Explore the EACC's line-up of stress management resources including a variety of classes, support services, digital tools and more. For more information, download/print 5 Ways to Manage Stress Right Now and Stress-Reduction Strategies. Please note — all on-campus events have been suspended indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Traditional Counseling

EACC's staff of licensed, certified counselors are trained to offer support and assist in developing coping strategies for managing stress in addition to other personal problems. UAB employees and members of their immediate household are eligible for 12 free individual, couples or family counseling sessions per year.

Self-Care Studio

The collaboration between the EACC and UAB’s Arts in Medicine offers employees a creative outlet to reduce stress through art therapy, guided imagery and other expressive therapies. Held every first and third Tuesday at noon in the North Pavilion 2nd floor Chapel.

Yoga

Yoga and Pilates classes taught by certified instructors encourage participants to engage their bodies and minds with a focus on mindfulness meditation techniques to improve mental focus, alleviate stress and improve mood. Onsite yoga and pilates classes are on hold due to COVID-19. For virtual yoga instruction, visit go.uab.edu/virtualyoga.

Code Blaze

The Code Blaze program provides quick access to tools for solving stressful situations and managing the difficult emotions experienced by direct care providers — including an extensive database of community and online stress management resources and access to Code Blaze Quiet Rooms, where employees can go when job-related stress becomes overwhelming. Visit uab.edu/codeblaze.

myStrength

Through its partnership with myStrength, EACC provides employees with free access to hundreds of web and mobile tools for increased emotional health and wellbeing on topics like stress management, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, parenting, substance abuse and more. Visit the myStrength for UAB webpage for details.

Support Groups

EACC support groups provide a safe and secure environment to discuss shared experiences and offer and receive community support. The weekly Women’s Support Group meets Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. Hopeful Healing, a support group for coping with chronic illness, meets the last Tuesday of the month at 5:15 p.m. Visit go.uab.edu/EACC-Support

Art Therapy

EACC’s therapeutic art sessions provide a unique format for self-expression, communication and reflection in either a group therapy or one-on-one counseling setting — no artistic talent necessary. Call 205-934-2281 to register for EACC’s monthly art therapy support group.

Meditation

The practice of meditation is known to reduce stress, decrease anxiety and depression, improve physical health and enhance employee engagement and job performance. Meditation is available to departments upon request.


Stress Awareness Month at UAB

During National Stress Awareness Month, the EACC is providing the UAB community with resources on a variety of stress management strategies. Check this page each week in April for online tools and virtual activities — select a week below.

Week 1: Self Care

Resources for Self Care

  • Self-Care Assessment Worksheet: This assessment tool provides an overview of effective strategies to maintain self-care. After completing the full assessment, you can move on to developing a full self-care plan.
  • Self-Care and Social Distancing: Psychology Today outlines three questions to ask yourself as you adjust your self-care as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 10 Ways to Relax in Nature and Stress Less: Try these relaxing nature activities from the American Heart Association to rejuvenate your mind. Click here for more stress management resources from AHA.
  • Chair Yoga: Stress Less, Breathe More Mindfully: Join Ashley McDuff Clarke for a gently chair yoga class to get into all of the places that we hold stress in our bodies. All you need is a seat, preferably without arms (below).

Week 2: Mindfulness

Resources for Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness Remote Session: EACC Director Tami Long will host an online mindfulness session via Zoom, Tuesday, April 14 at noon. Click here to register.
  • myStrength Mindfulness & Meditation Guide: There are many different ways to think about mindfulness and meditation. These categories will help you make the most of myStrength’s mindfulness and meditation activities.
  • Mindfulness Skills for Daily Life: Core concepts of mindfulness
  • Meditation to Boost Health and Wellbeing: Practicing mindfulness and meditation may help you manage stress and high blood pressure, sleep better, feel more balanced and connected, and even lower your risk of heart disease. Click here for more stress management resources from AHA.
  • Mindfulness and how the Brain Works: Learn about the brain and the importance of mindfulness meditation from Mind the Bump (below).

