The Pulse of SchoolCare, December 2021

Self-Care Fatigue? Take Care of Yourself in Just a Few Minutes a Day


Published March 11, 2022

Two years into the National Health Emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conversation around mental health has been pushed into the spotlight and a recent scientific brief released by the World Health Organization indicates that the prevalence of anxiety and depression spiked 25% worldwide in the first year especially for women and youth.

As a result, the phrase “practice self-care” has become a mantra repeated so often it’s perhaps become background noise, because how does practicing self-care help if nothing around you is changing to lessen the barrage of new stressors?

You already know that eating a nutritious diet, getting exercise and the right amount of sleep and taking time for “you” are important aspects of living a healthy life and maintaining balance, but it’s possible that after so long trying to juggle so much, practicing self-care just sounds like something else you don’t have time for.

Below are a few suggestions for how you can do something for you, whether you have 5 minutes or 60.

If you have 5-10 minutes:

Check-in on the Happify app. As SchoolCare participant, you have access to Happify offered through Cigna. Happify offers science-based activities proven to help shift your mindset and improve emotional well-being. Log-on for a few minutes a day over a couple of weeks and you may just see a change in how you approach challenges or even just in how you tackle daily routines.

You can also earn a $25 incentive from the Good For You! Well-Being Program by self-reporting it as a Healthy Event under Wellness Incentives when you login to your myCigna account.

If you have 10-15 minutes:

  • Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Get a two-for-one with some fresh air and light exercise - Vitamin D from the sun and a dose of fresh air can increase your energy and exercise in general is shown to help reduce depression.
  • Practice meditation. Log on to YouTube (or your favorite meditation app) and search for 10- to 15-minute meditations to help you de-stress, re-energize and find some mental clarity in the middle of the day.

Log either as a Healthy Event, or if you are using Apps and Activities, set up a challenge around walking or mindfulness and earn $50 when you earn 20 stars and complete your challenge.

If you have 20-30 minutes:

  • Take a power nap. Research shows that a 15- to 20-minute nap allows you a quick re-charge to wake up feeling refreshed, alert and energized with no-impact on your nighttime sleep.
  • Indulge in something that interests you. Read a book or magazine or catch an episode of favorite or new sitcom you’ve been wanting to check out. Unleash your inner artist and paint, draw or color. Write in your journal or get your seeds started for the upcoming growing season.

If you have an hour.

Register for a live Cigna EAP Webcast or catch an on-demand replay. Here are a few recommendations for focusing on combatting stress and improving your mental health. You can also report your EAP Webcasts as a Healthy Event.

  • Live: March 23 at 2 p.m. “Conquering Compassion Fatigue.” (Even if you cannot attend live, if you register, you will receive the on-demand recording when it’s ready.)
  • On-Demand: Beating Burnout; Coping with Pandemic Fatigue; Blueprint for Emotional Wellness; Finding Your Resilience; and Less is More: Simplifying Your Life. Access these and many more webcasts here.

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