Life as a graduate student can be one of the most exciting and enriching times of a person's education and training. It can also be a time of stressful challenges requiring careful navigation of the hurdles and "ups and downs" that are part of science, and of one's personal experience and growth.
What contributes toward Health? What does Wellness mean?
Health includes, but also goes way beyond the physical state; and well-being is a result of the many aspects of self being supported, nourished and in balance with each other to contribute to the totality of who you are as a person:
Intellectual Are you learning and excited by the scientific challenges you encounter? Do you know where and how to access the resources of knowledge, experience and assistance you may need to help grow your own intellectual foundation, and developing confidence in your ability to generate ideas and creatively think through obstacles? Are you able to focus and be disciplined when you need and want?
Emotional Do you allow room in your life for joy? Can you recognize when stressful circumstances are becoming overwhelming and you need to take a break, ask for help, reach out? Are you in touch with your reserves of strength, compassion, flexibility and resilience? Can you let yourself make "mistakes" and move on, deepen and grow from the experience? Do you have relationships that help fulfill and sustain you?
Physical Do you allow time for physical exercise? Do you practice mindful eating habits? Do you have an established primary care physician and access to any other needed health care provider or support system? Are you getting enough rest?
Spiritual Do you engage in activities and pursuits that bring a sense of meaning and purpose to your life? Are you able to tap into a broader perspective that allows you to rise above and see day-to-day issues from a higher vantage point? Do you allow yourself moments to enjoy nature, find your sense of wonder, and just "be"?
Recent times have been particularly difficult for many, and uncertainty, fear, anger and despair can sometimes be overwhelming. During these times, we want to remind students of the many resources and opportunities available of which to partake to help maintain balance and perspective when these might feel hard to come by.
The Help at Harvard Page is a central resource of services offering help at Harvard, with a focus on the physical and mental well-being of Harvard University students, and includes information and links to:
Harvard University Health Services; Urgent Care; Counseling & Mental Health Support; Alcohol & Other Drug Services; The Center for Wellness; The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response; Harvard Chaplains; Harvard MessageMe Service; Harvard University Police Department (HUPD); Student Disability Coordinators; FAS Accessible Education Office; University Ombudsman; Transportation Assistance: HU Campus Escort Program (HUCEP); M2 Cambridge-Longwood Shuttle; Campus Evening Van Service; Campus Daytime Van Service
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Harvard Student Life Resources Page includes information and links for:
Academic Resources; Career Resources; Dissertation Resources; Diversity Resources; Enrollment Resources; Family Resources; Financial Resources; International Student Resources; Research Resources; Safety Resources; Support Resources; Teaching Resources; and Transportation Resources
HUHS Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) offers a weekly workshop: Grieving Together for those struggling with the grief over the loss of a parent/ relative, friend, colleague or a similar type of loss. This could be a death for any reason be it a chronic condition, COVID, suicide or any other cause. This may be a recent loss or an old loss that is affecting the student at this time.
Seeking to broaden your community? Learn a new skill? Take a break from the bench? Harvard GSAS Engage is a great place to look for Graduate Student Groups, Specialized Events and Workshops, Athletics, Outings, Language Tables, Arts and Musical Offerings, Social Opportunities and more!
The Program in Graduate Education (PGE), initiated at Harvard Medical School, has created the Career & Professional Development Navigator site as a one-stop guide and repository for graduate students interested in interpersonal skills development, wellness and safety, academic and professional development workshops, resources, job postings and career exploration assistance.