Wellness resources curated just for you
RamStrong is a collective wellness resource for VCU faculty and staff focused on the eight dimenions of wellness – physical, emotional, financial, intellectual, occupational, evironmental, social and spiritual wellness. RamStrong also offers resources for navigating the COVID-19 crisis with the eight dimenions of wellness in mind. The RamStrong concept was developed by the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.
The new Employee Well-Being Program Schedule is out!
Check it out below under Upcoming employee well-being programs. Register in Talent!
Did you know you, as a VCU employee, you have access to real estate discounts. One of preferred vendors, Long and Foster is committed to keeping everyone safe during this COVID time. Long & Foster Candidate and Relocation Services in a COVID-19 World
New Webinars are available!
Check it out below under Work/life Webinars and Workshops
- Free Live and On-Demand Online Classes for adults and children including restorative exercises, personal development, sports and fun for kids, and much more! Classes fill up quickly so sign up early!
- Resources for Working Parents, Stress & Anxiety, Work from Home, Learning & Development which includes online classes and discounts.
New Discounts from Costco, Luray Caverns, Calm, and T-Mobile. Check them out!
Resources during COVID-19:
During this challenging time, it’s so important to take care of yourself! We have many resources available. You can find them here as well as on RamStrong - where we provide resources for all eight dimensions of wellness: Physical, Emotional/Mental, Environmental, Financial, Occupational, Social, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Resources will be added and updated as they become available so continue to check the webpage.
The impact of COVID-19 seems to grow every day. It’s only natural to feel stress and anxiety related to it. The Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help!
The EAP website offers a variety of tools and resources related to COVID-19 including
- Online seminars with emotional support and practical information
- Regularly updated links to news outlets and health organization websites
- Links to articles and resources to help you stay informed
And of course the EAP can help you manage all the changes that are occurring each day. You can use the website for:
- Articles and tip sheets to help with everyday needs
- Information on child and elder care resources
- Legal and financial information
- And more!
Visit the Anthem EAP website for free confidential help! Click on the Log-In button and enter: EAP Can Help
This special entry portal is available for all employees, including those without health coverage.
Health Benefits Program Offers Online EAP Resources to Wage and Waived Employees: To assist with work, family and other personal issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, state wage employees may access website resources through the Anthem and Aetna Employee Assistance Programs. These online educational services are offered at no cost to wage and waived employees who are not covered by a state health plan. Individual services such as face-to-face counseling, legal consultation, telephonic financial counseling, and work/life consultation services are not included.
- Anthem: Services can be accessed by going to www.anthemeap.com and entering the Company Code EAP Can Help.
- Aetna: Employees can contact Aetna Resources For Living (RFL) for support and resources.
- Please see Employee Assistance for Wage and Waived Employees for more details..
Returning to work - COVID-19 checklist
As many will start returning to work, there may be people feeling anxious about possily being exposed to COVID-19 or even returning to theri old routine after months of upturn. Below are some tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help you adjust more easily.
- Do everything you can to help protect yourself and others from getting sick. Taking these steps may help you feel more in control, while also helping to prevent the spread of infection.
- Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Clean all high-touch areas every hour.
- Wear a face mask or covering.
- Stay six feet away from others when possible.
- Stay home if you are sick and stay away from others experiencing symptoms if you can.
- Use resources offered to you to help cope with the changes and emotions. If you see a therapist, continue to stay in touch during your transition back into your work routine.
- Listen to the VDH Tips for everyday life during COVID-19
- Check out resources provided by the Virginia Department of Health
- Try to embrace the return to structure. Lack of a routine can be a driving force for many mental illnesses and can heighten anxiety. If you can, try to get into your work routine at home before physically returning – wake up at the normal time, get bathed and dressed as you would normally, and try to return to your normal timeline during the day.
- Try to make sure you are getting a healthy night’s sleep. While it may seem simple, getting enough sleep can make an incredible difference on our mood and amount of anxiety during the day. Try to get back to your routine from before quarantine and try to go to bed without interruptions to allow for the best rest possible.
- Remember – it is okay and normal to feel anxious. There is nothing wrong with feeling anxious about changes and uncertain times, and you are not alone in these feelings.
VCU's Massey Cancer Center's registered dietitican, Allie Farley, sends out a simple and healthy recipe along with meal planning tips you can use through the week.
Click here to sign up and receive these weekly emails!
Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for recipes and more information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship.
VCU HR provides employees with a list of curated wellness resources to support your well-being during the COVID-19 crisis. These resources are categorized by the eight dimensions of wellness listed in the dropdown boxes below.
