Taking care of yourself

As the COVID-19 virus continues to be a health concern and circumstances continue to change, it may feel like a daily challenge to manage everyday life — and stay positive and healthy. Whether you’re staying at home, practicing social distancing or looking for ways to feel protected when you’re out in the community, here are some tips that may help as you navigate today’s changing world.

Ways to help you cope if you’re staying at home

Stay engaged. Keeping your mind active is a way to help support your mental health. That could mean focusing on a new interest or maybe reviving an old one. A few simple at-home ideas could include cooking new foods, joining a virtual book club or class through a library or community program, indoor or outdoor gardening, or creating albums from old photos.

Connect with others. If you can tap into technology and connect with friends and family, it may be a great way to stay in touch. Send a text or call — or try a virtual video meeting. Feeling connected may help keep your spirits up.

Move your body. Being active can help lift your mood and support your immune system. Walk around the neighborhood (but be sure to keep social distancing). Jog in place or play music for a dance party in your living room. Want more ideas? Check out these 5 tips for moving more. You can also check into at-home fitness resources from your health plan by signing in to your health plan account.

Eat good food. Enjoy your fruits, vegetables and whole foods. Eating healthy foods is a delicious way to help your body’s immune system. It may boost your energy and mood too.

Get your rest. Good sleep is key to good health. Take time to slow down, breathe and sleep well. It’s amazing what good rest can do for your emotional health.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Remember this includes tables, doorknobs and faucets.1

Ways to help protect yourself in the community

Keep a physical distance of 6 feet. Continue to avoid close contact with other people and maintain your physical distancing efforts.2

Wear a cloth mask when in public spaces or around others. It’s become more common for people to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when you’re in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of face masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. It’s a simple and easy way we can all help protect each other. Here’s a video from the CDC to help you make a cloth mask with items you might have at home.

If you feel ill, stay home. Be especially careful if you are going into public spaces, like the office or workplace or running errands. If you have symptoms, you can use our symptom checker to help you assess your risk for COVID-19.

Practice proper handwashing throughout the day. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is particularly important after you’ve been in a public place or right after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze. It’s also especially important to wash before eating and preparing food, after using a restroom, after touching animals or pets, changing a diaper and handling a mask. Don’t forget to avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Get a flu shot. A flu vaccine is more important than ever this flu season. The CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading and they have similar symptoms.3 Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your family and others from the seasonal flu. By getting a flu shot, you may reduce the risk of serious flu illness and hospitalization.

Supporting your emotional health

It’s perfectly normal to feel stressed right now. Talking to someone may help you feel better. You can reach out for emotional support with the help of these resources.

  • Our free, 24/7 emotional support line is here for you to call at 866-342-6892. This 24/7 Optum Help Line is staffed by professionally trained mental health experts. It is free of charge and open to anyone. 
  • An on-demand emotional support mobile app called Sanvello is available to many members to help you cope with stress, anxiety and depression. Eligible UnitedHealthcare members must register using their UnitedHealthcare member card.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24/7 support through an online chat called LIfeline Chat You can also call 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-799-4889 (TTY) for support. 
  • The Crisis Text Line is a free resource available 24/7 to help you connect with a crisis counselor. Text “Home” to 741741

How to get mental health support right away

If you need help right away — for yourself or a loved one — call 911 or use the emergency numbers below.

Substance Use Helpline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-855-780-5955 1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
1-800-799-4889 (TTY)
Online Lifeline Chat
If you feel that you or a loved one are experiencing signs of addiction, call the confidential helpline to get 24/7 support and guidance on treatment options and coverage. Call for crisis intervention, information and referrals to local services for victims of domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, get emergency help right away. Contact the lifeline for 24/7, free and confidential support and crisis intervention.


  1. Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home | cdc.gov
  2. How to Protect Yourself & Others | cdc.gov
  3. Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2020-2021 Season | cdc.gov


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