Blog

Happy New Year!

As we welcome 2021, continue your focus on maintaining physical, emotional, and financial health, as they play an important part in your overall wellbeing.

Earn the $130 HealthWise Credit (HWC)

All full-time Crown employees are eligible to earn an additional $130 ($5/pay) in 2021.

To earn the HWC, chose one of the following options:

  • Complete the online and confidential Financial Wellness Tracker Assessment offered through Merrill at ml.com by 3/31/2021.
  • Provide documentation of a Preventive Care Service completed between 1/1/2020 – 3/31/2021, such as a flu shot or dental exam, before 3/31/2021.

Participation is voluntary. Visit healthwise.employee.crown to learn more.

Schedule your Preventive Care Exams

Preventive care is an important step in managing your health and controlling health care costs.

Visit healthfinder.gov and see which screening tests and immunizations are needed based on your age and gender.

Remember the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP provides confidential services for a variety of life situations, including the emotional challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crown employees and their dependents are each eligible for 5 EAP visits per calendar year. Call BHS at 800-245-1150 to access your benefit. These visits can be used for a variety of services with no out-of-pocket expenses.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Peace and Joy

Since the beginning of COVID-19, holidays, special events, picnics and celebrations have changed dramatically. However, there are various ways to find peace and moments of joy during this holiday season.

  • Celebrate the Season.
    There’s no denying that things will be different this year. There will be some things that we are unable to do right now. Continue to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season.
  • Acknowledge Your Feelings
    Identify and respect your own needs and concerns and communicate your feelings with trusted family and friends.
  • Practice Gratitude
    While it may seem difficult to find things to appreciate, there is still plenty to be thankful for. Celebrate the technology that allows families to still be “together” this holiday season.
  • Find Purpose
    Volunteering your time or doing something to help others is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your perspective. 
  • Access Your EAP Benefit
    With the increased stress and anxiety of the holiday, don’t hesitate to connect with your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) The EAP offered through BHS is a confidential service available to help Crown employees and their dependents through any of life’s challenges. BHS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 800-245-1150.

Let’s all focus on the doing the right thing this year so we can celebrate special events and the holidays with our families in a more traditional way next year.

Happy Holidays!

Take Charge. Live Well!

Pain in the Neck

The main job of the neck, or cervical spine, is to support the head. This is no small feat given that the head can weigh as much as 11 pounds. That’s why how you hold your head matters.

Neck pain can result from mechanical disorders, pinched nerves, osteoarthritis, and whiplash-related injuries. However, we are more likely to develop neck pain from static activities, such as driving, sitting in front of a computer screen, or scrolling through social media for prolonged periods of time. Neck strain also may occur after sleeping in an awkward position.

Follow these tips to help support your neck and prevent or reduce pain.

  • Pay attention to your body to identify strain and stiffness and what may be the cause.
  • Practice good posture; keep your back straight, chest up and neck upright. Stretch your back and shoulders and gently move your neck forward and back, and left and right often throughout the day.
  • Be careful how you use your phone or tablet device. Cradling your phone while talking or bending the head forward while looking down to read a phone or tablet can contribute to neck strains or text neck.
  • Don’t stay in one position for too long. Get up and move around often to avoid getting stuck in unhealthy positions.
  • Sleep on your back or side with good support from your pillow and mattress.
  • As with any other part of your body, daily exercises and stretches can keep the muscles in your neck strong and maintain cervical mobility.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Emotional Well-Being

As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we recognize what stress looks like, take appropriate steps to build resiliency, and know where to turn for help when needed.

Recognize Stress

  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Feeling irritation, anger, or in denial
  • Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Lacking motivation or inability to concentrate
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or having trouble sleeping

Build Resiliency

  • Communicate with your family and friends. Talk about your feelings and enjoy conversation unrelated to this pandemic.
  • Focus on what is in your power to control and accept that there are some things that you cannot change.
  • Take care of your physical self. Our mind and body are connected, so taking care of your physical well-being is good for your emotional well-being as well.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Constant consumption of the news will cause stress and anxiety.
  • Be kind and thoughtful about others. We are all in an unusual situation.

Connect with EAP

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Behavioral Health Systems (BHS) provides confidential services for a variety of life situations, including the emotional challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crown employees and their dependents are each eligible for 5 EAP visits per calendar year. These visits can be used for a variety of services with no out-of-pocket expenses. Call BHS at 800-245-1150 to access your benefit or to learn more about the EAP.

 Take Charge. Live Well!

Seasonal Allergies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we move into fall allergy season with the coronavirus still active, it is important not to confuse allergies for the disease. If you suffer from allergies every year, ask yourself these questions:

    • Are these my classic allergy symptoms?
    • Do I get these symptoms around the same time every year?
    • Am I taking my allergy medications regularly and appropriately?

