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 and fearful, establishing some control in our lives can be empowering and comforting.

Balanced You is here to support you as you establish new practices of self-care to support your immune system and overall physical and mental health.

Maintain a routine

Do your best to maintain a regular routine: sleep, exercise, and diet.

  • Set a regular sleep and wake schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
  • If you are able, go for a walk in your neighborhood or on a trail, while keeping six feet apart from others. If you’d rather exercise at home, take advantage of the many online exercise routines available for free.
  • Try at-home yoga or exercise. For inspiration, Balanced You has partnered with Vivecorp to develop a website of easy desk stretches and exercises that can be done whether you’re working at home, in the field, or in the office.
  • Stock up on healthy pantry and non-perishable items. Cook fresh foods first, and then move to shelf-stable foods like dried beans and canned goods. Take this time to practice new, healthy recipes.

Stay connected

Avoid crowds, but stay connected.

  • Connect with a friend via phone or video chat. Sharing your concerns and anxieties is helpful. The other person likely has the same or similar concerns.
  • Reach out to a family member or neighbor – let them know you’re thinking about them.
  • Share meals with family or roommates.
  • If you are able, help a neighbor who is at high-risk. Offer to buy groceries or other necessities and leave them at the front door.
  • Talk with a co-worker or supervisor. Maintain regular team meeting schedules if possible and reach out one-to-one via instant message or calls throughout the day.

Have fun

Be intentional about making time for fun and joy.

  • Think about getting news only a few times or once per day from a reliable source. Watch a movie or catch up some comedies instead.
  • Play a game.
  • Start a new hobby.
  • Have a dance party.

Nurture your mental health

Adopt new practices to care for your mental health during this stressful time.

  • Take a deep breath. Practice yoga or mindfulness.
  • If you meet with a therapist, let them know your concerns about coronavirus. Regence and Kaiser therapists and other healthcare providers can be accessed from the comfort and safety of your home, via telehealth.
  • For additional assistance, contact Making Life Easier or the Employee Assistance Program for free counseling and other services.

We all have a role to play in stopping the spread of this virus and that includes taking care of ourselves. As always, please feel free to reach out to balancedyou@kingcounty.gov or (206) 263-9626 with any questions or suggestions.

For more information, a list of King County employees’ Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 can be found here.

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