Work-life balance during a pandemic: how current RSEC students are managing health, wellness and productivity

Contributors: Smruthi Ramachandran – MSc Student & Kohle Merry – PhD Student

COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone but trying to balance the demands of graduate school certainly creates its own unique difficulties. From students who have been in the rehabilitation sciences program for years, to those who have just recently started, it is important to find ways to meet peers, stay connected and support our mental health and wellness. We share some tips for ways in which our current students are coping with these unique times.

Health & Wellness

  • Prioritize health & wellness; exercise daily, eat well. School performance often improves if you feel good
  • Sleep! Wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. Bedtime can be variable, but maintaining a consistent morning routine is a great way to set yourself up for success
  • Block off “me-time” for relaxation, socializing, etc
    • Ex. No work after 8pm; no work on Saturdays


  • Find a form of organization that works for you; they’re only useful if you actually use it. 
    • Don’t get trapped in the idea that you need to use a certain form because it may be widely used by peers/colleagues/mentors, use what works for you
    • Examples: Physical (journaling, log-book, post-it notes, lists, calendar) or Digital (notetaking/listing softwares like google keep or microsoft onenote, online calendars, etc.)
  • Recognize that you cannot feasibly work all the time. Take some time either daily or on the weekend to go shopping, enjoy personal time, clean, etc. Don’t feel guilty for not working if you’re being productive in other ways.
  • Have an ongoing to-do list
  • Plan your week in advance (use Google Calendar, etc)

Staying Connected

  • Surround yourself with a support system that works for you. Could be friends, family, pets, mentors, etc. We all need outlets especially during COVID, and finding an ideal way to share how you’re feeling with others can help.

  • Ask for help if you need it. Not always easy, but important.

  • Student clubs, rec sports teams, RSEC are all great ways of meeting new people.

Want to contribute to the blog?

Are you a UBC Rehabilitation Sciences graduate student? Are you interested in developing your writing skills? Do you have a story you’d like to share? We are always looking for student writers! Send us a message below!

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