Tips for Grads: Coping with stress

By Foram Gathia, PhD student

As the end of the semester approaches, graduate students often find themselves flooded with assignments, exams, and research deadlines. Coping with stress during this time is crucial for maintaining mental wellbeing and academic performance. Here are some strategies to help:

  • Prioritize and organize: Break down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and prioritize them based on deadlines and importance. Use tools like to-do lists, calendars, or productivity apps to stay organized and focused.
  • Time management: Allocate specific time slots for studying, research, and relaxation. Stick to a schedule to maintain a sense of control over your workload and avoid last-minute anxiety.
  • Self-care: Make self-care a priority by getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercising regularly. Taking short breaks during study sessions can help prevent burnout and improve concentration.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Practice mindfulness, deep breathing, or meditation to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Even a few minutes of mindfulness each day can have a significant impact on your overall well-being.
  • Set realistic expectations: Be realistic about what you can achieve within the given timeframe. Set achievable goals and acknowledge that it’s okay to ask for extensions or seek help if needed.

By implementing these coping strategies, you can navigate the challenges of the end of the semester with resilience and maintain a healthy balance between academic responsibilities and personal wellbeing. Additionally, University Health Service’s Stress Management is a useful resource to maintain your wellbeing. You got this!

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.