Benefits to help you take care of you this spring
To care for patients, co-workers and your family, you must first take care of yourself. Revive your body, mind and spirit this spring with some of the many benefits offered by the health system.
If you’ve ever been an airplane passenger, then you probably listened to the safety briefing. Among other things, the flight attendants emphasize that if oxygen masks should drop from overhead, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.
Symbolically speaking, this instruction – put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others – should be in a safety briefing for life in general. We must look after our own health and wellness so that we have the time, energy and resources to care for others. This is particularly important for you as a healthcare professional.
It’s About You, the health system’s award-winning wellness program, offers abundant resources to help you prioritize your self-care. By taking a proactive, holistic and personalized approach to your own health and wellbeing, you enhance your capacity to provide compassionate care to patients and their families, as well as your own family.
- Create a self-care plan. This guide to developing a self-care plan gets you started with three simple questions: How do you want to feel? What makes you feel that way? What can you start today? For example, if you want to feel peaceful and classical music helps you calm down, you could pop in your earbuds and listen to a few sonatas while you catch up on email. If you want to feel energetic and time spent outside gives you a boost, you could lace up your sneakers and take a 10-minute stroll after you eat dinner. Think of easy ways to incorporate self-care in your daily life by exploring how you want to feel and what makes you feel it.
- Balance self-care activities across all dimensions of wellness. This means not only taking care of your body and mind, but also promoting your own environmental, financial, occupational, social and spiritual well-being. For example, your self-care plan might include eating more leafy greens for nutrition, learning how to meditate for mindfulness and doing a daily random act of kindness to promote your own sense of community and purpose. Start with small changes that you’re sure to follow through on and you will grow your self-care confidence. Then challenge yourself with bigger changes to balance your self-care in all areas of your life.
- Personalize your self-care with activities that fit your life. How you practice self-care may look different than how your friends or family members practice self-care. Even your self-care at work may look different than your self-care at home. Maybe your spouse feels better after a tranquil yoga session, but you feel better after a vigorous karate lesson. Maybe your work self-care is asking a coworker to answer the phone for 15 minutes when you need a quick break, but your home self-care is calling a friend for a quick chat when you feel stressed. The important thing here is to care for yourself – get in touch with your thoughts and feelings about what self-care means to you, then honor those thoughts and feelings in your personal health and wellness
A final note as you begin your self-care plan: Self-care is not selfish. Being selfish is caring only for yourself without regard for others. Self-care is caring for yourself so that you are prepared to also care for others. Remember, you can’t help others put on their oxygen masks if you don’t already have yours on. Look after your own health and wellness so that you have the time, energy and resources to care for others.
As spring sunshine starts to warm up the weather, you’re probably thinking about getting active outside. Before you dash out the door, check up on your physical health. Proactively caring for your body not only helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle; it can also help detect and treat conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes as early as possible. This spring, we recommend these six preventive self-care steps:
- Establish a relationship with a primary care provider. A primary care provider is a partner who will help to ensure your best health by comprehensively managing your care. The health system’s find a provider service, available only to employees and their dependents, can help you find the right provider in family medicine, general internal medicine or pediatrics.
- Schedule your annual physical. A yearly physical exam is essential to your ongoing health. This important appointment is not just a routine assessment to update your medications and vaccinations. It is also an opportunity for your primary care provider to make lifestyle, exercise or diet recommendations that can help you maintain or improve your health.
- Complete your preventive screenings. Preventive screenings can identify conditions like cancer or heart disease before you experience any symptoms. Your primary care provider may take care of simple screenings like a blood pressure check or a skin exam during your annual physical. Remember to ask what other age-appropriate screenings you should schedule and complete.
- Visit your dentist. Regular dental exams are just as important as annual physicals. In fact, most dentists recommend two dental exams per year to track the health of your teeth, gums, tongue and mouth. Aim to visit your dentist every six months to find gum disease and other oral health problems early, when they are easier and less expensive to treat.
