Healthy Resources during Shelter-in-Place Orders

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

I gave myself the title of “outgoing introvert” long ago; meaning I can go work a room, do a presentation, and network with ease….but only for so long. After being in a room full of people, I NEED my alone time, to the point where when the first rumors of a Shelter-in-Place (SIP) Order first surfaced, I was actually a bit excited to get to stay home for a bit!

As the SIP drags on though, and as my kids’ school closure was extended once and then the whole school year was called off, being cooped up in my house without an occasional hug from a friend, in-person client meeting, or even a chance to see my extended family has really started to wear on me. Thankfully, a lot people have been way ahead of me here, so there are a lot of resources out there to help us as individuals (and as employers) to be supportive of our virtual communities. 

Below is a list of just some of the resources and ideas we’ve found for helping each other through this SIP order. The use of the phrase “unprecedented times” is definitely over-used at this point, but it’s so true. None of us have been through this before and we all need to band together (virtually, of course!) to ensure we’re all at our best! 


Resources Employers can Provide:

If your benefits plans include an Employer Assistance Program, be sure employees have information on how to access this important benefit. An Employer Assistance Program, or EAP, is a program to help employees’ sort through and resolve items they may be experiencing in their personal lives such as:

  • Childcare
  • Eldercare
  • Legal Service
  • Marital, Relationship or family problems
  • Bereavement or grief counseling
  • Substance abuse and recovery
  • Financial support

Secondly, just because you are safe at home doesn’t mean you can’t have visits with your medical providers – or find a new one.  Cigna and Kaiser are just two of the large benefit providers that offer telehealth doctor’s visits, and they both have an app specifically designed for mental health, as well. 

1. Kaiser

  • Telehealth provides members with the option of virtual doctor visits
  • myStrength app provides resources for emotional wellness

2. Cigna

Be sure your employees have these important web addresses for your medical providers!



Additional Resources for Everyone:

Physical Health

  • Downdog – all apps completely free until May 1st and through July 1st for all students (K-12) and teachers
    • Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout
  • Nike Training Club – free version includes 200+ workouts, incl. many that don’t require any equipment.
  • Other At-Home Workouts – a list of 25+ free online workouts (HIIT, yoga, dance, etc.)
  • Walk/Run – go for a walk or run (especially now that the weather is warming up)


Mental Health

  • Headspace – free “Weathering the Storm” collection with various guided meditations
  • Balance – free one-year subscription available if you email
  • Calm – wide selection of free meditations available
  • Journey – online journaling app (journaling can be a great for dealing with stress)
  • Crisis Support – talk to a trained Crisis Counselor for free, 24/7, by text
  • Mental Health SF – 24/7 Peer-Run Warm Line Available for Coronavirus Support




  • Khan Academy – perfect if you have kids needing to be homeschooled, with sample daily schedules and course material. also has content for adults (e.g. on financial wellness)
  • Class Central – links to ~500 free online Ivy League courses on edX and Coursera
  • Audible – hundreds of (children’s) audio books are now free, no CC required
  • Scribd – unlimited (audio) books in 30-day free trial
  • Library Card – depending on which county’s library you’re a part of, your library card will give you free access to a ton of (usually paid) only resources. If you don’t have a library card (or can’t find it), it takes 5 min. to sign up online, no need to physically visit the library. 
  • Big Universe  Free access to over 17,000 online books for grades K-12 
  • Rosetta Stone– learn any language in easy online modules (Duolingo is great too)
  • – also known as LinkedIn Learning, has thousands of online courses on a wide range of topics
  • Overdrive – instant access to eBooks and audiobooks, also accessible on your phone through the Libby app
  • BCS Camp at Home – storytelling class for kids in grade 1-6 by Baltimore Center Stage


Live Feeds


Analog Activities

  • Board and Card Games
  • Online classes: drawing, painting, photography, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and more!
  • Coloring Books/Pages
    • Knitting, Crocheting, Cross Stitch – craft stores deliver and instructional videos can easily be found on YouTube or on Bluprint (they also offer other free family-fun craft classes)
  • Bake or Cook – with your kids, your partner, or by yourself; try a new recipe or get creative with the ingredients in your pantry. some good sources for recipes:
    • King Arthur Flour – best known for baking, but also have recipes for cooking
    • Serious Eats – recipes range from simple to complicated, are all rigorously tested


Do you know of other great resources? What are you doing to keep yourself or family from climbing the walls? (Or are they literally climbing the walls the way my son does?!) Let us know, and share those great resources with us. We’d love to hear your tips and ideas!


Founder, Ignite HR Solutions