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Postdoc Wellness

Postdoctoral training is an exciting and challenging period for early career scientists. During this extremely exciting - but stressful - time it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. Wellness encompasses many different aspects of life and the more you can incorporate wellness into your daily life, the happier and more productive you will be. 

Postdoctoral Wellness was our target initiative for the 2018-2019 year. We took that opportunity to compile a list of resources for what we consider to be three of the primary aspects of wellness - physical, mental, and financial - which you can find below.

 Physical Wellness

As the old adage goes, “a sound body equals a sound mind”. Whether it’s a weekend hike, an early morning spin class, incorporating walking meetings into your day, or simply standing up to stretch and move once an hour, physical activity is an essential part of wellness.

Fitness Centers
  • The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is conveniently located on the CU Anschutz Campus and the PDA has negotiated a discounted rate for postdocs at $35/month. Membership includes access to gym, pool, and group classes.
  • A variety of gyms​ also offer discounts to University employees, including 24 Hour Fitness, the YMCA, and Core Power Yoga.
Postdoc Association Summer Hikes
Join the PDA for our monthly summer hike series, which is every second Saturday June through October. This is a great way to meet more postdocs, explore Colorado, and get some physical activity. Check the PDA's Social Events​ page for more information.

Be Colorado Move Program
Get paid to excercise!! Be Colorado is an incentive program through the CU Health Plan to encourage physical activity. 
Sign up and then download the app (which can connect to fitness trackers such as Fitbit or Apple Watch). Every month that you log at least 30 minutes of activity for at least 12 days you'll receive $25. It's basically free money every month!

 Mental Wellness

Mental wellness deserves explicit attention and should be part of your overall wellness plan. Whether it is formal counseling services, stress management, or just needing to talk with someone, everyone needs support from time-to-time. Make your mental wellness a priority and give it the attention it deserves.

In an emergency, call 911 or visit the Emergency Departments at the University of Colorado Hospital or Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Mental Health Resources
  • Our insurance plans offer access to on-campus and off-campus netwokrs, such as the UCHealth Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic and the Colorado Depression Center. Contact your provider for more details regarding what is available to you.
  • The CU Anschutz Ombuds Office provides confidential support for business-related concerns and conflict mediation.
  • The Phoenix Center at Anschutz (PCA) provides free and confidential advocacy to survivors of interpersonal violance and their families and friends
  • The Real Help Hotline gives you access to professional counselors who can offer assitance finding local resources or provide immediate crisis counseling. It's a free and confidentiral service and it's available 24/7. Call 833-533-CHAT (833-533-2428).

Community Connections and Activities
  • The Postdoc to Postdoc Peer Support Group provides postdoc-only gatherings where you can chat with other postdocs dealing with similar challenges in a safe space. Come and share your tips and experience, or just get frustrations off your chest!
  • Many groups on campus, such as Women in Stem​, hold yoga and meditation workshops to help with both physical and mental wellness to facilitate the ever important mind-body connection. Check our calendar​ and follow us on social media (@denverpostdocs, to stay up to date on upcoming events.


 Financial Wellness

The third pillar of wellness is making sure you are comfortable in your financial situation - both now and in the future. It can be difficult to feel that stability with a relatively meager postdoc salary, but here are some resources that may help:

Know your worth!
  • ​Glassdoor and Payscale allow you to compare your salary to other professionals in comparable positions to determine if you are currently adequately compensated and to help with salary negotiation when you are on the job market.
  • The Future of Research​ website is collecting data on postdoc salaries across the country to determine what the salary landscape actually looks like. They have published their results on their website, so you can determine where your salary falls within the spectrum. If you are currently a postdoc feel free to report your salary and contribute to this important survey.
Retirement Accounts 
Did you know that the University covers the annual fee for your retirement account at TIAA? Although postdocs are not eligibile for matched retirement contributions, you should still take advantage of university retirement plans (e.g., 403(b), 401(k), 457) and services. 

Financial Assistance
The PDA is unable to provide specific financial advice. However, individual financial consulting and more information regarding benefits and financial wellness can be found on the Employee Services website. ​

Looking for some discounts? Check out the University Employee discounts here, here, and here!


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