Take a Dissertation Break at the UMBC Mind Spa


Need a place to achieve career-life balance? A place to de-stress, relax, and rejuvenate? Come to the Mind Spa.

Photo Credit: Shawnisha Hester

The Mind Spa offers several resources, including, but not limited to: a massage chair, and oil diffuser, a biofeedback device, books, and a meditation area. Photo Credit: Shawnisha Hester

The Mind Spa is a room that offers a stress-free environment to anyone who visits.  The ceiling is covered with fabric, giving the perception of clouds. Upon entering the room, there is a welcoming small table with a teapot, paper cups, and assorted tea bags. At each corner of the room, there are three different relaxation resources. In one corner, there is a meditation area where the floor is covered with fabric and cushions. At another corner is a full body massage chair. In the third corner, there is a computer connected to an EmWave device, biosensors that clip onto your fingers to measure your heart rate. On the computer, you can play games and guided simulations, such as breathing techniques, where the EmWave device would provide biofeedback as a measure of the participant’ stress level and inside harmony. Inside this room, there are also other resources to provide a calm, stress-free environment: sandboxes, stress-free balls, small plants, vertical paper lanterns, and an oil diffuser.

Services from the Counseling Center are open to all registered UMBC students.  Everyone (including faculty, staff and administration) can feel free to stop by and check out the amazing Mind Spa! The Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. There are no fees and no limits as to how many times you access these resources! Feel free to walk in and use the resources at The Mind Spa, or, reserve a resource in The Mind Spa in advance by calling 410-455-2472.

We learned about The Mind Spa through Dr. Susan Han and Dr. Emilie Stuber-Lawson, who served as guest speakers for the PROMISE AGEP’s  Dissertation House at UMBC earlier this week. Learn more about the beneficial resources that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Counseling Center has to offer. Located between the Susquehanna Hall and the Chesapeake Hall dormitories on campus, the Counseling Center provides free counseling services to the entire UMBC community, including: individual counseling, couples counseling, and group counseling. If you are unsure about setting up a counseling appointment, fear not! There is an “Interactive Screening Program” on the Counseling Center’s website (http://counseling.umbc.edu/resources/) where you can anonymously contact a campus counselor.

For students who are writing a dissertation at other universities, we encourage you to check your campus Counseling Center. Similar resources may be offered at your university.

Submitted by Amanda Lo (Graduate Assistant for the Career-Life Balance Initiative and the PROMISE AGEP team)

About Amanda Lo

I am a current Master's student in the Biological Sciences Department of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I work in Dr. Jeff Leips' research laboratory where I spend my time researching about genes that affect the immune system across age. While working on my thesis project, I had provided training in making laboratory solutions and in utilizing laboratory equipment (examples: WASPII plater, microinjector, ProtoCoL machine) to seven undergraduate students. During my time as a graduate student, I have directly managed and mentored six undergraduate students. I also work as a graduate assistant for both Maryland's PROMISE AGEP and the Campus-Wide Career-Life Balance Initiative at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, which officially launched in May 2015. For my graduate assistantship, I am establishing a website, which will serve as a central repository for career-life balance resources. Resources include, but are not limited to: career-life balance campus policies and seminars/workshops that advocate career-life balance and/or the wellness of the individual. While working on the website, I am assisting in organizing future career-life balance workshops and seminars. My main website is: amandalo.weebly.com
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One Response to Take a Dissertation Break at the UMBC Mind Spa

  1. Reblogged this on PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP and commented:

    Amanda Lo, Graduate Student in Biology at UMBC, blogs for The Dissertation House and lets all know about “The Mind Spa.” If you don’t have one, consider a “career-life balance” investment, and create something similar for yourself.

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