feel good in grad school.
Grad students juggle many roles and demands in their personal and professional lives, and this can lead to intense stress and pressure. Financial and family concerns, imposter syndrome, and challenging program dynamics are just a few of the common challenges grad students face.
It may feel like self-care is a luxury that you can't afford or you need to hang on until you've graduated to be happy, but feeling good during grad school can make you happier, healthier, and more productive.
You can use these self-care strategies to manage stress, prevent burnout, and feel good in grad school.
5 Grad School tips
Understand your procrastination.
Invest in self-care.
Find your people.
Build a professional online identity.
Understand your procrastination
Break down the steps.
Keep the task small.
Set the bar low.
Hack pleasure from the experience of studying.
Use Parkinson's law to your advantage.
Be deliberate with your study environment.
Understand your personality type.
Learn more about procrastination:
Learn new strategies:
4 easy-to-remember Motivation Strategies
EAT THAT FROG
Take immediate action. Do the thing you’re dreading first. Persist until it’s done.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH YOUR GOAL'S ENVIRONMENT
Go to the places that are most conducive to meeting your goal. Surround yourself with people who “get” or at least support you in your goal. Develop the habits that will help you meet your goal.
MAKE YOUR GOALS VISUAL
To make the process of working toward your goal more fun and rewarding, give yourself a visual reminder of your goal and your progress. Think giant grocery store fundraiser thermometer. Take time every day to mark your progress.
MENTAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Identify the most influential people that you’d like to “consult” with as you work toward your goal. Read what they’ve written, watch their videos, and imagine what they would tell you when challenges arise.
how to deal with perfectionism & burnout
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Focus on creating what you want (vs. what you don't want or what you want to avoid) to stay motivated and reduce stress.
PRIORITIZE GENUINE SUPPORT
When you need input or a helping hand, go to the people who geniuinely support you.
Zoom out and appreciate the journey you're on and the progress you've made when you're overwhelmed or burned out.
FEEL GOOD ON THE WAY
Make choices that help you feel the way you want while you’re working toward your goal – avoid the “I’ll be happy when” trap.
If nothing else, remember that it's good to feel good.
Take good care of yourself
take a holistic approach to your well-being
- Get more sleep.
- Be kind.
- Move more.
- Eat breakfast.
- Live your values.
- Stay connected.
Burn-out is common in grad school and one of the major reasons for leaving a graduate program. You can prevent and recover from burnout by making sure you're prioritizing wellness.
How other grad students are doing it
Be constructive in your...
build a community
Find like-minded students, identify mentors, and find your spot off-campus. When you get together, try to reserve at least some time to talk about something other than work.
And Ask for Help When You Need It
During grad school, it can feel like you're supposed to know everything and keep it all together easily. For many students, this can make the idea of asking for help scary. Whether you have a question about your work, need to delegate work or school tasks, or need support in taking care of something in your life outside of school, asking for support can help you bring order to chaos and prevent yourself from burning out.