Week 3: Gratitude

Gratitude is perhaps the most powerful of human emotions. Benefits include improved physical health, greater happiness, better sleep, more self-esteem, stronger relationships, greater resilience, less anxiety, reduced symptoms of depression, and so much more. Taking five or ten minutes to practice one of the following gratitude exercises is enough to invoke a strong feeling of gratitude and reap the rewards of greater happiness, better sleep and so on. Below you’ll find seven science-based exercises that’ll help you feel more grateful on demand.

  1. Gratitude Journaling: If you want to try it for yourself, give yourself ten to fifteen minutes and simply write down people, places, objects, memories, or events you’re grateful for. The things you write down can range from the mundane (you got a lot of work done today, your husband cooked for you, or your flowers are finally in bloom) to the magnificent (your book getting published or your child’s first steps). There’s no wrong way to do this, but there are some guidelines that’ll help you get the most bang for your gratitude buck. Here are some tips to get the most out of your journaling:
    • Be as specific as possible
    • Look for unanticipated events for the gifts they bring
    • Focus on people and relationships
  2. The 'What Went Well' Exercise: At the end of your day, write down three things that went well and explain why. The items can vary from the mundane (your co-worker made coffee for you; your husband picked up a treat for you on the way home from work) to the extraordinary (you earned a promotion; your sister gave birth to a healthy baby). Next to each positive event, answer the question "why did this happen?" The key to making this practice as beneficial as possible is to take your time with it. Really reflect on those good things and feel the gratitude for them.
  3. Write a Gratitude Letter: Close your eyes. Call to mind someone still alive who did something or said something that changed your life for the better. Someone you never properly thanked; someone you could meet face-to-face next week; someone you may not have thought about or seen for a while; someone who isn’t always on your mind. Now write a letter of gratitude to this individual using the following pointers:
    • Address the person directly (“Hey __________.”).
    • Be concrete. What exactly did this person do for you? How did it affect your life? Why are you grateful for them?
    • Let the person know what you’re doing now and mention how you often remember what they did.
  4. Look to the Future: Choose an experience, event, activity or even a relationship. Let’s call it X. It’s one that may be ending soon. Maybe X is a job, or a class you’re taking, a team you’re part of, or even a place where you live. With only a little time left to spend doing this or being with X, it’s a chapter of your life that will end soon. Think about why you’re grateful for X.
  5. Mental Removal of Blessings: Do not dream of possession of what you do not have: rather reflect on the greatest blessings in what you do have, and on their account remind yourself how much they would have been missed if they were not there. This type of contemplation — imagining how things could’ve been different — is called counterfactual thinking, and it makes a big difference in how much gratitude we experience. This is all about perceiving and looking at the world in a certain way.
  6. Contemplate the world through the lens of 'Gifts': Focus for a moment on benefits or ‘gifts’ that you have received in your life. These gifts could be simple everyday pleasures, people in your life, personal strengths or talents, moments of natural beauty, or gestures of kindness from others. We might not normally think about these things as gifts, but that is how we want you to think about them. Take a moment to really savor or relish these ‘gifts,’ think about their value, and then write them down.
  7. Go on a Savoring Walk: In our daily lives, we don’t always notice or acknowledge the pleasant and positive things around us. We may be in a rush, distracted by other thoughts, or busy checking our phones. As a result, we miss opportunities for positive experiences and positive emotions — the building blocks of long-term happiness. Daily life offers countless little things to be grateful for — a morning cup of coffee, the sun shining, lilies blooming, birds tweeting, and so on. Unfortunately, we rarely take the time to notice and acknowledge these gifts, blessings, and wonders of life. Aim to indulge your senses on a walk, noticing the pleasant things around you.

Edited from njlifehacks.com


Resources for Gratitude

  • Art Projects for Gratitude:
    • Art Gratitude Journaling: Put things you are grateful for into images, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Use color, line, shape, form to create an image that represents something you are grateful for, adding words if desired.
    • Gratitude Mobile: Find a stick or hanger, wrap with yarn or pipe cleaner, add strings with beads representing different people, places, things you are grateful for. This abstract art piece can be a visual reminder to be grateful.
    • Gratefulness Wheel: Create an image within a circle and write what you are grateful for as spokes of the wheel.
  • The Amazing Effects of Gratitude Practicing gratitude can have a positive effect on both body and mind. This article details how to practice gratitude in your own life.

Week 4: Social Connections

Resources for Social Connections

Additional Stress Management Resources