Stay Well This Summer

By Jason Chou |

Whew! The academic year with all of its pressures and deadlines is coming to a close. The end of Spring quarter is around the corner, and we at GradSuccess want you to relax and recharge as often as you can over the summer. For those who expect to be busy with work, family, and personal responsibilities, we especially encourage you to actively carve time in your schedule to focus on you.


[Image description: Ryan Shen (Jon Prasida) saying “Let’s focus on you” to a young lady sitting in an examination room.]

Pictured: Remember to prioritize… you!


We understand that there is much you want to accomplish, just as there was much you needed to accomplish before you could be considered for admission to your graduate program here at UCR. (In case you missed it, UCR is one of the newest members of the very distinguished AAU. Congratulations UCR!). You got into graduate school by being productive and we want you to continue being productive, but not at the risk of negatively affecting your mental and physical wellbeing.

That is why, in addition to supporting and encouraging academic success and professional development, GradSuccess in partnership with other campus departments promotes the wellbeing of UCR graduate students. If you are on campus during the summer, join us at our weekly Coffee Social (Jul 12th – Aug 30th, every Wed, 3pm-4pm in the Physics Courtyard) and Stress Relief Fair (Tues, Aug 1st, 3pm-5pm in the Physics Courtyard). Our office in UOB 141 will also be open during the summer, so visit us when you have a chance and enjoy some coffee and snacks.


[Image description: A steaming cup of coffee on a table in front of a couch.]

Pictured: Join us for some coffee at GradSuccess!


Whether you’re around campus or not, we hope you focus on your mental and physical health. It doesn’t mean you need to devote hours on end meditating or working out. The key is to do a little bit of something everyday that relaxes and recharges you, and you only need a few minutes a day. Having a few focused minutes during which you attend to your mental and physical wellbeing can be life changing… for the better! Just do your best to spend a few minutes daily focusing on maintaining a healthy mind and a healthy body. Here are some ideas you can do at home:


5-Minute HIIT Exercises

There are many short HIIT videos that you can work out to. If you’re a beginner, try one of the standing exercises. There are more advanced sets of HIIT exercises, too, but look for the ones that are 3 to 6 minutes long. You can do them in the morning before you begin your day or in the evening if that’s when you have more time. You can even do them once in the morning and once in the evening!


Play an Instrument

If you play a musical instrument or want to learn how to play one, spend a few minutes a day with it. Tapping at the keys of a piano, plucking or strumming the strings of a guitar, or (if you’re neighbors don’t mind) drumming away on a cajon, a djembe, or a set of bongos can help you take your mind off of work. You’ll also find yourself becoming quite good at the instrument by the time summer ends.


Listen to an Audio Book

There are both free and paid options for audio books, and you will likely find something that interests you. Whether it’s an older or more modern work, find a comfy chair in a quiet place, close your eyes, and listen to someone telling you a story for a few minutes.


Now that the year is over, whether it’s your first or your final one, use the coming summer months to rest after a job well done AND refresh your mind and body. Give yourself time to do things that make you happy and keep you healthy. In the long run, you’ll be all the better for having done it. So, surround yourself with good friends and family, enjoy nature, and continue building a habit of prioritizing your mental and physical wellbeing, even at the risk of losing a bit of productivity.