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Work/life Resources During COVID-19 Physical Distancing

As the pandemic continues, both native Californians and others who live here are finding their lives altered by COVID-19.  This page aims to provide both internal and external work/life resources, virtual entertainment links, related articles, and more. 

Please feel free to suggest content additions to Gabriel Lopez at 

Benefits Updates for Support During the Pandemic

The CARES Act and other government decisions have brought many changes to UC employer-sponsored benefits — all designed to provide some relief during the pandemic. This includes opportunities to update health insurance benefits, change flexible spending account elections or use retirement savings for financial support.

Tune into UCnet for the latest in important changes to rules for health and welfare benefits and for UC’s voluntary Retirement Savings Program. And, bookmark this page for all current information about UC health, welfare and retirement benefits.

EDI Sponsored Membership to NCFDD

The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity dedicated a page to COVID-19 resources for faculty  with tips for self-care, resources for online teaching, strategies for remaining productive, and guidance for planning ahead: .  You may also want to enroll in a 14-day writing challenge or take advantage of this time to explore the curriculum.  If you haven’t activated your account, you may do so here.  Make sure to select UC San Diego as your institution for free access.

EDI Promoted Upcoming Events

Visit EDI Events for information on upcoming EDI sponsored events.

FSAP Curated Page: Managing Stress and Uncertainty in 2021

Please visit the 2021 curated FSAP page on Blink that offers information about ongoing support groups and available resources for staff and faculty.

Resource Articles and Sites for Faculty on Self-Care and Working from Remote

4/7/20 University of California, UCNet News. Ten Productive Distractions You Can Try Right Now

3/27/20 The Chronicle of Higher EducationWhy You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure

3/27/20 The Chronicle of Higher Education. As Covid-19 Erases Line Between Work and Home, Professors Learn to Teach Remotely While Watching Their Kids

3/26/20 UCSD News Center. Coping with Coronavirus Stress

3/24/20 University of California. How to live well with stress — even in the coronavirus era

3/24/20 UC Davis. Tips for Surviving Social Distancing

3/23/20 Harvard Business Review. That Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief

3/19/20 Inside Higher Ed.  Advice for Faculty Members in a Turbulent Time

3/5/19 The New York Times. How to Work from Home With Kids (requires subscription)

Resources for Parents and Families at Home

Visit the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) site for a curated list of Resources for Families at Home and check in on the ECEC/MCDC's virtual classroom for educational resources and activities for kids. 

Also drop in on UC Rec's Knock Around Kids YouTube for new virtual content created to entertain, educate, and get active--and visit the Rec's Playground page and scroll to Knock Around Kids to see a calendar of live Zoom classes available.  Zoom links are available by emailing and indicating your child's interest.

In addition, all parents are invited to join the UC San Diego Moms listserv to receive zoom links and  information about the parenting support groups below.  

0-5 Working Moms
Meets the 4th Wednesday of the month from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Please join us for a supportive discussion and an opportunity to connect with other UC San Diego remote working moms. Working from home and parenting during the Coronavirus pandemic is unfamiliar territory for us all, not to mention the difficulty balancing roles amid a variety of stressors. Parenting is never easy, but this is unprecedented. You are not alone!

This support group is in collaboration with the Women’s Center and facilitated by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW, a Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) licensed clinician, with a perinatal mental health specialty, who is also a full-time remote working mom.

Working Parents 
Meets the 1st Wednesday of the month from 12 - 1 p.m.

Today's parents of elementary, middle school, and teenaged children face immense challenges and working parents are further impacted by having to manage work/life balance. Come join us for a supportive discussion on topics relevant to you and for an opportunity to connect with other UC San Diego parents.

This support group is in collaboration with the Women’s Center and facilitated by Izabel Caetano Francy, LCSW, a Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) licensed clinician, who is also a full-time remote working parent.

For those caretaking for disabled or elderly family members, please see below for a monthly support group also offered by FSAP:

Caregivers and Eldercare Support Group 
Meets the 1st Tuesday of the month from 12 - 1 p.m.

