5 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Grad School

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Updated: February 7, 2024, Reading time: 4 minutes

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Deciding to pursue graduate studies is a huge step toward reaching your personal and professional goals. Everyone knows, however, that pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree is a monumental task. Practicing self-care is so important as you take on this venture!

Studying for exams, writing your dissertation, doing research work, and completing internship requirements are the basic demands of grad school. You most likely need to juggle these to-dos with work and other life commitments. 

The demands of grad school definitely keep you on your toes! With the right lifestyle habits in grad school, you can accomplish your grad school work while keeping stress and burnout at bay.

Ways to Practice Self-Care in Grad School - fact

Practicing Self-Care as a Grad Student

Get professional help and support. 

Get professional help and support. 

If you’ve decided to attend a graduate school that is a long way from home, you need all the support you can get to combat homesickness and focus on your graduate program. In grad school, your strong support system may consist of graduate advisors and student support services. Besides getting opportunities to network, they also offer you guidance in balancing grad school life and family time

Get some “me time.”

Get some “me time.”

While pursuing graduate studies can be rewarding, it can also be a draining experience if you don’t take good care of yourself! “Me time” is finding time to pamper yourself and prioritizing your happiness. Personal care can lead to energy and focus, allowing you to weather any storm in your graduate studies.

If attending spiritual gatherings and fun events keeps your stress away as a graduate student, make time for these activities! Connect with friends and family wherever they are. Having the right people around you can make life in grad school less stressful. If your hobby gives you immense pleasure, make time for it!

Build good (or better) nutritional habits.

Build good (or better) nutritional habits

Did you know that academic stress keeps students mentally and emotionally challenging for graduate students? Regular exercise and good nutrition are a must for graduate students whose rigorous coursework takes a toll on their overall health!

Eating healthy and exercising prevent illnesses—and you do not want to be healthy in the middle of a dissertation. Keep yourself physically and mentally strong. Doing this also improves your mood, focus, and performance in grad school.

Get plenty of sleep!

Get plenty of sleep!

Sleep deprivation in graduate school can weaken your resistance to everyday stresses. Poor sleeping habits, along with poor diet, lack of exercise, and zero social support, can increase your stress level.

No matter how busy you are with your master’s or doctoral degree, you need to make sure that you get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Caffeinated and energy beverages are a no-no, either, because too much of it brings more harm than good!

Keep your space clean and organized.

Keep your space clean and organized

As a graduate student, you easily become overwhelmed with all the mountains of academic work you need to accomplish each day. Simple tasks such as keeping your room clean and your things organized may be a struggle.

A clutter-free space keeps you relaxed. You’ll find it easy to find your things, too, saving you a lot of time in the process. Organizing–which can also include compartmentalizing, categorizing, or labeling your things—helps you get rid of those you don’t need or use anymore, creating more space in your dorm or apartment. 

A tidy room without distractions is all you need to focus on writing and research work as a grad student. You can stay on top of your schedule so you don’t miss any deadlines, meetings, or appointments.

practicing self care in grad school

Before You Go…

Graduate students are under a lot of stress and pressure because they juggle several roles and demands both in their personal and professional lives. With the right self-care routine, you can prevent burnout, improve your mood and concentration, maintain strong stamina, and reduce your stress levels in grad school.

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