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Midsemester Blues: Tips for Coping with Grad Student Stress

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Graduate students often find them suffering from midsemester-itis, that mixture of stress, exhaustion, and low motivation that comes during the dark days of February. Lot's of graduate students are susceptible to feeling stressed out and blue. Don't let a lack of motivation hurt your performance and success in graduate school. What can you do about low motivation and stress? Take care of yourself!

Don't Cut Corners on Your Health
It's all too easy to skip a workout or pull an all-nighter to finish your work, but it's more important than ever to take care of yourself when you're under stress. When you're feeling stressed, the immune system functions less effectively and you're more likely to get sick. You know how far behind you fall when you get sick! It's difficult, but essential that you maintain a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and plenty of sleep to function your best and get rid of the midsemester blues.

Relax: Try a Soothing Bath
Close the bathroom door and run a warm bubble bath. Add a few drops of an essential oil like lavender for an extra fragrant bath. Light a few candles, turn down the lights, and soak. Don't think about what needs to be done; just experience the warm water and simply be. As you soak, try some deep breathing exercises and meditate to move towards experiencing inner peace.

Hone Up on Your Study Skills
Now is the time to study! Even if you're not doing as well as you'd like, you've got plenty of time to make progress and improve your performance. Work on your study skills and you'll feel better and have less of a reason to worry. Review these resources for study tips.

Put Stress Busters to Work
Just feeling stressed? Learn how to relax and (preferably) prevent stress in the first place.

Get Romantic
Leave the computer for a night or two and focus on your significant other.

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