During this time, you may find it difficult to stay positive and productive. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to make sure you get some physical activity everyday. Saving time on your daily commute by telecommuting? Use that extra time to add in some exercise. There are many free online resources available to achieve this goal.
The YMCA is offering on demand videos through https://ymca360.org/. Types of videos include yoga, pilates, bootcamp, weightlifting and Tai Chi. Have kids at home? They also have videos tailored for children.
Below is a link to a free Yoga app. Students and employees of schools and colleges will temporarily have free membership until July 1. Anyone using the highland email domain will automatically get free membership. Thank you to Melissa Johnson, Coordinator, Early Childhood Education, for this resource!
The University of Illinois Extension Office is offering a Wellness at Home webinar series on various topics to assist with your emotional well-being. Below is a link to the flyer listing the topics.
With the constant flood of bad news regarding the pandemic and economy being highlighted in the media, it’s easy to focus on all of the negativity with increasing stress and anxiety. If you find yourself in this situation, be easy on yourself, many individuals are feeling the same way. It is best to try to keep things in perspective. Experts recommend that you reduce the time you spend listening to media coverage or limiting your time on social media. Although it is important to keep informed, it is also important to take a break from watching or reading the news and focus on the things that are positive in your life and things over which you have control.
When we experience stress, we may find our minds “racing,” often leading to negative thinking. These thoughts can lead to more stress, creating an unhealthy cycle. Studies have found that breaking the pattern by practicing mindfulness is effective. There are many resources online for guided mindfulness/meditation practice, such as the apps Headspace or Calm. However, you don’t need an app to practice mindfulness, try this simple technique: Bring your attention to your breath and your body. Focus all of your attention on the here and now, noticing the sights, sounds, and smells around you and what you’re feeling in your body. Continue to breath slowly in and out—gently bringing your mind back to your body and breath every time it drifts—until you feel more calm.
EAP and CALM Emotional Support Text Line
If you need additional resources to manage your life concerns, please remember that HCC offers an Employee Assistance Service (EAP) through Reliance Standard called ACI. This is a free service and is currently available to all Highland Community College employees regardless of whether or not you are enrolled in the medical or life insurance benefits. They are available 24/7, 365 days a year. If you would like to talk with a counselor, call 855-775-4357, or you can access ACI online at http://rsli.acieap.com. Let them know you are an employee (or family member) of Highland Community College. If asked, Highland’s policy number is #GL647118.
In addition, the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Division has launched a free-of-charge emotional support text line, Call4Calm, for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text “TALK” to 5-5-2-0-2-0, or for Spanish, “HABLAR” to the same number: 5-5-2-0-2-0. Call4Calm is free to use, and individuals will remain anonymous. Once a resident sends a text to the hotline, within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support.