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Recharge, reset and recover with virtual well-being classes

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Early in the pandemic, the staff at UC Irvine’s Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) saw the burden that was being placed on UCI Health frontline workers and stepped up to help. They developed a virtual well-being program, delivered free of charge, that offered everything from personalized mindful meditation appointments and well-being check-ins to daily group yoga sessions.

When it was clear that the program was helping people, and that the stress of the pandemic was affecting all members of their community, SSIHI quickly expanded the program to others at UC Irvine. Now a pilot program is underway to expand access even further. 

From July 1 until December 31, University of California Health (UCH) is partnering with SSIHI to offer these no-cost virtual well-being classes to UC Care members and their enrolled family members ages 14 and older. UC Care members may take as many classes as desired at no cost. The program may be expanded to all plans, depending on the success of the pilot.

“It is part of our mission at the SSIHI to educate our community on well-being practices, and to provide resources that assist with improving overall well-being,” says Shaista Malik, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., SSIHI executive director and associate vice chancellor of integrative health at the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, UC Irvine. “We have received positive feedback from staff and faculty at UC Irvine who have participated in this program and are extremely grateful to be able to offer access to scientific evidence-based integrative health sessions, classes, information and consults as free resources to our UC community.”

“These classes are really great!” reports one participant from UC Santa Barbara. “I’ve attended four different sessions and am planning to try a few more when I find the time. I’ve learned a lot and have changed my diet, planning and behavior for the better. I recommend these classes to anyone who’s interested in improving their quality of life!”

Systemwide well-being resources

Though SSIHI’s pilot program is limited to members of UC Care for now, all of UC’s health plans offer a variety of free resources for your physical and emotional well-being. Visit your health plan’s website to learn more.

UC is home to some of the most respected health and wellness experts in the country, and many locations offer their wellness resources to all who are interested. Check out a few examples below, and visit your location’s wellness site to find out what’s available just for you.

Email movement reminders 

Sign up for a twice-daily reminder (at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) to get up and stretch. Though content is customized by location, all are welcome to sign up.

Greater Good Magazine

The award-winning online magazine produced by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center features articles, podcasts, quizzes and more, with a focus on the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of wellbeing.

UC Berkeley Workfit program

UC faculty and staff can access more than 40+ live WorkFit workouts, as well as past class recordings. Classes are taught via Zoom and designed for workouts in the home or office. No equipment is needed.

UCLA Health Integrative Medicine Collaborative

The new UCLA Health Integrative Medicine Collaborative constitutes 30+ programs at UCLA Health that practice, adopt and promote integrative medicine. Check out the Mindful Awareness Research Center — which offers a free video gallery and drop-in (via Zoom) or recorded meditation sessions — as well as the Wellbeing Webinar Series on the second Wednesday of each month.

UCSF resources to support your mental health

This evolving site includes coping and emotional health resources curated by the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Access links to many online wellness resources; the site prioritizes those that are free.

UCTV Wellbeing Channel

Explore physical and emotional wellbeing topics through documentaries, faculty lectures, research symposia, artistic performances and more.

Wellness Adds Up video library

Start improving your mind, body, spirit and environment, one short video at a time, at this UC Irvine wellness site. Topics include strength, flexibility, stress management, sustainability, nutrition and motivation.


Does your UC location have a resource that isn’t listed here? Please email ucnetwork@universityofcalifornia.edu with the URL and a brief description.

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