7 Ways To Avoid Burnout in Graduate School

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“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” -Parker Palmer

Are you pursuing graduate studies? How was it? Do you feel less motivated to attend your classes during the weekend? Or do you feel overly exhausted? If you’re experiencing these things, you might be having a burnout.

Burnout is more than stress. It is the feeling of exhaustion from too much stress, and as an effect, people experiencing burnout feel very irritated, drained, and overwhelmed, making them less productive in all areas. Graduate students are prone to burnout because things might be too much – working, studying, and having personal matters at one time.

Well, here’s the good thing: If stress can be managed, burnout can be avoided. There are many simple ways to prevent burnout while continuing your studies, work, and personal life. In this article, let’s discuss ways to avoid burnout even when taking up graduate studies.

1.   Set Practical Goals

Setting goals are very important because they’re the one to look at. Goals are the things that we want to achieve in a given time. As we set our goals, we need to be practical and realistic to avoid pressure and stress. Being specific about our goals is a good thing because you really know what to look forward to.

For example, in every semester, you can set a goal. Passing all the subjects with a decent grade or writing a thesis on a given deadline is a form of a goal to aim. By setting practical goals, you see it’s attainable, measurable, and much easier to aim.

2.   Practice Time Management

One thing that causes burnout is the overflow of work and study loads. If you’re working full time and you’re taking your programs at night or on the weekends, it can be pretty stressful. You’re following many schedules, and if one fails and exceeds too much time, it can ruin your plan, causing stress. So, it’s very important to practice time management.

Time management is helpful if you have a lot of tasks to do. Listing activities or tasks are quite easy but following them is not. Practicing time management means dividing your hours by doing the important things and finishing them.

3.   Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination is saying “I’ll do this tomorrow” and “the deadline is next month.” Yes, we prioritize the important things, but sometimes, when we’re doing them, procrastination comes out because some distractions caught us, then we’ll justify that we’ll do a task at another time. Delaying tasks causes stress, so to avoid this, don’t procrastinate.

During work or study hours, kindly keep out of the distractions available in the area. For example, your social media applications can be a cause of distraction, so please don’t use a phone when you’re doing paperwork.

Procrastinating tasks always have negative effects on your mind and body. Lesser productivity, poor academic achievement, and worst, it can cause burnout. It also increases the anxiety that we feel when rushing tasks. Also, if you are looking for fully funded scholarship awards (https://uscollegeinternational.com/2021/06/11/fully-funded-scholarships/), be sure to use the link provided for more detailed information.

4.   Sleep properly

Aside from taking care of our mental health, we also need to take care of our body, and one way to do that is to sleep regularly. In graduate school, things can be overloaded – paperwork, advanced reading, and presentations due in days, but we still need to sleep. Why? Because sleep helps our body to regain energy. So, if you’re feeling drained today, you can rest, and after waking up, you’ll feel more energized.

Additionally, the lack of sleep can cause chronic diseases in the future, such as brain or heart-related diseases. On the other hand, when we sleep regularly, there are a lot of benefits like high productivity, we’re less irritable, and we’re more attentive. Also, sleep helps our immune system – the very reason why we are not sick, so it’s essential to sleep correctly.

5.   Eat Healthy Foods and Drink a Lot of Water

Eating and drinking a lot of water and healthy foods is a part of avoiding burnout because it directly helps our body be overtired. Since foods have vitamins and minerals, it helps our body to gain more energy, especially when studying. For example, fish, meat, and other fruits can boost our concentration, and water keeps us hydrated, preventing unclear thinking.

The opposite of eating healthy foods and drinking water is eating many junk foods or drinking a lot of sugary products. Junk and sugary foods contain too much salt, fat, and sugar to affect our brain development. Also, it can lead to chronic diseases in the future.

If you cannot avoid eating unhealthy foods because of your limited time, try incorporating healthy foods with your meal. In that way, you’re lessening unhealthy foods, but you’re increasing the beneficial ones.

6.   Find a Support Community

You need to find a support group. Unlike in college, where almost every teenager enters college, Graduate school isn’t like that. Fewer students enter graduate programs, and usually, these people have daytime jobs, and they study at night. If you’re one of these graduate students, having a support group will be a big help to you.

Being stressed about work, studies, and other things can affect you emotionally. But if you have a group of friends with the same experience, you can share your feelings and reduce the weight of stress you have. Usually, universities open a support community for graduate students, and you are very welcomed to join. Their activities or short emails will be beneficial to you to avoid burnout.

7.   Take a Break

Whether it’s a weekend, holiday, or semestral break, it’s highly recommended to take your day off. You need to take a break to reorganize and free your mind from school works and office jobs. Taking a break will help your brain to rest, and of course, you’ll be stress-free.

Having a regular break, even if it’s only a day, can prevent burnout. Going back to our definition of burnout, which is prolonged stress, taking a day to unwind will lessen your stress from your school.  When planning for a break, kindly choose activities that involve nature, because they have a strong effect on freshening up our minds.

Guest Writer Bio

daniel-lee-blog

Daniel Lee is the main editor of uscollegeinternational.com, and he is passionate about financial aid for international students, which includes various methods such as work-study, need-based aid, and scholarships.

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