How to get back into grad school mode (post-holiday season)

How to get back into grad school mode  (post-holiday season) - image  on

Is anyone else struggling to get back into the grad school mode, after the holidays? I was able to accomplish a lot over the break and I also worked a few days at York University. However, I mainly rested, slept in and watched TV (crazy, right?) because that is what my body was telling me it needed. So when I returned back to Ottawa, I thought that I should feel energized and ready to go, but somehow I still feel tired and unmotivated.  I am continuing to learn how to deal with the transition but here are some my tips and tricks that I will be using to ease myself back into the grad school zone.

1. Focus on your health 

Make your health a priority – mentally and physically. Over the holidays I indulged in lots of food, sweets and drinks. It’s important now to focus on what I am putting into my body. I am drinking lots of water and continuing to make healthy choices at every meal. Making my mental health a priority as well, I am incorporating meditation into my everyday routine, which helps increase my mindfulness and positivity.

DSC_04272. Return to your routine 

Getting back into a routine will help with productivity. Start waking up at a certain time but ease into it and don’t make your start time unrealistic. Right now I aim for 7am but I am hoping to slowly increase by 10-minute increments to make it to 6am soon. I love starting my morning with my lemon, ginger water to start it off feeling warm and hydrated. I then schedule some time to catch up on e-mails (lots of these over the break) and carry on with my to-do-list. And finally, make sure to schedule some rest into your routine, don’t try and do it all, right away – ease into it.

3. Stay organized & prioritize

It’s time to get organized! I was hoping to accomplish this before I came back to Ottawa but unfortunately, that just did not happen. So this weekend I am setting aside a whole day to review my course outlines, my other priorities and get organized. I will update all my calendars, agendas, and to-do-lists. I am actually so looking forward to this – I know that it will make me feel more productive and help me throughout the term. Not to mention, it’s not a daunting task and doesn’t take too much energy – see the theme here?

When you are organizing your to-do list, organizing by importance/priority will ensure that you are only completing the things that you really need to. At the beginning of the semester, your list may seem daunting but prioritizing will allow you to focus on only the important things and moving onto the next.



4. Find motivation (and enjoy the ride)

Entering into my second semester of grad school I am now aware of the workload, which leaves me overwhelmed and unmotivated. What I keep going back to is remembering why I started my PhD, which usually helps relieve my worries at the time and allow them to shrink in significance. I also find YouTube a great source for inspirational videos. Here is one of my favorites:


The main theme here is to take it easy, don’t force yourself back into anything. It is going to take some time to transition back – so be kind to yourself. And don’t take it all so seriously – this is something I need to keep reminding myself. Grad school can be heavy, so make sure to keep it light and have some fun with it.

What is helping you to get back into the groove?

Until next time,

Christine xo




P.S Don’t forget to use #ScholarCulture #ScholarSquad #ScholarSunday to keep me updated on your experiences as grad students.

P.P.S Applying to grad school for the 2018/19 school year? Check out this FREE eBook on 5 steps to a successful grad school application. Are you in grad school and struggling to find easy lunches to bring to campus? Check out three FREE recipes and full nutritional information here.


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