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R&R Insurance Blog

Taylor Almonte-Hahn

Recent Posts

What is the “COVID-15?”

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

Donuts at workMajority of people have most likely heard of the Freshman 15. Young adults go off to college and the new environment change causes stress and unhealthy habits to develop which contributes to weight gain. A new trend during quarantine has been labeled the COVID-15; with a lack of socialization, food directly in sight and boredom on the mind, many have found themselves gaining a few extra pounds.

 

“In a poll of more than 1,000 U.S. readers of WebMD, half of women and almost one-quarter of men have reported weight gain since COVID.”

 

Even social media has been trending with taglines of weight gain, over-consumption of alcohol and poor nutritional choices. Unfortunately, those who struggled with weight issues, eating habits and socialization before now possess extra risk. So what can you do to take action against the COVID-15?

  • Change your focus from frustration to optimism
  • Adjust your environment by creating an office setting away from the couch and kitchen
  • Try a new health meal or snack such as apples and almond butter or pretzels and hummus
  • Skip the alcohol or soda and try sparkling water
  • Shop smarter by making a detailed list, limit impulse buys, plan a week of meals ahead of time
  • Get active outside by walking, hiking, running, etc.
  • Seek help from a dietician, counselor or family when necessary

Look for the silver lining during these times and take healthy action in your life. Starting with the steps above will help you get right back on track.

Returning to the Workplace after COVID: Considerations for Businesses

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

As we navigate our new future, your business may currently be re-opening or considering how to move forward into the workplace again. With that said, you may be receiving an influx of remote work requests. Many businesses were faced to put technology and policies into place during COVID-19 regarding telecommute.  Some companies now know that working remote is possible for employees and may continue this way for safety measures, and childcare issues along with other personal reasons. On a positive note, some remote employees have reported being more productive plus reduced commute times are a major perk for longevity with a company.

Company Culture & Work/Life Balance

Among the pandemic, many companies are utilizing this time to rebuild a great culture. With virtual communication channels such as Zoom, employee intranets, email and more, culture can still shine even in a remote setting. Consider remodeling your culture to match not only your mission statement but a general theme. Maybe that theme is innovation, customer-centric, collaboration, respect, honesty, diversity—the list goes on. Remember you must gain leadership support and demonstration for culture to thrive.

Work/life balance must be instilled to prevent employee burnout regardless of telecommute or an office setting. Elevate and engage your employees by making appropriate workloads, facilitating communication, providing resources, celebrating success and encouraging appropriate work-life balance. It is impossible to eliminate work stress, however, by recognizing the burnout signs and providing resources your employees will feel appreciated. Continue to promote an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) line, if applicable, and other resources you find beneficial for your workforce. Ultimately, let your employees know you care and are thinking about their wellbeing during this time.

If employees have to return back to the workplace, measures must be taken to ensure one’s safety. Many companies have implemented the following:

  • temperature screenings prior to entering the building
  • removal of potluck style lunches
  • plexi-glass in-between cubicles
  • hand sanitizer and sanitation wipes readily available
  • no meetings greater than 10 people
  • a definite remote work strategy if an employee tests positive or a pandemic occurs again

These few items along with many others are important to implement and educate employees with the transition of coming back to the workplace.

So, what does wellness look like in the future?

A huge emphasis will be placed on mental health more than anything else. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great resource to start with in order to find helplines, education, research, discussion groups and much more. Many vendors are now implementing at home biometrics in case an on-site cannot occur or employers just feel more comfortable with this option.

Last but not least, more virtual doctors and therapy appointments will continue to increase. Overall, there are many items to consider if you are allowing employees to continue to work remote or come back to the workplace. Remember to frequent the CDC guidelines regarding Coronavirus and keep your employees needs at the forefront.

Topics: Wellness

Flattening the Curve - Healthy Tips for Mind and Body

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

safer at homeWith the stay-at-home order in effect until May 26th  in Wisconsin, it is important to stay safe while running essential errands. If you must visit essential businesses such as the grocery store, pharmacy, or bank there are guidelines you can follow to remain healthy and limit your exposure risk.

First and foremost, if you feel ill always stay home. Otherwise, please follow these precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Order online or curbside pick for your items (if applicable) to limit in-person contact.
  • If items cannot be ordered online, wear a cloth mask in public. Make sure it rests above your nose and covers your entire mouth.
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces and items such as shopping cart, car steering wheel, purse, keys, etc.
  • Avoid visiting the businesses at ‘rush hour’ times and utilize contact-less pay.
  • Apply hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and wash hands immediately upon returning home.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

If you are feeling stir-crazy, lonely or isolated there are still ways to help your community and provide safe social interaction. Consider donating blood, especially since supply is low. Blood donation is an essential service and proper health and safety precautions have been taken by blood centers.

You could support a local food pantry by donating items to fill their shelves. Many families are suffering from unemployment and rely on donations to support their family’s next meal.  Last but not least, don’t forget to practice self-care by eating well, exercising and obtaining 7-8 hours of adequate sleep. Stress levels may be heightened, but don’t forget to do things that will help you have a sound mind and body.