Across the United States, many communities are experiencing unrest and distress related to the unjust treatment of individuals who are Black in this country. Coping Tips can be found here in the article Coping During Community Unrest.
As we move forward and doors begin to open again, we must remember that these doors open our hearts to great understanding and shared experiences. The Joy on the Other Side of the Door.
Anthem's myStrength recently added several new activities to address racism. You can sign up for myStrength via the Anthem EAP website to bypass any need for a code. Go to anthemeap.com and enter Commonwealth of Virginia. Find the myStrength Center and choose the sign-up buttom. You can then set up your account and unique password. There is also a myStrength app.
- Racism, Grief, and Loss – The ongoing pain of racism and violence. A 5-step activity.
- Racism-Related Stress and Mental Wellness – During this stressful time, myStrength is here for you. A 6-step activity.
- Talking to Your Kids about Racism, Violence, and Protests – Addressing a complex subject carefully, thoughtfully, and honestly. An 11-step activity.
- A Thousand Cuts – Understanding and responding to race-related microaggressions. A 7-step activity.
- A Difficult but Necessary Conversation – How to navigate sensitive discussions about race and discrimination. A 6-step activity.
AnthemEAP also offers articles and resources which can offer support to those impacted by recent events.
As communities lift stay-at-home restrictions, it's important to keep taking steps to protect yourself from COVID-19. Find out how to safely travel, visit restaurants, go to the gym and more during reopening.
As VCU begins a phased on-campus opening of the university, here are some resources.
Life after lockdown should start with this healthy to-do list By American Heart Association News
Amid COVID-19, Rams in Recovery advice resonates with a broader audience. Tools that help people recovering from addiction get through their day-to-day lives are largely applicable during this time of social isolation.
Information about COVID-19:
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Bank of America
- Car Loans
- Car Payment Relief Programs
- Student Loans: Forbearance
- Student Loans: Possibility of Canceling
- Tax Deadline is now July 15
- Utility, Phone, and Internet companies are giving consumers a break during coronavirus pandemic
- Virginia Suspends Evictions During Coronavirus Crisis
- Groceries delivered: Instacart
- Food banks: Feedmore
- Restaurant Delivery: GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, List of restaurants the delivery with no fees
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember phone number connecting people with free information on available community services.
- Community Services
- Health and Human Resources
- Virginia Disaster Recovery
You may view more information on Virginia 2-1-1
Help1RVA enables you to search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training and more. You may view more information on Help1RVA.
The University of Missouri provides many public self-care resources such as:
- Social Distancing Does Not Mean Social Isolation
- Practice Self-Care and Self-compassion
- Connect With Nature
- Nurture Your Body and Mind
- Practice Effective Work-at-Home Strategies
- Take Care of Your Physical Health
- Find Ways to Help Others
- If the Pandemic Affects You Financially
Did you know......
If you are an Anthem COVA Care member, you can pay $0 for a LiveHealth Online visit! No need to get in the car and go to the doctor. You can now see a doctor using your smartphone, tablet or computer, any time, day or night.
- No copayment for Anthem COVACare members
- Medical visits with board certified Anthem doctors 24x7/365
- Future Moms Breastfeeding Support
- Behavioral Health services: Psychiatry, Psychology, and EAP
- E-prescribing to your pharmacy of choice*
- Available to Anthem members and
Go to livehealthonline.com or download the app so you'll be ready whenever you need these LiveHealthOnline services.
When you smoke, it puts you at a higher risk for diseases like COVID-19. Quit smoking for yourself and the ones you love. For support and resources to help you quit, visit QuitNow.net/Virginia
What is RamStrong?
Wellness is an active process through which people can make choices toward a more holistic well-being. RamStrong is a collective wellness resource for VCU faculty and staff. The RamStrong concept was developed by the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute. Learn more about RamStrong.
Upcoming Employee Well-Being Programs
All Well-Being Programs are now virtual - Join in from anywhere! Open to everyone!
March 2021 - Employee Well-Being Programs
All programs are now virtual
Register in Talent to receive webinar links
Wednesday, March 3rd – 12 pm
Yoga with Hannah
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Take a break from your work day to explore some basic and foundational yoga postures that are practiced to align, strengthen and promote flexibility in the body.
Thursday, March 4th – 11 am
Challenging Emotional Eating
(Presented by VCU HR and Stony Point Women’s Health)
Join a VCU Health registered dietitian for a discussion on healthy eating habits and how to manage emotional eating during times of stress.
Tuesday, March 9th – 11 am
Eat Smart for your Heart
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Health Dietary)
Learn how to implement a heart healthy lifestyle. With a VCU Registered Dietitian, participants will be educated on decreasing salt intake, fats and cholesterol, how to include more plant-based meals and more!