- Get your eyes examined. When it comes to preventive care, don’t forget about your vision. An appointment with an eye doctor can provide important insight for your health even if you have perfect sight. Regular eye exams not only help preserve your vision and detect common eye diseases, but they can also reveal early signs of other conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Take the Wellbeing Survey to learn ways you can add to your preventive self-care routine. The It’s About You wellness program is free for all employees, regardless of your benefits eligibility. If your household takes a team approach to wellness, spouses of employees enrolled in a medical plan can also participate in It’s About You for free!
As a bonus, each of these steps will earn you miles on your Wellness Journey. Enter your preventive care activities on your Wellness Journey Wall, and you’ll be one step closer to earning incentives through our It’s About You wellness program!
To encourage you to proactively care for your physical health:
- Preventive care like annual exams and appropriate screenings are 100% covered for employees and their dependents who are enrolled in either the HSA Advantage or Signature medical plan.
- Employees and their dependents who are enrolled in a dental plan can receive an unlimited number of cleanings each year at no cost and oral exams are 100% covered (in-network).
- Employees and their dependents who are enrolled in a vision plan can receive one eye exam per year (two for children!) for $0 copay with the Plus plan or $20 copay with the Basic plan.
Bet you never thought that spring cleaning could be self-care! Numerous peer-reviewed research studies conclude that a clean home can improve your health in measurable ways. Not only is the act of cleaning a healthy physical and mental activity, but also having a clean home can help to reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity, enhance creativity, decrease illness or injury, and improve eating and sleeping habits.
Here are five tips to help you clean your home and care for yourself, along with Perks For You deals to help you save while self-care spring cleaning:
- Sort your cabinets and closets. First, completely empty the cabinet or closet. Next, sort its contents into “stay,” “move” and “go” piles. Donate or discard the “go” contents. Put all the “move” contents away in their proper place. Finally, refill the cabinet or closet with the “stay” contents using an easy-to-maintain storage system of shelves, hooks, baskets, bins, etc. If you need to upgrade your closet or cabinet system before you refill, you can get cash back on new storage solution arrivals at Container Store or build a custom storage system at a discount with EasyClosets.
- Organize your attic, basement and/or garage. Use the same approach as cabinets and closets, but on a larger scale. Instead of emptying the whole space, work in corners. Completely empty the corner into “stay,” “move” and “go” piles, then take care of the piles as appropriate. If you need some extra space or extra strength for the bigger contents of your attic, basement or garage, temporarily store items in a discounted PODS container or have them hauled away with a 1-800-GOT-JUNK? deal. If you need a storage overhaul in any of these spaces, save on a custom system with EasyGarage.
- Finish your “honey-do” list. As you move through your home with an eye for improving your space in the name of self-care, you might discover new tasks that need doing or rediscover old projects that need finishing. Head to the hardware store to get your DIY repairs and improvements done before the summer fun starts. There are dozens of deals at Ace, Lowe’s, and Home Depot to help with your household projects, indoors and out!
- Refresh your cleaning supplies. It’s inevitable – you’re going to avoid cleaning if you don’t like your cleaning tools. Perhaps you’re bored with the scent of your disinfectant spray. Maybe your vacuum sucks and not in a good way. Now is the time to get some new supplies to better support your self-care cleaning efforts. Make it happen with a deal on spring cleaning essentials from Kroger Ship. Or, if an iRobot or a Dyson will make your cleaning dreams come true, treat yourself with a discount.
- Call a professional. Do you marvel at people who like to clean? Does all this spring organizing and improving zap your cleaning energy? Are routine scrubbing and scouring never going fall into your definition of self-care? Entrust your weekly, biweekly, or monthly housecleaning to an expert. You can get $50 off your first three-hour cleaning when you sign up for a plan at Handy.com.
The Perks For You deals linked in each of these spring cleaning self-care tips are available to all employees, regardless of benefits eligibility. Be sure to log in to KansasHealthSystemPerks.com before clicking the links above.
Need extra incentive to stick with your spring cleaning?
