Your nose is probably under-appreciated for all the work that it does; it helps you to taste food, filter air, protect you from illness, as well as humidifying and regulating the temperature of the air that you breathe. Your sense of smell is also the only sense that’s directly linked to the formation and processing of memories!

Remember this?

It’s more important than ever to follow, as new research has emerged to help us better understand the role of the nose in preventing the spread of the virus. You’ve probably seen people wearing their masks pulled down so it only covers their mouth (and possibly done it yourself from time to time). A new study published in the scientific journal Cell shows how this defeats the point of wearing a mask even more than you might think.

This study identified the different parts of the respiratory tract where the coronavirus multiplies and spreads, and they found that the cells lining the inside of your nose are significantly more likely to become infected and shed virus compared to the throat or lungs.

Scientists also found the virus doesn’t get to the lungs through the blood or the respiratory tract, but rather through infected nasal secretions after you’ve come in contact with the virus.  Click here to watch a CBS news story that summarizes the findings.

Simply put, someone who is sick is more likely to spread the virus by breathing out of their nose than if they were breathing out of their mouth, and you are more likely to be exposed to the virus through your nose than through your mouth. This is especially concerning because the virus can be spread even if there are no symptoms present.

 

This new study further proves that there is little point in wearing a mask at all if you’re not using it to cover your nose. We shouldn’t be wearing them just to go through the motions or because the rules say you have to — the spirit of the policy is to protect everyone around you, just as we would want everyone to do their best to protect us.

Essential workers like us are the best-trained and most knowledgeable frontline fighters against the virus. As the safety experts in our community, it’s imperative we act to protect others; if you see a fellow team member wearing their mask below their nose, send them a gentle reminder that wearing a mask that way is almost as bad as not wearing one at all.

Self-care and maintaining your overall wellbeing should be your first priority. Taking time for yourself and self-care is not selfish, but quite the opposite! Being kind to others starts with being kind to yourself, and being kind to yourself starts with self-care.

 

If you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – Dalai Lama

 

There are so many apps out there, but below is a list of our favorites self-care apps that we think help bring more kindness to our minds, bodies, and people around us. Read through the descriptions and see which one seems like it may be a good fit for your personal needs. If you don’t like it, try another one. We hope you find a few you enjoy!

 

 

Headspace: Meditation & Sleep 

Stress less & relaxing sounds

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Get happy. Stress less. Sleep soundly. Headspace is your guide to everyday mindfulness in just a few minutes a day. Choose from hundreds of guided meditations on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise, and physical health — including short SOS meditations for when you’re on the go. And to help you find some space during tough times, Headspace is here for you with the new Weathering the storm pack.” Link to site here: https://www.headspace.com/how-it-works

 

 

Calm

Meditation and Sleep Stories

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Calm is a great app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. Join the millions experiencing better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety with our guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music. Calm is recommended by top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts.” Link to site here: https://www.calm.com/

 

 

Grateful: A Gratitude Journal

Focus on what truly matters

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“According to researchers at the Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Grateful was created to make expressing gratitude in your life both easy and fun, as well as to remind you, during those down moments, of the many blessings in your life (that you’ve documented in Grateful).” Link to site here: http://treebetty.com/apps/app-detail/grateful#.Xuo3QJPYqIY

 

 

Shine: Calm Anxiety & Stress

Meditation & motivation

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“The Shine app is your support system for daily stress and anxiety. Learn a new self-care strategy every day, get support from a diverse community, and explore an audio library of over 500+ original meditations, bedtime stories, and ambient music to help you shift your mindset or mood. Join millions of people who experience lower stress and anxiety after using Shine.” Link to site here: https://join.shinetext.com/

 

 

Happify: for Stress & Worry

Activities, Games & Meditation

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Happify’s science-based activities and games can help you overcome negative thoughts, stress, and life’s challenges. Our techniques are developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy for decades. 86% of people who use Happify regularly report feeling better about their lives in 2 months!” Link to site here: https://www.happify.com/

 

 

MyPossibleSelf: Mental Health

Clinically proven self-help

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“The Mental Health App that uses clinically proven content to reduce stress, anxiety and low mood in 8 weeks. Track your mood every day with our FREE Mood Tracker. Understand what signs and symptoms to look out for. Discover practical steps to look after your own mental health. Enjoy our Building Happiness and Wellbeing module for FREE when you download the app – all other modules are accessible through a monthly subscription.” Link to site here: https://www.mypossibleself.com/

 

 