Wednesday, March 10th – 11 am
(Presented by VCU HR & CommonHealth)
Ever wondered why it seems one person can eat anything they want and not gain a pound, while another person's every indulgence shows up on the scale?
Thursday, March 11th – 11:15 am
Core Exercises with Jasmine
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Strength starts with the core. This class will help you build a more stable, powerful abdomen and lower back to improve fitness, straighten posture and provide a foundation for an active daily life.
Monday, March 15th – 12:15 pm
Bodyweight Strength with Jess
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
Strengthen all of the major muscle groups in your body by participating in this Bodyweight Strength fitness class! With a focus on utilizing your bodyweight with high repetitions, participants will be guided through a series of exercises targeting the chest, back, arms, legs, glutes, and core.
Wednesday, March 17th – 2 pm
Managing Fear and Anxiety around COVID-19
(Presented by VCU HR and Anthem EAP)
Fears and anxieties are made up of thoughts that are based upon either personal experiences or beliefs of the world today. In this class, we will learn how to talk through our thoughts to realize that our fears and anxieties are manageable and controllable to get you through these challenging times.
Thursday, March 18th – 12 pm
Manage your checking account with confidence
(Presented by VCU HR, VCUHS HR, and Virginia Credit Union)
Learn helpful tips on how to manage your checking account. Topics include: expense tracking, online services, ATM rebates and how to avoid ATM fees.
Wednesday, March 24th – 11 am
Eating Healthy on a Budget
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU School of Business)
Eating healthy is important, especially during these times where we are all trying to stay well. In this informative session we will learn that you can still eat healthy on a budget.
Friday, March 26th – 12 pm
Deep Stretch with Jess
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
A slower 30-minute practice focused on active stretching of muscles and opening of connective tissue. Release built up tension, prevent injury, increase blood flow to muscles, and increase long-term flexibility.
Monday, March 29th – 10 am to 10:30 am
Money Mondays with Bill
(Presented by VCU HR and Fidelity)
Join Bill Giesen for this quick and educational session
Register: Talent@VCU (pending)
Tuesday, March 30th – 12 pm
Ergonomics working from home
(Presented by VCU HR and Risk Management)
Helpful tips from Barbara Back, safety specialist, to make working from home more comfortable and less stressful on the body.
Wednesday March 31st – 3 pm
(Presented by VCU HR and TIAA)
Create a lasting legacy with an effective estate plan. An estate plan can help improve your overall financial well-being. In this webinar you will learn which documents you should have and how to minimize taxes and streamline your estate.
Additional webinars and virtual sessions:
Although we are not offering in person events at this time, here are some other virtual well-being classes:
In Talent – Thriving@Work: Leveraging the Connection between Well-Being and Productivity, Managing Your Personal Investments, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive 02: Learning How to Unplug and Recharge, Mindfulness, Meditation, Life Mastery: Achieving Happiness and Success, De-stress: Meditation and Movement for Stress Management and many other online classes
(in Talent – under Learning in the search box type keyword: Well-Being, finances, happiness, or any other topic you may be interested in)
VRS (Virginia Retirement System) offers numerous financial wellness courses. These can be found at: https://enrich.varetire.org/courses
Also, Fidelity and TIAA offer numerous webinars and information. You can find more information at: https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/overview or https://shared.tiaa.org/public/publictools/campaign/login/webinar?resume=/idp/WW50q/resumeSAML20/idp/SSO.ping
VCU Recreational Sports
VCU Recreational Sports – offers a diversity of virtual programs including fitness, wellness, outdoor programs, parent and child programs fun and games, and more!
All Commonwealth of Virginia employees, spouses, and adult dependents (18+) are eligible for an upfront 50% discounted WW membership. More team members are now eligible to participate and you no longer need to sign up with a specific username or agency code either. Our partnership page has a temporary banner that memberships are paused, please ignore that and it will be taken down within the next few hours.
· New app tools like a sleep tracker and 5-Minute Coaching
· A complete look at your wellness, thanks to weekly progress reports
Get a FREE WW Unstoppable Kit* with your purchase of a WW membership!
Sign up today!
2. Redeem your WW Unstoppable Kit by March 14 at WW.com/unstoppable
participating areas only. One kit per member. Kit must be redeemed by March 14. While supplies last. Over $100 in value includes $50 worth of coupons. U.S. addresses only. Please allow at least 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. Offer not available to
current members. Offer may be revoked at any time and may not be redeemed for cash. Non Transferable. Void where prohibited.
