Grad school is challenging and stressful. It’s easy to succumb to the stress and begin to feel burnt out while you’re pursuing a master’s degree. That’s especially true if you’re also working full-time, as are many teachers who are pursuing an MS in Education.

While you may not be able to entirely avoid losing some of your motivation while in grad school, there’s a lot you can do to get it back. Never underestimate the importance of getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet. Don’t be afraid to turn to your support network. When all else fails, try getting a different perspective on your graduate work. Trust in your own abilities, and have compassion for yourself when you fall short.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet and Get Plenty of Sleep

Many people in many walks of life fall prey to the misconception that in order to accomplish their academic or professional goals, they need to cut back on sleep, skip workouts, and skip meals or eat unhealthy foods. Of course, there will be certain points during your academic and professional life when you really won’t have time for exercise, or when you may need to sacrifice a little sleep in order to finish an assignment or study for a test. Butthat kind of lifestyle isn’t sustainable.

When you eat poorly on a regular basis, don’t exercise, and don’t get enough rest, you’re setting yourself up for burnout. Your body and brain need to be healthy and well-rested, or you simply won’t have the energy to maintain any interest in your academic work. If you’re starting to feel apathetic, try getting some more rest, eating a little better, and making some time for exercise.

2. Get Support from Your Network

Your network includes your family, friends, and fellow students, but it can also include friends on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media forums. Many grad students turn to Twitter chats to find support and encouragement from other students. Check out hashtags like #gradchat, #phdchat, or #gradhacker. If you’re working on a thesis or dissertation, use the hashtag #amwriting for support and advice from writers around the world as well as other grad students.

3. Change Your Perspective

According to a recent report on NPR, putting a positive spin on a problem can help you change your perspective, and overcome the dilemma. Turn a lack of motivation around by writing about the problem, whether it’s a general feeling of apathy or a lack of motivation regarding a specific task. Write about how much you love your field of study, how much spare time you have to devote to your coursework, and how much you enjoy your academic work. You may need to repeat this process once in a while to keep your motivation high, but you only need to spend about 15 minutes a day on it to see results.

4. Have Faith in Yourself

Whether you go to school online or in a brick-and-mortar classroom, or some combination of the two, you’ll be surrounded by bright minds and experts in their fields. When you begin to worry that you may not be able to measure up, remember that all these very well-educated, intelligent people asked you to join the program because they believe in your potential for academic and professional success. Have confidence in your own abilities, and don’t let self-doubt sabotage your motivation.

5. Let Yourself Be Imperfect

When you’ve spent years working for perfect test scores and perfect grades, it’s easy to go into grad school thinking your master’s level work has to be perfect, too. While you should be diligent and meticulous in your work, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re only human; attempting to hold yourself to a too-high standard can only hold you back in the long run, as it will inevitably lead to discouragement and burnout. Allow yourself to let go of the need to produce absolutely perfect work.

When you’ve spent years working for perfect test scores and perfect grades, it’s easy to go into grad school thinking your master’s level work has to be perfect, too. While you should be diligent and meticulous in your work, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re only human; attempting to hold yourself to a too-high standard can only hold you back in the long run, as it will inevitably lead to discouragement and burnout. Allow yourself to let go of the need to produce absolutely perfect work.

Motivation is a key component of success in grad school. You may feel less motivated at some times than at others, and that’s completely normal. But as long as you know how to pull yourself out of those doldrums, you’ll be sure to find your way to academic success in the end.

Author's Bio: 

Cher Zavala has worked extensively in the Health Industry, and has written many helpful articles on how to find options for treatment and targets health related issues. She loves sharing her experience and knowledge with the blogging community, and knows firsthand the complex issues facing addicts in recovery.