8 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Grad School

As of last Friday, I am officially done with my first year of grad school! It has been a crazy year, but it is even crazier to think that I have less than a year of school left! While I have enjoyed grad school in many ways, there is also more stress involved. This means I have had to find ways to incorporate self-care in grad school into my daily routine to keep myself happy and healthy and not only have a school mentality. But as anyone who is in grad school knows, it is expensive, and you don’t have much time to work outside of school. So while many people recommend getting a mani-pedi or a massage anytime you’re stressed, that just isn’t feasible for most grad students. Today I wanted to share my favorite ways that I clear my mind and take care of myself so I can continue to thrive in grad school.


I have found that journaling when I am stressed or overwhelmed really helps me sort out my thoughts, and writing can be therapeutic in a way. Make a cup of tea, cozy up under a blanket, turn on your favorite tunes, and write until your heart is content!


Nothing eases worry or stress quite like gratitude. Am I stressed about that final in 3 days? You bet. Do I kinda want to kill my group project partners right now? Maybe. But if I sit down and write out 10 things I am grateful for will it put things into perspective? Always.


If you’ve been around here for any length of time, it won’t be a surprise that I read a lot. Even on my busiest days, I try to squeeze in even 10 or 15 minutes of reading before I go to bed because it helps me to forget about any stress in my life and step into someone else’s life.

Find a favorite scent 

Have you ever thought about how a good scent and can instantly just boost your mood? Whether it is a favorite perfume or a candle you love, I recommend having a calming or favorite scent nearby while studying or doing work!

Take a walk

I never really realized how little some people walk until I moved into my current house! My housemates commented on how I go for walks a lot, and I’m still unsure why me taking a 20-30 minute walk almost every evening was concerning lol. It is an easy way to get out in nature and get your body moving if you have been sitting a lot. I also use it as a time to call family or friends and catch up, or listen to a podcast that is on my list! (For my recent favorite podcasts, checkout this post!)

Study outside 

Somedays you just have to study. But try moving your studying outside. You can just sit outside of your own house, go to a park, or head to a coffee shop that has some outdoor seating.

Ditch social media for a day (or longer!)

Have you ever tried to focus on homework but somehow found yourself watching yet another story on Instagram 5 minutes later? Try ditching social media for the day to stay productive and to reduce stress! Sometimes it can be easy to watch everyone else traipsing around the world on social media and think “why do I have to be in grad school?” But by staying off of social media for the day you won’t be tempted to compare!

Drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep

The last tip may be the most basic, but honestly it does wonders. Everything seems just a bit better when you are hydrated and well rested.


Do you have any ways that you practice self-care in grad school that I missed? Or any self-care tips in general you swear by?  Share in the comments below!

xo, Scarlett