual behavioral health coaching, therapy, and psychiatry, or personalized self-care coaching.

    Well Being Support for all: Modern Health is offering free mental health resources including live meditation exercises, free live virtual sessions, skill building workshops, and digital programs for the average person, essential workers, and HR teams. Modern Health also offers essential worker support sessions on a weekly cadence and additional meditations for the essential worker population. 

    Fee-for-service webinars: Looking to boost your resiliency and gain practical knowledge and support? Morneau Shepell has you covered. With this fee-for-service option, you’ll have access to a library of Workplace Learning Solutions (WLS) and other resources to support mental health. Here are a few relevant webinar examples:
  • Building Resilience while under Quarantine 
  • Building Resilience in Uncertain Times

    Complimentary Webinar: Emotional Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    In this 25 minute webinar, The Standard Insurance’s EAP partner, Morneau Shepell (MS), offers practical skills to cope with anxiety, information on how to talk to your children about the COVID-19 pandemic, and tips for you and your family to stay healthy. Click here to access the webinar.

    With the right tools and support to keep you mentally well, our team is here for you–no matter where you are.

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