Try the 30-Day Decluttering Challenge from our It’s About You program! Commit to clearing the clutter with a convenient checklist of spaces that tend to collect chaos. Clean one spot a day for a month and everything from your kitchen pantry to your medicine cabinet will be tidy. As a reward for your hard work, you’ll earn 20 miles on your Wellness Journey!
Do you face challenges with work-life balance or relationship well-being? Is stress, pain or a difficult experience getting in the way of your self-care? Does anxiety or depression prevent you from taking care of you? It’s OK to ask for help.
The health system’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to support you with completely free and confidential emotional and behavioral health services. EAP is available to all employees and their household members including children, regardless of benefits eligibility.
To ensure confidentiality, EAP services are provided by an external partner, ComPsych, who specializes in meeting your unique needs as a healthcare worker. The health system will have no record of who seeks help from EAP. These mental health resources are available anytime, day or night, and anywhere, by phone or online. Whenever and wherever you need help, EAP is here for you.
Free and confidential counseling:
- Eight free professional counseling sessions per issue for you and your household members (including children), either in person or by phone call, video meeting or private text
- Support for any emotional or behavioral health issue, including common concerns like stress management, relationship or workplace conflict, family or housing needs, major illness or injury, anxiety or depression, grief or loss, trauma or PTSD, and substance abuse
- Information, referrals and resources for ongoing treatment if the need for long-term counseling arises
Free and confidential self-help resources:
- Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CCBT), an evidence-based self-help technique presented through online interactive modules
- Self-improvement tools and solutions for everyday issues to help you be your best at home and at work
- Information, referrals and resources to help you balance work-life situations, such as child or elder care, buying or selling a home, and other major stressors
EAP is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Call 855-784-2052 (toll-free) or 800-697-0353 (TTY)
- Visit GuidanceResources.com
- Download the GuidanceNow app with the QR code below
(Use Web ID “health system” to register online or in the app.)
Taking time away from work is vital for your health and well-being. We encourage you to use paid time off (PTO) to rest and renew. That’s why the health system provides paid time off for eligible full-time and part-time employees. Our program, detailed on the PTO and Holidays page, is designed with flexibility to meet your need for paid time off, regardless of the reason.
Make self-care one of your reasons for PTO this spring and take advantage of Perks For You savings to turn your time into a treat!
Perks For You is available to all employees, regardless of benefits eligibility. Be sure to log in to KansasHealthSystemPerks.com before clicking the links below.
If your idea of self-care PTO is a relaxing getaway, Perks For You offers:
- Up to 20% off best available rates at participating Wyndham locations, including Dolce Hotels and Resorts or the Trademark Collection
- Up to 20% off your stay at Choice Hotel locations nationwide, including Cambria Hotels & Suites or the Ascend Hotel Collection
- Up to 15% off Iberostar Hotels and Resorts in popular European, African, and North American destinations
- Plus many more travel discounts on vacation rentals, car rentals, cruises, flights and other transportation!
If your idea of self-care PTO is an energizing experience, Perks For You offers:
- Savings on admission to theme parks across the U.S., like Disney World, Disneyland, Legoland and Universal Studios
- Discounted tickets to live concerts, comedy, theatre and other performing arts
- Deals on MLB, NBA, MLS, NASCAR and other professional sports events
- Plus many more ticket deals for sightseers and thrill-seekers!
If your idea of self-care PTO is a laidback staycation, Perks For You offers:
- Up to 30% off your stay at Great Wolf Lodge, including the Kansas City location
- Deals for the Kansas City Zoo or Wonderscope Children’s Museum
- Discounted tickets to Kansas Athletics (seasonally) or Country Stampede 2023
- Local deals to help you discover (or rediscover) the joys of your hometown
- Plus plenty of health and wellness or beauty and spa discounts to treat yourself!
Whatever your self-care requires – beach towel, foam finger, mouse ears, yoga mat, comfy blanket, etc. – we hope these Perks help you revitalize with your PTO this spring.