A happier, healthier life starts here
Now and throughout the coming year, the Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to helping you, your spouse, and adult dependents reach your wellness goals—to lose weight, eat healthier, move more, develop a more positive mindset, or all the above—by offering exclusive pricing when you join WW (Weight Watchers® Reimagined). Watch to learn more about the WW program then sign up at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
The Commonwealth of Virginia and WW have launched new Private Virtual Workshops just for us!
WW’s Workshops have helped millions of members build healthy habits for real life, and I’m excited to share that employees now have access to Private Virtual Workshops through the Commonwealth of Virginia and WW partnership.
Who: Just us—that’s it! These Workshops are exclusive to our organization, so get ready to see some familiar faces.
What: Weekly guidance from a WW Coach in a virtual group setting that will help move you closer to your weight-loss and wellness goals. The Workshops are fun, supportive—and did I mention private?
Where: Right on your phone (or computer). These private Workshops are virtual, so you can get live stay-on-track support from a WW Coach in the palm of your hand. It couldn’t be easier!
When: Current WW Members can view the Workshop schedule by joining the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Connect Group. Just click here to join. IMPORTANT: You must open this link on a mobile device to be directed to the Connect group.
⭐ WORKSHOP SCHEDULE ⭐
Tuesday, 11:30 AM EST with Coach Debbie B.
Wednesday, 12:15 PM EST with Coach Bobbi C.
Thursday, 12:15 PM EST with Coach Denise S.
Not a Member? Learn more about our partnership with WW at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
New Private Virtual Workshops for WW members
Exciting news for WW members! The Commonwealth of Virginia and WW have just launched a Private Virtual Workshop exclusively for our organization. Get ready to see some familiar faces as we join together for a weekly workshop guided by a WW Coach. Move closer to your weight-loss and wellness goals in this fun, supportive – and did I mention private? – live Virtual Workshop. Current WW Members can view the Workshop schedule by joining CommonHealth’s Connect Group. Important: You must select the link from your mobile device. Not a Member? Learn more about our partnership with WW at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
WW members within our organization, get ready to see some familiar faces at your weekly workshop. I’m excited to share the launch of a new Private Virtual Workshop exclusive to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Join your colleagues each week for guidance and motivation from a WW Coach. WW members, to view the Private Virtual Workshop schedule, join CommonHealth’s Connect Group. Important: You must click the link from a mobile device. If you’re not a WW member, learn more about our partnership at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
WW’s Workshops have helped millions of members build healthy habits for real life, and I’m excited to announce that employees now have access to Private Virtual Workshops through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s WW partnership. Get weekly guidance from a WW Coach in a virtual group setting that will help move you closer to your weight-loss and wellness goals. The Workshops are fun, supportive—and did I mention private? WW members, to view the Private Virtual Workshop schedule, join CommonHealth’s Connect Group. Important: You must click the link from a mobile device. If you’re not a WW member, learn more about our partnership at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
The Commonwealth of Virginia employees enrolled in a state health plan are eligible for WW discounted pricing and a 50% subsidy. Employees not enrolled in a state health plan, spouses, and adult dependents are eligible for WW discounted pricing only. Sign up today! (You will need to enter your state ID # for the unique ID field).
Get a sneak peak at the power of coaching & community
For a big dose of inspiration and the latest nutritional and behavioral science to help you lose weight and build healthy habits for life, look no further than a WW (Weight Watchers® Reimagined) Workshop. These expert-led weekly Workshops provide practical, easy-to-use tools and techniques to help reach your wellness goals.
Check out the exclusive pricing offered to Commonwealth of Virginia employees, spouses, and adult dependents at WW.com/us/CommonHealth
VCU Health and Wellness Library, located in the Gateway Building, Group Floor, Room G-112 offers Meditate with Georgianne Ginder, MSC, CHWC, JSJ Certified Practioner every Wednesday and Friday from noon to 1 pm. Free and open to all. For more information contact email@example.com or call 828-2432.
VCU's Institute for Contemporary Art offers mindfulness meditation sessions guided by highly experienced meditation teachers. These sessions are offered from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Sessions are free. To register, visit the ICA website and search "mindfulness."
ConditionCare provided to VCU employees with Anthem. ConditionCare can help you get help managing asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, heart failure or coronary disease. You can talk to a nurse for help with health questions, anytime, anywhere. You get a health screening by phone at no extra cost. Get support from other health experts like pharmacists and dieticians. Other education guides, email newsletters and toolds to learn more about your condition are provided. You can receive certain medications or supplies at no cost upon meeting certain requiremetns. Call 1-844-507-8472 to get started.
