Employee Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
How are you feeling today?
News of a widespread public health concern like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can present new or unique challenges and with information changing daily, it can be difficult to maintain feeling your best.
You may be working from home, or maybe your facility is closed. Or, maybe you are on the front lines keeping essential services running. Meanwhile, the whole family is home together, you're doing the distance learning and trying to keep an eye on the kids so they're doing their schoolwork. How do you cope?
Here are a few healthy ways to cope with the pandemic.
First, go for a walk at a time that works for you. Maybe go on a bike ride over lunch hour; even though you’re working from home, it will help keep an at-work routine. Whatever works for you, move your body. It will help.
Second, have you ever tried guided meditation? I know, maybe not your usual go-to! But seriously, it's a good way to bring yourself into the present and breathe and just be aware of what your body is doing. Meditation is simpler to do than what many think. In fact, it can be as simple as breathing! Try the breathing exercise on this meQuilibrium resource page.
Third, listen to music! Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Read more and try out some music therapy with this link https://www.unr.edu/counseling/virtual-relaxation-room/releasing-stress-through-the-power-of-music
Finally, find one thing to be grateful for. That can be really hard when you have financial stress or when you have anxiety about the future, but if you can, find just one thing to be grateful for and then say it out loud. It'll feel unnatural at first, but then it starts to become a little more comfortable: ”I’m grateful to offer help to our employees.” That’s mine today.
Please look at the information we've put together below provided by the City's vendors.
We're here for you and we'll get through this together.
Behavioral Health Resources
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, especially those we cannot control. Taking care of your emotional health during this pandemic will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family and help your long-term healing. Medica has a variety of resources to help you during this difficult time no matter what emotional level you are at. If you, or a covered dependent, are struggling with a behavioral health concern such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, bipolar or post-traumatic stress disorder, reach out to the resources below available through your Medica plan:
- Medica® Optum® Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - If you need help with life’s new challenges, EAP master's-level specialists are available 24/7 to speak with you privately. With EAP, you have access to five counseling sessions per issue per year covered at 100%. To talk with an EAP specialist, call 800-626-7944.
- Medica Behavioral Health - Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. That’s why your plan includes coverage for behavioral health services, including mental health and substance abuse care. Medica Behavioral Health staff can help you get the right care when you need it, 24 hours a day, and your call is confidential. The large network includes providers who practice at all levels of counseling and treatment. Call Medica Behavioral Health at 800-848-8327.
- Amwell, 24/7 Online Clinic - Get care online from home, work or anywhere. Connect with a provider from your computer or mobile device for most behavioral health concerns. Amwell’s team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists provide care and counseling for a variety of conditions. During a video consult with Amwell, a therapist or psychiatrist will ask you a series of questions to determine the best treatment plan. To get started, create an account with Amwell by calling 844-733-3627 or visit amwell.com.
- Medica's Live and Work Well Website - This website offers health resources and personalized support services to help you and those you care about live the healthiest life possible. The Live and Work Well site is available 24/7 for confidential access to professional care, self-help programs and a variety of helpful information. Go to LiveAndWorkWell.com. To view the educational content and provider search, enter access code MEDICA.
Self-Care for Your Stress Type
Are you a Caregiver, Regulator, Optimist, Adventurer, or Problem Solver? The answer could determine what kind of self-care works best for you. In honor of Stress Awareness Month (ironic and just in time!), join meQuilibrium’s Associate Content Manager, Elior Moskowitz, to discover your personalized self-care plan: All of the tips and tricks you need to manage your unique stress type and empower your resilience. Register here: calmcast.mymeq.com/YourStressType
Don't forget to download the discussion guide for the webinar here.
Free Behavioral Health Program
Healthy Saint Paul is excited about the partnership between Omada Health and the City of Saint Paul. Good news! Omada will be offering our behavioral health program at no cost until the end of September to help during this difficult time to all of your employees, if you are interested. This program is designed to help individuals manage stress and anxiety. It is open to all individuals, regardless of their risk for chronic disease, and will offer access to behavioral health coaching and 24/7 support.
Omada for Behavioral Health uses an evidence-based, transdiagnostic care model that leverages cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and distress tolerance techniques to reduce symptoms of challenges including anxiety, depression, and stress. Participants will work directly with a dedicated mental health coach under the guidance of a licensed specialist (e.g. Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Reach out to Nance Lee Mosquera at email@example.com if you are interested in enrolling.
COVID-19 Updates to FSA, HRA, HSA & Transportation
As a result of the CARES Act (COVID-3 Stimulus Bill), enacted on Friday, March 27, 2020, use this guide provided by 121 Benefits to view changes that affects your pre-tax benefit plan.
Eligibility for COVID-19 Loan and Withdrawal Provisions
You may be eligible for COVID-19 Loan and Withdrawal Provisions. See the requirements below.
- be diagnosed with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
- have spouse or dependent who is diagnosed with such virus or disease by such a test, or
- experience adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off or having work hours reduced due to such virus or disease, being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease, or other factors as determined by the IRS.
Resources on Market Volatility
Our partners at VOYA wanted to share some new centralized information resources VOYA created for you to leverage during this time.
Market Volatility Plan Sponsor Resource Center central landing page for plan sponsors that include coronavirus and market volatility resources. Information will be frequently updated with recent blog articles and other B2B content as it is approved and made available. It will also link to and feature timely plan participant resources, such as blog articles and VOYA Learn videos. Link: https://www.voya.com/marketvolatilityresources
Market Volatility Consumer Resource Center includes content relevant to the current COVID-19 and market volatility situation including investing, emergency savings, working remotely, etc. Information will be updated frequently with new blog articles, VOYA Learn videos, and other resources as they become available. Link: https://www.voya.com/marketvolatility
Bakken Center Information and Resources
With a primary focus on health and wellbeing, the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has unique resources to offer the University and community during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are now available in the "Health Professionals" and "Community" tabs on this page. Please share these resources with your team and anyone else who would benefit.
More of us than ever are working from home because of COVID-19, and that means we need to make our home offices safe and healthy places to work. Read the articles below for tips to help you make inexpensive adjustments to your work space to stay productive and injury-free.
- Laptop Ergonomic
- Office Ergonomics: Your How-To Guide
- Everything You Need to Set Up an Ergonomic Home Office
- Computer Workstation Ergonomics: Self-Assessment Checklist
- Working From Home? Here’s How to Make Your Setup More Ergonomic
- How to Perfect Your Home Work Setup So Your Back Stops Hurting So Much
Last updated: April 22, 2020