The rapid changes in the way we work since the start of the pandemic, having to quickly adapt to changing situations, and the perceived pressures to now ‘catch up’ can feel unrelenting. These changes have highlighted the importance of taking a break, slowing down, and recharging so that we are able to face new challenges.
While the transition back to our usual work routines can be difficult, it might also act as a good opportunity to reflect on any positive changes we have made to how we work, and how we might maintain these benefits in the future. We hope the resources here help support this.
For more information and resources on looking after your general wellbeing, visit the 'Looking after yourself' page.
[Page last updated 09 June 2021]
Professor Philippa Saunders is Professor of Reproductive Steroids at the University of Edinburgh, and a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences' Council.
In this video she talks about stress, coping with lockdown, missing family, uncertainty, and lack of control. She emphasises the importance of work-life separation and keeping in touch with colleagues, and how to build routines around exercise and things that give you pleasure. She also talks about the opportunities for talking with teams about their own work-life balance and a chance to talk honestly about career goals.
Professor Geraint Rees, Dean of Life Sciences at University College London, delivers a keynote lecture launching the #MedSciLife project about why a life outside science is not an extra, but an integral part of who we are as researchers.
#MedSciLife brings together personal stories of those working in medical and health research to promote different working practices and explore how passions and achievements outside work can influence careers. Read more about Geraint's #MedSciLife.
Even throughout the pandemic, it's still important to take time off from work and recharge your batteries. As part of our #MedSciLife campaign, our researchers share why holidays are so important to them.
'Flexible working: creating a culture of good work-life balance'. Stempra recently examined work-life balance for people working in communications through a discussion hosted by the Academy. Melanie, a Communications Officer at the Academy, provides an overview of the advice and tips from the event about how to ask for and manage flexible working.
"Building a meditation routine for a more productive, creative and happier scientific life". In this Nature article, Ana Pineda reflects on how mindfulness has helped her to juggle the demands of academic research in a foreign country alongside parenting responsibilities.
Mind have prepared a useful guide to managing stress, including information on defining and recognising it, developing resilience and looking to friends and family for help. You can also have a look at the other resources Mind made available, providing information and support on a range of topics. These can be a useful support our transition back into our usual daily routines.
The video below from Babylon Health covers practical advice to help you to look after your mind during this time. The video includes simple, practical steps such as mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises, and is applicable to everyone. It also has advice on how to avoid being “overloaded” with news, and decompressing before bed.
This article from Patient covers some underlying reasons you may be experiencing burnout. It also offers advice on maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and practical guidance on self-care.
Voices of Academia aims to help improve mental health in academia by giving academics a voice. Blogs are published weekly, and are authored by a range of academics, ranging from undergraduates through to senior researchers. It aims to lower the stigma sometimes associated with mental health issues, and to help academics of all levels in starting the conversation about mental health.
Women's College Hospital psychiatrist Dr Dana Ross and psychological associate Dr Tessa Colthoff created a helpful video sharing ten coping tips and self-care strategies for healthcare workers. Although this video focuses on healthcare workers, many of the self-care tips discussed will be useful to a wider group of people.
"Take burnout seriously: what you can do to prevent it during the Covid-19 crisis". This article from Hays UK is applicable to people in a variety of different jobs. It focuses on eight different ways to stop yourself from becoming overworked during lockdown, with an emphasis on prioritising your workload and taking time for yourself.
Korn Ferry have published an article which aims to help you in practical ways to manage stress and burnout. It discusses pragmatic steps you can take, such as scheduling techniques.
Dr Zoë Ayres is a mental health advocate and creates posters to raise awareness of issues people face in academia, shared on her Twitter account. Here are a few examples of some of the posters she has created: