Take care of yourself and encourage others to do the same.
Before you can take care of other people, you must first take care of yourself. Here are ideas for taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing with detailed descriptions and resources provided below:
- Self-awareness: monitor your stress level and seek out coping strategies.
- Get moving: movement and motion, even in small doses, reduces stress.
- Keep your sense of humor: laughter can be the best medicine.
- Rest up: sleep is a critical pillar of a healthy lifestyle.
- Prevent illness: healthy eating and following CDC guidelines are great strategies to preventing illness.
Stress is a normal function of your brain. We are familiar with the negative impact of stress, but it can be good when used correctly. Effective coping strategies and management keeps stress in check:
- Take a few minutes to calm yourself when stress starts to build by using coping strategies that take 30 minutes or less.
- Learn to recognize when you are overstressed and explore tips for managing stress in the article “The Good, the Bad, and the Stressful.”
- Know your stress triggers.
- Use proven stress reducers to help you cope through high stress times.
- Utilize the UO Counseling Center's Self-Care Kit.
COVID-19 has brought on new stressors and discussion of returning to some on-campus activities and operations is met with a variety of responses and mixed emotions. Cascade Centers, the UO Employee Assistance Program, offers a recorded webinar titled “COVID-19: Managing Emotions Related to Workplace Reintegration,” which may help you as the university continues its planning process. Visit the Cascade Centers webinar library for other webinars you may find helpful.
According to the American Psychological Association, physical activity can relieve stress, reduce depression, and improve cognitive function. Here are some ideas for getting more activity into your day:
- Deskercise. Staying in one position while doing repetitive motions is typical of a desk job, but you can still get moving while staying in one place by stretching during your work day.
- Take a walk. Stepping a way for just ten minutes provides momentary escape to clear your mind and the physical activity helps your body release needed endorphins and neurotransmitters to be at your best. Even short periods of activity can improve your mood.
- Join an online yoga class through the rec center. PE & Recreation offers fitness on their UO Rec Fitness YouTube channel.
- Use and activity apps such as FITON that lets you get active anytime, anywhere. You set the length of time and choose the activity.
Research reveals that laughter is a potent drug with contagious power. There is a lot in work and in life that is beyond your control, but you always have the power of laughter:
- Seek it out. Make a conscious effort to seek humor by looking for goofy headlines or watch a funny video.
- If something gives you a giggle, “bookmark it.” Take note and return to the source when you need to lighten your mood.
- Find ways to integrate humor into your everyday work. Here are 16 Hilarious Ways to Laugh More Every Single Day.
A few simple lifestyle changes can greatly increase your chances of quality, sleep–filled nights:
- Creating a positive sleep hygiene regimen will set you on a successful path for better physical and mental health.
- Take a sleep quiz to learn more about your sleep patterns and how you can get more rest.
- Benefits-eligible employees can access their member account with Cascade Centers and select “sleep support” topic at the top of the screen.
- Explore healthy sleep tips and things you can do if sleep doesn’t come easily for you.
Our minds and bodies rely on balanced nutrition and simple precautions to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Establishing regular habits in your daily routines is your best form of defense and helps you maintain your physical health from day-to-day:
- Understanding how food and nutrients affect whole body health can shape healthy eating habits.
- Consider joining a program to achieve your nutritional goals. Benefit-eligible employees and their dependents can join WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at no cost.
- Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Learn about the science behind the age-old handwashing tactic that never goes out of style.
- Stay away from others when you are not feeling well. This includes work colleagues. While the pressure of an assignment or deadline can motivate you to power through, risky the health of others should also be a consideration. You may worry what others will think when you stay home rather than go to work. Staying home from work when you are sick is an act of kindness and your co-workers will thank you.
- Learn more about preventing infections.