Woman practicing mindfulness
Photo from MyStrength program's Mindfulness & Meditation activity

As we continue to protect our health, and the health of others, by socially distancing, wearing masks and washing our hands during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to forget the importance of including other forms of wellness into our efforts.

Over the last month, UofL has increased the amount of wellness opportunities available to faculty and staff. While these opportunities have been previously announced on various internal webpages and within the UofL Today employee newsletter, below you will find a central listing of the opportunities compiled for your convenience.

Virtual Classes and Fitness at Home

Get Healthy Now (GHN), the university’s employee wellness program, has collected multiple online resources for staying active and focusing on your wellness.

  • Yoga at Your Desk is a collection of stretches for your back, neck, arms and legs. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, on the couch or somewhere else in your home, you can follow these short videos for a quick, seated stretch break. The stretches are designed to release tension, ease anxiety, and get relief from aches and pains.
  • 10-Minute Workout is a written workout plan you can do at home by following the visuals and step-by-step techniques for exercising with resistance bands.
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube yoga channel for families that incorporates yoga movements into interactive stories and songs. The energetic instructor uses her British accent to take families on virtual adventures that build strength, balance and confidence.
  • Dance at Home is an online collection of dance tutorials provided by the Louisville Ballet for families to stay active and creative together. The tutorials include a wide range of dance warm-ups, ballet basics, and folk dances from around the world.

The Department of Intramural and Recreational Sports is offering multiple virtual fitness opportunities that are open to faculty and staff.

  • Virtual Fitness Consultations are free to all employees Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. When you sign up for a 15-minute, one-on-one virtual consultation with a certified fitness instructor, you’ll receive a customized exercise routine based on what you have available in your home. To get started, send an email to woodall@louisville.edu.
  • Mile Club is an exercise program that encourages participants to walk, run, hike or bike the miles they would have traveled this summer to a destination. With the Mile Club, you can email your destination and weekly totals to the host, or you can download the Strava app and join the UofL SRC Mile Club there to track your miles. Once you “arrive” to your destination, Intramurals staff will send you a champion t-shirt.

    To join the club on the app, download “Strava” on your smart phone and touch “Sign Up.” Skip any free trials that pop up to maintain a basic, free account. Touch the “Club” tab, then touch “Explore Clubs,” then “Clubs” again. In the search bar, type “UofL SRC Mile Club” and touch the club to join it.

Mental Health and Connection

Human Resources is offering a new professional/personal growth series called “Learning Cafes.” There are also many existing benefits for employees that can support your overall well-being.

  • Learning Cafes are online sessions focused on continuing your professional and personal growth while working at home. Each “cafe” features a topic of interest, guidance from a seasoned moderator, an engaging activity or reading, and time for discussion and sharing to renew your connection to the UofL family. Topics include talking to your kids about furloughs, staying motivated while working remote, meditation, how employee resource groups can support you, and more.
  • Anthem myStrength is an online program and app available for Anthem members that helps users learn to reduce stress and monitor different areas of their health. For example, you can utilize their daily mood tracker to analyze your patterns, take mini interactive courses on focus areas such as “Controlling Anxiety,” listen to relaxation audios, and scroll through uplifting images and quotes that update every time you log on. There is also a specific set of practical tools and articles dedicated just to coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    To get started, log in to
    anthem.com, click on “My Health Dashboard,” then “Programs,” and you’ll find “MyStrength.” Follow the prompts to set up your customized MyStrength account. If you already have an Anthem account, you can download the MyStrength app on your smart phone and sign in there to keep your customized program and tools within easy reach.

  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), is a university benefit that provides free and confidential counseling services and resources to you and your household family members, even if you aren’t enrolled in a UofL medical plan. Managed by a third party, Human Development Company, the program’s counselors are available 24/7 and you can get up to eight free confidential sessions per topic, per year. Topics you can discuss with a counselor include grief and loss, stress management, alcohol/substance use, marital/relationship, depression, workplace concerns, Counselors can also provide referrals for things such as day care, elder care and financial concerns.

    Individual use of the EAP is confidential and not reported to your supervisor nor the university. Call 502-589-HELP (4357) or 800-877-8332, or go to
    humandev.com to schedule an appointment.

Health Promotion, a division of Campus Health Services, has expanded some of their program offerings to include faculty and staff.

  • Koru Mindfulness is a four-week class that teaches participants evidence-based methods for mindfulness, meditation and stress resilience. The “Koru Basics” introductory course is available now through June. After completion of “Koru Basics,” participants may advance to “Koru 2.0” for an additional four-week class.
  • Slow Down at the Speed is a set of guided narrations meant to facilitate mindfulness by walking listeners through “slow looking” at works of art. Originally created for in-person art observations at the Speed, the guided prompts can also be used with artwork available in your home or with the Speed’s online collections. For example, you can open their online Kentucky Collection 1800-1945 and listen to Prompt 3 while you observe a work of art.

Trager Institute, the university’s hub for optimal aging research, innovation and care management, offers multiple opportunities for employees to stay connected over topics related to holistic health.

  • My Health Matters is a weekly virtual meeting open to those who want to learn more about individual, family and community holistic health. These weekly meetings occur every Monday evening from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and feature a range of holistic health topics, guest speakers, activities and open discussions. Meetings are designed to help participants cope with the pandemic and provide a space to bring your concerns for peer support.
  • Calm in the Storm is a virtual meditation series offered every Friday at 12:30 p.m. Sessions are hosted by one of the Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic mental health providers, Anna Walton, LCSW. Participants will address their stress and anxiety during this uncertain time through her guided meditations.

We are all navigating the unknown together. Your total well-being is critical and UofL has multiple resources and opportunities available right now to help you. Carve out some time in your calendar to schedule a meeting with yourself and look further into these opportunities today.

Opportunities listed above might not be an exhaustive list of all available wellness opportunities, and new ones may become available. If your department also offers a wellness opportunity that is open to all employees, be sure to submit an announcement so that it can be featured in the UofL Today employee newsletter.

Photo provided by MyStrength.