Anthem subscribers also have access to myStrength, the health club for your mind where you can get resources such as videos, articles, quotes, and inspirations as well as tools and exercises to help you develop a personal action plan and make healthy changes. To sign up go to anthemeap.com and enter Commonwealth of Virginia. Find the myStrength Center and choose the Sign-up button. Set up your account and unique password. Take the confidential wellness Assessment and fill out the personal profile. Both take just a few minutes to complete. Your answers will create your personal home page with topics and updates that interest and inspire you. Take myStrength with you on the go by downloading the i0S ir Android app.
One in five adults in the United States face a mental illness in any one year – that’s almost 44 million people. And especially right now, people across the country are experiencing feelings of stress and fear because of the new disease and feelings of isolation because of physical distancing requirements. This means someone around you right now may be struggling.
People who are facing mental health or addiction challenges may find it hard to seek and get the help they may need. They may not know who to talk to, where to go or even what to say.
Thankfully, there are a variety of things that can help, including having a good support system of people that you like, respect and trust. Support from loved ones, peers and appropriate professionals can make a big difference on your mental health and well-being. It can even make recovery from mental health symptoms easier and quicker.
Webinars on wellness (financial, health, and other topics)
Did you know VCU faculty and staff have access to numerous financial webinars from Fidelity Investments, TIAA, Virginia Credit Union (VACU), Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and more! There are many live and on demand sessions including:
- Making gifts to loved one and charities
- Market Insights: New Developments, What to Consider, and Top Questions Answered
- Follow the 15% Rule
- Select How Your Savings are Invested
- Managing Debt during COVID-19
- Managing Holiday Finances
Also, VCU HR Work Life does monthly virtual live financial sessions. Check it all out on the VCU HR Work Life website.
Check out some upcoming webinars listed below!
TIAA's Financial Essentials Live Webinars
Register at TIAA.org/webinars. Below are some upcoming webinars. These webinars are open to everyone!
Practical conversations to help you live well financially, today and tomorrow – webinars from Fidelity
- Market Insights: New Developments, What to Consider, and Top Questions Answered
- Your Retirement Transition: Go From Saving to Spending
- Make an Impact with Your Charitable Giving
And so many more on Preparing for Retirement, Managing Life, and Saving & Investing
Fidelity Investments – Well-being & You
Explore Ways to Manage your well Being through the COVID-19 Resource Center
- Money – Managing your finances
- Health – Maintaining physical and mental health
- Work – Staying productive at work
- Life – Adjusting how we live
Follow the 15% Rule:
Virginia Retirement System (VRS):
Don’t let an unexpected expense catch you off-guard. Take the new myVRS Financial Wellness course, setting up an Emergency Fund, to learn how you can prepare for life’s financial surprises. You have access to an entire curriculum of financial wellness courses, articles, tools and more directly through your myVRS account. Visit showcase.varetire.org to learn how the financial knowledge you gain and the steps you take today help you build the future you imagine.
VRS DCP Online Regional Education Meetings
Register today for an online Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan Regional Education Meeting or a virtual one-on-one with your Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialists
Learn More About Your Retirement Options
VRS 457 & Cash Match Plans Overview
What is a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan? How about a Cash Match 401(a) Plan? Learn about how these plans help you build your retirement future.
Select How Your Savings Are Invested
VRS Plan Investments
Do you find investing confusing? Learn about asset classes, diversification and the three investment paths available to you.
How Do I Withdraw My Money in Retirement?
VRS 457 & Cash Match Distribution Options
Retirement on the horizon? Understand the various distribution requirements and options under your 457 and 401(a) plans.
Personal Individual Account Review
Need assistance? Sign up for a 30-minute virtual one-on-one with a Defined Contribution Plans Retirement Specialist.
Virginia Credit Union
Our latest webinar – In times of economic uncertainty, it’s essential to focus on what you can control. In “Surviving In Today’s Economy,” we’ll share tips on increasing your value in the workplace, cutting expenses, boosting savings, and reducing debt. Watch now»
During COVID-19, we invite you to view VACU's August pre-recorded "Managing Debt during COVD-19" webinar. Having to deal with debt in a normal environment can be very stressful. With the added impact of an economic crisis, it can become overwhelming. This webinar will provide answers to key questions you must ask yourself to successfully manage debt during these challenging times. View Now!
During COVID-19, we invite you to view VACU's October pre-recorded "Managing Holiday Finances" webinar. Avoid the financial holiday lag! Learn tips and techniques to organize your holiday spending, reduce your costs, and maximize your holiday happiness. View Now!
During COVID-19, we invite you to view November's VACU pre-recorded webinar, titled "Avoiding Identity Theft." View Now!