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Work/Life Resources During COVID-19 Social Distancing

During Governor Newsom's mandate that Californians must Shelter in Place, 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.

For a complete list of resources and more information for UC San Diego staff pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the COVID-19 Information for Staff at UC San Diego Blink page

Please feel free to suggest content additions to the Work/Life team at

External Virtual Entertainment Resources

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

Free Audible books for kids: Visit this Audible site for free content for kids made available until schools reconvene.

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.

Streaming Opera: Opera fans may also find it interesting that the Met hopes to brighten the lives of audience members even while their stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers. Streams are also available through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV. To access them without logging in, click “Browse and Preview” in the apps for connected TV, and “Explore the App” on tablets and mobile devices.

Free Weekly Access to Musicals: Andrew Lloyd Webber releases all musicals online to watch for free, one per week. Each is up for 48 hours from the time it was posted.

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

Free 500 hours of HBOCheck out this article to show you how to get access.

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. 

Resource Articles and Sites for Employees 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 Education Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure

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

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

Resources for Parents and Families at Home

Childcare Options

  • YMCA Enhanced Child Care Referrals for Essential Service Workers – Free, enhanced referral service developed to support San Diego healthcare professionals that includes a specialized database search of licensed family childcare homes and centers
  • Bright Horizons Care Advantage – Web-based resource to provide information about pre-screened care providers for emergency child and eldercare
  • San Diego for Every Child – The San Diego COVID-19 Children's Fund supports childcare, food assistance, and equitable distance learning during these unprecedented times.
  • Kindercare – Provides care specialists for consultation with families with essential workers seeking emergency child/school-age care services by calling (866) 337-3105 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays or 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekends
  • The La Jolla Montessori School: (858) 922-5128 

Resources for Families at Home from Early Care and Education: Explore a curated list of resources created by the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and Mesa Child Development Center (MCDC), including:

  • ECEC and MCDC Virtual Classroom: Virtual lessons, crafts, storytime, activities and more created by ECEC and MCDC teachers and staff
  • Regional childcare resources and support programs
  • Website, articles and other online resources
  • Virtual entertainment

Virtual Classroom Options:

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 Katie Shaw-Bullock and indicating your child's interest.

Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports
Whether you need full-time child care or a star after-school sitter for the kids, a dog walker, guidance for Mom or Dad's care needs, academic support for your child, or someone to keep your house clean, your Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports™ benefit can help.

Food Assistance Resources

California Association of Food Banks: Foodbank finder by Zipcode. 

Eldercare Resources

Bright Horizons Care Advantage - Years Ahead: offers a nationwide network of senior care providers, including certified senior care advisors for guidance, specialized facilities including memory and hospice care and independent and assisted living communities, and in-home healthcare and senior care companions.

The Years Ahead site offers detailed profiles of care providers including photos, experience, capabilities, pricing, reviews, and more to help you decide which one is right for you and your family. Years Ahead also provides:

  • A comprehensive needs assessment as a first step for those unsure about the type or level of care needed
  • Certified senior care advisors to help families through the process
  • Shared accounts so that you can share information such as assessments and findings with others involved in the decision-making process

San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency has a comprehensive list of COVID-19 programs, services, and resources for older adults and adults living with disabilities. The resources and information are organized into the below topics to help you find the right support during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Care Giver Support
  • Transportation
  • Mental Health
  • Dementia
  • Health & Fitness
  • Housing
  • Commercial Food Service
  • Non-Profit Food Assistance
  • Social Engagement
  • Learning & Leisure Activities
  • Scam Prevention
  • Pet Care Services

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!

Live Events: Recreation Live classes will be hosted via Zoom or Facebook/Instagram Live @UCSDrec. A schedule will be updated weekly which will show the date, time, and platform where they can be accessed. Classes will be a mix of fitness, DIY, and fine arts from Rec instructors like guitar and Capoeira.

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 Katie Shaw-Bullock 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 your 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 Health 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:

University of California Work/Life and Mental Health Resources

Check out the UC San Francisco, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, 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. 

UC San Diego Academic Personnel Resources

Additional resources for US San Diego Academic Personnel can be found on the UC San Diego Academic Personnel Services website.
For any questions or more information, please contact Work/Life or call (858) 534-4115. 
Note: This page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: