UCL Human Resources



Self care

This guide is aimed at helping you maintain your wellbeing in this time of change and gives you tips to balance your new routine of hybrid working. 

making hybrid work

More information on the steps UCL is taking to improve the psychological health and wellbeing of staff can be found in the Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan. Below are some proactive steps you can take to maintain your wellbeing.

Maintaining your physical energy

It may be harder to maintain healthy habits when you’re not in the office, but there are simple things you can do to support your wellbeing. 

  • Think about how you can bring physical activity into your routine. You may want to have short bursts of exercise throughout the day or have a longer activity once a day. 
  • Join an online workout to exercise with other people – this can help you stay motivated and connected with others. 
  • Being physically active may just mean that you get up and stretch every hour. 

Eat well

As your routine changes, your appetite and eating habits may change with it. It may also be more tempting to snack more or turn to comfort food. 

  • Focus on buying healthy ingredients and avoid stocking up on junk food. Check out Mind's guide to food and mood for more information. 
  • For advice on Managing eating during lockdown, why not read this blog written by a UCL researcher?
  • Build food breaks into your day. Pause what you are doing to eat to avoid mindless snacking. 
  • Keep a glass of water on your desk to stay hydrated.


Try to keep to your usual sleep routine. Establish a cut-off time for work to give yourself time to relax before bed. Create a bedtime ritual that will prepare your body and mind for sleep. This can be having a bath, reading a book, meditating or journaling.

Work-life balance

Whatever your circumstances, here are some tips to help you maintain a work-life balance:

Create a daily routine

During the days you’re working from home, it may be tempting to have an extra hour in bed and spend a day in your pyjamas! But having a routine can help you get into the right frame of mind for a working day and mark the start and the end of work. This may be a quick workout, setting up your desk or writing a to-do list. 

Create some mini breaks in your day

In the office, we often pause our work to have a chat with a colleague or walk to a meeting. Try to create mini breaks in your day where you focus on a non-work activity for 5-10 minutes. The Pomodoro technique can help you stay productive by scheduling short bursts of focused work followed by regular breaks.

Make the most of your flexibility

Think how you can schedule your work to make it work for you. Do you need to break your day up with another activity? Would you rather start working earlier to catch up while your kids are asleep? Do you need to segment your day into smaller working sections? Discuss this with your line manager and work out a pattern that will work for you and your team.

Wellbeing resources

The section below contains a selection of helpful advice and guidance for protecting your wellbeing. 

  • Silvercloud (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy platform)

Learn ways to address stress, anxiety and depression on SilverCloud, our online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy platform.

  • Care First employee assistance

To keep up to date with wellbeing news, you can sign up to the monthly Workplace Wellbeing newsletter by emailing Workplace Wellbeing (ohw-wellbeing@ucl.ac.uk).

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Guide from Mind

For more information on mental health and wellbeing visit the mental health and wellbeing guide from Mind.

  • Complete the UCL People Pulse survey

The UCL People pulse checker is for staff and postgraduate researchers and has replaced the Your Wellbeing survey. Published weekly, it is designed to check-in on individuals regularly to find out how they are coping during hybrid working. We will use the results to build a detailed picture of wellbeing across the whole university and ensure that underrepresented groups aren’t being adversely affected by the outbreak. You'll also be able to use the data to inform local decisions from next month, when reporting dashboards will be shared with faculties, Vice-Provost offices and central professional services divisions. 

  • Care First Wellbeing Webinars

Care First, UCL’s Employee Assistance Programme provider, offer daily webinars, useful articles and access to emotional and practical support on the Care First website. UCL employees can log in with username: uclstaff and password: bentham.

  • Pearn Kandola Webinar Series

Pearn Kandola are a business-psychology consultancy who have been running webinars throughout lockdown focusing on issues such as race and wellbeing.  We are featuring their series of webinars which can be shared freely amongst teams/groups. Their website also contains a range of free resources which people managers may find helpful.

BAME resources for managers

  • The UCL IOE Library has a hub of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Education Resources and information. This guide seeks to be an inclusive hub for information relating to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in the UK with reference to education. The guide also provides a snapshot of the range of international resources available for a study of BAME experiences.
  • Now and forever, Oxfam has a profound responsibility not only to stand against institutionalised and systemic racism in society, but to work harder to become a better ally of the Black Lives Matter movement and global network. Why not take a look at their Tools to begin your journey towards anti-racism?
  • LinkedIn Learning  As a growing number of companies pledge to root out racism and discrimination, it's more important than ever to keep informed. Below are resources from LinkedIn Learning — now available for free — that review current thinking and best practices on essential diversity, inclusion and belonging topics such as bias, allyship and accountability. 

External resources for staff

UCL have arranged a subscription to a variety of external resources, which staff can access for free using their UCL credentials, including AdvanceHE, Harvard Business Review and Times Higher Education.  A full list of resources can be found in Library Services, or the Human Resources pages.