Health Matters Now Week 1

Feeling stressed? Here are some tips for coping.

Identify your stress. Make a list of what’s bothering you to get it out of your mind and into the open. Break down each item into categories of what you can control. Are you worried about you or your family getting sick? You don’t have total control over that, but you can try and prevent it. Write down how: washing your hands, social distancing, etc. Keep top of mind how you can control what is happening to you.

Change what you can.  You may be needed at work right now, but you can still practice better habits to protect yourself and others. Staying up-to-date on what’s happening and practicing suggested actions will help protect you and those you care about.

Accept what you can’t change.  A lot of what is happening is out of your control. But we can decide how we deal with it. Use emotion-focused coping strategies to help manage your stress during this time. Whether that’s in-home exercise, mindfulness, or even just taking a break by watching your favorite show or reading a book, make sure to take time for yourself.

If you are struggling, check to see if your place of work has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). For Matrix employees, the Employee Assistance Program can assist immediately.

Call or go online and benefit from three free counseling sessions based around the issues below and more:

  • Mental health
  • Managing debt
  • Managing stress
  • Bankruptcy
  • Shift work
  • Crisis
  • Death/loss
  • Personal issues

The Matrix EAP program is available to all Matrix employees, spouses/partners, and family household dependents anytime, 24/7, 365 days a year.


Matrix EAP Contact Information:

Phone: (888) 267 – 8126


User ID: matrix

Password: 1325


For Canadians: 

Phone: 1 (877) 207 8833

User ID: matrix

Password: canada


Additional coverage varies by medical plans.  For questions specific to a Matrix medical plan you are enrolled in please contact the Benefits Assistance Center at 844-407-9449.


Cooking Tips and Tools

Limit the number of trips you need to take to public spaces, such as grocery stores. Stock up on these 11 foods that you can freeze to maintain your social distancing and save money!

As a general rule, foods can be stored in the freezer for three to six months, however, we’ve included some timelines for items that will keep well past that guideline. Remember to write the date on your freezer foods and leave space at the top of any container because foods and liquids expand when frozen.

Freeze This:

  • Cheese
  • Cracked-open eggs and egg whites (up to a year)
  • Bread, bagels, and tortillas
  • Nuts (anywhere from six months to a year)
  • Milk
  • Whole-wheat flour (up to two years)
  • Tofu
  • Bananas and low-water fruits (You can freeze other fruits if you plan to make smoothies, sauces or spreads because watery fruits tend to get mushy after being frozen.)
  • Applesauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Broths and stocks
  • Juice and citrus zest

Not That:
These Veggies:
celery, cucumbers, lettuce, uncooked potatoes, and salad greens
These Fruits: apples, grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges, and watermelon
These Dairy Items: cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, and salad dressing


“31 Things You Can Freeze to Save Time & Money,”, Jan. 20, 2017.

“12 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze,” Food Network Kitchen,, accessed on May 5, 2017.

“The Do-Not-Freeze-These-Foods List,” Stephanie Barlow,, March 21, 2012.


Plan Your Paradise Escape With This Dessert

Let the tide tickle your toes and the sun warm your shoulders right where you are. Enjoy a spring break getaway without buying a plane ticket – check out the tropical treat we’re featuring this month that’s so good – and good for you, it will feel like you’re on vacation!


Tropical Bay Parfait Recipe

Serves: 2



  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (½ cup chopped)
  • ½ cup chopped pineapple
  • ½ cup chopped mango
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes (your choice of sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 2 teaspoons honey (optional)


  1. Puree the yogurt and half of the strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Alternate layering the pink yogurt with the chopped pineapples, remaining strawberries and mango in a clear glass or mason jar.
  3. Top with coconut flakes and a drizzle of honey, if desired. As an alternative, you can also blend the honey into the yogurt during step one.


Adapted from “The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor,” by Gina Homolka


No Gym, No Problem


15-Minute Home Cardio Workout — NO Equipment Needed!

by Kristy Hegner


Jog in place for one minute.


Complete each exercise below for 30 seconds with a 30- to 60-second rest in-between.

  • High Knees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squats
  • Pushups

Repeat for 15 minutes.


Walk slowly and stretch until you’ve reached a resting heart rate. Aim for about five minutes.

“15-Minute Body-Weight HIIT Workout,” Shane Barnard, JD,, April 10, 2016.



Self-Care for a Healthier, Happier Life

by Jessica Malen

Decreased social contact and negative news can take a toll on mental and emotional health. Self-care is not selfish. Pay attention to your mental and emotional health and equip yourself to boost your resiliency and be there for others in their times of need. Read more here.


Resources to help you stay healthy while social distancing

Why Self-care Isn’t Selfish

While it might sound contradictory, practicing self-care can actually be one of the most selfless things you can do. When you take time out to for you, it revitalizes your life so you can be the best version of yourself for others. Discover our favorite self-care tips below.

Many are familiar with the increasing pressures of the workplace and life in general, where the work never really ends in our hyper-connected world. This warped balance can leave us feeling burnt-out and unfulfilled. That’s why self-care is important. No matter how fancy the term sounds, self-care is critical for our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

When we neglect self-care, by putting others first all the time, we abandon the practices that make us healthy and happy, and allow us to thrive. If you want to maintain an active, full life, it is important to take time out each day just for you.

Self-care means paying attention to and supporting your own physical and mental health. It is a big part of treating many physical and mental health disorders.

Five Ways to Practice Self-Care

  1. Physical activity reduces stress, boosts mood, elevates energy, exercises your heart and improves circulation, among countless other benefits.  When we work out because we love our bodies – rather than as a punishment for eating that extra slice of pizza – it can be a wonderful self-care strategy.
  2. Practice self-compassion. Being kind to yourself is the foundation of self-care. Self-compassion means turning off the critical, inner voice and allowing yourself the time for self-care.
  3. Get enough sleep and eat well. Nourishing your body with adequate rest and a healthy diet are crucial factors to feeling and functioning at your peak. No one can thrive long-term on minimal sleep nor fast food.
  4. Calm your mind. Even if it’s just for five minutes each day, engaging in meditation, mindfulness, or yoga practices can help de-stress and revitalize both your body and mind.
  5. Have a social support network. While being too social can become taxing, having supportive, social connections help us feel less isolated and they prevent burnout.

You might not be able to engage in all of these practices every day, but if you make self-care a priority and incorporate it in your daily life, you may feel and function better.

The bottom line is: the better we feel and function, the more we can do for the people and things we care about, and that is a win-win.


“Self-care: 4 ways to nourish body and soul,” Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Harvard Health Publishing,, Nov. 16, 2017.

“Self-care for the caregiver,” Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, Harvard Health Publishing,, Oct. 17, 2018.

“Practicing Self-Care Is Important: 10 Easy Habits to Get You Started,” Noma Nazish,, Sept. 19, 2017.