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COVID-19: Personal Wellness

COVID-19 Resources

Personal Wellness

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Maintaining personal wellness during COVID-19
Personal wellness has multiple facets, which include mental, physical, spiritual, social, and emotional wellbeing. Wellness can be strengthened by taking care of each of these facets of health.

 

Navigating the Basics about COVID-19

With so much information available on the internet about COVID-19, it can be cumbersome to navigate and differentiate credible information from rumors.

Here are a couple of basic resources to help you learn the basics about COVID-19:

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Children and Families

Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic may be a stressful time for families. Managing stress levels and sharing accurate information in an age-appropriate manner is important. Developing routines, finding outlets for socialization while maintaining physical distancing,

Resources for talking with children about COVID-19:

Resources for helping children and families cope during COVID-19:

  • Coronavirus: What to Do If Your Kids Stay Home
    Pranita Tamma, M.D., M.H.S., a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, shares guidance for maintaining stability for children and families while ‘sheltering at home’.
  • Rethinking Screen-time in the Time of COVID-19
    United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) provides perspective on how families with children may use technology to provide social normalcy during COVID-19.
  • Helping Kids Cope with COVID-19
    Anna Long, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and LSU Psychology Professor offers guidance for parents and caregivers on how to help children cope with COVID-19.

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Eating Well and Keeping Physically Fit

Working on your physical fitness while sheltering at home may seem challenging at first. However, favorable spring weather combined with the many new virtual resources can make upping your physical health both accessible and fun.

Physical wellness can be maintained in a variety of ways, including:

  • Eating as healthfully as possible
  • Getting a good night’s rest each night
  • Utilize local park trails and beaches, while maintaining distance from others
  • Making time for exercise
  • Keeping a daily routine of walking/jogging/bike riding/roller skating

Resources on tips and ideas for maintaining eating well and staying physically fit:

  • Staying physically fit:
    • Be Active During COVID-19
    • In this Q&A, the World Health Organization (WHO) shares age-appropriate guidelines and recommendations for safely maintaining physical fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Get involved – Louisiana State University Recreation Center
      Both members and non-members have FREE access virtual workout classes and resources on staying physically fit from home during COVID-19.
    • YMCA 360: On-demand Videos
      Anyone can access these FREE virtual workout videos to stay physically fit from home during COVID-19. These video resources include some especially designed for children and older adults.

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Keeping Stress in Check

Keeping stress levels low and maintaining mental stimulation feed into one another and support overall health. Developing a routine – which includes eating and sleeping at regular times, as well as maintaining physical activity – can be particularly helpful. Resources may be available to you through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Consider checking with your employer’s Human Resources department to learn if an EAP exists at your organization.

Ways to actively support mental wellness include:

  • Practicing stress reduction techniques (e.g., mindfulness, meditation, journaling)
  • Get adequate rest each night
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol and reaching out for help, if needed
  • Utilizing online therapy, sometimes called ‘teletherapy’
  • Sudoku, crossword puzzles, board games, reading, arts and crafts

Mental wellness resources:

  • Stress is Gonna Get You if You Don’t Watch Out
    University of Delaware shares both the positive and negative aspects of stress, as well as strategies for coping.
  • Sleepless Nights? Try Stress Relief Techniques
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine shares techniques to help reduce stress and get a better night’s sleep.
  • Taking Care of Your Emotional Health
    Stress and Coping
    In ‘Taking Care of Your Emotional Health’, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides suggestions for supporting mental health during crisis and includes signs of distress to watch out for. In ‘Stress and Coping’, the CDC shares more insights into ways people can healthily cope with stress. Groups at high-risk for reacting strongly to stress and simple ways to support their mental and emotional health are also identified.
  • Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
    National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes ‘signs of stress and how to recognize when to get help.’
  • A Growing Wave of Online Therapy
    American Psychological Association shares the benefits of teletherapy, who it may be appropriate for, and a comparison of several major teletherapy providers.
  • Peer Listener Training Manual
    Through special training in listening skills, anger management, depression and other family problems, peer listeners have a unique opportunity to assist their family and friends with ongoing concerns. A peer listener may merely serve as an available ear or may assist in problem solving or referral to more formal sources of support.
  • Peer Listening Training – Part 1 and 2
    In this free, two part video training series, participants will gain a basic understanding of disasters and pandemics as well as their consequences on the communities affected. Participants will also build ‘active listening skills’, enabling them to informally create a safe space to support friends, family members, colleagues. This training also gives insights on how to recognize ‘symptoms of depression, suicide, alcohol/drug abuse, and domestic violence, and how and when to refer someone to a professional should you determine it necessary.’ A training manual, as well as PDFs of the slides used are also available on this website.

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Substance Abuse Resources

  • National Helpline for Individuals and their Families
    National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) ‘is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.’ 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and TTY 1-800-487-4889.
  • Find Help
    National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has a help finder tool and list of hotline phone numbers for various issues, including substance abuse, mental illness, and distress.

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Hotlines for Help

Depressed or anxious? Worried about hurting yourself or others? Are you coping with addiction issues?

Reach out for help:

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Maintaining Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness and practices are an important aspect of whole-person wellness. Even if you do not belong to a particular religion, you may still find spiritual practices helpful.

Examples of spiritual wellness practices can include:

  • Attending online religious services and receiving pastoral support remotely
  • Meditation and mindfulness practices
  • Prayer
  • Time for personal reflection
  • Journaling
  • Spending time in nature

Resources on tips and ideas for maintaining spiritual wellness:

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Staying Connected

Connecting with others is an essential part of the human experience. Even though it is important to practice physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to maintain a strong social network. By maintaining your social network, you will be supporting other aspects of your health as well.

Ways you can support your social wellness include but are not limited to:

  • Writing letters and emails to friends and family
  • Making phone calls to friends and family, especially those who may not have access to the internet
  • Participating in video calls with friends and family to enjoy virtual face time together

Resources on tips and ideas for maintaining social wellness:

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Volunteering

Volunteering can promote personal wellness in multiple ways, including giving a sense of purpose. However, maintaining your own physical health and wellbeing while keeping others safe is paramount. If you choose to volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic, please be sure to use an abundance of caution and follow the necessary guidelines and protocols as provided by the state government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as your physician.

If you decide you would like to volunteer, you may find opportunities at Volunteer Louisiana, the state service commission for Louisiana.   

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This week’s Staff Pick

Interested in articles that our staff are reading this week related to personal wellness? Check back here each week to find articles from the popular press.

  • How Not to Tank Your Relationship in Quarantine
    John Tierney (journalist and contributing editor to City Journal) and Dr. Roy F. Baumeister (social psychologist, University of Queensland) share research-based relationship insights and strategies that can maintain positivity in a relationship during the COVID-19 quarantine.

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