Making Life Easier for King County employees

King County provides mental health programs to help employees and their family cope with the personal outcomes of tragedies, stress, change, or trauma. The Making Life Easier Program (MLE) is one free resource that is available for employees to use when experiencing difficult situations. MLE offers support with various services, such as free mental health... Continue Reading →

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July and August mindfulness class schedule now available

As we continue to maneuver through this very difficult time in our society, it is important that we manage our mental health and stress levels. Balanced You heard from employees that mindfulness classes have helped alleviate some of the anxiety many are experiencing, so we are continuing to provide these classes through August. What is... Continue Reading →

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Live healthier with these free wellness programs

When you feel healthy, you can get the most out of life and do your best work. That’s why we created Balanced You, a program to help all King County employees meet their financial, emotional, and physical needs. Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes with Omada Some people at risk of developing type... Continue Reading →

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Financial resources for King County employees

COVID-19 has resulted in urgent financial needs for many households. Fortunately, there are ways King County employees can receive financial help. Read on for more information. New access to Deferred Compensation Plan accounts If you are a member of the King County Deferred Compensation Plan through T. Rowe Price, you may be eligible to access... Continue Reading →

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On-demand webinar: Supporting Kids through the Pandemic

During the recent Balanced You webinar “A Conversation on Self-care and Connection,” we heard from employees that one of your top concerns is how the pandemic is impacting your kids. Because you asked for help supporting your kids through this, we reached out to one of the area’s top parent coaches, Sarina Behar Natkin, to... Continue Reading →

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How to be an ally: Anti-racism resources for white people

Many white people witnessing the violence against Black bodies and minds are committed to action that will set our country on a more just path. As such, many are resolving to demonstrate allyship by taking actions to counter, disrupt, and dismantle systemic racism through anti-racism. If you’ve heard these words, wondered what they mean, and... Continue Reading →

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Emotional well-being resources for Black communities

Over the past two weeks, we have witnessed continued harm to Black bodies and minds, harm that has been perpetuated for generations via institutions, policies, and laws in every community throughout the United States. The combined impact of police violence, a pandemic disproportionately affecting People of Color, and centuries of systemic racism places undue stress... Continue Reading →

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Mental Health Month week four: Supporting others

For the last week of Mental Health Month, Balanced You is focusing on the topic “supporting others.” Widening our view from self-care to collective care by supporting others’ mental health is important, especially during the ongoing pandemic, which has increased stress for so many. While you may not be able to fix someone’s mental well-being,... Continue Reading →

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Mental Health Month week three: Connecting with others

For the third week of Mental Health month, Balanced You is focusing on the topic “connecting with others.” Social connection helps ward off social isolation and is an important part of mental health. The connections we make with other people enrich our lives and support us through the most difficult times. But, sometimes, it is... Continue Reading →

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On-demand webinar: A Conversation on Self-Care

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone’s mental health in unique ways. Now, more than ever, self-care and connection are needed. In recognition of Mental Health Month, Shawna Johnson, Balanced You Employee Health Specialist, and Heather Steffensen, Interim Employee Assistance Program Manager, led "A Conversation on Self-Care." This live, interactive webinar covered the following: self-care strategies, techniques... Continue Reading →

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Mental Health Month week two: Creating healthy routines

For the second week of Mental Health Month, Balanced You is focusing on the topic “creating healthy routines.” Many of our routines including nutrition, physical activity, social connection, and rest have been upended by the pandemic. Maintaining our old routines may be impossible, due to new work schedules, social distancing rules, or stress levels. As... Continue Reading →

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Advice from EAP during Mental Health Month: Filling our self-compassion tanks

The coronavirus pandemic is challenging professionally and personally for all of us. Perhaps you’re frustrated with yourself because you’re struggling with computer technology or having difficulty learning new job skills. Or, if you’re a parent, perhaps you’re questioning your ability as you struggle to balance your child’s online and recreation schedule. Self-compassion is a practice... Continue Reading →

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Mental Health Month week one: Owning your feelings

Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also influences how we cope with stress, make healthy choices, and relate to others. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and, due to the stress brought on by COVID-19, this is a particularly important year to focus on this aspect of well-being. Balanced You is... Continue Reading →

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Mindfulness videos now available for King County employees

visit this blogpostBalanced You understands this pandemic is stressful. In response, we are creating new tools and resources to support your well-being during this difficult time. Mindfulness classes have remained popular among employees, so we have decided to expand access to mindfulness resources. As such, Balanced You is pleased to announce a series of free... Continue Reading →

