Wellness Resources – Staying Healthy as a Researcher

For any questions or requests on further wellness resources, please fill out this survey or contact the GRACE Wellness Chair.

Emotional and Mental Wellness

The psychological challenges of graduate school are extremely well-documented. Graduate students tend to have higher rates of anxiety and depression than the average person in the United States. This instability arises from high stress levels, feelings of listlessness and uncertainty, and often lack of sleep. Some of the resources here are available to UF students to help combat mental health issues. Please also see the GAU’s list of mental health resources.

  • UF Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC): All UF students are eligible for counseling services at UF – all included in your tuition. The CWC offers individual and group counseling for mental health issues, as well as services to help combat and educate students about addiction. They serve as a good first resource for students in need.
  • TalkSpace: If you’re enrolled in Gator Grad Care (all Ph.D. students should be), you have free access to Talkspace. Talkspace is a text message therapy app that connects you to a therapist on your phone. If you can’t meet with someone in person at the CWC, this might be a good alternative.
  • Youper: A free app whose purpose is to help you work through any mental health challenges you’re facing using AI. Talkspace is almost undoubtedly better, because you are connected to a real person with therapy credentials, but this is another option that provides a small amount of support for those in need.
  • Wellness Coaching: Free wellness coaching program for UF students that can help create an individual action plan in the following areas: time management, stress management, sleep habits, study and test taking skills .
  • Wellness Library: Free webinars and podcasts that discuss various health topics from UF Health.
  • Self-care: UF student activities and involvement.
    • Gator Nights and Gator Days – free social events on campus and throughout the state. Follow the Gator Days and Gator Nights social media for more information.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness workshops and consultations.
  • Chemical Engineering Community: If you’re struggling with graduate school, please reach out to GRACE officers, a friend in the Chemical Engineering community, or the department’s graduate coordinator (who can also point you to additional resources). Remember, you are not alone!

Cultural and Spiritual Wellness

  • ASPIREA Student Program for Inclusiveness and Retention in Education: Supporting organization for underrepresented groups (African American/Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, First Generation, International, etc.) at UF.
  • UF Campus Multi-Faith Cooperative: The Campus Multi-faith Cooperative (CMC) seeks to inform students at the University of Florida about spiritual resources available to them in their college experience.

Physical Wellness

  • The Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry: The Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry is a resource on the University of Florida campus committed to ensuring that everyone has reliable access to nutritious foods. If you or anyone you know is experiencing food insecurity, the Pantry is a resource to visit. They offer non-perishable food, toiletries and fresh vegetables grown at the Field and Fork Gardens to provide a well-balanced diet. Food is provided no-questions-asked to anyone with a valid Gator 1 ID. 

Managing Distractions

If to-do lists, the Pomodoro technique, and willpower aren’t enough to keep you from opening Reddit while powering through writing papers, these apps might help you stay on track and minimize distraction.

  • Self-Control (Mac): Self-Control can block websites you input (blacklist) or block all but a few websites that you need (whitelist) for up to 24 hours. It’s extremely simple, but remarkably useful.
  • Cold Turkey: Cold Turkey is an alternative to Self-Control that works on both Windows and Mac. With Cold Turkey, you can create multiple lists of websites you might want to block at certain times. It can also block sites for longer periods of time than Self-Control, which is nice.
  • RescueTime: RescueTime tracks where you spend your time while you’re on your computer (it’s a little creepy, but it’s also kind of cool). You can set certain applications and websites as distractions or productive tools, and RT will give you a productivity score every day for the work you’ve done. It’s a nice way to quantify your digital activity, especially if you couple it with Habitica to make long-term productivity habits.
  • FocusMe: Similar to Cold Turkey and Self-Control, but it also includes the Pomodoro technique as an added bonus. Unfortunately, it is not free.