#TexansThrive: Staying Connected at a Distance

In these strange days of social distancing, it’s so important to remember that we’re not alone.

Like a lot of others who have made the transition to working remotely over the past couple of weeks, our team is experimenting with new ways to collaborate and stay connected. On Slack, which we use for team communications, we’ve started a #random channel to serve as the virtual equivalent of our break room. In addition to the usual workplace banter, we’re exchanging lots of ideas for staying focused and productive. We’re sharing the quotes we start our day on and our tips for practicing self-care. We’re posting everything from workout videos, to mindfulness podcasts, to webinars on to how to build community through crisis. There are also lots of photos of our four-legged family members, plus the occasional suggestion for how to fold a shirt properly or divide your household chores to help keep busy on breaks. (Our apartments have never looked so clean.)

In the spirit of our new #texansthrive campaign, inviting Texans to share how they are staying healthy, connected, and thriving as we adjust to a new normal, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite exchanges from the #random channel this week. We hope you’ll find them helpful and maybe be inspired to share your own perspective on thriving.

For Health & Wellness

211 Community Resources Database

Texas Health and Human Services has a database full of food, health, and housing resources, that can help you find just what you’re looking for in your area by zip code.

Planet Fitness Live Streams

Planet Fitness hosts live workout streams every day at 6 pm CT on their Facebook page and upload them to YouTube immediately after. It’s free and fun and can be done from the comfort of your own living room.

Mental Health Resources from HHSC (Call (833) 986-1919)

Texas Health and Human Services also has provided resources including a mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Thought

Unlocking Us

Tune in to Unlocking US by Brené Brown to listen to conversation discussing the human part of who we are and how to collectively embrace it with more courage and heart.

Intelligence Squared U.S.

Intelligence Squared hosts discussions that are grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis in a civil balanced way, curated by conversation and issues of today.

Broken Justice Podcast from PBS News Hour

PBS’ podcast Broken Justice deals with the injustices brought forth by the U.S. Justice system that has left public defenders overworked and underfunded in defending citizens who cannot afford attorneys.

For Families

Free school meal pick-up locations in Texas

If you or someone you know has a child in need of free school meals during this difficult time. Visit the link to find a meal pick-up location in your area.

Teach Healthier: Nutrition & physical activity lessons for Pre-K/K-12 learners

Our Teach Healthier app offers content for Pre-K and K-12 students, providing you a tool to easily deliver nutrition lessons and physical activities! In light of a sudden influx of parent’s becoming full-time teachers because of COVID-19, we recommend you download the Teach Healthier app for quick and easy access to important information.

CATCH Health at Home for Parents

CATCH has set up a Google Classroom to provide families with free educational resources in evidence-based health, nutrition, and physical education.

For Focus

10 Percent Happier

Learn to meditate from the world’s best mindfulness experts. Your stress, happiness, and sleep can change for the better with guided meditations and practical teachings.

Headspace

Everyone deserves mindfulness every day, so why not bring some more of it to your life. Try out the Headspace free trial to gain a full library of full courses on meditation and sleep exercises.

My Noise

My Noise brings great audial options for everyday ambiance to help improve your productivity in and around the house.

For Team Building & Laughter

Drawful 1 (or Drawful 2)

Need to discover if you’re coworkers or family are great visual artist? Try out Jackbox Games’ Drawful. It works on mobile, computer, and gaming platforms… all everyone else needs is a mobile device to play along.

Here’s a few fun drawings from our team of artists:

Psych

You can choose from a variety of fun categories in which each player makes up fun answers to real trivia questions. If you think you know someone, you might have a few more fun questions for them that will leave you both laughing.

Virtual Happy Hour (Try it on Zoom, Slack, or WhatsApp)

Team-boosting exercises don’t always have to be work related. Try hosting a virtual get-together on Zoom, Slack, or other video conferencing tool to help build team morale and play fun games. (Our first one is on Friday!)

For Inspiration

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“This pandemic experience is a massive experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be scary when we’re scared. Let’s choose awkward, brave, and kind. And let’s choose each other. – Brené Brown

“But out of limitation comes creativity.” – Debbie Allen

Now that you’ve seen our list, we want to know, what are you doing to help yourself and others thrive? Is there a particular routine you’re sticking to? Is there a daily activity you do with your kids? Are you finding opportunities to healthy and connected that you didn’t see before?

As we continue to figure out this thing called social distancing, we want to know what’s working, what isn’t, what you’re finding discouraging or hopeful, and what are you learning about health, wellbeing, and life along the way. Share your story and unique perspective on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram by using the hashtag #texansthrive or contribute directly to our story bank.

One last parting thought: A lot of people are struggling with how to “do health” while we’re stuck at home and so much of daily life has been disrupted. If you could use someone to talk to (or just some reassurance that you’ve got this) know that our health coaches are here for you.