The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Maintaining a work-life balance

We've all been there -- 80 hour work weeks become all too common when we add in time we spend at the lab, teaching, reading, and writing. The stress that graduate students feel can sometimes be overwhelming. However, it's important to establish boundaries and make sure you are scheduling in time to your days for YOU. Here are some resources to help you do that and to remind you of the importance that everyone needs to take a break.



Campus resources:



Online resources:




  • Establish expectations with your adviser about the use of your time and revisit as necessary
  • Establish and maintain work and non-work spaces
  • Schedule in time for personal wellness activities -- exercising, reading, or meditating
  • Plan work-free vacations for yourself, even if it's just a day off at home
  • Join a Penn State club or community organization that gets you out of the lab and doing something you like
  • Join or start an intramural sports team
  • Schedule a weekly coffee date, lunch, dinner, or something with friends and hold each other accountable to going