Fabulous – Daily Self Care

Goal Planner & Tracker

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Join millions of Fabulous users and create a healthier, happier life. Fabulous will help increase your energy levels, be more focused, lose weight and sleep better by building healthy habits and routines in your life. Fabulous takes a holistic approach to motivate you to be more productive and have higher energy. We’re more than just a habit tracker, or a way to create new rituals; we’re your own personal coach and happiness trainer.” Link to site here: https://www.mypossibleself.com/

 

 

Strides: Goal & Habit Tracker

Track Habits + SMART Goals

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Track all your Goals & Habits in one flexible app. With Strides you can track anything – good or bad habits and SMART goals – with reminders to hold you accountable and charts to keep you motivated. Recommended in The New York Times, Strides has been called “the most comprehensive, user-friendly, beautifully designed goal tracking app available.” Imagine having all of your most important habits, routines and goals together in one simple to do list. Now you can. :)” Link to site here: https://www.stridesapp.com/

 

 

MyFitnessPal

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy, change your habits, or start a new diet, you’ll love MyFitnessPal. Consumer Reports #1 rated diet. PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Selection. #1 Health and Fitness app for 4 years straight. Also featured in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired, USA Today, Family Circle, Marie Claire, NBC, CNET, Shape, the Today Show and more. See for yourself why MyFitnessPal is the world’s most popular health and fitness app.” Link to site here: https://www.stridesapp.com/

 

 

 

Wakefern Sponsored Apps

To support your mental well-being – during both the night and day – we invite you to access these digital programs for the next 12 months, at no cost to you if you sign up before June 30, 2020.

 

Sleepio

If your racing mind stops you from falling asleep or wakes you during the night, Sleepio can help. Sleepio is a science-backed, online program that teaches you behavioral techniques to get to the root of stubborn sleep.

To redeem your complimentary 12-month access to Sleepio, complete these instructions on a computer or smart phone web browser before June 30th.

  1. Please visit sleepio.com/access
  2. On the first page, please click Start Sleepio.
  3. After completing the short sleep survey and creating your login credentials, you’ll receive your Sleep Score. You’re welcome to use your email address associated with your Daylight account, if you have one.
  4. On your Sleep Score page, please continue to complete your in-depth sleep test by clicking Personalize Sleepio.
  5. After completing your in-depth sleep assessment, you’ll be directed to your first session with the Prof, your guide throughout the course. At this point, you’re welcome to stop and return to your first session when you’re ready.

 

To continue with your program, you can access Sleepio through a computer web browser or by downloading the Sleepio app to your iOS device (not available through Google Play).

 

Daylight

If you feel constantly worried or find it hard to concentrate during the day, Daylight can help.

Daylight is a science-backed app that teaches you ways to manage stress and the negative emotions in your life.

To redeem your complimentary 12-month access to Daylight, complete these instructions on a computer or smart phone web browser with available headphones or speakers before June 30th.

  1. Please visit trydaylight.com/access.
  2. Next, please click Let’s get started and Continue.
  3. After completing the short survey, Daylight will build your results and guide you through an introduction to your program. At this point, you’ll need to make sure you have working speakers or headphones. Please click Continue.
  4. After completing your program orientation, you’ll be redirected to a screen with two cards. Please click Create Account to continue creating your login credentials. You’re welcome to use your email address associated with your Sleepio account, if you have one.
  5. After entering your information, please click Sign Up. At this point, please wait for the page to load completely for your information to sync properly with the
    system.

 

To continue with your program, please download the Daylight app to your smart phone. Once you have completed your sign-up process, Daylight can only be accessed via the Daylight app on iOS or Google Play.

Our top priority at Village Super Market, Inc. has always been the safety of our Associates and our customers. This has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re committed to doing everything possible to protect our Associates and keep them informed about all developments regarding COVID-19.

 

We use CDC guidelines to guide our actions, and we’ve been ahead of the industry in implementing so many of the things you see in your stores today. We’ve spared no effort in combatting the coronavirus in the workplace:

On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, a virucide that is proven to destroy the coronavirus.

