Grad Student Well-Being at UConn

Have you ever felt over-stressed and under-rested in graduate school?

stress management

Due to the many academic and career stressors in graduate school, many graduate students find it difficult (and nearly impossible) to maintain a sense of mental and emotional well-being. Additionally, sleep, exercise and healthy eating are often compromised to fulfill other requirements of advisors, GA’s, and other academic work. Over time, we find that our vitality is fading, our backs are hurting from sitting all day, our thoughts are out of control and we feel exhausted. We realize that something about that system is not working for us.

Maintaining emotional, physical, AND spiritual well-being is imperative in order to achieve the highest potential in research and life. People who have a greater sense of well-being are more productive, creative, and able to achieve their long term goals.

Therefore  the Graduate Initiative Fellows have developed a 5 week workshop series on the “5 Habits of Healthy and Successful Graduate Students”

Habits of Healthy Grad Students Curriculum:

          ~ Finding Your Purpose

          ~ Relax the mind with mindfulness

          ~ Self Care Fair

          ~ Eating to Sustain the Brain

          ~ Exercising

You are welcome to take part in one OR ALL of the the workshops! Please RSVP for the topics you are interested in below.  Space is limited, so RSVP to reserve your spot today!

See more specific descriptions below.

This is the beginning of a longer term effort to provide wellness support for grad students. And to that end- If you haven't yet taken the UConn Grad Well-being assessment, please (click here) and take the 15 minutes to help us reveal the truth about health and wellbeing among graduate students at UConn!

For more information you can contact melissa depaolo at melissa.depaolo@uconn.edu. Or call 203-314-2588.

Week 1

Reconnecting You to Your "WHY" - Finding Your Purpose


Do you ever find yourself wondering “Why am I here?” “Why am I even in this graduate program?” or “Is it worth it anymore?” YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Often in graduate school, the higher purpose that brought us here can get buried underneath the stresses of to-do lists and tasks. How often do we realize we've worked ourselves to the bone meeting back-to-back deadlines, while forgetting the things that give us drive, energy and enthusiasm?

Research suggests that having a sense of purpose influences one's health and wellness. It has been shown to help people overcome struggles with addiction, depression and anxiety. And more recent findings show that having a purpose in life may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease and contribute to a longer life. For graduate students, a sense of purpose can mean the difference between losing our motivation along the way and successfully completing our degree.

The goal of this workshop is to help you reconnect to your higher purpose. We'll help you articulate this purpose in a mission statement that guides your work toward your graduate degree within the context of your life as a whole.

Date: Friday, February 17th

Times: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Location: Alumni Center, Board Room

RSVP: This Session is Full

Additional Info: Contact melissa.depaolo@uconn.edu for more information

Week 2

Renewing the Mind with Mindfulness Meditation


Have you ever felt anxious or stuck in a pattern of negative thinking? As grad students we have many responsibilities to manage. Often we reach our stress threshold when we can’t manage any more social, emotional, or academic pressure. Join this mindfulness workshop for a FREE guided meditation. You will walk away with a sense of tranquility, feeling of connection to your fellow peers and practical tools and resources you can incorporate into a daily mindfulness practice.

Date: Thursday March 2nd

Times: 7:00-8:30pm

Location: Student Union (Room TBA)

RSVP: RSVP Here

Additional Info: Contact melissa.depaolo@uconn.edu for more information

Week 3

Self Care


As students, teachers, advisees, employees, mentors, parents, and siblings, we tend to give out to others with little to give to ourselves at the end of the day. Forgetting our own self care can leave us burnt out ! In this workshop we will practice multiple modalities to practice self care and make a self care plan to finish the semester with vitality and self love. Remember, one of the best gifts you can give to others is YOU showing up in your full true and healthy self.

Date: April 6th

Times: 3:00-5:00pm

Location: Grad Student Lounge (Student Union 110)

RSVP: Everyone Welcome (Space and food first come first serve)

Additional Info: Contact melissa.depaolo@uconn.edu for more information

Week 4

Exercise for Energy


Do you ever find yourself feeling fatigued, lonely, or like you can’t get yourself going?? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Come see how movement can bring LIFE back into your body mind and spirit during this special Energizing for Exercise class for grad students. 

(Students with any level of fitness can participate in this workout, no equipment needed. Please contact Melissa DePaolo with any physical concerns)

Date:  April 17

Times: 10:00am

Location: Hawley Armory Gym

RSVP: RSVP Here

Additional Info: Contact melissa.depaolo@uconn.edu for more information

Week 5

Eating for Energy


The food we eat directly effects our moods, our energy levels, and our brain capacity! We need to be putting LIFE into our body so our brains and bodies have the right fuel to create, produce and THRIVE in our graduate schooling!

Attend our 4th workshop to practice ways to EAT FOR ENERGY! (Hint: it is not always about WHAT you eat).

Healthy Beverages and Refreshments and Socializing!

Date: April 19th

Times: 7:00-8:00pm

Location: SU Room 416

RSVP: RSVP Here 

Additional Info: Contact melissa.depaolo@uconn.edu for more information