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Break?! Making Time For Yourself

We know that depending on your graduate or professional degree program, “spring break” looks very different from your days as an undergraduate–at least in terms of the work. You may be doing fieldwork locally or globally, applying for funding, preparing for job searches or qualifying exams, writing your thesis or dissertation, or working at a practicum site.

All this is true, but this doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate all that is you. In fact, given the tips we share below, you don’t have to wait for an official break to honor–and take care–of yourself. You can make that happen any time of the year.

Press pause. We move at break-neck speeds, going from one task to the next, barely allowing ourselves to just be. So go on, give yourself permission to slow down and breathe deeply, take several deep breaths–for however long it takes. The world will not end, we swear.

Appreciate yourself. Isn’t it funny how it can be easier to treat our friends and loved ones better than we treat ourselves, especially when they’ve been working hard or going through a rough time? So what’s stopping you from treating yourself to a nice meal or new pair of shoes? Why not buy a book you actually want to read? Why can’t you go on a staycation? You know what? There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t, so go on and do it! Do more than one. It’s not selfish. It’s self-love.

Laugh at yourself. You all work incredibly hard in your respective fields, and you are also awesomely, brilliantly human. Both are true. We all can’t help but be imperfect, so we might as well laugh at those embarrassing moments where we aren’t always our best selves.

Let go of guilt. Give yourself permission to not feel awful for taking care of yourself. By taking some time out for you, you’ll be able to return to longer term projects feeling energized. Also, taking time for yourself benefits everyone in your circle, because you’re all the more happier for it!


Jaye Sablan, Kelly Edwards, Ziyan Bai
Core Programs Team