Please note: Meeting details for this group will not be on the listserv.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers an ongoing caregivers and eldercare support group, as well as individual referrals and resources, to campus employees, retirees, and postdoctoral and visiting scholars.

Specific issues addressed include:

  • Caretaker management
  • Elderly relatives and disabilities
  • Sibling conflict resulting from eldercare time and financial commitments
  • Long-distance caretaking
  • Emotional issues involved in eldercare
  • Caregiver tips

To receive the Zoom meeting invitation, contact Crystal Green at

Virtual Entertainment Resources - External

Animal Watching via Webcam: Visit your favorite animals via live cam at the San Diego Zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or just view some puppies.

National Park Tours: Visit National Park tours and you can take these virtually

Enjoy some pleasure reading or free online self-awareness courses: Access JSTOR open access content without needing a log in. Visit JSTOR for more information here. Also access UC Press Journal articles for free through June 2020.  Or take a complimentary course at Coursera between now and May 30th on Mental Health and Well-being.

Hear a TedTalk: Visit here for the TedTalk directory where you can hear talks on numerous topics and search by your interests.

Free music concert listings (appears to be updated regularly): Listen to music and check out live video streams by your favorite artists.

Stay connected with literature and the literary community: visit with the Literary Hub for features about books.

Twitter Hashtags in Support of the Humanities and People Sheltering in Place: Check these out below and feel free to suggest more:

#COVIDwellbeing - This hashtag is intended to provide mental health updates and resources for living during the time of a pandemic

 #TogetherAtHome - This hashtag began with featuring musicians giving impromptu concerts but now hosts an array of content for those social distancing at home. 

 #SunshineSongs - This hashtag arose so kids slated to perform in canceled musicals could post their songs online for the support of an online audience.  With support from Hamilton's Lin Manual Miranda, many young singers have posted their videos and received virtual applause from the community.

#InternationalPoetryCircle - This hashtag shows poets reading their work on video from around the globe.

#MuseumFromHome - This hashtag exhibits museum aficionados tweeting their favorite virtual exhibits.

Altruism opportunities: For some people, giving back can be a positive and fulfilling use of their free shelter in place time. Many may elect to volunteer with a local food bank, give blood or offer to buy groceries or run errands for senior and immunocompromised neighbors. Also consider volunteering online — an array of skills are needed, from writing uplifting cards to providing professional skills.

Virtual Museums: Related to viewing art, did you know that 2,500 world-class museums and galleries are now offering virtual tours and online collections on Google’s Arts & Culture pages, including, just to name a few: Guggenheim Museum, New York, British Museum, London, Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Pergamon Museum, Berlin;National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; and more. 

 This locally curated page about Museums also offers information about virtual museum experiences. 

UC San Diego Rec Virtual Fitness and Exercise Opportunities

UC Recreation invites you to The Playground! 

This is a virtual space where students and the UC San Diego community can get active, creative, meditative & stay fit through online classes, informative articles and virtual programming all for FREE!. The playground features:

Rec Online: Recreation Online will bring you to the vast library of pre-recorded classes from our Recreation trainers and instructors. These can be accessed anytime from anywhere! There are already a variety of classes listed including world dance, home workout tips, tap, yoga, and more to come!

Get Up Tritons- Subscribe to Get Up Tritons for reminders to get up and move. Daily emails are sent at 10am, 12pm (Learn @ Lunch) and 2pm and provide instructional exercise videos that can be followed from the comfort of home. Rec fitness instructors will teach how to reverse the negative effects of sitting in short video clips along with daily “learn at lunch” clips which explore a variety of topics including mindfulness, nutrition and self-care. 

Knock Around Kids!  Visit and subscribe to the UC San Diego Rec's Knock Around Kids YouTube for new videos posted to entertain and educate kids.  This is the newest feature on The Playground. Also visit the Rec's Playground homepage to see a calendar of live Zoom classes for kids.  Zoom links are available by emailing and indicating interest to join a class.

