Guest blog: 5 tips to create a work/life balance outside of the lab

Back in April, you might remember that I was honoured to win two UK blog awards and from that I had the pleasure of being introduced to and meeting many more incredible and inspiring bloggers from around the country. One of those was today’s guest blogger Gemma! I love having guest post on my blog because while I love to share my experiences and advice, I also love to share the experiences and expertise of others too! While I have had a handful of guest bloggers so far, Gem is actually my first guest blogger who is NOT a scientist! So, why did I ask Gem to write a post for Soph talks science? The short answer – she has expertise that I don’t which will be hugely beneficial to the world of STEM. So, allow me to hand you over to the wonderful Gemma for today’s post.


Hey, I’m Gemma, blogger at and mentor for successful women wanting to become their own best friend and to create work/ life balance.

Recently I was speaking with Soph about lab life and completing her PhD. She was telling me that being in the lab can be quite lonely. Soph explained that ‘although sometimes you are a member of a bigger lab group, you all have your own projects to be getting on with within the lab. So there could be some days for weeks on end where you are spending your 10 hours plus in work without really muttering a word to anyone else because people are concentrating on different things and experiments that all have different timings.’

Soph asked me for my advice to pass on to others in how to get a work/life balance outside of the lab, so she kindly allowed me to write this guest post. As with any career, time at work can quickly overhaul your social life if you let it. The feelings slip in of just staying until something is finished, taking on too much or feeling guilty if you’re not working. A work/ life balance is not just integral for your general well-being but for your mental health too.

As soon as you allow one thing to take priority over every other aspect in your life, when that one thing is finished or lost, your world will suddenly feel very empty and lonely. By nourishing your life with multiple things, you will always feel a level of fulfilment. Below you will find 5 top tips to create a work/life balance outside of the lab.


Create a routine that allows time for self-love

No, I’m not talking about bubble baths & scented candles, although they help! I’m talking about caring for yourself. Doing all the things you may take for granted when you are busy. Staying hydrated, nourishing your body, appreciating your feelings and doing things that make you feel good. Allowing yourself space away from the lab to tune in with yourself will be the only way to create balance. When you take care of yourself, you can then offer your best in everything you do.


Create personal goals

It is great to find your purpose through the difference you make within your work, but it is also really important to have personal goals too. Creating goals in your personal life can help you create time for yourself, give yourself things to work towards and things to focus on to take your mind off of work. Success comes from consistency within your daily habits, so just as you show up for work every day, show up for yourself too.


Keep your work hours productive

Structure your day and set yourself a timeline. Ensure that when you are working, you are fully showing up for work without personal baggage. Then when you are out of work you are fully showing up for yourself and your loved ones.



Allow yourself enough time to rest, replenish and re-focus. Long days, late nights and early mornings are not sustainable. You won’t be able to give your life 100% and eventually, exhaustion will catch up with you. Rest is the best way to make yourself feel happy.


Your vibe attracts your tribe

Having a circle of friends to support you and to be your biggest cheerleaders will only motivate you to live your best life in every way. Friendship is a huge part of well-being, so always make time for friends. If you have a particular project that is taking up a lot of your time, communicate that with your friends. If you are in a position where you are ready to make new friends that is great too. Creating time to meet new people, join a club or start a hobby is a great place to start. Even if you are introverted make the effort each day to speak to new people and push yourself outside of your comfort zone, little by little.


Life is all about balance and doing the things that make you happy every day, starting from today.


Huge thanks to Gem for that advice. It’s something I definitely need to practice now I’m not bogged down by PhD life. I wish you all the luck with your new blogging venture Gem and I look forward to when we bump into each other next 🙂

I encourage you all to head over and check out Gemma’s blog and social media. We all need a positive and supportive network to thrive so if you don’t feel like you have that, I am sure Gem has some advice to help you out!

Instagram: @howtomakefriends_


What are the ways you balance work life and social life? Share your top tips to add to these!


Science love.


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