February brings with it the commercial trappings of Valentine’s Day: red and pink hearts and the ideas of romance and relationships. But what about your relationship with yourself? In graduate school, it’s easy to stop taking time for yourself and neglect self-care – especially if you’re also juggling family and work. But this Valentine’s Day, why not focus on yourself and take some time for a little self-care?

The benefits of self-care for students are well-documented. Self-care improves physical and mental health, reduces stress, helps you focus, and contributes to overall wellness. When we talk about self-care, we’re not necessarily talking about bubble baths and chocolates (but if that works for you, go for it). Self-care can be as simple as making sure you get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water. Self-care can be making the choice to be mindful in everyday life (check out our blog post on this here).

Here are some other things you can do to help take time for yourself and practice self-care:

Watch what you eat. No, NOT in a diet or restrictive way, but in a healthy, nourishing way. Our blog post here talks about how a healthy diet actually impacts stress. Make sure you’re well-hydrated, as coffee and tea can dehydrate you, and that you’re eating the rainbow of fruits and vegetables to get all of your stress-reducing and sickness-busting nutrients.

Relax. Yes, relax – even if you’ve got a million things to do, make time to relax each day. Rest and relaxation replenish your reserves so that you can return to your work with a fresh outlook. This can be as simple as taking a walk through a park or a stroll around the block, 20 minutes of meditation or gentle stretching, or even watching a favorite television show or reading a chapter or two of a book (not a schoolbook).

Stay positive. Optimism is related to resilience, and resilience is a necessary characteristic of success in graduate school and beyond. Thinking positively can help you reframe rewrites, rejections, and challenges.

Get some sleep. Yes, we know you have a million and one things to do, but sleep is necessary for mental and physical health, as well as for focus. (We’ve talked about sleep before, here). While most people need 7-8 hours of sleep a night, other people can vary; some need longer and others don’t need quite as much. Find what works for you and try to stick to that amount, even on weekends. Consistency is key.

Stay connected. Make time for friends and loved ones. Relationships with others can help buffer the effects of stress, among other benefits. So, even in your busiest times, try to make time for either a phone call with a loved one, coffee with a friend, or a meal with someone you care about.

Know when to ask for help. Part of practicing self-care and taking time for yourself is knowing when you can’t do it alone. That’s why Dissertation Editor is here to help. We can help with tutoring, consultations, assistance with data analysis, and editing and formatting services to help you reach your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our extensive range of services!


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