Relax During #LabWeek with These 9 Stress Relievers

You love being a microbiologist. Your passion for understanding microorganisms and the impact they have on every aspect of life fuels your long days in the lab.

We know all too well that a busy lab and finicky microorganisms can leave even the most seasoned microbiologists stressed out from time to time. To celebrate #LabWeek with all our fellow microbiologists (the coolest members of the species), we’ve put together a list of nine relaxing activities that will help you blow off steam and do your best work in the lab.

  1. Break free from your bench and the fluorescent lighting by going for walk or run at a local park or nature reserve. Studies have shown that connecting with nature reduces stress, boosts your immune system, and improves your mental health. Why not participate in the virtual Lab Week Run this week?
  2. Trade in your lab coat and PPE for yoga pants and a mat. 30 Days of Yoga – Yoga with Adriene is a great series of YouTube videos for new, experienced, or lapsed yogis. Want to start slow? Try a chair yoga routine.

  1. You’re an expert at growing microorganisms; now give gardening a try. Gardening can relieve stress while helping you connect with nature. If you weren’t gifted with a green thumb, the Farmer’s Almanac can help you get started. Use their app to successfully plan and manage your garden.  Another great option is to join a community garden. Find a garden near you on the American Community Gardening Association website.
  2. Share your love for science with the world by purchasing some science themed gear for yourself or your lab mates. Beatrice the Biologist offers fun apparel, totes, and mugs, and 10% of the sales go to science education! You can also find lots of unique items on sites like Etsy, GIANTmicrobes, or Zazzle.
  3. Relieve the strain of years of pipetting by enjoying a hand massage. Go to a professional, enlist the help of your partner, or give yourself a massage.

  1. After a long day of anaerobe duty, find a quiet place, light a candle and breathe deeply. Taking time to meditate or practice aroma therapy will help you relax after a long week in the lab, especially when you’re working with a smelly strain of Clostridium difficile. You only need 10 minutes!

  1. Take a break from preparing technical reports by watching these videos that only people who work in a lab can truly appreciate.

  1. Relieve eye strain caused by prolonged periods of peering through a microscope by taking in some wide-open spaces. If you live in the United States, Find Your Park from the National Park Service will help you discover the national parks located near to you. If you’re looking for an even more adventurous experience, add these breathtaking road trips to your bucket list.
  2. Get out from under the hood and spend time with family and friends. Whether it’s spending a weekend away with your family or getting together with friends for dinner and movie (these are some of our favorites), making time for the people you love is vital to a happy life.

Happy #LabWeek! Share how your lab is celebrating in the comments section below.

Read Next: 10 Reasons Why Microbiologists Are the Coolest Members of the Species