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your well-being

Our new reality

New York Teacher

If you feel your life has been upended overnight, you’re not alone. The coronavirus crisis has changed everyone’s reality and adapting is an ongoing challenge.

Here are some suggestions to help you cope:

  • Create a daily routine that is compatible for both work and family. Try to include time for self-care in your schedule.
  • Get outside for a daily walk, maintaining 6 feet of social distance from others. If indoors, open your curtains to let the sunshine and vitamin D in and open a window for fresh air.
  • Create an opportunity to exercise and move every day, using music or free YouTube videos.
  • Try to recreate the physical aspects of a typical day in your virtual schedule by using FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, email, text messages or phone calls to connect with colleagues and friends.
  • Eat nutritious foods and try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Expect behavioral issues from every person you encounter and respond gently. This is a high-stress time for everyone, including children.
  • Lower your anxiety level by limiting your consumption of coronavirus news coverage, particularly on social media.
  • Focus on the positive: plants blooming on your walks, friends checking in, stores delivering groceries, helpers making a difference in the world. You may want to create a daily gratitude journal.
  • Think about how you can help others, whether by delivering groceries or calling to check on a UFT retiree or other seniors who live alone. If you are a UFT retiree in need of help, contact the UFT Retiree Social Services Department at 212-598-6880.
  • Try to find the presence of mind to pursue a creative project, such as drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, knitting, solving puzzles or playing a musical instrument.
  • Attend events online, take virtual trips to museums, aquariums and zoos, enjoy reading and watch television without guilt.
  • For other ideas about how to cope and occupy your time, visit coronavirus self-care and family entertainment.
  • Your union is always here for you. The UFT Member Assistance Program is offering online resources and virtual support groups.

The UFT Member Assistance Program offers mental health services and support to all UFT members. This service is free and confidential. You can contact MAP by calling 212-701-9620 or by emailing mapinfo@uft.org.