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The days are getting longer and warmer. The good news is that we are headed into a weekend with temperatures soaring toward 80 degrees and many of the Washington State Parks are starting to reopen for day use. While it is still important to follow physical distancing measures, please get outside if you can, enjoy and rejuvenate!

Sleep: The longer days can also make it much tougher to get enough sleep, and with the increased stressors we are experiencing, many of us might be struggling with our sleep patterns and sleep quality. We’ve complied some recommendations for improving sleep with the help of one of our sleep experts, Dr. Molly Billings. Here are some highlights:

  • Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  • Try “relaxing breathing,” or 4-7-8 count breathing. Breathing in for four seconds, holding for seven seconds and releasing over eight seconds. Do this until you fall asleep.
  • Try any of the relaxing apps: Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer, or, drift away to this guided meditation narrated by hip-hop legend Diddy.
  • If you don’t fall sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, find a quiet, relaxing activity to do for a while and then try going back to sleep.

Nurses Week: We have been celebrating the tremendous contributions of every member of our UW Medicine team during our COVID-19 response, but this week we get to give a special shout out to our nurses for National Nurses Week, May 6-12. Thank you to all our nurses for your invaluable contributions to our medical centers and clinics. Your leadership, expertise, compassion and commitment to delivering the highest quality of care for our patients is deeply appreciated. During Nurses Week especially, we celebrate YOU!  Here are a few ways other members of the UW Medicine community can join us in thanking nurses this week:

  • Write a card and tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Give them a shout out via #TogetherUW.

Gov. Jay Inslee has declared May 2020 “Nurses Month” in recognition of the many contributions to healthcare not only during the COVID-19 crisis but throughout the years. Thank you!

Here’s what you don’t want to miss in the world of well-being this week:

Bioethics Grand Rounds: The University of Washington Department of Bioethics and Humanities invites you to a special four-part series, Bioethics Grand Rounds: COVID-19, offered via Zoom. This series aims to provide practicing healthcare workers from across disciplines the opportunity to reflect on difficult ethical questions that have arisen during the pandemic. Register for the series.

Free items and discounted rates: Our friends in Advancement have complied a fabulous list of local and national offers for our care providers including deals on apparel, fitness, lodging, meals, etc. — including free Krispy Kreme donuts!

Thinking about child care as Washington begins to reopen? With more parents returning to work and more group child care centers expanding access or reopening, UWHR has compiled tips for child care health and safety during COVID-19. If your child care needs are evolving and you want to look for child care access, your best, one-stop child care connection continues to be the Child Care Aware COVID Referral Center (available to all members of the UW Medicine community).  

Desktop icons: A direct link to UW Medicine’s Well-Being and Support page focused on our COVID-19 support is now a click away. Please continue to check the site for updates.

And lastly, a special thanks to everyone who participated in and attended last week’s UW Medicine Schwartz Rounds listening to stories on the theme of Grieving the Loss of Normalcy. The spectrum of stories shared by our diverse group of courageous and vulnerable panelists were both moving and inspiring. Please share your feedback on the Schwartz Rounds with us.

This week we return to our Friday, 3 p.m., Town Hall. Please send us your questions for Friday. We compiled a response to the frequently asked questions from last week here.