Self-Care Tips For Grad Students
Feeling stressed out? You're not alone.
Research on graduate student stress suggests that graduate students experience a higher degree of distress than the general population and more stress now than they'll face at any other point in their career.
Grad students are juggling 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
5 Tips to Surviving Grad School from Ali Mattu on the Psych Show:
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
- What Is Procrastination?
- How to Use Time Blocking to Manage Your Day
- How to Prevent Anxiety From Causing Procrastination
- How to Overcome Chronic Procrastination with ADHD
- Procrastination Is Your Best Friend in Graduate School
- The Best Apps and Products to Break Your Procrastination Habit
- Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist
Understand your personality type:
Self-paced presentations for grad students:
Take Good Care of Yourself
Take a holistic approach to your well-being.
Burn-out is common in graduate 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:
- 5 Tested Tips to Battle Burnout
- 5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your Life
- Preventing Dissertation Burnout
- The Best Way to Switch Tasks to Avoid Burnout
Self-paced presentations for grad students:
Be Constructive in Your...
Talk to yourself with encouragement and kindness. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. And whenever you're feeling behind, inadequate, or overwhelmed, remind yourself of your strengths, what you appreciate in your life, and your ability to figure things out.
Take a constructive perspective using positive thinking. Start by noticing what's working, how you can build on it, and all you have to look forward to. A constructive attitude is also solution-focused. In challenging situations, turn your attention to answerable questions, solvable problems, and the resources available to you.
Before you burn out, make a point of asking what would be most constructive...even if it's not the most "productive" thing. Consider sustainability and take the actions that are most supportive to your success and your wellness.
Try it now:
Did you know...laughter is a proven stress-reducer?
- Stronger Than tools for resilience
- Greater Good in Action practical tools for a meaningful life
- Mindful Ambassadors on YouTube
- 5 Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence
Build a Community
Surround yourself with people who get what you're doing and why you're here and support you through the process. Find like-minded students, identify mentors, and find your spot off-campus. And 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 regain bring order to chaos and prevent yourself from burning out.
More Self-Care Tools
Build Your Coping Skills
Talk to Someone at CAPS
At CAPS, enrolled students can receive mental health care, including:
- short-term counseling
- short-term psychiatry
- groups and workshops
- self-paced self-help
- specialty services, including ADHD treatment and evaluation, eating disorder services, Oasis sexual assault and trauma services, LGBTQIA services, and substance abuse recovery
Learn more about getting started at CAPS.