Many of us had hoped this summer would bring resolution to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. Yet, as we begin another school year and turn the corner to the back half of the year, we are reminded daily of the continuing impact of COVID-19. Infection rates are rising, isolation is growing, and our stress is compounding. As we strive to serve the needs of our families, our business and our communities, we must remember to take care of ourselves also.
Here are seven easy ways that you, Walmart associates, can prioritize self-care right now. I challenge you to use them. Share them with your peers and team members and encourage them to put their well-being first as well. Then share a pic or post with the rest of us at #WellbeingatWalmart and let us know how you’re making well-being a priority right now.
- Schedule Time Off: Our paid time off (PTO) plan gives associates the flexibility to take time off when they need it the most. Studies show that people who take time off have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation. With PTO, associates have the freedom to focus on their well-being however they choose. Schedule some PTO today and hold yourself accountable for taking it.
- Take Advantage of No-Cost Counseling: Emotional well-being is more important than ever. Associates and family members are eligible for up to 10 no-cost counseling sessions per concern through Resources for Living (RFL). RFL licensed professionals are available 24/7 to listen and offer caring advice on coping with change, stress, parenting, anxiety or grief.
- Watch a Free Well-Being Webinar: Through Resources for Living (RFL), associates can watch free webinars on topics such as communication, stress, self-improvement, coping with COVID-19 and more.
- Use the $9 Fitness Center Membership Offer: Exercise is not only good for your body; it can also boost your mood, improve sleep and help you deal with depression, anxiety and stress. If you’re a full-time, part-time or temporary U.S. associate, you and your family have access to thousands of fitness locations with the Fitness Pass network and can take advantage of this benefit for as low as $9 a paycheck.
- Reduce Stress with Better Sleep, Meditation and Gratitude: Through Thrive Global, all associates can download a free app for tools and tips from experts for improving sleep, understanding the benefits of meditation and finding gratitude. The app also offers resources for healthy eating, weight loss support, debt management and financial well-being.
- Talk to Your Fellow Associates Across the Country: Through Supportiv, we offer peer support chats 24/7. It’s free, 100% anonymous and includes trained moderators. It's not just talking, either. Associates receive article suggestions, videos, podcasts and services that are tailored to their unique needs.
- Bring Well-Being Into Your Workday: Focusing on well-being should not be a one-off practice, but an everyday habit. We encourage leaders to take time at team huddles or morning meetings to share what they’re doing to prioritize well-being and encourage peers to discuss how they’re caring for themselves, too.
Yes, we are still going through a trying time given the continued pandemic, but we are in it together. Let’s take time to encourage each other and make taking care of ourselves a priority.