Resilience: Mind • Body • Spirit

UTMB Employee Wellness

For several weeks, we have all been focused on planning, preparing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time of unprecedented uncertainty and stress, it is essential that we take good care of ourselves and our families so that we can continue to support our patients and each other.

To that end, UTMB has established an Employee Wellness Task Force, under the guidance of Human Resources and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. This group will be providing resources, updates and general information to all of us in the coming weeks to help us stay emotionally healthy during this crisis.

Employee Resources  

If you are a UTMB employee and need emotional support, counseling or coping support, these resources are immediately available to you. Please use them:

  • The University of Texas Employee Assistance Program
    24/7 crisis counseling hotline: (844) 872-5986; open to employees and their families. See the UTEAP Overview Document for more information.
  • UTMB Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Employee Clinic
    Call (409) 772-0770 to schedule an appointment; available to employees and their families.
  • UTMB Student Health
    24/7 crisis hotline: (409) 747-HELP (4357); available to all UTMB students.
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission Hotline
    Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line: (833) 986-1919; available to all Texas residents.
  • De-Escalation Techniques for Medical Professionals
    The UTMB Police Department has developed a 30-minute training program for medical professionals (and others interested in promoting positive communication). The training covers topics such as empathy in communication, nonverbal language and tone of voice to counter emotion-driven behavior. Login to the UTMB Learn training site, navigate to the “Catalog” link at the top of the page, and from the expanded dropdown menu select “Professional Development.” Enroll in the “De-Escalation Techniques for Medical Professionals” module by clicking the “+” sign.

Wellness Resources  

Zen Stones

Some of the resources below include links to external websites that are not controlled by UTMB Health.

  MIND

  BODY

  SPIRIT

WELLNESS TIP OF THE DAY

The Wellness Tip of the Day is a new feature from the UTMB RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) Task Force. We invite you to join us in focusing on at least one brief, healthy practice a day.

We welcome your tips, comments, questions, pictures, art, poems or videos of you or your team working on staying well. Send to nurseart@utmb.edu

  • September - Week 3 (Self-Care)

    • Day 15 - Find a caring, calming phrase to use when you feel low
    • Day 16 - Leave positive messages for yourself to see regularly
    • Day 17 - Notice what you are feeling, without any judgment
    • Day 18 - Ask a trusted friend to tell you what strengths they see in you
    • Day 19 - No plans day. Make time to slow down and be kind to yourself
    • Day 20 - Enjoy photos from a time with happy memories
    • Day 21 - Don’t compare how you feel inside to how others appear outside

  Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic is scary for all of us, especially children, those on the front lines, and those at higher risk for COVID-19, such as older people and those with chronic diseases. Here are some tips to help you through the next several weeks.

Take Care of Yourself

  • BathtubEat right
  • Exercise regularly
  • Sleep regular hours
  • Be forgiving to yourself
    • It's ok to cry, not cry, binge watch TV, play video games or eat that extra piece of dessert

unpluggedUnplug
Take breaks from social media and the news. Repeatedly hearing about the pandemic can be upsetting.

Physical vs Social distancing

facetimeWhile we must physically distance ourselves from others, we shouldn't be socially distant.

  • Set up virtual dates with friends & family
  • Watch a movie or cook dinner “together”
  • Play online games with your friends
  • Talk with people you trust about your concerns but set rules to limit talk about the pandemic to a brief portion of your conversation

Do what you love

CookContinue doing activities you enjoy.

  • Exercise, cook, clean, garden, read, watch TV, or any number of activities.
  • GuitarScience tells us that it is difficult to be simultaneously anxious while doing stuff you’re interested in – even if you’re forcing yourself to do it.

 

Things to Do

  • Wear a mask when out in public places
  • Monitor your stress through self-monitoring and pacing
  • exertionMaintain emotional well-being with buddy checks and check-ins
  • Engage in brief relaxation/stress management breaks throughout the day
  • Take time-outs for basic bodily care and nutrition
  • Keep anxiety conscribed to actual threats
  • Maintain helpful self-talk
  • Avoid overgeneralizing fears; focus efforts and energy on what is within our power
  • Accept situations we cannot change
  • Foster fortitude, patience, tolerance and hope
  • Avoid negative coping strategies
  • Seek out and share social support-virtually and otherwise

Things to Avoid

  • workWorking too long by yourself without checking in with colleagues and resource sources listed here
  • Working round the clock without a break
  • Feeling that you are not doing enough
  • Excessive intake of caffeine, sweets, alcohol

depressedAvoid engaging in self-talk and attitudinal obstacles to self-care

“It would be selfish to rest”
“Others are working around the clock so should I”
“The needs of others are more important than my basic needs”
“Only I can do…”