Silver Cross Offers Tips for Practicing Self Care While Social Distancing

Social bumpHow has the COVID-19 pandemic effected your life? Are you caring for sickly parents or are you recently unemployed due to the outbreak, and now trying to manage home-schooling your children?

“Each and every one of us is facing our own new stressors at this very difficult time,” said Chris Udovich M.D., Chief Medical Officer, at Silver Cross Hospital. “For these reasons, it is ever more imperative that we take time to decompress and relieve some stress to remain healthy.” As we navigate through these unusual times, Silver Cross Hospital offers Self Care Tips while Social Distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “

Tip # 1: Physical Self-Care
In order to be the best at whatever role you are undertaking at the moment, you have to prioritize your health first. Here are some tips:

  • Get enough sleep: Setting a bedtime for yourself and sticking to it is key to making sure you have the energy to tackle whatever faces you. Practice unwinding naturally at night; sip some chamomile tea, read a book, turn the TV off and wash your face.
  • Eating foods that are good for you and will help you maintain the energy level needed to get through the day when you’re preparing your meals, ensure you’re getting plenty of brightly colored veggies and enough proteins to keep your energy up. Stay Hydrated!
  • Lastly, try to do some form of exercise every day.  While practicing safe social distancing, you can still go out into your backyard, take a nice walk, or take a hike through the woods to reconnect with nature and enjoy the silence all while keeping your body moving. If going outside is not an option, online resources like YouTube have some wonderful free exercise videos that you can do from home with no gym equipment needed!

Tip #2: Social Self-Care
Although at this time we are told to keep a safe distance from others, it does not mean you have to be socially isolated.  It is so important to maintain our relationships with those we love. Some easy ideas:

  • Make a phone or video call to your loved ones. Seeing someone else smile because of you is one of the simplest and quickest ways to boost your mood.
  • Plan a “Virtual Dinner”, sing a song or tell jokes to one another, read a book to your grandchild or have a silly face competition! Keep the mood light and it will work wonders for both of you.

Tip #3: Mental Self-Care
While it is so common to have fears and concern for yourself and others during these uncertain times, those feelings can weigh heavily on our psyche.

  • Write down your thoughts, but focus on the good things.
  • Work on a puzzle, read a good book or watch that documentary.
  • Make sure you’re having compassion and acceptance of yourself.  Try to keep your inner-dialogue to yourself positive!
  • If you or immediate family member’s company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), utilize it for counseling or any mental health help.

Tip #4: Maintain a Routine
While you may have all of this extra time at home, it can be easy to fall into an abyss of timelessness.  Write out a schedule for yourself and stick to it! Set an alarm to get up at the same time every day, write down some home projects you would like to tackle, fun games or crafts you want to try with the kids, or a recipe you want to make.  Remember to start small so you don’t feel overwhelmed and give up. Schedule in time for naps, snacks and meals, but also time for exercise, time outdoors and even some meditation or guided imagery! Having a schedule can help you look forward to something which in turn can keep your mood elevated and fuel your sense of purpose.

Tip #5: Breathe
Staying positive and having a bright outlook on life will help to keep yourself grounded.  We are all in this together and we will get through this.

  • Take a moment in silence and focus on your breathing.  Close your eyes, breathe deep and feel the air enter your lungs and breathe out forcefully.  Repeat this often.  With each breath tell yourself to breathe in the good energy and exhale the bad energy.
  • Look for all the positives you see in the world amidst all the chaos. Remember what Mr. Rogers used to tell us in times like this, “Look for the helpers!”

See the good in the world and remember, this too shall pass!

For more information from Silver Cross Hospital on what we are doing to keep our community safe, please visit


Visitor Restrictions and Screening
Additionally, in an effort to keep all patients, visitors and employees safe, the hospital has implemented visitor restrictions. Effective March 18 and until further notice, visitation is restricted throughout the entire hospital campus – including the main hospital, cancer center, and emergency department.

Limited exceptions will be made to this new policy. Potential visitors should call the hospital’s main number at 815-300-1100 ahead to determine if they will be allowed to visit.

Those approved for a visit will be screened at the four main entrance points to the hospital – main entrance, Emergency Department, Pavilion A and B, and the Cancer Center. Screenings will include asking the CDC-recommended questions regarding travel and exposure.

The screening and access to the building will be Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. and closed on Sundays. This process will be in place until further notice. 

Patients and family members are encouraged to connect with family and friends by their individual mobile and internet-connected devices. For more information, please visit the hospital website at

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.