Wellness for the HR Professional: Sleep Hygiene

  Sleep plays an important role in our physical and mental health. However, it can be tempting to stay up late to catch up on our favorite shows or wrap up a work project to meet a deadline. Sleep hygiene is essentially good sleep habits that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Here are 6 simple steps for better sleep hygiene. Go to bed at the same time most nights of the week. Get up at the same time each morning. Make your bedroom dark and cool. Eliminate screen time 30 minutes before bedtime. Use white or brown noise or a fan to help you fall and stay asleep. Limit alcohol. It may help you fall asleep but may wake you up early.   See other articles in the Wellness for HR Professional SERIES: Wellness for the HR Professional: Emotional Health Wellness [...]

Wellness for the HR Professional: Emotional Health

This has been a tough year for HR professionals. You may have had to give bad news about wages or loss, or you may be struggling to hire reliable workers. You have certainly been dealing with a lot of stress! Stress takes energy, and when we are out of energy, we suffer. Stress is the reaction to a threat (real or imagined) to your well-being, which results in a series of physical and emotional responses. Everyone experiences different symptoms of stress. Some of us get depressed, others get angry, anxious, or feel hopeless or lonely. Try implementing some of the strategies below to help you manage your stress and take care of your mental and emotional health. Have an action plan. When we are faced with stress, our human instinct is to react by either fighting or running away (The [...]

Wellness for the HR Professional: Nutrition

  Most of us feel like we are in survival mode as we return to the workplace. We have also gained the “COVID-19 pounds”. Take the following steps to healthfully go back to work. Be kind to yourself and slowly integrate health behaviors (back) into your life. These 2 major steps are meant to help you thrive during this time and not add more stress. Eat mindfully. This means to increase your awareness of what influences your food choices. Consider the following: Why am I eating? Am I hungry or am I stressed? Is this physical hunger or an emotional response? Enjoy your food. Use all your senses to enjoy your food. This means you eat slowly, take small bites and chew thoroughly. No distractions. Take time to enjoy your food. Stop working for a period, turn off the screen [...]

Wellness for the HR Professional: Exercise  

  The thought of adding exercise to your days may seem daunting and add even more stress and anxiety to already stressful days. However, incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a great way to stay healthy during a pandemic as well reduce your risk for chronic disease. An increasing amount of research shows inactivity has serious consequences when it comes to our health. Moving more during your day may help reduce health risk, increase productivity, and support a healthy weight. Exercise also reduces stress hormones and increases levels of feel-good endorphins. These endorphins circulate in the body and provide an immediate lift in mood, focus, attention, and reaction time that lasts two or more hours. Although considered short-terms effects, these changes can help prevent problems that contribute to cognitive impairment in the future. How will you move? Below are [...]

Best Practices for Celebrating the Holidays

Best Practices for Celebrating the Holidays Read time: 1 min 55 sec This holiday season will inevitably look a little different than it has in previous years. Masks in place of mistletoe! While the holidays will always be a special time to connect with family and friends, this year we may have to change certain traditions in the interest of public health. In 2020 it may be that the safest way to celebrate the holidays is with only immediate family members. We may have to opt for virtual events instead of traveling. Utilize a virtual platform (e.g., Zoom, Skype, FaceTime) to connect with family and friends. These platforms make it possible to have a virtual dinner party or gift exchange from the comfort of your own home. Consider pre-holiday testing for relatives and loved ones traveling home from distant locations. [...]

Back to School, September 2020

Back to School, Fall 2020 Read Time: 1 min 35 sec The global pandemic is presenting challenges to school systems across the country. In an effort to balance the benefits of on-site learning with public health, many school districts are moving forward with in-person classes or a hybrid of in-person and remote. Other districts favor completely remote learning. Each scenario presents new challenges but working together with your children’s teachers can help keep everyone healthy and engaged. Back to School Resources from the CDC Heading back to the classroom this fall can be exciting for students. For younger children, the uncertainty of a new classroom environment, different routines, and protocols to follow may prove to be stressful. To start a conversation about these uncertainties, utilize the CDC’s talking points to help address questions children may have about entering back into [...]

COVID-19: Testing, June 2020

Coronavirus Testing Read Time: 2 min 24 sec For the most up to date information on the coronavirus, please visit the CDC website. Since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, testing has been a main focal point for research epidemiologists, healthcare workers, and the public at large. There are two types of tests people can receive for the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19. Viral Testing: Looking for a Current Infection or Carriers of the Virus The first type of test is used to see if the virus is present during a current infection. These types of tests are known as viral or diagnostic testing. Viral testing is typically done by collecting a sample from the inside lining of the nose (nasopharyngeal swab) or a sample of saliva to look for evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory tract. If [...]

Immune Health: Can You Boost Your Immune System?

Can You Boost Your Immune System? With the outbreak of COVID-19 many individuals have been wondering what they can do to “boost” their immune system naturally. Unfortunately, there is no single food, nutrient, or exercise that has been proven to prevent or treat COVID-19. A strong immune system is maintained by lifestyle habits, not single actions. You can work to support your immune system by practicing good nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management habits. All of these healthy lifestyle components support your immune system during times of illness or injury. While they won’t prevent you from getting sick, they may help reduce the severity of symptoms or duration of the illness. Supporting your immune system with diet Balanced nutrition is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Focus on a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole [...]

Try a New Move: Getting Active During a Quarantine

Getting Active During a Quarantine Social distancing and self-quarantine are essential for stopping the spread of COVID-19. While many gyms and fitness facilities have temporarily closed their doors, there are still many ways to continue staying active at home and outdoors. Outdoor Activities Unless you are sick or have been directed by your state or local government to remain indoors, stepping outside for some fresh air is a great way to get active. Be sure to practice social distancing when outdoors. Remain 6 feet away from others and avoid gathering in groups larger than 10 people. Take a walk in your neighborhood or local park. Lace-up your sneakers for a run. If you are new to running, download a running app to help you get started. Go for a bike ride with your family. Take care of the yard work [...]

Healthy Habits: Disrupted Routines

Disrupted Routines Some research suggests that 40% or more of our day is based on habit. That means 40% of the decisions you make and actions you take are most likely being done subconsciously based on your normal routine. But what happens when your routine and habits are disrupted? With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and worldwide, everyone’s lives are anything but “routine.” Many people have transitioned to working from home full-time, exercise facilities are closed, and grocery stores are having a difficult time restocking shelve to meet public demands. While many of these factors are out of our control, now is the time to adapt and form new habits and new routines that will help you through these difficult times. Start by asking yourself what you can and cannot control. Then focus on ways you [...]