Self-care activities, such as meditation and mindful stretching, are powerful additions to a daily routine that can boost emotional wellness, especially in times of heightened stress and change. To offer more ways to promote total health, Kaiser Permanente is providing members with access to myStrength, a digital self-care app. myStrength is part of a growing set of digital wellness resources designed to help support emotional health.
“myStrength has so many tools and resources suited to the present moment,” said Valerie Dionne, licensed clinical social worker at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. “A section specifically about COVID-19 includes a quarantine toolkit — with topics like how to deal with loneliness, tackling boredom, and avoiding misuse of drugs, alcohol, and other substances during a crisis.”
“myStrength hits on so many core areas of the mental health space, including resources for people who are struggling with insomnia, depression, anxiety, mood instability, and much more,” explained Leigh Miller, licensed clinical social worker at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. “It covers so many different topics — it’s really more of a wellness platform.”
“I tell my patients that myStrength is like having a coach or a guide in your back pocket all the time,” said Anne-Marie Cox, licensed clinical social worker at Kaiser Permanente in White Marsh, Maryland. “So many of the things we want people to learn and put into practice are all right here in this digital tool. It’s pretty amazing.”
There are many ways to engage with myStrength, from one-minute mindfulness activities to extended programs that last weeks or months to help make deep and lasting behavioral changes.
“Having tools at your fingertips that you can interact with daily can help you maintain your mental health just like you maintain your personal hygiene,” said Miller. “Weaving mental health practices into your day-to-day life can really make a difference in how you feel and how you function, not just during this unprecedented time but throughout your entire wellness journey.”
Kaiser Permanente members can go to kp.org/wellnessresources and click “Get started” to register and begin exploring myStrength.
“The main thing I hope our members get from myStrength is hope,” said Miller. “We all need to have our feelings validated — to know that we are not alone in what we’re experiencing. And it’s incredibly empowering when we recognize that we have agency and that we can learn how to take care of ourselves.”