All in all, it is important to remain safe and healthy, so if you have to go out, please use these precautions accordingly.

Topics: Wellness

3 Ways to Maintain Your Health and Wellbeing During Quarantine

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

While it may seem like a non-essential priority, during COVID-19, it is more important than ever to maintain a healthy and happy body, mind, and spirit. There are many ways you can manage this from the comfort of your own home.

It is important to change your perspective from “why is this happening,” to “how can I embrace the changes?” Three areas to focus on are nutrition, exercise, and mental health. Below, are provided resources you can utilize—not just during a pandemic.

Nutrition

You may find yourself binge eating or snacking more than ever. Notice if you are and try to curb your stress eating.

  • Consume healthy snacks such as yogurt, string cheese, a hardboiled egg, protein bar, fruit, and/or vegetables.
  • Track your food consumption in an app such as MyFitnessPal to stay accountable.
  • Cook that healthy meal you’ve been meaning to try.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Utilize food you already have in your pantry and get creative!

Exercise

Just because gyms are closed doesn’t mean exercise is canceled. There are plenty of at-home ways to stay active with minimal equipment.

  • Check out You-Tube for free content.
  • Peloton, Beach Body, FitOn and many more apps have extended their free trial policy.
  • Take plenty of outdoor walks while maintaining distancing from neighbors.
  • Complete virtual runs if yours has been postponed or canceled.

Mental Health

There is a lot of uncertainty right now which can bring to mind doubtful and hopeless feelings. It is important to remain positive and calm, as eventually this too will pass.

  • Try free meditation apps like Headspace.
  • Dive into a book you’ve been meaning to read.
  • Connect with a therapist via TalkSpace, Telehealth, or another platform.
  • Stay connected with friends and family through Zoom, Facetime, and Skype.
  • Contact a free public crisis hotline (866) 342-6892.

Overall nutrition, exercise, and mental health are possible to maintain and improve during this time. With technology continuing to evolve, there are plenty of resources to try and utilize. Take care of yourself and stay as healthy as possible. The world may seem uncertain right now, but when we look back on this time in a year or two, what will you remember?

Topics: Wellness

April is Financial Literacy Month

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

April is financial literacy month. This comes during a time where many individuals have to adjust finances due to COVID-19. Financial roadblocks come unexpectedly, and can cause quite a deal of stress; so it is important to be prepared for the next round. Shannon Spence, in this article, writes about five key steps to financial wellbeing:

  1. Get rid of high interest debt
  2. Track your spending and create a realistic budget
  3. Create an emergency fund
  4. Save for retirement
  5. Know where your credit stands

COVID-19 is showing just how critical creating an emergency fund is. With stay-at-home orders many businesses are closed, some have children at home, and income may be limited. Having an emergency fund can help you not retract money from other funds, such as retirement, which could have penalties associated. An emergency fund can be kept in a low maintenance account such as a savings.

What does an emergency fund look like?

Well, it varies for each individual based on how many are in your household, monthly expenses, and more. However, it is recommended to have about three to six months of monetary value saved for a time of need. This should help one cover basic expenses such as mortgage, food, and other necessities to stay afloat.

Having a financial cushion will help reduce stress and protect you for the next time finances become an issue. In the event that you have to utilize the emergency fund, remember to build it back up slowly and surely for the next time it’s needed.

Topics: Wellness

March is National Nutrition Month

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

nutritionEating a well-balanced diet is the key to maintaining a healthy body. Improving your diet, in fact, could help you live longer and reduce the chances of developing costly chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to eat healthy. This includes the foods that you might eat at work. “Healthful eating habits shouldn’t stop once you get to work,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Jennifer Bruning.

Nearly 25% of employed adults consume foods and beverages at work at least once a week—items that often are high in calories and include refined grains, sugars and sodium, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019.

Below are a few tips for a healthier lifestyle:

  • Plan out your meals ahead of time
  • Bring your own lunch to work
  • Eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables
  • Stick to correct portion sizes
  • Carry a water bottle with you
Small changes can lead to improved health benefits!

For more information on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle, read here.

American Heart Health Month | February

Posted by Taylor Almonte-Hahn

heart monthFebruary is recognized as American Heart Health Month. Below are the top three ingredients for a Healthy Heart:

  1. Olive oil - “4 or more tablespoons per day can lower your risk of heart disease”. Always make sure your extra virgin olive oil is labeled (EVOOs) and check out your local farmer’s market for the best bargain.
  2. Whole grains - Always check for the whole grain stamp of approval. There are specific guidelines for a product to produce that label. Whole grains include items such as quinoa, oats, barley, ect. Try replacing one of your refried grains, such as white rice, with a whole grain.
  3. Seasonings - Stop using excess salt, pre-packaged seasoning, and pre-packaged dressing. Instead, consider other options such as dry mustard, hot peppers, or citrus juice.

For a more in depth look on how to help keep your heart healthy, read here.

To learn more about heart disease and how you can spread awareness within your community, click here.

Source: https://engagementsource.go365.com/en/health-and-wellness-library/nutrition-and-weight-management/three-best-ingredients-for-a-healthy-heart