The Human Development and Family Sciences Graduate Student Association hosted a panel regarding mental health and graduate student life during this spring semester. The panelists consisted of Dr. Christy Rogers, Mrs. Mitzi Ziegner, and Dr. Ali Luempert. This panel was specifically important since a discussion of mental health was requested by graduate students due to concerns regarding the ongoing process of assistantship responsibilities, coursework deadlines, familial/friend relationships, and the toll on mental health. Specifically, students were interested in strategies regarding how to prioritize their mental health and identify common signs of chronic stress while still ensuring that they were meeting the demands to produce research presentations and articles that would ensure their professional success. The panelists had several suggestions that the students deeply appreciated! Some strategies included: Rose, Bud, Thorn, giving oneself grace, the Ivy Lee Method, quality mentorship, the power of saying “no” (respectfully!), mindfulness, and reprioritizing.
Rose, Bud, Thorn refer to celebrating the positive (rose), maximizing opportunities for improvement (bud), and removing what did not go our way (thorns). The Ivy Lee Method refers to prioritizing a daily list of six most important tasks and concentrating on them one at a time. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention to the present moment without evaluation. Several readings were provided to give students additional helpful resources. This panel was greatly appreciated by the students and some of them have even begun implementing the above strategies into their daily routines!