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  • Staying Creative During Quarantine

    Staying creative during quarantine can be challenging. New work conditions with more, or less, distractions and commitments, fewer in person arts and entertainment opportunities in your community, and an atmosphere of stress and uncertainty can all negatively affect creativity. In this interview, Nic Morse, Digital Media Specialist (and our in house illustrator!) checks in with Vincent Carlson, a PhD student in Theatre at Illinois to chat about what creativity and engagement with the arts looks like for him during COVID-19.

  • Radical Healing / Collective Thriving

    Getting work done looks very different today than it did at the beginning of the Spring semester. For Amir Maghsoodi, PhD student in Educational Psychology, the shift from in-person, clinical counseling training has offered time to deepen his social justice work with the Radical Healing Collective, a group of psychology scholars who work in issues of culture, ethnicity, and race. 

  • Staying Active while Sheltering at Home

    Many of us grew up with a very rigid conception of ‘exercise’ that involves participation in a ‘formal’ exercise program, or joining a gym or fitness club, this kind of exercise almost always involves wearing special clothes, traveling to an exercise facility, and finding time in a busy schedule to fit it all in. There are countless enjoyable and creative ways to build physical activity into a daily routine, even during the cornavirus.

  • Coping with Compassion Fatigue

    Dr. Tara Powell's recent Zoom workshop on "Self-care, Preventing Burnout and Compassion Fatigue" struck a chord with over 1000 people in the university community, maxing out the potential registrants for a Zoom meeting. That's not surprising during these strange times when many people are doubling down on efforts to check-in (virtually or in-person) on friends and family members who are struggling. Powell offers some tips for those in caregiver roles during the COVID19 pandemic, but they are applicable in our everyday lives as well. 

  • Wired to Connect

    As human beings, we are wired to connect in real life. Communicating with others calms our nervous systems and assures us that we are not alone in the world. We are, after all, social creatures. So how are we supposed to find meaningful connections while social distancing? 

  • Grad School 101: Sustainability and the Productive Life

    A critical aspect of our work in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is encouraging a sustainable student experience. In this post, Daniel Wong talks about how we think of sustainability, especially in relation to the concept of productivity, and how you can maximize your effectiveness while finding balance and purpose in your work.

  • A Month in Wellness with Katherine Hatcher

    Katherine Hatcher founded her blog and Instagram account, "Grad Self-Care" in October 2018 as a way to share her story about health and wellness in graduate school. Through it, she connected with countless other graduate students from around the country who are working to find their own meaning of work-life balance. In this post, Katherine shares with us her monthly wellness routine and tips for setting up and sticking to your own. 

  • Feel Like You're Drowning? The Counseling Center Can Help

    I’ve tried to start this blog post a dozen times, but every time, I get bogged down in the introduction. The thing is, for a lot of reasons and for a lot of people, it can be hard to talk about mental health. And that’s a problem because mental health is vital to our overall health and well-being as graduate students and people. But not talking about mental health can be incredibly isolating. This is especially the case when you are a graduate student experiencing severe anxiety, depression, or suicide ideation. It’s easy to feel like you are alone and no one is going to be able to understand what you are going through or be able to help you through to the other side.

    Let me start by saying, unequivocally, you are not alone. I know this because I’ve been there. With a lot of support and encouragement in the last year, I found helpful, supportive faces at the Counseling Center and at McKinley Health Center. These are just two of the resources available to you as a graduate student at Illinois, and for a lot of students, they are a good first step in the path to addressing and managing mental health problems and coping with the stress of life.

  • Grad School 101: Building Community in Graduate School

    By starting a graduate program at the University of Illinois, you have joined a large, vibrant community of people committed to exploring and understanding the world. You’re surrounded every day by tens of thousands of fascinating, dedicated, and creative people.

    Within such a large and dynamic community, though, it can sometimes be challenging to connect with others. You may be wondering how to find those connections and build relationships with people around you. Good news, though: everyone else is wondering the same thing.

  • Thesis Summer Reading List

    No matter if you’re studying for exams or working on your thesis, chances are your summer reading list is full of books and articles that pertain to your research area. But why not mix things up a little by adding a few to help with your writing and research skills?

    Emily asked several campus experts to recommend books that could help students who are working on their theses. Their suggestions range in topic from strengthening your writing and research skills to conquering productivity to finding relaxation. Check out their suggestions!

  • Putting the Break Back into Winter Break: Managing Work and Play During Winter Break

    Semester breaks are the perfect time for some relaxation, spending time with friends and family, and filling up on delicious holiday snacks. But for graduate students working on their theses, winter breaks also mean ample time to get some research and writing done. During my seven-year career as a graduate student, I’ve spent plenty of time trying to achieve the best of both worlds. Though balancing data analysis and cookie baking can be difficult, below are a few tips to help you maximize your research time, and still have fun during the holiday season.

  • Takeaways from the Wellness Fair for Graduate Students

    We’re in the home stretch of the Fall semester and winter break is tantalizing close, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before the last exam is submitted. On Wednesday, November 9, The Graduate College hosted the first Graduate Student Wellness Fair to help graduate students take control of their health and wellness for the rest of the semester and beyond. The Wellness Fair featured dedicated staff and students from across the university representing the many resources that our campus has to offer for practicing self-care, work-life balance, campus safety, and stress management, to name a few.

    As a graduate student, it is important to remember that if we do not practice adequate self-care, we are at higher risk of burning out (which isn’t good for anyone, including the precious research we work so hard on). For those students who did not attend the Wellness Fair, here are some highlights of campus resources that will put you in tip top shape faster than you can say winter break.