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As we head into an especially challenging week, we want to echo President Ana Mari Cauce’s message highlighting the stress, anxiety and feeling of uncertainty many of us are experiencing amidst the stressors in our world amplified by tomorrow’s election. The University has compiled lists of election resources and campus programming for students, faculty, staff and our broader community audience. As a community, let’s aim to respect each other’s need for space, flexibility and grace during this time.

Within UW Medicine, we will offer the following programming for our community this week:

  • Race Based Caucuses Wednesday, Nov. 4 offered by the Office of Healthcare Equity:
  • Virtual community spaces focused on coping with uncertainty, stress and anxiety facilitated by Anne and members of our Well-Being Committee.
    • Thursday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m.-noon: Zoom or call-in (Meeting ID: 966 6153 1239).
    • Friday, Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Zoom or call-in (Meeting ID: 970 8396 6334).
  • Thirty-minute mindful walk with colleagues (masks and physical distancing required) on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m.
    • UW Medical Center – Montlake — led by Dr. Molly Jackson. Gather on the patio outside the cafeteria.
    • UW Medical Center – Northwest — led by Kathy Heffernan. Gather by the fountain outside the Starbucks.

Here are some broader resource highlights:

  • CareLink: Election Stress Resource Guide which includes tips about how to manage politics, media and stress, understanding criticism and cyberbullying, how to create a self-care plan, and more. If you prefer to watch instead of read, view our on-demand webinar: Healthy Media Consumption as Election Day Approaches.
  • Professional and Organizational Development: Office Hours for Leaders: Election stress is real, and at this moment in time leaders are managing unprecedented levels of anxiety and distress among their teams. Join on Monday, Nov. 9 (2-3 p.m.) with discussion on moving your team forward and helping people become “unstuck.”
  • Whole U: 2020 Election Support Series – Daily Reminders to Practice Resilience: Participants will receive an e-mail from The Whole U every week day through Friday, Nov. 13 that includes concrete, 5-15 minute action steps to support resilience, compassion for others and self-care.
  • Whole U: 14 Day Election Stress Mediation: Find relaxation and build resilience this election season through practicing mindfulness. Join Catherine Bachy and Jeff Leinaweaver for a 10-minute guided meditation session at noon daily through Nov. 6. This meditation session will have you calm, focused and empowered for the rest of the day.
  • As we move into November, set a positive path forward by registering for the Whole U’s Wellness Week.

If you can take a step back from the media and allow yourself a chance to shift your focus, here are Anne and Trish’s top three recommendations each:

Regardless of how engaged you normally are in politics, or where you lay on the political spectrum, the ambient stress in our community is felt by all of us and serves as a reminder that we are all connected. Check in with yourself and those around you as we move through this week.

With gratitude,

Anne Browning, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Well-Being, UW School of Medicine
Founding Director, UW Resilience Lab
Affiliate Assistant Professor, UW College of Education

Patricia Kritek, MD, Ed.M.
Associate Dean – Faculty Affairs
Professor – Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine