2017, Archives, January 2017, The MFA Years

4 Steps for Grad School Self-Care

Heading into my first semester of grad school, the biggest phrase I heard was “self-care.” Likewise, I had the TA opportunity of a lifetime and was given the honor of working with a freshman class, which involved as much life coaching/chatting about adulting as it did grappling with the course work. While everyone and every program are different, here’s a few thoughts/tips about getting through that semester intact.


Sleep enough. We’re here to do big deep thinking. Know your magic number for sleep and do all you can to honor it. Sleep makes everything else go better.

Eat Well

Grad School’s intense. Figure out the pre-made foods/substances that you can grab and go and that will keep you going. My top three are: Peanut Butter, Protein Bars, and Hardboiled Eggs. Everyone has different dietary restrictions, but I found it immensely helpful to know what I could emergency pack to have food throughout the day even if I didn’t have a chance to leave the studio.

While on food, bulk cook and know your breakfast. Cooking’s such a time luxury in grad school. If you want home cooked meals- I’d suggest doing it all at once. Food recipes I find interesting/manageable can be found here.

Similarly, know a strong breakfast you can make/pack that can keep you going for a good chunk of the day. I am in love with Quaker Oat’s High Fiber Oatmeal. That plus PB + Fruit + Nut Mix makes for an amazing start. Or, the combo that you either understand or get totally grossed out by, Egg + Kale + Cheese (microwave the egg for a minute longer to cook it). It’s delish.

Basically, figure out your stand-bys and lean on them, hard.

Feed Your Soul

This semester I’ve learned the extremeness of my extraversion. If you need people, hang out. If you don’t need people, take time. Basically, make time so you can be happy.


These three things seem pretty basic, but can often go by the wayside in the crazy of grad school.

Know your priorities. Honor them. Take care of yourself. What do you want to be doing every day? What can you let slide? Make lists and then do those things.  Figure out what can be less than perfect, when. And figure out what you want to be perfect. And let imperfection be okay, while always striving towards excellence.

To Recap

  1. Sleep.
  2. Eat
  3. Feed Your Soul
  4. Prioritize


You can do it.




Writing Practice: 5am Wake-up & Write | Life Habits: Chew More Slowly, Call My Senators

Listening: Bon Iver: 22, A Million | Eating: Morning Oatmeal & This Amazing Momofuku Brussel Sprouts Recipe | Reading: James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room | App Crush: DailyBudget | Austin <3: Fusebox Festival: It’s coming. Check it out! 

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