Being a graduate student is no easy task. Many Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program students juggle academic classes, outside work, and personal responsibilities. April is National Stress Awareness Month, a month dedicated to bringing awareness to the negative impact of stress on our everyday lives.  

 As we approach the end of the semester, many of our students may be feeling the pressure of final presentations and exams. The PSM team is here to give you ten stress management techniques so you can enjoy the rest of your semester. 

10 Tips for Stress Management

  1. Get active. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists regular physical activity as one of the most ways to boost your health.  Benefits include improving your brain health and the ability to perform everyday actions. Even moderate activity can have an impact. 

  1. Use guided meditation. 

Meditation and mindfulness can help you manage your inner critic, improve your attention span, and lower your reactivity to stress. For more meditation tips, read about our previous Virtual Friday with trained yoga and mindfulness specialist Katelyn Wallace.  

  1. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule. 

The American Psychological Association (APA) states that lack of sleep can affect cognition and mood. The APA suggests sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, forgoing late-night caffeine and alcohol, and avoiding screen time. In addition, physical activities and meditation (tips 1 and 2) can improve sleep.  

  1. Build personal connections. 

At the PSM program, we encourage students to build connections and cultivate their personal and professional networks. We host virtual and in-person networking events. Reach out to a classmate, talk to an advisor, or connect with someone in your field for a professional chat.  

  1. Help others. 

The NHS says that helping others through actions such as volunteering and community work enables you to become more resilient. At the PSM program, we’ve recognized the value of serving others—Professor Kathleen Cashman has incorporated acts of kindness into her signature course, Principles of Communication and Leadership.  

  1. Be positive. 

Take a moment to notice the positives in your life. According to Mayo Clinic, expressing gratitude is associated with numerous mental and physical benefits. Reframe your thinking and release what you can’t control.  

  1. Spend time in nature. 

According to the APA, there’s scientific evidence that green space improves mood and can help you recover from stress. You can take many small steps to connect more with nature, from growing your own food to buying a potted plant for your home.  

  1. Continue your leisure activities. 

Your happiness is essential. Even if you’re low on time, take a moment to indulge in your favorite pastimes and activities.  

  1. Keep a journal. 

Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings can help you identify and work through them. The PSM program provides all our new students with a red MBS journal to track their thoughts and ideas—now is the time to use it. 

  1. Recognize when you need more help. 

It’s important to recognize when you need help. Rutgers offers mental health support services through Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS)

To all students, enjoy the rest of the semester! For more information, see sources below. 


Author(s): Julianna Rossano Published on: 04/02/2024
Tags: Tips for students, stress management