  • On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, an EPA approved virucide.
  • Each night, closing managers are disinfecting all food prep areas, bathrooms, and breakrooms with Red Puroxcide; our floor care company then comes at night to sanitize the store.
  • Twice weekly, each store undergoes a “fogging” service using Decon 30, another EPA approved virucide. We disinfect all high touch areas, prep surfaces, food areas, and carts. Even though the fogging protocol is designed for disinfecting a store after a confirmed positive COVID-19, we do this proactively twice a week to ensure the safety of our Associates and guests.
  • The Blue Squares for Social Distancing program allows customers and Associates to maintain six-foot distances from each other as recommended by the CDC.
  • We’ve implemented reduced occupancy procedures in our stores so we can all maintain this social distance, and we’ve limited the maximum number of people that can be in work areas to ensure our Associates are able to do this.
  • We’ve installed plexiglass shields at all registers, Guest Services, and Pharmacies to further protect our Associates when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • We have a robust temperature check procedure to ensure Associates and vendors aren’t showing symptoms when they arrive at work.
  • We provide masks, gloves, and face shields for our Associates and have a comprehensive protocol on usage and storage. Our vendors are also required to wear masks, and we require our customers to wear face coverings in order to enter the store.
  • Our Associates now have t-shirts that make it easy to ask our customers to “Please Stay Back” and respect your social distance! Don’t be afraid to politely ask them to give you space if they are inside of six feet.
  • We provide Red Puroxcide for our Associates to take home; you can use the same virucidal spray we use in our stores to protect your families!

We know that it’s difficult to wear a mask all day and to keep six feet away from all of our customers and co-workers. However, it’s the most effective tool we have in preventing the spread of the disease; many people who have coronavirus exhibit no symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Wear the mask for the people around you that you care about, if not for yourself — wearing masks saves lives, and that’s no exaggeration. Don’t be exposed, wear your mask over your nose!

 

Ali and Laura Sumas have created a great video on the importance of proper mask usage, and who you’re really protecting by wearing them:

Our leadership team have also created a video about how to use your new t-shirts to tell customers to respect your space and give you six feet of room, for your safety and for theirs. You may see some people you know dancing to a familiar tune — check out the video!

In addition, we have several mechanisms of support that you can rely on; most of you are already aware of the Village Associate Care & Callout Line (1-888-504-0011) as a place you can turn to for guidance on and to speak about your concerns in the workplace. If you’re feeling anxious about coming to work, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us!

We’ve also created theVillage Care Connection Text System (844-551-7799) to provide our Associates with alerts regarding COVID-19, volunteer for cross-training or to work additional shifts, and to receive important updates about Village Super Market. Simply text your employee ID or badge number to this line and answer the questions when prompted. If you’d like further guidance, our Care & Callout Line representatives can help guide you.

What if someone in my store is diagnosed with COVID-19?

In the event that someone at your store is diagnosed, there’s no need to panic! Our procedure is guided by CDC recommendations and our safety procedures mean that there is minimal risk to our Associates. In the event of a diagnosis:

 

  • The Associate will not be allowed in the workplace until they have been cleared to do so.
  • We will notify any colleagues who may have been in close contact for a prolonged period of time, and are asking them to closely monitor their symptoms;
  • In addition to following CDC protocols, we’ll implement our own enhanced sanitation process that includes all workspaces used by the Associate and common areas.

 

Trust the process

Resist the urge to listen to rumors; they start easily when people are anxious and spread misinformation and panic which helps no one. In the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, our Care & Callout Center will notify your store immediately. Transparency is our policy because it promotes safety and trust — you should never forget that your safety is always our first priority.

 

Trust the protocol

You know about our rigorous disinfecting protocol that goes above and beyond the CDC’s recommendations for disinfecting our stores. We’ve adopted such a policy for exactly this type of scenario — we are continuously disinfecting our workspaces, public areas, restrooms, breakrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads, and shopping carts. We’ve also trained you on hygiene protocols, such as regular hand washing and coughing into your elbow, which are potent weapons against the virus. Due to these policies, our stores will have been cleaned multiple times by the time we receive confirmation of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Continue to practice the basics

The easiest steps are some of the most effective ones:

    • Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
    • If you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow and be sure to wash your hands.
    • Don’t touch your face; this is the primary way that viruses are transmitted.
    • Maintain a social distance of 6-feet, for your safety and for others.
    • If you’re sick, stay at home! Just call the Care & Callout Center (1-888-504-0011) and they will notify the store

 

Practice your compassion.

We’re proud of the amazing dedication to duty that our Associates are demonstrating and their commitment to keeping our stores safe for our customers and their fellow co-workers. We also must not forget to practice our compassion and kindness to each other and to those affected by illness because we’re all in this together. Please understand that your co-workers and customers may be anxious due to the ongoing pandemic, and we should do our best to practice patience and compassion. We’re all in this together!