Balancing Life as a Graduate Student and a Teaching Assistant

Graduate students have many roles and responsibilities both at UC and outside of UC. There are several strategies you can use to manage your work and your time to prevent an unhealthy level of stress and burnout. At UC, there are also several wellness resources you can take advantage of during your time here.

Strategies for preventing burnout

  • Take breaks
  • Do something not tied to work (e.g., exercise, spend time outdoors, listen to music)
  • Set boundaries
  • Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment
  • Do your best in each moment

Time management strategies

  • Make a to-do list and prioritize items
  • Prioritize using a management matrix (urgent or not urgent, important or not important)
  • Use a 1-3-5 list to prioritize daily tasks
  • Schedule your day including breaks
  • Use the Pomodoro method for focused work
  • Learn how to say no 
  • Minimize distractions
  • Focus on a single task rather than multitasking

UC resources

Counseling and Psychological Services - Students and members of the UC community concerned about students have access to mental health crisis care and consultation 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Our after-hours crisis services provide care 24/7 while we are closed for in-person services. You may call our direct number at 513-556-0648 and press 1, to speak with a counselor. CAPS Student Resources

Therapy Assistance Online is a great, FREE resource to help you proactively focus on wellness! Mental Health support and resources are available anytime you need them. Create an account today using your university email address. You can access TAO through the web or Android or iOS apps.

Student Wellness Center - The Student Wellness Center empowers students to make informed decisions regarding their health and wellness by providing evidence-based education, inclusive resources, and non-judgmental support. We offer an extensive collection of resources and information about various health and wellness topics.

Emotional Wellness & Mental Health Resources - Includes links to additional UC resources and off campus resources.

Additional resources  

Beating Pandemic Burnout Pope-Ruark, R. (2020, April 28). Inside Higher Ed.

Hyun J, Quinn B, Madon T and Lustig S. Graduate Student Mental Health: Needs Assessment and Utilization of Counseling Services (2006).

MacKenzie A. (1990). The Time Trap (3rd ed). New York: American Management Association. 

Rapoliene L, Razbadauskas A and JurgelÄ—nas A. The Reduction of Distress Using Therapeutic Geothermal Water Procedures in a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial (2015).