REFLECT: Stress and overwork

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.

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