Managing stress effectively and maintaining psychological resilience are key components of a balanced life. As a Harvard faculty or staff member, you have access to a variety of health and wellness resources to support your well-being.
In contrast to a multitasking mind, mindfulness is a state of mind that has the ability to pay attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment. Benefits of meditation include increased concentration, productivity, physical and psychological resilience, and the ability to respond skillfully to stressful situations. You can practice mindfulness meditation around the University and in the local community: Mindfulness Meditation Resources.
Stay healthy and keep moving with regular physical activity. Harvard makes it easy with access to our athletic facilities and other resources.
- Harvard Athletics Recreation - The gyms at Harvard offer exercise and yoga classes, personal training, and special programs for those looking to start or maintain an exercise regime or weight management program.
- Harvard on The Move sponsors weekly walks and runs for both beginners and more experienced athletes.
- The Center for Wellness offers classes in movement/exercise, yoga, Pilates, and CPR.
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and HUGHP give members a fitness reimbursement of up to $150 annually toward the cost of gym membership (including Harvard Recreation, making this gym membership essentially free). If you are a Harvard Pilgrim member, fitness studio and personal training may also be covered. Check with your health plan provider for details about eligible expenses and reimbursement instructions.
Massage and Acupuncture
Interested in massage and/or acupuncture to help alleviate back pain, repetitive strain conditions, and headaches as well as stress? University Health Services Center for Wellness offers complementary health services (massage, acupuncture, Reiki and shiatsu) at affordable rates to the entire University community (with extra discounts for HUGHP members). Computer ergonomics can also help with specific conditions and reduce your risk of developing them in the first place.
And as of January 1, 2017, Harvard's medical plans cover up to 20 acupuncture visits per year, subject to regular copayment costs. Learn more by contacting HUGHP or HPHC.
Rest and Time Off
Resting and taking reasonable time off from your job promotes health and can reduce stress levels.
Time Off – With a range of paid time-off options, including personal days, sick days for yourself or a dependent, and vacation, Harvard lets you take care of important needs outside work and take time to recharge.
HMS Division of Sleep Medicine – Having trouble having a good night’s sleep? The Division of Sleep Medicine's Sleep Health and Education Portal provides research and useful tips on this vital wellness topic.
Counseling and Social Support
Harvard provides resources for both short-term crises and longer-term mental health.
- Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free counseling, online resources, and seminars to help you or any member of your household with any issue.
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and HUGHP offer coverage and referral for mental/behavioral health issues. Coverage is comprehensive under Massachusetts’ mental health parity provisions.
Eating well can be one of the first casualties of stress. To help you establish and maintain healthy eating habits, Harvard offers the following resources:
- The Nutrition Source, a website maintained by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, provides information and tips for healthier eating.
- HUGHP and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care offer appointments with nutritionists (by referral).
- Harvard University Health Services Nutrition Department offers Intuitive Eating workshops designed to help you "make peace with food and your weight."
Spirituality and Social Support
Get connected with people who share your interests by accessing Harvard’s special interest and support groups.
- Harvard Chaplains is the umbrella organization for more than 35 chaplains representing 25 of the world's traditions—both religious and non-religious—who are united in their commitment to supporting Harvard students, faculty, and staff.
- Harvard Neighbors is a university-wide volunteer organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of members of the Harvard community through cultural and educational programs and events.
Financial well being is key to achieving overall wellness. You can get help managing your finances by accessing the following resources:
- Harvard’s EAP provides information and consultation to plan a budget, reduce debt, and resolve your financial issues. We partner with a nonprofit organization to offer free credit counseling.
- Members of the Harvard University Employee Credit Union have access to certified GreenPath Financial Wellness counselors and resources. Take advantage of an array of online resources such as toolkits, calculators, checklists, and self-guided learning modules. Free counseling is available Monday through Saturday.