Maintaining Balance and Wellness in Grad School
Even though Mental Health Awareness Month is ending, it’s still an important topic to prioritize after May! Being a graduate student at NYU comes with the chance to have many unique opportunities in your prospective field of interest, but maintaining a busy schedule can feel overwhelming at times. In order to maintain wellness year-round, checking in with yourself now and then can help ensure balance. Here are some simple tips to help you get back on track if you find yourself feeling stretched thin.
Returning to the basics, like getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and fueling your body with nutritious food, is the first place to start when feeling out of sorts. Along with these, having a morning and night routine can help keep you stay grounded and your body regulated!
Weekly Habit Tracker
If you are feeling stressed, exhausted, or anxious, but can’t seem to find the root of the feeling, it can be helpful to track your habits for a week to pinpoint what is draining your energy or affecting your mood. Reflect to see if any patterns emerged. When we feel a lack of motivation, it can be challenging to change our cognitions, and it can feel easier to change our behaviors. Once our habits become more consistent and healthy, like a domino effect, our thoughts can become more aligned with the thoughts we desire to have.
Have grace for yourself! Pursuing higher education is brave and does not come without sacrifice. Make time for yourself by treating your body and mind with kindness however, this feels most authentic to you! This may look like practicing gratitude at the end of each day. Or, committing yourself to mindfulness to stay present, aware, and in the moment. Perhaps putting daily affirmations on post-it notes around your apartment helps keep you motivated. There are even apps that can send you notifications on your phone to remind you of your inherent worth throughout the day!
Jen is a graduate student in the Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness M.A. program at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
She is originally from San Diego, CA, and is grateful to have the opportunity to live in New York. Her favorite spots around the city to relax with friends or a good book are Domino Park in Brooklyn and Governor's Island. Exploring new neighborhoods and going to yoga classes are her favorite things to do in her free time.