A UC Davis Graduate Student Blog

Category: scientist_2.0_wellness

You Don’t Have to Be a Monk to Meditate

Anxiety, depression, insomnia — we all experience stress in one form or another and often on a daily basis. Most of us would like to think we’d do anything to diminish these hurdles to happiness, though it’s likely you’ve heard much praise for meditation yet never committed to giving the practice a proper go.

Perhaps you feel meditation is more effort than it’s worth, or that you’ll never master the skill because your mind is the kind that never rests. However, meditation is not meant to be complicated, nor does it have to be time consuming.

In her Nature Career Column article titled Building a meditation routine for a more productive, creative and happier scientific life, Ana Pineda, PhD shows us how simple meditation can be, offering four easy tips to begin practicing mindfulness meditation routinely in a way that’s achievable for everyone.

Scientists like Dr. Pineda are part of the growing number of individuals discovering mindfulness meditation as a free and uncomplicated way of alleviating stress and boosting productivity, focus, and creativity. If you haven’t tried mindful meditation yet or gave up too quickly on it once before, perhaps it’s time to give the practice an honest shot.

Stay healthy. Stay thirsty.

Nina Cueva


Resource suggestion made by: Yulong Liu

Edited by: Sydney Wyatt

Maintaining Social Connections While Sheltering in Place

Hello there, from my apartment to yours.


As of this Thursday, the United States surpassed both China and Italy to become the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. While the coronavirus continues to spread and millions of Americans self-isolate with no end in sight, many find themselves battling an inconspicuous enemy indoors: loneliness. The current practice of social distancing and sheltering in place is causing what some have termed a loneliness epidemic. As social creatures, this necessary practice can be difficult to sustain, since it prohibits us from interacting in person and holding social gatherings.


Loneliness also increases our risk for depression and anxiety, decreases our ability to respond to stress, and can weaken our immune systems, which effectively increases our susceptibility to contracting illnesses such as COVID-19. For these reasons, it’s important that we not only maintain calm and stop hoarding toilet paper and absurd amounts of perishable goods, but that we find unique ways of interacting and maintaining our social connections during these uncertain times. So, instead of panic scrolling through social media, consider listening to The Happiness Lab podcast by Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos and learn how to recreate a sense of togetherness and keep calm in their Coronavirus bonus series.


Additionally, if you’re experiencing heightened levels of stress, anxiety or need assistance managing an anxiety disorder, you may find the following articles helpful:




Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social disengagement. Rather, this unique experience is an opportunity to come together and realize that, as cliche as it sounds, we’re all in this together. Afterall, it’s during times of crisis that it’s most important to remain connected.


  • Nina


Edited by Sydney Wyatt

Source suggested by Yulong Liu


For any content suggestions or general recommendations, please email to UCDBioScope@gmail.com and put science 2.0 in the title.


Not so devious intentions

When people are doing annoying things that affect you, how often do you feel they were intentionally direct towards you? Do you feel rage when someone cuts you off on the highway because you are sure they are just a**holes trying to take advantage of you? Do you think people are trying to sabotage your experiment when moving your -80C box from one location to the other? Well, sometimes yes, but often there is an alternative explanation. Someone could just be trying to rush to the hospital or simply misplaced your freezer box when searching through the racks during a rushed experiment. We often fixate on the potential negative intentions when there are plenty other possible explanations. Considering alternatives will lead you to reduce your bad days and avoid some unnecessary grudges. Hopefully, this short YouTube video from the School of Life can help you develop the skills to not rush-to-judgment on the benign intentions of others.  






This post is edited by Keith Fraga

For any content suggestions or general recommendations, please email to UCDBioScope@gmail.com and put science 2.0 in the title

Know Your Needs- Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

What are the needs that you must satisfy to live a happy and fulfilling life? One of the most influential modern psychologists, Abraham Maslow tried to answer that question by creating the Maslow hierarchy of needs. It’s an important question to think about, not just because it might help you to achieve a happy and fulfilling life, but also how your actions might influence the people around you and their abilities to accomplish that. For example, we are talking about mentorship this month in our blog post, and being a good mentor could greatly influence some of the higher needs, such as belonging, esteem, and even self-actualization. If you can help the undergrad that you are mentoring find meaning in their work, which satisfies one of their higher needs, they are likely to be more productive. This podcast from Ted Radio Hour has an excellent introduction to the Maslow hierarchy of needs.






This post is edited by Linda Ma.

For any content suggestions or general recommendations, please email to UCDBioScope@gmail.com and put science 2.0 in the title. 

Image attribution: “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” by BetterWorks Breakroom is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Self Compassion

How compassionate are you to others, and to yourself? I often feel that it’s so much easier to be sympathetic, forgiving, and supportive to others than to myself. Since we are talking about impostor syndrome this month in our blog post, which self-compassion plays an important role in, I wanted to share with you this short video that contains a 6-step exercise to help you become a more well balanced and self-compassionate scientist.




Edited by Linda Ma.

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