Stress Management Tips for Graduate StudentsChen Wan Lim
Being in graduate school is no easy walk in the park. There’s always exams and quizzes on top of the ever increasing essays and course works, and not to forget the highlight of any graduate school – the final dissertation. If you are a part time student, there’s work and family to juggle into the equation as well. However, the trick to managing everything well is to first manage yourself – this means to manage the stress that you are bound to have at some point in time. As stress cannot be completely eliminated, here are some helpful tips as compiled by STUDYMASTERS.MY on how to manage stress effectively:
1. Early planning
Early planning is important. Keep a journal and keep a to-do list handy with detailed information of all the task that needs to be done – this includes tasks which are not school related such as your periodic car servicing schedule and even your dental appointment. Whatever it may be, early planning could save you from procrastinating and avoid tasks from getting piled-up.
Keeping a to-do list is the first step in managing stress. The next step now is to prioritise your list. There are surely certain tasks which are more important than others. Get those important ones done first, especially tasks which have datelines and are more time sensitive. Getting the important things done will save you the hassle from getting stressed out later when you are running short of time and trying to multitask your way into the to-do list.
3. Good eating habits
Now that you’ve got your tasks under control, it’s time to focus on yourself. Maintaining good eating habits will also help you in reducing and managing stress. As advised by medical experts, excessive amounts of caffeine (coffee) and alcohol may induce headaches and could even cause stressful situations to be more intense. Also, binge eating to reduce stress is not a good habit as this could lead to overeating and guilt. Eat healthy and replace binge eating with other physical activities such as exercise.
4. Sufficient sleep
According to studies and surveys done by the American Psychological Association, stress tend to increase when the length and quality of sleep decreases. As such, it is important to have sufficient rest and sleep to properly manage stress. Having at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night will improve your productivity and help you manage all your activities the following day.
Modern research such as the one done by the Mayo Clinic has clinically indicated that a few minutes of meditation a day can restore your calm and inner peace. Meditation is an ancient technique originally purposed for understanding sacred and mystical forces in life. However, during meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.
While all not stress is bad, certain stress can be good as it can inspire and encourage people to complete and task to reach a goal. But if not handled properly, good stress may turn into bad stress. In essence, having control of yourself is important to succeed in the both the classroom and in the workplace.