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How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health In Grad School


Graduate school is hard. You are going through so much with your studies, life responsibilities, possibly a job, and family. It is very different from college because you are no longer a kid and cannot enjoy your academic life like you once used to. Managing everything together can overwhelm anyone, and not finding the time to do things you like can take a toll on your mental health. As a result, mental health disorders affect 13% of the world’s population.

Although graduate school is tough for everyone, it can even worsen mental health for students in medical, engineering, or any other related fields. The statistics show that about 24% of doctoral students deal with depression, and 17% show anxiety symptoms. However, acknowledging your mental health condition alone is an achievement and a first step toward the treatment! Here’s how you can take care of your mental health and improve the quality of your life.

Exercise Often

Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity; it plays a crucial role in both our physical and mental health. One might feel lazy to work out and not find enough strength, but research shows that exercise can boost your energy level, and your body works more efficiently. In addition, physical activity can help deal with depression and anxiety and reduce the risk of developing any mental illness.

Prioritize Your Interests

When it comes to making decisions about your life, most individuals go with what an accomplished person suggests. But, this does not always work. If you are confused between what is generally good and what you like for yourself, choose the latter option. One should always prioritize what they like or are interested in, especially when it involves their future. For example, if you want a nursing degree but are confused about DNP vs PHD degree. Both are great but different from one another. So, take your time and find out more about what you are interested in. It is something you’ll invest your time in the most in forthcoming years.  

Take Breaks Once In A While

You wouldn’t want to have a mental breakdown by working continuously. The study is important, but the brain works better when you give it some time to relax. For example, spend some time reading random books, going out with friends, watching your favorite show, eating your favorite food, or sleeping. Doing these can generate more endorphins (also known as happy hormones), and your brain can work better.

Build Connections With People Outside Of Grad School

Undoubtedly, this pandemic has made most of us a homebody. Although attending grad school can be very stressful, you do not have to think about it all day. Occasionally, surround yourself with people outside of grad school. It’s even better if you are in contact with your old friends. The study reveals that reminiscing happy memories enhance one’s well-being and can buffer acute stress.

Get Therapy Sessions

Therapy is not just for those struggling with mental illness; it’s a big misconception regarding therapy. It can be helpful for people who are going through general stress as well. It’s crucial to get awareness regarding the benefits of therapy sessions. Therapy encourages you to talk and pour out all the stress building up over time. It’s entirely normal for a healthy person to receive therapy so never hesitate to go through therapy sessions once in a while. Due to the pandemic, online sessions are also pretty common now.

Never Compare Yourself With Others

Comparing yourself with other people diminishes productivity. Comparison-oriented people are more likely to hurt themselves psychologically. Everyone goes through a different path that cannot be compared; therefore, don’t waste your time and energy on this. Instead, move at your own pace at which you’re comfortable. The only thing that matters is that you are moving forward, no matter your speed.

Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help

There are times when you’re feeling overworked and need a helping hand. Do not hesitate to ask for help from people around you, and you’ll be amazed how people are there to help. Sometimes, you just need to share your problems to get them solved. Go easy on yourself and allow yourself to be a little dependent on others at times.

The Bottom Line

Mental health conditions have risen dramatically, and today, almost 1 billion people suffer due to mental disorders. Fortunately, it is being recognized and talked about in today’s world; still, the stigma doesn’t end here. Even now, most people are uncomfortable talking about their mental health. World Health Organization (WHO) claims that due to COVID-19, about 93% of countries worldwide disrupted or halted the crucial mental health services. Luckily, the pandemic has subsided, and things are going back to normal. However, neglecting your mental health can be very risky, and it needs to be treated right away. Don’t hesitate to reach out to mental health experts regarding your health.