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 we settle into this new normal, it is important that we develop new, sustainable routines in order to support our physical and mental health.

Routines we develop during the pandemic may not be as ambitious as our pre-pandemic routines, and that is okay. Be gentle with yourself. Every day take one or two steps toward healthy routines. These steps and the routines they create will help you maintain health and resiliency as you continue to respond to the coronavirus, professionally and personally.

Tools and tips for healthy routines

Creating healthy routines can help you organize your day in a way that lets you take care of tasks and yourself. As we practice routines, they eventually become patterns that help us maintain good health and achieve our goals.creating healthy routines

To better organize and create healthy routines, we encourage you to take a look at the Creating Healthy Routines tool. This tool, developed by Mental Health America, offers helpful facts and tips. The tool also provides an activity template that lets you organize and plan your routine, anticipate barriers you may face, and reward yourself for your successes. The Creating Healthy Routines tool can be found here.

For more tips on creating healthy routines, check out Balanced You’s blog series on self-care, including self-care for telecommuters, self-care for essential workers, self-care for emergency responders, and the Self-care Toolkit. For tools to integrate into your healthy routines, take a look at our exercise/stretching and mindfulness videos.

Additional mental health resources

In addition to the Creating Healthy Routines tool, Balanced You has resources King County employee can access to support your mental health. Many of these resources have updated their offerings to include coronavirus-related content.

  • Counseling via telehealth: Regence and Kaiser therapists and other healthcare providers, including doctors and physical therapists, can be accessed from your home, via telehealth. If you have a provider, ask them if telehealth is available. If you don’t have a certain type of provider and would like one, contact your insurance company.
  • Making Life Easier and Employee Assistance Program: Making Life Easier (MLE) provides many free counseling and referrals, credit and legal consultations, mortgage assistance, childcare resources and referrals, and other daily living supports. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free counseling to help King County employees navigate workplace stress.
  • Better Choices, Better Health: Better Choices, Better Health is a six-week, online, small-group based workshop designed to improve the lives of people living with long-term health conditions, including anxiety and depression. This program is free for King County employees and dependents.
  • Mindfulness: A mindfulness practice can help you reduce stress at work and at home. Free classes and videos are available to King County employees. The classes are live, interactive, and available online during the pandemic. The videos range from two to 14 minutes and are available on-demand.
  • Mental Health Resource Guide: View this guide for additional King County and community-based mental health support resources.

For questions, more information, or suggestions, contact balancedyou@kingcounty.gov.

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