May 8, 2020
Employee Wellness Newsletter
May 2020: Revive & Refresh
Many of us focus on our physical well-being: how well we eat, how often we exercise, and how up-to-date we are on our preventive care visits. Reality is that we forget to keep a “pulse” on our emotional and mental well-being needs as daily demands in life take their toll on us. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and it has never been more important than this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics show that one in five will have a mental health concern during their lifetime; however, just a month ago we all had no idea that our worlds would be turned upside down by the coronavirus, leaving many worried, isolated, lonely, with increased anxiety, and having to take on the dual-role of being a full-time employee plus balancing the needs of the household & family 24/7.   

Now more than ever, resources are needed for this time of uncertainty. This month’s Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well Newsletter provides practical resources and tools to be resilient and thrive during this time and throughout the year. We also continue to feature well-being resources to support everyone in this COVID-19 pandemic; feel free to share with your family and friends. We hope you and your family are well. Stay Safe and Healthy!
Eat Well
Food has a very important role in our mental health. What we eat influences our mood, energy levels, and focus. It is so important to eat nutrient dense food and to manage our blood sugar levels to positively impact our cognition and mood.
Proteins - Components in proteins are the building blocks to neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Serotonin which play a huge role in our mood as well as our sleep and appetite.

  • Turkey, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes and beans, nut and seeds
Healthy Fats - Our hormones are made up of fats believe it or not. Hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones play a role in our mood. It is so important to supply enough dietary fat to have adequate levels and functioning of these hormones. If we aren’t eating the right nutrients to even manufacture these hormones we may see depression, anxiety, fatigue, and irritability.

Omega-3 fatty and Monounsaturated acids:
  • Salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, beef, liver, pork, egg yolks, avocado and avocado oil, olive oil, dairy, nuts & seeds
Probiotics - Help foster growth of bacteria in our gut that create neurotransmitters. Fact: 80% of your Serotonin (happy hormone) is actually made in the gut! Our gut also communicates with our brain. What goes on in the gut impacts our cognitive function, mood, etc., therefore we need a healthy gut for a healthy mood.

  • Plain yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kombucha
Recipe: Chocolate Pomegranate Proats
Features some brain boosting ingredients. High in protein and healthy fats: Oats, flaxseed, cacao, pink Himalayan salt (electrolytes), whole egg & pomegranates.
Live Well
In order to live well and be the best version of yourself, you may need resources to help you sustain or get you there. Refer to the resources below which focus on awareness and building resiliency!

Be Well
Utilize these initiatives as tools to help you thrive!

Here are a few ways to refocus your thoughts and lift your mood!

  1. Open the windows (or at least the curtains!) to bring in the sunlight
  2. Meditate – try the link above under “Self-Care in Quarantine!”
  3. Take Up a New Hobby – learn to paint, play an instrument, cook new meals
  4. Work Out – find time in every day to move for your mental health, immune system and physical health
  5. Exercise Your Brain with podcasts or books just like you exercise your body
  6. Try mindless activities such as Jigsaw puzzles, coloring books, games, scrap booking, and more to take your thoughts away from stressors
  7. Journal – try gratitude journaling to focus on all of the positive things you are grateful for
  8. Cook – take advantage of having no commute to work and dive into new recipes
  9. Snuggle with a Furry Friend – there is healing power in spending time with your furry friends
  10. Declutter, Organize and Sanitize – a clean space can be therapeutic, leaving you feel more energized
  11. Limit Binging on Social Media and News – get the necessary info but don’t be consumed by it as it is just not healthy for your mental health.
  12. Stay Connected – text, call, or take time to chat with family and friends with portals that have face-to-face virtual capabilities 
In Good Health,
Kayla Isaacs, CHES, CWWS 630.737.9383 |

Madeline Engelking, MBA, RDN 630.737.9356 |  
About the Monthly Wellness Newsletter
The everyday choices we make can help us live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives. The CGO Employee Wellness Newsletter provides monthly resources and education on a variety of topics like nutrition, exercise, emotional health and resilience, prevention and more. Our hope is that this information empowers you to incorporate sustainable healthy habits for a lifetime of good health and well-being.

Always consult with your physician before beginning any wellness program. This general information is not intended to replace your healthcare professional.  

Sources: Zywave, Action for Happiness, American Heart Association, Healbright, Mental Health America, Mindbodygreen, National Alliance on Mental Illness

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