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Campus Wellbeing Services
Employee Wellness Newsletter
April 2020 Edition

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

 – Maya Angelou

We don’t usually send a newsletter mid-semester. But these are not usual times. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we want employees to know that Campus Wellbeing Services, along with other campus units, is here to support your physical, emotional, social, and other wellbeing needs. This edition, though short, highlights services that are available. We are still in business and have a lot of programs going on—we’ve shifted to virtual delivery. We also introduce the Coping with COVID-19 online toolkit in this edition. The toolkit was designed to help employees cope with emotional stressors this pandemic is causing many of us.

In this issue you will find:

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health crisis. For many, it has triggered a high degree of stress and anxiety. To help our campus community cope during this difficult time, Campus Wellbeing Services and Faculty Staff Assistance Services has curated the “Coping with COVID-19” toolkit. The toolkit focuses on how to take care of your mental, social and emotional wellbeing, and offers practical guidance.  Resources include: dealing with the stress of COVID-19, ways to cope with being homebound, how to prevent getting and spreading the COVID-19 virus, a long list of online resources (topic areas include general guidelines and info, reducing stress and anxiety, preparing your home, talking to children, changing physical habits such as face touching, tips for responders, guidelines for high risk people, financial help, maintaining social connection, and food help). Go here to view the toolkit.

Faculty/Staff Assistance Services Is Still Available

Faculty/Staff Assistance Services (FSAS) is continuing to provide services by shifting to phone and virtual services. FSAS remains available to address any urgent needs and concerns. Please feel free to contact them at fsas@illinois.edu  or (217) 244-5312 during standard business hours of Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For additional mental and emotional health services, go to the Coping with COVID-19 toolkit.

If this is a crisis situation, outside of regular business hours, please call the crisis line at (217) 244-7739.

Virtual Mindfulness and Movement Classes Start April 7

Campus Wellbeing Services will offer free mindfulness and movement classes starting Tuesday, April 7. The sessions will be live video classes. Each session will combine mindfulness-based meditation with easy “desk yoga” type exercises. This is a good way to fit in a bit of light physical activity and relieve mental stress.

Our instructor is Kristina Reese. We will offer six weekly sessions. All classes will run on Tuesdays, starting April 7, from 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.  You can sign up for as many as you like. The sessions are free, but you must register.

Financial Wellness in Uncertain Times Webinars April 22 to May 6

Many employees are concerned about the implications of COVID-19 for their personal finances. These unprecedented times are fueling a heightened level of concern and anxiety for some.

Our financial wellness provider has crafted some new sessions to help people deal with their financial wellbeing during times of crisis. We will be offering these as live virtual seminars on Wednesdays from April 22 to May 6. All sessions run from 12 noon – 1 p.m. The sessions are:

  • Wednesday, April 22: Investing in Turbulent Times: The Impact of Coronavirus (overview of the current market situation, tips for investing in volatile markets)
  • Wednesday, April 29: Managing Day-to-Day Finances During Uncertain Times (prioritizing bills and spending, understanding the government response to COVID-19)
  • Wednesday, May 6: Budgeting and Debt Management (how to prioritize bills, tips for saving and investing)

All sessions are free and can be accessed from a computer or phone. To register, visit this page.

Sign Up Now for Taking Care of Yourself Health-E-Tips Campaign

Many of you are familiar with our health-e-tips campaigns. Typically, we do these in the summer. We think, this year, it is better that we offer one now. Our theme will be taking care of yourself—across all levels of wellbeing.  Starting Monday, April 13, participants will receive an email on Mondays and Thursdays for four weeks. Each will be chock-full of helpful information. To sign up, email us at wellbeing@illinois.edu.

May 12 Wellness Webinar Focuses on Stress Management

Our May webinar features tips on how to manage stress.  This free virtual session will be held Tuesday, May 12, from 12 noon – 12:50 p.m. To register, visit our registration page.

Wellness-to-Go Departmental Programs Available Via Webinar

Our popular Wellness-to-Go programs are still available—via webinar. Many of our sessions can be facilitated this way.  This can be an important way for your employees to connect while working apart at home.  A wide variety of topics are available. Here are just a few examples: Staying Fit in a Frantic World, Getting a Good Night’s Rest, Stress Management (a series or single modules), and Easy Office Energizers. Wellness-to-Go sessions are free to campus units. To learn more, visit our website or contact us at wellbeing@illinois.edu or (217) 265-9355.

Nicotine Cessation Consults Available

We are conducting nicotine cessation consults by phone or Skype. If you smoke, vape, or use smokeless tobacco, want to quit, or just want more information about quitting, you can schedule a phone or Skype consultation. We can help assess the severity and type of nicotine addiction, determine readiness to quit, review a variety of resources available based on your unique history, and help you outline next steps for your cessation journey. If you are interested, contact Michele Guerra at mguerra@illinois.edu.

Anyone Interested in a Virtual Book Club?

We are considering starting a virtual book club. If you are interested in joining, or have ideas about what form it should take, contact us at wellbeing@illinois.edu.

How Can We Help? Tell Us What You Want.

Although face-to face classes are cancelled through the end of the term, CWS remains committed to serving the wellbeing needs of our campus employees. There are a number of services and programs we could offer, but we want to be sure we are providing what you need and want. So, tell us! Contact us at wellbeing@illinois.edu. We’ll do what we can to provide you with relevant services during these strange times.

Seeking Online Wellness Leaders

Do you have a talent or skill you can share with your fellow employees?  Are you a certified exercise or yoga instructor?  Are you an artist or crafter?  Are you a teacher or researcher in a health or wellness area? Or do you have a different talent or skill that our employees might benefit from? Contact us at wellbeing@illinois.edu if you would be interested in providing some type of virtual instruction via Campus Wellbeing Services.

More Online Wellness Resources

Campus Wellbeing Services has a wealth of online resources.  These include online toolkits such as Coping with COVID-19, I Walk, Online Recipe Box, Tobacco-Free, UI Financial Wellness, and Wellness Under Pressure (stress management). You can also listen to past webinars, watch wellness videos, and read past employee wellbeing newsletter feature articles. All wellness toolkits, videos, and articles can be found in our website’s news and resources section.