Other Resources: The Playground also offers articles from instructors, programmers and the Rec Registered Dietician including tips, recipes and DIYs that can be accessed at any time and will be updated on a weekly basis. Future content in the works will include eSports competitions, workout playlists, playground pals, weekly Instagram challenges and more. Do not forget to follow UC Rec on Facebook for updates on the Playground and events!

UC San Diego Faculty and Staff Assistance Program Virtual Counseling

The UC San Diego Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is a confidential service designed to help campus employees* and the members of their immediate household resolve concerns that may be affecting personal well-being and/ or job performance. FSAP provides one-on-one information, work/life therapeutic support, and counseling on a wide array of topics. FSAP is open for business now, with counselors working remotely during COVID-19. All in-person meetings have transitioned to Zoom or phone, so you can access this resource from the comfort of your home. For new clients, please go to Make An AppointmentCurrent and returning clients, please contact you counselor directly by phone or email.  If you have a mental health emergency, dial the San Diego County Access and Crisis Line at 1-888-724-7240.

*UC San Diego Heath employees:  Please contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider aligned with your medical coverage.  For additional information and questions about UC San Diego Health, please contact the Health Sciences Human Resources Services team at the protected employee portal: or call (619) 543-3200.

UC San Diego Free Online Courses For Healthcare Professionals in Compassion and Mindfulness

The Sanford Institute, the Center For Mindfulness, and the Compassion Institute collaborate to provide free online support for the UCSD community:

As we confront the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are experiencing a great deal of distress about how to carry out professional duties while also attending to the needs of family members and friends. We understand the toll on our healthcare professionals. Increased anxiety and stress can compromise wellbeing. In this time of need, through a shared vision, the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, and the Compassion Institute are teaming up to provide free, daily online streams and recordings of mindfulness and compassion sessions. We encourage your participation and will respond to your recommendations and feedback. The following link will bring you to the site for scheduled offerings, sign-ups, and for additional resources: 

UC San Diego Virtual Campus Collaborative

Would you like to be a part of a new campus initiative launched by the offices of Student AffairsEquity, Diversity and Inclusion and Academic Affairs to keep collaborative projects and new connections happening on campus now that many of us learn and work from remote?

The Virtual Campus Collaborative was created for this purpose. For an opportunity to request help for a project, get involved, or volunteer your time or expertise, visit the site linked to above.  This Collaborative streamlines connecting members of the UC San Diego community with projects that benefit departments and units.   


The concept behind the Virtual Campus Collaborative is to utilize skill sets and resources at our disposal to help other areas on campus that could use additional support.  Whether the task is updating a website, coordinating a virtual experience, participating in an activity that rallies Triton spirit, or lending a hand with marketing and communications, the Virtual Campus Collaborative’s talent pool is ready and willing to help you maintain business operations and achieve your area's goals. 

If you have an idea for a project that can help faculty, students or staff stay connected, please reach out and provide your ideas here.

University of California Work/Life and Mental Health Resources

Check out the UC San Francisco, Weill Institute for Neuroscience's, Psychiatry hub for Resources to Support Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak where you may find resources for many COVID-19 related self-care and mental health topics such as navigating maintaining good sleep, good eating habits, and more.  This site has many family friendly resource pages as well.

What's more, all UC medical plans are here for you during the coronavirus outbreak. That includes comprehensive telehealth — and telemental health — services. Here’s how to access the professional medical advice you need, from the comfort and safety of your own home.

If mental health resources you want center more on mindfulness and remaining calm, do drop in on and subscribe to the YouTube series Finding calm and connection during COVID:  A video series hosted by Prof. Dacher Keltner, Faculty Director of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

Or you may want to decompress by  listening to UC-produced podcasts for insights on politics, art, science, technology, philosophy, wellness, entertainment and more.

If cooking is helpful for your work/life balance, try these recipes from UC. Or, head over to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources for recipes from the food preservation pros — from pickles and salsa to jam, homemade cheese and more.