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Once you decide to earn a graduate medical degree, you know you are in for several years of stress. You wouldn’t commit if you weren’t sure it would be worthwhile in the end, but that doesn’t make what you are facing any easier. Finding ways to manage stress allows you to focus on school. If you try to ignore these feelings, they will build up until they create a mental or physical crisis.

Managing Stress in Graduate Medical School

Figure Out Your Finances

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Financial concerns are a leading cause of stress. Many things that cause stress are out of your control, managing the things you can is important. If you are worried about paying for tuition, rent, or even food, you will not be able to focus on your education.

Taking out student loans through a private lender to pay for your graduate medical degree allows you to focus on your education without worrying about meeting your financial obligations. The process of taking out a private student loan is quick and easy, and you can borrow the money you need to pay not only tuition but other education-related expenses.

Prioritize Sleep

When you are working on a graduate medical degree, you may not have a great deal of control over your schedule. It is important to fit sleep in, on as regular of a schedule as possible. Lack of sleep makes it more difficult to concentrate, slows reaction time, and lowers immunity.

The less sleep you get, the more important it is to focus on sleep hygiene. This means staying off of screens for at least an hour before bed, developing a ritual before bed that helps you calm down, and maintaining as structured of a sleep schedule as possible. Strong sleep hygiene habits make it easier for you to fall and stay asleep, allowing you to make the most of the time you have.

Exercise Helps

Fitting in time to exercise may feel impossible, but even 10-minute sessions allow you to blow off steam and provide a mental boost. A well-balanced workout routine includes strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and stretching

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If your time is limited and you struggle to exercise, allow yourself to do the exercise you prefer. Whether it is lifting at the gym or hitting the trails for a run, any workout you complete is better than nothing.

Get Outside

Spending even a few minutes outside every day is beneficial to your mental health and can reduce stress. Exposure to natural sunlight is important for your body and can improve your sleep patterns as well as your mood. An early morning walk can be a mood-boosting way to start your day, but even sitting outside for a few minutes while you eat lunch is beneficial.

Make Time for Friends

It is probably not realistic to expect that you can maintain a party-centered social life while working on your graduate medical degree, but you should be mindful that you aren’t too isolated. Whether it is forming a study group, going out with friends one night a week, or some other activity, schedule time to decompress.


Guest Writer

This post has been curated by a Longevity Live editor for the website.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.