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Self-care for telecommuters living with partners and roommates

As efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic continue, many people feel confused and overwhelmed. Staying indoors through isolation contributes to this feeling, and may be exacerbated by our living arrangements. Balanced You has provided self-care tips for telecommuting employees living with children at home. It is important to also note that telecommuters who live... Continue Reading →

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Advice from EAP to front-line staff during COVID-19

Reporting to your workplace during a pandemic is challenging. The pace can be frantic, and the work can feel relentless. Many people – colleagues and customers – are stressed out, ourselves included. Whether your job is categorized as essential, front line, first responder, or mission-critical, coming into work at this time can cause anxiety, perhaps... Continue Reading →

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Free personalized Money Coaching for King County employees

During the uncertain economic times brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, you may find yourself becoming worried about your family’s financial stability. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn to an impartial expert for advice? With King County’s My Secure Advantage (MSA) program, you can receive personalized advice from a professional Money Coach for... Continue Reading →

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April and May mindfulness class schedule now available

Mindfulness is a practice that can support you in reducing stress at work and at home. Mindfulness techniques are especially useful now, as we move through the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. Balanced You continues to partner with Mindfulness Northwest to offer free mindfulness classes and workshops to King County employees, via both employee-specific and... Continue Reading →

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Self-care for Emergency Responders during the COVID-19 pandemic

Emergency responders – healthcare workers, public health professionals, law enforcement, emergency operations staff, and others – are heroes in the battle against coronavirus. King County is grateful for your dedication to our community’s health. Thank you. Balanced You knows you are working long hours, making difficult decisions, enduring trauma, and facing human tragedy. Many of... Continue Reading →

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Tips for K-12 spring break while social distancing

For many students in King County, this time of year heralds spring break, a much-anticipated week away from school. The coronavirus outbreak has caused many families to cancel plans for break, leaving them in search of creative ways to keep their kids entertained while practicing social distancing. Below are some ideas for activities you can... Continue Reading →

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Healthy eating during the coronavirus response

Now that you have stocked up on groceries, you may be wondering how to best use all the rice and beans you bought and what recipes will boost your immune system. Balanced You has got you covered. There’s no better support for your immune system than sleeping well, exercising, managing your stress, washing your hands,... Continue Reading →

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Telecommuting with children at home

To slow the spread of coronavirus, King County employees who can telecommute have been mandated to telecommute until at least Sept. 7, 2020.  Because K-12 schools have closed, King County is temporarily allowing parents and caretakers to telecommute while caring for children at home. Telecommuting with children at home is a new experience for most... Continue Reading →

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Caring for children during the coronavirus response

The evolving coronavirus outbreak in our community has been difficult for everyone to process. Each of us is experiencing some degree of anxiety or stress in the face of this pandemic. Children process stress differently than adults and are uniquely affected by the way we talk about the virus, images in the media, and changes... Continue Reading →

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Taking care of ourselves during a pandemic

It is a challenging time for employees, families, and our community as we continue our efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, and it is normal to have feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. While many things are beyond our control with this outbreak, there are many things that we can control. When we are anxious... Continue Reading →

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Self-care for telecommuters during the COVID-19 pandemic

As King County responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19), employees who can telecommute have been mandated to do so until May 31 to reduce the community risk of coronavirus transmission. Furthermore, the CDC has recently issued guidance that everyone practice social distancing.  While this strategy has many benefits, the sudden switch can throw off your routine.... Continue Reading →

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[Update: 2020 Worksite Fund temporarily paused due to coronavirus] Apply now! 2020 Worksite Fund

Update: The 2020 Worksite Fund application period has been temporarily paused while King County focuses its efforts on stopping the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). An updated application deadline will be announced at a later date. Employees are invited to continue brainstorming Worksite Fund projects during this time. Please reach out to balancedyou@kingcounty.gov with questions... Continue Reading →

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Telehealth options now available for Regence and Kaiser members

Balanced You knows getting to the doctor’s office isn’t always easy. That’s why King County employees and family members enrolled in Regence and Kaiser medical plans now have access to a convenient option for health care: telehealth visits that allow you to access board-certified, trained medical providers using your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer, without... Continue Reading →

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Resolved to stress less in 2020? Check out a mindfulness class

Would you like to stress less this year? Give one of our popular mindfulness classes a try! Balanced You has partnered with Mindfulness Northwest to offer classes at county worksites, online, or in the community. Classes are available to King County employees free-of-charge, subject to availability. See the January to March 2020 calendar below. Mindfulness... Continue Reading →

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