Here are some helpful tips to protect your health and be productive working from home.
Tips for Working from Home
- Get dressed for the day. You don’t have to wear your normal work clothes but get out of your pajamas and into “work” clothes.
- Keep the same schedule as you would at the office.
- Pick a spot in your home where you’ll work. Make it somewhere free of distractions.
- Start by getting clear about what needs to get done during the day ahead, and create a manageable list.
- Set boundaries. If other people are at home during the day, discuss with them the times you’ll be working and ways to minimize distractions.
- Move throughout the day. In addition to exercising (e.g., walking, doing an online exercise video), take short stretch breaks. You can use this short video as a guide. Airrosti also has videos with information and stretches for specific injuries and maintaining or improving mobility.
- Meditation. Use that time you would be commuting to start a mindfulness practice. Try out the BCBSTX Centered App (available for iPhone here). Try out a free trial of Headspace or Calm.
- Social connection. Take time to connect with your coworkers through email, instant messaging or phone.
- Enjoy healthy snacks. Find ideas at the American Heart Association.
- At the end of the day, put your work away. While you won’t have a commute to transition your day from work to home life, putting away your work may help signal your body it’s time to rest and recover from the day.
(Sources: How to Stay Sane While Working From Home (Especially During the Coronavirus) [YouTube video], and the New York Times.)
MDLIVE: Instead of going to the doctor’s office, you can have a virtual visit while at home. MDLIVE is available 24/7 at no cost to UT SELECT and UT CONNECT members. Visits with a board-certified MDLIVE doctor can be made via online video, mobile app or phone. Register online or call 1-888-676-4204. You will need your benefits ID card.
24/7 Nurse Line: 1-888-315-9473
UT SELECT and UT CONNECT Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas have registered nurses available 24/7. The nurse line can answer your health questions and help you decide whether you should go to the emergency room or urgent care center or make an appointment with your doctor. They have been trained on the latest clinical guidelines for COVID-19.
Mental Health Resources
EAP: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential program offered at no cost to you that can help you and your dependents successfully deal with life's challenges. Professional assistance is available to help resolve personal and professional problems of all kinds. Find the EAP for your UT institution here.
MDLIVE Behavioral Health Counseling
MDLIVE offers virtual visits for behavioral health counseling. Speak with a licensed counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist for support. You can choose who you want to work with for issues such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems, trauma, loss and more.
Digital Health Programs
Many of our current programs are great resources to turn to even while you’re at home. These are covered 100% by UTSELECT.
- Hinge Health: Hinge Health is a coach-led digital program for those suffering from chronic back, knee, hip or shoulder pain.
- Omada: The Omada program inspires healthy habits you can live with long-term. It provides tools and support to help you make changes that stick. It's an approach shown to reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plus Omada participants receive relevant tips from their coach like ways to boost your immune system.
- Livongo: Manage your diabetes and/or hypertension digitally with the support of a certified coach and many other resources.
Our wellness colleagues at UT MD Anderson put together an excellent list of self-care resources.
Emotional Wellness | Mindfulness Apps and Resources | Guided Meditations | Additional Resources
- Insight Timer
- Stop, Breathe, and Think
- Centered Blue Cross Blue Shield Centered Mindful Meditation App
- Stanford Mind and Body Lab
- Ohio State University Just Breathe Resource Center
- The Best Anxiety Apps of 2019
- American Psychological Association
- Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation 10 Day Renew Challenge
- 10 TED Talks for when you feel burnt out
- University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center
- Action for Happiness Monthly Challenge Calendar
- Gratitude as Medicine: A Survival Kit for Healthcare Organizations
- UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
- BYU Counseling and Psychological Services Relaxation Recordings
- OSU Wexner Medical Center
- OSU Guided Imagery Audio Exercises
- UC San Diego Health Center for Mindfulness
- ADAA Reviewed Mental Health Apps
- Stress Management & Resiliency Training Lab (Breathing to Reduce Stress)
- University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing
- University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing Podcast
- Self-Care in a Toxic World
- The Healing Powers of Keeping a Journal
- University of Virginia School of Nursing Compassionate Care Initiative
- Awareness of Breathing (Guided meditation exercise)
- 10 Ways to Build Resilience
- 10 Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health (University of Michigan)
- One-Minute Stress Strategies (University of Michigan)
- UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center
- WHO: Mental Health and Work: Impact, Issues, and Good Practices Manual
- This is Your Brain on Nature – National Geographic
- The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of the Literature
- University of Florida Employee Wellness Program (Guided Meditation Videos)
- National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary (PDF)
- Simple Solutions for a Great Night’s Sleep
- The National Institutes of Health: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (free PDF download)
- Sleeping Well in the Digital Age (Georgetown University)
- Understanding the Science of Sleep (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Cal Berkley Center for Human Sleep and Science (media)
- National Sleep Foundation website