UMB COVID-19 Coping Kit

Launch Your Life can help get you through this crisis.

As UMB is taking precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, it also is important that we each take action to care for ourselves. 

The novel coronavirus outbreak has increased stress and anxiety in nearly every facet of our lives. We are going through uncharted waters and managing a life that has been totally upended, from learning new technology, practicing social distancing, or having to juggle telework with kids at home. How are you coping? How is your emotional health?  

We cannot predict how this is all going to pan out, but we can help you to stay calm and keep active. Launch Your Life work life and wellness programs will continue with remote program options. Check back often for future webinars and virtual programs.

Staying Calm and Managing Anxiety

As was summed up in an  article  published by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley: 

“One way is to use whatever tools you have at your disposal for keeping a cool head — like practicing mindfulness, which has been shown to both lessen  emotional reactivity  and help us make  better decisions. We might take a walk in the park or nearby woods and let  nature soothe  us. Or we could talk to a friend — a calm friend, that is — who can help us  reduce our anxiety. Of course, our normal ways of connecting socially — like singing together at a concert or going to large parties — may have to change. But whatever we can do to maintain an air of calm, and to spread it to those around us, the better. After all, our emotions tend to be  contagious  in our social circles, and we should do our best to keep fear and panic contained.” 

Tools for Resilience, Compassion, and Stress

Want to donate? Visit our gift support site to find out where financial support is needed. Want to post a volunteer (non-clinical) opportunity? Create an account and register your information on the partnership site.

Health Care Resources  to Help Manage Stress and Anxiety

  • Kaiser Permanente: Visit Kaiser Permanente for helpful  online resources  to understand and manage stress and anxiety.
  • CareFirst: Members can register for  video visits.
  • State of Maryland Wellness Program Resources
    • Secrets to a Calm Mind; Dealing with Stress During COVID-19; and more. Get the full webinar list.  
    • Optum Free Emotional Support Line (available to everyone and answered 24/7): 1-866-342-6892
    • Connect with your medical plan for support in managing stress and anxiety via telephone, email, and video visits: United HealthcareCareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Kaiser Permanente
    • The Happiness Lab (Yale University) Podcasts: Updated for coping with the stress of COVID-19
  • NEW! Maryland Department of Health 
    • MD Mind Health-"text-based mental health initiative to fight isolation and encourage mental wellness." 
    • Here2Health Hotline- Call 410-433-5175 if you are feeling overwhelmed, isolated or just need someone to talk to.

Tools to Help Maintain your Mental Health

 The following organizations have tools that can help specifically with stress, anxiety, and other important mental health issues:

  • CDC
  • National Council on Aging
  • Maryland Department of Health: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health
  • Department of Budget and Management-practical advice for teleworking with kids and tips on reducing anxiety
  • NAMI
  • United Way- free service for all Marylanders (a 24 hour a day helpline staffed by Mental Health Professionals/Social Workers) - who are there to help with everything from access to food pantries, eviction prevention, substance abuse, and behavioral health
  • AA-offers a 24/7 confidential helpline, as well as an extensive list of local AA meetings in every state
  • 211 Health Check-Provides phone support with a specialist trained in suicide prevention and mental health support.  Advocacy efforts led by Congressmen Jamie Raskin-- with his recent loss of his son to suicide-- a powerful new program takes effect July 1, 2021. Read more 



Online Support Forums

  • Daily Strength serves as an online forum for mental wellness and stress relief strategies. You can create a free membership on this website to access a wealth of valuable wellness and coping tools. 

Tools for Movement

  • Yoga: Free yoga classes without subscription
  • YouTube offers a wide variety of free yoga and meditation videos for beginners to advanced. Check out:   
  • URecFit Free Virtual Exercise Classes: URecFit is offering free exercise classes online open to the UMB community with or without membership.
  • Gyms 
    • LA Fitness members can access fitness classes online through their mobile app for FREE. Get your sweat on with an at-home workout!  
    • Check with your local gym for any free programs they may have for members. 
    • Five-Minute Full Body Stretch: Learn tips on flexibility and take a short break and stretch! 
    • Down Dog App:
  • Meditation  
    • The Mindful Movement YouTube channel: Discover guided meditations for inner peace and deep relaxation.
    • Calm App: Offering free resources for guided mediations, yoga classes, and other tools for reducing anxiety. The app offers several free guided meditations (and access to more with a two-week trial).
    • NEW! Aquarium Meditations
    • Free Meditations: Have a calm day with the Shine App!  
    • NEW!Nature Scopes-relax with views of nature and music.

Tools for Parents

Learn ways to manage having your work and family all in one place. 

You are not alone in this time of isolation. 

Visit the NEW CAREGIVING WEBPAGE! This section is dedicated to new parents of newborns and "new" parents with other aged-children, and school-aged children from Pre-k to high school. 

Page includes:

Back to school Resources,

Free Tutoring

Financial Assistance

How to support your elderly loved ones

and more!


Resources for Grieving and Other Tips for Managing Emotional Stress

  • Tip No. 1: Limit news sources and social media outlets. Find reputable sources and use on an occasional basis. 
  • Tip No. 2: Faculty, staff, and postdocs can contact the  Employee Assistance Program  at 855-410-7628. All scheduled sessions are being held virtually. Grief counseling is available for emotional support. Students can contact the Student Counseling Center for simliar resources.
  • Tip No. 3: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Distress Helpline (related to any natural or human-caused disaster) is accessible 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990 or via text (send TALKWITHUS to 66746; press 2 for Spanish). 
  • Tip No. 4: Workplace Mediation Service is open at this time. Call 410-706-4270 or email them to resolve a difficult situation.

Reliable News Sources