Reduce your stress and build resilience

What you need to know

When life doesn’t go according to plan, building your resilience can help you handle whatever comes your way. Explore ideas about how you can reset your mindset.

If you or someone you know has a more immediate need, connect with resources you can use right away.

If you or someone you work with is struggling, reach out to a trained BAE Systems Advocate for mental health support (must be on the network to access).

Physical

family hiking in woods

Add movement to your day

It only takes five minutes to boost your mood, improve your physical health, and see long-term benefits to your body.

Start small: Lace up those shoes and start moving! Track your progress or reward yourself by buying a tracker or new active wear, and pay less for them through Beneplace.

Build up: Get a coach and strengthen your chances of staying committed to your goals, like shedding those pounds or quitting smoking.

Prioritize your sleep

Sleep does a body good. Give yourself time to prepare for sleep so your body and mind can refresh.

Start small: Wind down for the day by putting down your phone and picking up a book, or try relaxing with music. Give your mind and body time to transition to rest.

Build up: Consider downloading an app (like Calm or Headspace) that provides free meditations and tools. You’re eligible for a discount on the Calm app through Beneplace. If you’re enrolled in a Cigna medical plan, get personalized help from a sleep expert.

Be mindful of moderation

The pandemic has led many of us to indulge more in our eating, drinking, and screen time. This is a great time to regain control and be mindful about moderation.

Start small: Be aware of what you’re eating and drinking each day. Keep a food journal and pay attention to portion sizes. Apps such as MyFitnessPal.com, may help you keep track of your food and beverage calories.

Build up: Get help from a personal health coach. When someone is holding you accountable and providing encouragement, you’re more likely to reach your goals.

Include others on your health journey

Look for fun ways to build your health, and bring others along with you.

Start small: Create your own PE class or recess by recruiting neighbors and friends to join you for outdoor activities. Make a plan to meet at mailboxes, and then walk and talk together from a safe distance.

Build up: Your Cigna medical plan covers free one-on-one health coaching, so take a positive step toward a healthier you by working with a nurse, nutritionist, or other wellness coach. Call your coach today at 1-800-530-1314 or visit myCigna.com.

Recognize and reduce your stress

Understanding how your mind and body respond to stress can help when the going gets tough.

Start small: Take a few minutes to pick up on your body’s stress signals. Then try deep breathing, stretching, getting fresh air, or writing down your thoughts to help reduce your stress.

Build up: Reach out to someone before a nagging issue becomes a bigger problem. Connect with a Cigna EAP professional day or night at 1-800-591-9339 to get support for family and relationship struggles, stress, anxiety, and addiction.

Emotional

friends hugging from a distance

Take time to refresh

Working around the clock? Take the time to step away from work, whether you measure that break in minutes, hours, or days.

Start small: Taking a short break can make a big difference. Sit outside, go for a quick walk, or take ten deep breaths.

Build up: Step away from your computer and take your lunch break. Take it a step further and schedule that staycation or take a mental health day.

Reach out for help when you need it

Are you juggling work with kids learning from home? Caring for loved ones? Ask for support when you need it.

Start small: Reach out to family members, neighbors, or education pods. Consider options that are right for your family dynamic.

Build up: Find reliable, quality care or help at home. You have benefits through Bright Horizons that can help.

Ease up on social media and news scrolling

Too much news and social media can affect your emotions, drain your energy, and make you feel like you’re missing out.

Start small: Reduce your time on social media. Delete social apps you don’t use or like, and set times each day to check your accounts, rather than monitoring them all day long.

Build up: Minimize the daily news media you consume, particularly at night. The negativity can influence your mental outlook, elevate your stress and anxiety, and impact your sleep.

Make time for someone who matters – you!

When you’re working and caring for family, the pressures can be nonstop. Hit pause, and carve out time for yourself.

Start small: We all have activities that make us happy: spending time outside, working in the garage, curling up with a good book, or trying a new recipe. Make time for at least one happy task each day to regain your positive energy.

Build up: Identify a change you’d like to make, like improving your sleep, practicing gratitude, drinking more water, or taking tech breaks, and keep at it for at least 21 days to make it a new habit.

Keep kid-friendly activities and resources close at hand

Whether your kids are 100% remote, in-person, or participating in a hybrid school model, it’s always helpful to have backup resources on hand.

Start small: Check out Bright Horizons®️ World at Home for ways to keep your kids learning at home. World at Home offers free and fun activities, designed by education experts, for kids of all ages with no registration required.

Build up: If your kids are older or need help with certain subjects, Bright Horizons offers online tutoring and enrichment through Varsity Tutors and academic and test prep through Revolution Prep at a discounted rate.

Financial

girl counting coins

Money matters on your mind?

