Managing Stress

Stress is unavoidable, but there are fortunately many ways to manage it. Use the resources on this page to discover new ways to manage stress. And if you already know your favorite ways to de-stress, connect with others and share it.

The Whole U

Meet up for mindfulness, join a knitting group, take a lunchtime run, do some yoga, or learn how to make meals in a mason jar. There are many ways to stress less. Discover more ways and connect with your colleagues while you’re at it: The Whole U offers free events, virtual handouts, workouts, social groups, and hundreds of online articles to help you stress less and be well. It’s all created by and for UW faculty and staff.

Stretches for productivity and stress relief
Download this handout with simple stretches for improved blood flow and reduced tension.

Give yourself a calming moment with 8 recorded meditations
Reduce stress, increase calmness, and promote happiness with these 8 recorded meditations. Find a comfortable seat, take a deep breath, and listen in as your meditation practice is guided by UW mindfulness experts.

Cultivate a stress-free work environment
Work can get hectic, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel it. Download this handout for small ways to take a step back and give yourself a break. A simple reminder is the first step to incorporating stress-reduction techniques!

Move your body while working for stress relief
Intermittent bouts of exercise throughout the day have significant impact on health, productivity, and stress reduction. Download this handout with simple training movements to try from your workspace.

Learn healthy posture and back alignment for desk working
Unhealthy habits and misuse of muscles throughout the workday can leave the body feeling less than best. Download this handout to correct desk posture habits and feel stronger and more attentive.

Code Lavender resource page for all health care providers
A page for health care heroes to find guidance enhancing your mental and physical strength as you continue to care for your patients. It is crucial to call a Code Lavender and take the time for self care when you are feeling uneasy or stressed.

Listen to The Whole U Stress Less Playlists
Music is good for the soul! Unwind, relax, and stress less with The Whole U’s curated playlists to help you feel at peace. Listen while working, in the car, on a walk, or wherever you are!



Headspace is an app that teaches breath, meditation, and mindful living techniques. The app provides exercises on everything from managing anxiety to stress relief to improving sleep, breathing, happiness, calm, and focus. Headspace is offering a new “Weathering the Storm” Collection of guided mindfulness exercises available for free to all employers and their employees. They have also pulled together a free collection of resources to help you guide and support your team through the stress and anxiety of the current global crisis. Learn more about Headspace here or through the links above.

Health education services and support groups

Health education services and support groups at UW Medicine are available to patients, families and community members. Stress relief groups at Harborview Medical Center include: Knitting for Wellness, Laughter Club, Tai Chi, and Yoga. Classes are free.

Kaiser Permanente

Visit the Kaiser Permanente Stress Management page to get health tools, learn about the causes of stress, and find ways to relieve stress. Additionally, these webinars hosted by Kaiser Permanente discuss topics of wellness, stress reduction, and mental health.

Right as Rain

Right as Rain is a digital publication dedicated to helping you feel healthy and well. It is published by UW Medicine, an international leader in research, patient care and physician training, located in Seattle.


Sanvello is a product that teaches coping skills and engages users in practices and exercises to better manage stress as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. Through the COVID-19 crisis, Sanvello is offering its premium tools free of charge. At this time, there is no contract and individuals can sign up for an account free of charge.  Learn more here.


Looking for ideas and guidance to help you de-stress? Join SmartHealth, the state’s voluntary and confidential wellness program (available to all PEBB medical plan subscribers). On the website, you’ll be able to develop a plan for managing stress. You choose what activities work for you then earn points for each activity you complete. Track your progress and, if you want, share your progress with other SmartHealth members. Sign up for SmartHealth.

Stress management advice from your health care plan

Visit the website of your health care provider to get more advice and resources about managing stress. Much of the information is available for everyone to use. However, to access some of these resources you must be a medical plan subscriber.

Stress Management Resources for UW Students

The UW offers students a wide range of health and wellness services, from exceptional medical care and counseling services to recreation classes, safety resources, peer advocates, trainings and more. Make the most out of your Husky Experience here.

The UW Resilience Lab

The UWRL endeavors to bring the UW community into connection with one another through programming that normalizes the wide-ranging experiences of hardship, failures, and setbacks our community members face through the cultivation of kindness, compassion, and gratitude toward each other and ourselves.

Uniform Medical Plan

The Uniform Medical Plan is administered by Regence BlueShield. On the Regence website, you’ll find tips and advice for managing stress. These resources are available to everyone.

If you are a Regence subscribe, you have access to their health support services, which include health coaching to manage stress and other wellness tools. You’ll need to enter or create your member username and password to access Regence BlueShield health programs.