- by Jaclyn Foster
Coronavirus Support Resources
Updated: May 20, 2020
From the Whole Foods Market Medical Center Teams, we would like to take a moment to send you some extra love and resources during this time of the Coronavirus. We hope that your family and friends remain safe and healthy. We thank all of you who are working at the stores serving the public and helping make it possible for us to continue putting food on the table and have access to our essentials.
This can be a very unsettling, confusing and upsetting time as we take in medical news alerts, financial updates, and adapt to a different way of life, personally and professionally.
As this is a time of adapting to a “new normal” its not uncommon to go through moments of feeling anxious or overwhelmed as the days pass. We wanted to take a moment to give you some ideas and best practices to feel your best and transition through these times with the greatest ease possible.
Below you will find several ideas and resources spanning from stress and anxiety reduction, to staying active, entertaining the kids, and remaining connected while social distancing.
TIPS TO STAY CALM & FIND YOUR FOCUS:
Take phone and TV breaks: Get off the internet, social media and news so you can give yourself space to BE and re-group instead of escalating anxious thoughts, overloading your brain, and/or giving it additional things to worry.
Get present and grounded: Put your attention on what is happening in this moment by engaging your senses with the following noticing practice. Observe around you the following:
· 5 things you can see
· 4 things you can hear
· 3 things you can feel
· 2 things you can smell
· 1 thing you can taste
This can be done multiple times a day and you can put these prompts on a scrap piece of paper to put in your pocket during the day as a reminder. This also can be a great break to take with your partner or children at home to all get grounded and focused together. Thank you to author and speaker, Elizabeth Gilbert, for sharing this gem of a practice.
Maintain and create routines: Do things you would normally do, and if you need more structure, create it. This can include maintaining your morning routine of taking a shower, making a cup of tea, getting dressed, and exercising to taking time to finish unfinished house or creative projects they haven’t been able to get to.
If you are struggling with ideas, you can try answering the following questions and then add more of these activities into the structure of your days and weeks:
· What were my daily routines before this outbreak? What did I do every day?
· What have I always told myself I would do if I had more time?
Whatever you get as answers, consider doing adding those things to your routine.
Simply remind yourself, “It’s okay to feel (fill in the blank with however you are feeling), I’m doing great and I’m doing my best.”: It’s okay to have anxious thoughts, we are adapting to a temporary “new normal” and it is natural to have a range of emotions during this process. Having permission for our emotions and feelings is a great way to de-escalate them.
Keep a Worry Journal: Keeping a worry journal has been a great resource for me time and time again. I see it as a way to take the thoughts that are whirling in my mind and give them a physical place to live, outside of my mind. Writing down our thoughts gives us a safe space for everything to be okay: our worries, complaints, annoyances, and anything else we feel stress around.
Writing down worries can also create space for a different perspective, and even possible brainstorms for solutions if you feel inspired to do so. But first, just get it down and out of your mind. If you never want to see what you wrote again, rip it up afterwards and flush it down the toilet!
Take Time for Gratitude: Focusing on gratitude can be a wonderful way to reset and either start or end the day. With so much happening it can be easy to focus on everything is not going right or as planned. Taking a moment to take an inventory of the good that is happening around us and within us can help with perspective, can bring up to a more joyful place, can increase our awareness of being present to what is going well and the love and life that is present around us.
Maybe you are getting a break from your commute, finding the time to cook, or focusing on a hobby that you have abandoned due to the business of daily life. Perhaps you are getting to spend more time with your partner, children or pets. These life appreciations can be kept in a journal or shared with a partner or friend and can be an amazing daily practice. The more detailed and specific the better!
TIPS TO STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE:
Even though we need to be staying indoors as much as possible to limit exposure, that doesn’t mean we have to stop moving. Staying physically active is a great way to keep your immune system strong and your state of mind clear and stress free. Here are a few resources and ideas to help you keep moving:
Glo offers free online yoga, meditation and pilates workouts to help deal with anxiety.
Yoga with Adriene offers free yoga classes on YouTube and is welcoming to all abilities and body types.
Fitness Blender Free workout videos for every fitness level.
Take Stretch and Dance Breaks: Put on your favorite song or stand up, stretch and move your body when you are feeling static, or stale. If you feel that you’ve been sitting more than usual and aren’t as likely to know when you need a break, consider setting a timer for 60 or 90 minutes. When the timer goes off, stand up, move around, stretch, or dance for a few minutes to recharge your body before you sit back down or get back to work.
TIPS TO EDUCATE & ENTERTAIN THE KIDS:
Here are some at-home learning resources and activities:
PBS Kids Videos are offering on-demand educational videos and a livestream of the PBS Kids 24/7 channel free with no subscription. Also, check out their education game app!
Scholastic offers projects and at-home learning for kids of all grades. These are projects your child can do with you or on their own.
https://jr.brainpop.com/ offering free access for families at this time (available in English and Spanish)
https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning free mini-lessons for children kindergarten to fifth grade (available in English and Spanish)
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/kids/ offered by the National Ocean Service. Resources such as games and projects for all ages focusing on our Oceans. The “Just for Kids” section has videos, group activities, and projects that are fun, entertaining and educational.
TIPS TO STAY IN CONNECTION WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING:
Technology offers many ways to stay connected to your family, friends, and community.
NextDoor is a way to connect with your neighbors while you’re hunkering down inside. You can connect with others, check in on the vulnerable around you, and if you have extra supplies or an essential that someone else needs, you can drop them at your neighbor’s door.
Use Facetime, Skype, and conferencing applications such as Chime as virtual places to hangout and connect with friends.
Netflix Parties. This Chrome plugin lets you watch your favorite Netflix show in tandem with friends.
Take a virtual field trip: Watch sea animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go on a tour of the Louvre, explore Yellowstone National Park, or hop on over to the Van Gogh museum. There are so many options to explore on our smart devices and online!
STAY CONNECTED & ASK FOR SUPPORT:
If you are a Whole Health Plan Member, the Medical & Wellness Centers located in Austin, Texas and Glendale, California are available for support.
If you are Whole Health Plan member, and have not established care with the Center for your primary care services, call us to make an appointment or learn more about the benefits available to you as a patient of the Center.
You can explore our website to learn more about us as well: https://www.wfmmedical.com/
For our Whole Foods Market Team Members not on the Whole Health Plan, remember that Whole Foods Market has the Team Member Assistance Plan (TMAP) available for Team Member and those they share a household with. Their phone number is: 877-273-2715.
Whatever region you are in, if you are feeling like you could use more support, ask for it. Reach out to a friend, find a counselor, or search your provider directory for a health care or mental health provider.
However you are feeling, remember: You are not alone and there are resources to help.