Seasonal allergies and COVID-19 do share many symptoms. However, there are some distinct differences between the two:

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 commonly presents with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and muscle aches. This combination of symptoms is not typical for seasonal allergies.
  • Symptoms of seasonal allergies tend to affect the nose and eyes. When a sensitive person inhales an allergen, the body’s immune system may react with several symptoms including:
    • Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion
    • Itching, usually in the nose, mouth, eyes, or throat
    • Puffy, swollen eyelids
    • Sneezing and coughing
    • In certain people, it can trigger asthma symptoms

The image below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compares some of the symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19.

As with any disease or illness, symptoms can vary between person to person. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the best way to protect yourself is to reduce your exposure to pollen. It is important for you to stay up to date with the pollen levels in your area. If you feel your symptoms might be something more than seasonal allergies, contact your healthcare provider.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Life Changes and So May Your Beneficiaries

Marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or the death of a loved one are common reasons why you may need to review your beneficiary designations.

Make a commitment this month to review your beneficiary designations. Make sure your beneficiary designations are clear and that they reflect your current intentions. It is also important to name both a primary and a contingent (secondary) beneficiary.

Basic Life, Basic AD&D and Supplemental Life Insurance

  • Go to crown.benefitsnow.com and enter your User ID and Password
  • Click Health & Insurance > Take Action
  • Select Manage Beneficiary from the drop-down menu
  • Or call the Health Benefits Service Center at 844.577.4341

Smart-Choice Health Savings Account (HSA)

  • Go to crown.benefitsnow.com and enter your User ID and Password
  • Click Reimbursement Accounts
  • Click on Health Savings Account
  • Go to Account Resources and select View Beneficiaries
  • Or call the Health Benefits Service Center at 844.577.4341

401(k) Retirement Savings Plan

  • Go to benefits.ml.com and enter your User ID and Password
  • Click My Accounts > Crown Equipment 401(k) > Current Elections
  • Select Beneficiary Designations/Updates from the drop-down menu
  • Or call the Retirement and Benefits Contact Center at 800.228.4015 if you want a beneficiary form to be sent to you and then forward your completed form to Merrill.

Beneficiary designations is not a set it and forget it task. Strive to review your beneficiary designations regularly to ensure they are always correct.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Healthy Habits for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very special time in an expecting mother’s life. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for your baby. Here are a few healthy habits to follow in the months ahead.

  • See your healthcare professional regularly for proper prenatal care
  • Avoid cigarette smoke, alcohol, and harmful chemicals.
  • Limit caffeine.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Stay active if your doctor says it’s safe.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Always wear a seat belt.

A partner’s presence is also important to a healthy pregnancy. Support mom and the baby by also practicing healthy habits.

In addition, take advantage of the programs and resources available through your health plan that are designed to support you every step of the way.

  • Anthem – Enroll in the Future Moms program as soon as you know you’re pregnant by calling 800-828-5891.
  • Kaiser – Visit www.kp.org for resources or call Member Services in your area as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

Take Charge. Live Well!

In This Together

As “stay at home” orders begin to expire, many of us may feel anxious about returning to old routines and schedules. If you have been working remotely, begin to get back into your work routine at home before physically returning.

In addition, continuing to follow the guidelines as we return to the new normal may help you feel more in control, while also helping to prevent the spread of infection.

  • Check your temperature before arriving to work.
  • Stay home if you are sick or not feeling well.
  • Continue to practice social distancing at your work area.
  • Wear a face mask or covering when you are not able to practice social distancing.
  • Wash hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect any high-touch surfaces in your area often.
  • Monitor and protect your health – you are in charge.

It is normal to feel anxious about changes and uncertain times. Remember, we are in this together. Access and connect with your EAP benefits, when needed, by calling BHS at 800-245-1150.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Keep Your Lungs Healthy

You may not think about the importance of lung health until you experience a breathing problem. Your lungs bring oxygen into the body and send carbon dioxide out of the body. Every cell of the body needs oxygen to stay alive and healthy. That’s why it is important to prioritize your lung health.

Here are some ways to keep your lungs healthy.

Don’t Smoke
This is the best thing you can do to keep your lungs healthy. Not only can smoking cause lung cancer, it is also the main cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which will narrow and inflame your airway making breathing more difficult. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common conditions that make up COPD.

Don’t Vape
Any time we breathe in anything, other than fresh air or prescribed medication into our lungs, there is a potential to cause harm. Vaping is no different.

Wash Your Hands
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps to avoiding common infectious respiratory diseases like colds and flu. Make hand washing a habit all year long.

Be Active
Regular exercise can help strengthen your heart and lungs, so they work more efficiently. Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week.

Get Vaccinated
Everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu shot. In addition, adults 65 and older should receive the pneumonia vaccine.

Get Regular Check-ups
Regular check-ups help prevent diseases, even when you are feeling well. This is especially true for lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Everyday Preventive Actions

As with other viruses like influenza and the common cold, consistent hygiene and well-being practices help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases and illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following everyday preventive actions:

  • Practice self-care. Getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and taking time out to recharge is important to a healthy immune system.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day. High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, electronics, and bedside tables. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions.

Take care of your health and protect others by practicing everyday preventive actions. Visit CDC.gov or WHO.int to learn more.

Take Charge. Live Well!