Graduate study can be very different than your time as an undergraduate. Life gets busy as you try to balance all of your responsibilities in addition to your studies. Natasha "Tash" Corbin, a second-year student in the Therapeutic Recreation program at Springfield College, shares one of the most important lessons she's learned during her graduate study: self-care is important!
When thinking about what I could contribute to the Springfield College blog, the first thing that popped into my mind was self-care. If I learned anything from my first-year graduate study (outside of school work, that is) it was the importance of self-care and how it contributes to the overall success of your graduate career.
Though this may sound like a no brainer, I often found myself struggling to make time for myself. With classes, work, group work, social life, and the tasks of “adulting,” self-care became just another item on my weekly/monthly “to do” list. But self-care should not be an item on a “to-do list”— it should be a part of an everyday lifestyle. I had to figure this out the hard way and, to be honest, I am still learning.
Self-care can be practiced in many ways and is different for every person. The fun part is finding out what contributes to your self-care. For me, it changes and depends on what I have going on in regards to my schedule as well as my budget (#gradlife). Self-care can take up a full day or maybe just 10 minutes. It is all about spending time for and with yourself to create a positive space. I don’t have much time during the day so one of my quick self-care activities is simply dancing along to a favorite playlist that gets my energy flowing. It feels good, it’s active, and it is a moment for me to escape my busy life. Other self care practices that can be beneficial to students can be: exercising, meditating, reading, listening to music or a podcast (one of my favorites), art, catching up on a TV show/movie, taking a nap, having a favorite treat or meal, or listing 10 things for which you are grateful. These small efforts can truly change the trajectory of the day and overall wellness of life.
Making time for self-care and making it a part of your everyday life can shape your overall graduate study.
It can help keep you grounded during the hustle and bustle. As a graduate student, I’ve sometimes felt like I was in over my head with a never-ending to-do list. Self-care would be at the very bottom of that list because I had so many other deadlines to meet. Eventually, I realized that self-care shouldn’t be hard or a chore, it is important for the overall health of our spirit, mind, and body. Once again, the fun part is finding what works for you and turning self-care from a “task” to a lifestyle. It truly makes a difference in your graduate career.