Taking Care of Yourself: Fall & Winter

Wellness@Work Advice on

Taking Care of Yourself During the Holidays and Throughout the Fall & Winter

We’re now 9 months in to the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re still on alert. So:

  • How bad are things going to get?
  • What can we do to take care of ourselves and one another?
  • How can we safely plan for the holidays?
  • What about travel?


How bad are things going to get?

  • Public health experts warn that things could worse over the cold months ahead, in part because the virus is more easily spread when we are gathered inside.
  • While we have a much better understanding of how COVID-19 is transmitted now – and the steps we can take to decrease transmission – many people are just feeling fatigued and tired of remaining vigilant.


What can we do to take care of ourselves and one another?

  • Continue to practice your three Ws – they work!
  1. Wash your hands
  2. Wear your face mask
  3. Wait 6 feet away
  • Get your flu shot: With COVID-19 cases expected to rise in the winter, protect yourself from a seasonal virus, the flu. You will reduce the burden on healthcare workers and you’ll reduce the chances of worrying “what do I have?” if you develop symptoms.
  • If you are feeling sick, stay home and contact the Wellness Clinic for advice.
  • With everything that is going on in the world right now, it’s especially important to take care of ourselves: physically and emotionally. If you feel like you need help, reach out for help. Contact:
    • The Wellness Clinic, 919-968-2796
    • The Ombuds Office, 919-265-0806
    • The Employee Assistance Program, 1-800-326-3864

How can we safely plan for the Holidays?

  • This is the time of year when we all look forward to gathering with family and friends for the Holidays. But how do we do it safely during COVID-19? Or should we do it at all?
  • If you are feeling anxious or if you, or any family members, are vulnerable, it may be best to plan “distanced” ways to celebrate the Holidays.
  • If you – and others in your family – are willing to be cautious, you can make it safer by following the rules.
  • Keep on doing the things we know make a difference: physical distancing, face coverings, frequent hand washing and keeping shared surfaces disinfected. Don’t forget the state’s guidance of knowing your three Ws: 1. Wash your hands; 2. Wear your face covering; and 3. Wait 6 feet away.
  • Keep gatherings small, wear masks, and do things outside.
  • If you are planning to travel for the Holidays, do it safely.

What about Travel?

  • If you are traveling to see family, or having them come stay with you, consider setting some ground rules. For example: ask everyone to be vigilant about social distancing for 2 weeks before.
  • Consider the conditions to where you are traveling – is your destination a “hot spot” with lots of COVID-19 cases or with rising numbers? Are their COVID-19-related restrictions in your destination? Some areas require travelers to quarantine for up to 14 days – not a good fit if you’re only going to be there for Thanksgiving Dinner. Check ahead so you can be prepared before you get there.
  • How are you planning to get there? Air, train and bus travel place you in close quarters with others; car travel can lead to stops along the way that put you in close contact with others. Do your research and figure out what is right for you and your friends and family.
  • Where are you planning to stay? While it might be a tradition for generations of family to bunk together, you might decide that this year staying in a hotel lets you have more control over your environment.
  • What should I do when I get back home? How about if I had people stay with me, what should I do? You will want to monitor for possible COVID-19 symptoms, especially for two weeks after you return, or after your guests leave.


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