Changes in your income and investments can be scary and stressful. Take control of your money and regain some peace of mind.

Start small: Knowledge is power. Review your statements and know where you stand. Rethink your budget by using the resources on the Financial Education Center.

Build up: If you’re experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may confidentially apply to the BAE Systems Employee Relief Fund to request assistance.

Make cents of your money

Draft a budget, track your spending, and pay down debt. NOW is always a good time to improve your financial outlook.

Start small: Pennies add up faster than you think. Pick one or two important money goals to focus on first – the resources on the Financial Education Center can offer ideas on how to get started.

Build up: Invest in your financial knowledge. Get help from an EAP financial counselor to discuss your personal situation and learn how to improve your fiscal fitness.

Plan and save for your future

Having cash on hand for unexpected events or future splurges is a smart money move and can bring peace of mind.

Start small: Start by saving $20 a week to build up an emergency fund or chip away at debt. Consider redirecting money you’re saving by driving less, eating at home, or taking fewer vacations.

Build up: Set up paycheck distributions to automatically deposit amounts into specific, named bank accounts. Increase your savings to $50 or more per paycheck to reward yourself with a splurge or take that dream vacation.

Make some $mart money moves

It’s always a good time to pause and assess your money habits.

Start small: Are you using your subscriptions? Review your monthly statements – yes, even your Amazon Prime account – for subscription charges. Then, cancel any you no longer need or use. For those you keep, check Beneplace for potential discounts.

Build up: Take advantage of Alight Financial Advisors’ free financial webinars to reset, reassess, and reward yourself with some $mart money moves. Session recordings are posted to BenefitsNavigator to view at your convenience.

Keep an eye on your daily spending habits

Have you adopted some pandemic-induced spending routines?

Start small: Food delivery service fees and tips can add up. Try replacing one delivery with one home-cooked meal each week. Pro tip: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store to eat healthier for less money.

Build up: Connect with friends or colleagues and take a zero-spend day challenge. Set work and school requirements, then find free and fun ways to enjoy your day. For more money-saving tips, check out the Financial Education Center resources.

Mindfulness

man relaxing

Make connections

These days, life is far from normal. Keeping six feet of physical distance doesn’t have to mean isolating yourself from friends and family.

Start small: Reach out to a friend or loved one. Put your phone and social media contacts to good use. Call or text someone you haven’t connected with in a while. You may be surprised how many people will be thrilled to hear from you.

Build up: Set up a virtual coffee date with a friend or colleague. Connect with your community by exploring virtual volunteer opportunities you can do from home or on a computer.

Practice mindfulness

Your mind is powerful. Mindfulness and focusing on the current moment can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and much more.

Start small: Set aside a couple of minutes to calm your mind. This simple practice can help you reset your thinking, reduce stress, and improve your mental and physical outlook. Meditation and mindfulness apps like Calm can help.

Build up: Register for a wellness webcast, or watch one at your convenience on demand. As a bonus for Cigna national medical plan members, you can earn wellness incentives when you take this action.

Be kind to yourself

These are not normal times. Just as you would treat others, be kind to yourself and let go of the pressure to try and keep things totally under control.

Start small: Give yourself a break and simply do your best. Remind yourself that your best will look different moment to moment, and that’s okay.

Build up: Take it outside. Fresh air and exercise can quickly improve your attitude and mental well-being. Once you’ve shifted your thinking, pass it on to others!

Be intentional about connecting with colleagues

Forming relationships is a strong predictor of mental well-being. Stay focused on making connections, especially in today’s socially distanced world.

Start small: Mentorship invites us to invest in each other, lift our spirits, and cultivate a sense of purpose. We all have something to share, from expertise and experience, to our energy and empathy. Learn more at our Mentoring site.

Build up: Consider joining an Employee Resource Group (ERG) to virtually meet people across the company, boost your knowledge of other teams, and foster new ideas and relationships.

Consider a furry, feathered, or finned companion

Spending time with animals can elevate your mood and help alleviate feelings of isolation.

Start small: Research local animal rescue organizations, and volunteer. Spending a few hours with a furry friend can do wonders. Not ready for in-pawson volunteering? Check out other ways to donate and help animals in need.

Build up: Consider fostering or even adopting a dog or cat in need. Animals offer love and many emotional and physical benefits to people. If you bring home a furry friend, Beneplace has discounts on pet insurance and pet products.

Help anytime, anywhere

Feeling lost or alone? Are you worried about a colleague or a family member? Getting help is not a sign of weakness—it’s often the strongest thing you can do. Support is available around the clock, no matter where you are.

24/7 crisis help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Confidential, no-cost one-on-one counseling: Connect with an Employee Assistance Program professional at 1-800-591-9339.

Connect with the EAPNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline