June 2020


Although this newsletter isn’t published during July and August, we are here to support you throughout the entire year, a responsibility that has never been more important to us. Please continue visiting HARVie to access resources you need to maintain your personal wellbeing and work-life balancing act, and to stay up-to-date on the University’s evolving coronavirus and remote work policies.

Rock Pyramid


Improve your wellbeing, one breath at a time.

While many of us seek new approaches to coping with stress, anxiety, and distraction, the idea of taking on another project can seem overwhelming. But what if a simple daily practice could improve your wellbeing, one breath at a time?

That’s the point of the Ten Percent Happier app. Designed to increase resilience, self-awareness, and compassion through mindfulness, this popular app is now free for Harvard benefits-eligible employees. Offering unlimited access to guided meditations, talks, daily features, and personal coaches, this meditation and mindfulness app takes on particular relevance during the coronavirus crisis.

Ten Percent Happier has programs for everyone from curious skeptics to experienced practitioners, so you’re sure to find a guided practice that helps you employ mindfulness to cope with the strains of work and personal life. Want to learn more? Read about the app, browse answers to frequently asked questions, and find out how to download and install Ten Percent Happier.

From the name, you know that Ten Percent Happier isn’t out to revolutionize your life, but by taking some time to ground yourself today, you may find yourself one step closer to a happier you.

Night time view of Harvard from river


Aimed at supporting Harvard employees amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Resilience, Recovery, and Renewal initiative will provide resources to help you respond to disruptive changes (Resilience), overcome challenges and regain productivity (Recovery), and apply new lessons and innovations to emerge stronger than ever before (Renewal).

Our current situation calls for the first step: Resilience. Among the resources we’ve gathered to help you build resilience are articles on how a learning mindset is an antidote to anxiety, TED Talks on being your best self in times of crisis, advice on leading a team through uncertainty, workshops on science-based tools to strengthen resiliency, and access to relevant LinkedIn Learning and Harvard ManageMentor courses.

Additional tip sheets, tool kits and training are being developed—click here for updates. These resources can help you to shape your experience of this historical moment as a time of growth and reinvention.

Mind & Body

Taking time to care for your body and mind during this time can lead to a renewed, stronger sense of purpose, even as our circumstances continually change.

  • This year only, Harvard’s health plans’ annual fitness reimbursements of up to $150 can be used to cover cardiovascular-related online fitness class subscriptions and home exercise equipment purchases (like treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines).
  • Move through the gentle, fluid, low-impact exercise of tai chi in the peaceful outdoor surroundings of the Arnold Arboretum Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., June 6, 13, and 20. Classes are free, but registration is required.
  • The Dear Harvard Project is a contemporary time capsule in process. You can mark the significance of this moment and engage with the Harvard community by sharing a photo and a few words on a virtual postcard and see others’ submissions.

Learning & Growing

These past months have prompted a lot of self-reflection and self-assessment, leading many of us to reconsider how we want to spend our time.

  • Meet up with colleagues and friends and take a virtual class together (or lead your own) with Harvard Socialize Remotely (HarvardKey required).
  • Learn what it takes to become a better Harvard manager by attending the Universal Manager Training (HarvardKey required), returning in a virtual format this July, through the Harvard Training Portal.
  • Sign up for the Center for Workplace Development’s free virtual workshops on communications, management, technology, and more, taught in real time or as self-paced tutorials.

Living & Working

Not sure what day or month it is? If so, you’re not the only one. The Office of Work/Life offers seminars and programs to help you and your loved ones work toward finding a new “norm” all summer long.

Finances & Security

Take advantage of these resources to help navigate the current financial climate, and to make sensible plans for your future.

  • Get approachable financial counseling with the GreenPath Financial Wellness Program available through the HUECU. You can learn more about your credit report, budgeting, and financial issues during the coronavirus emergency, along with getting an overall financial checkup.
  • Recent health care and dependent care spending may not conform to your projected needs. Temporary changes in IRS rules let employers relax important guidelines for FSAs. For 2020 only, you may cancel, change, or elect a Flexible Spending Account for health care or dependent care expenses at any time by completing a midyear change form.
  • Like anything else, retirement is less daunting when you have a plan to follow, and you can create or update your plan using the tools and information on our new Retirement Planning page, including an updated Retirement Checklist.