In 2015 I had a severe reaction to an antidepressant. Overnight I went from someone who had never experienced any physical anxiety symptoms to major panic attacks, agoraphobia, and constant general anxiety. I no longer had the capacity to do my PhD and took temporary withdrawal for a year where I had to learn how to function as a human being again. Upon returning to my PhD, a major achievement in itself, I realised the stress of even half an hour’s worth of work rendered me not only incapable of functioning for the rest of the day, but potentially the day after too. How was I supposed to do a PhD if I couldn’t even manage half an hour? If I was to complete my PhD, I needed to figure out how to work a stress-free day. Over the course of a couple of years I learnt and refined a routine that helped me to achieve this. It wasn’t much fun and I still struggle a lot of the time. I fall out of the routine and take shortcuts. I am human after all. But I sit here with a finished thesis and time to spare. This is how I did my PhD with a broken brain.
By Merle Van den Akker
Do you feel that you are staying behind when you compare yourself to your friends or colleagues who went into the commercial, business, or corporate world? Why do we feel that academia is so much slower than the market? Read more and find out!
If you have experienced this long process and have tips for dealing with it, tweet us at @ResearchEx, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
By Merle van den Akker
We have to stay at home. Indoors. All the time. And that’s hard. But it’s for keeping ourselves and others safe. So, it’s time to stop rebelling and acting like a 12-year-old, and to just make the best of a tough situation. So, what can you do from home?
If you have any tips on what to do when staying at home, tweet us at @ResearchEx, email us at email@example.com, or leave a comment below.
Working from home or hardly working? Are you struggling to make it work while using the same space and the same screen for work, leisure, entertainment and socialising? Merle shares her tips on how to get the best out of this situation and create a good, productive mindset..
The PhD workload can weigh quite heavy at times. Zakiyya explores how taking breaks can actually increase productively, as well as improve well-being.
PhD students are all brain and no brawl. True? Not really. The life of a PhD student is more than just the university. Imagine then if you have to juggle the many challenges of the PhDLife with being a Muay Thai fighter. Nora Castle, PhD student in the department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, knows this reality very well. How does she do it? Read more to find out the exciting and very bruised daily life of an academic fighter.
“Are there any other tricks you know which will reduce the amount of sleep I need each night, so I have more time during the day?” an old friend asks me. With only the slightest hint of a wry smile I respond: “That is not really how it works…”
In this post Sophie shares her thoughts on looking after your wellbeing over the Christmas period. Christmas time can be full of food, fun, parties and spending time with your loved ones and family. With this in mind, Sophie offers some tips on how to look after your mental health during the festive season. …
Moving from second to third year of a PhD is a significant milestone on the PhD journey. Typically most PhD’s in the UK are around 3 years long and therefore the final year is a busy period! It can be a time of mixed emotions. Students may experience feelings of achievement alongside anxieties about deadlines,…
In the second part of this blog post, Blanka explores more ways of fitting in, embracing new experiences, crossing your boundaries, and pushing yourself into uncharted territories. What could be just a small step for mankind is perhaps a giant leap for a man, and once it’s taken, it can truly make us stand out.
Do you find it find it daunting to stay fit while working on your PhD? With endless to-do lists, it can seem impossible to find some time to think about own wellbeing and take steps to improve it. In today’s post, Sophie discusses why being active during your PhD can offer you many benefits.
A new degree, and a new environment, perhaps even a new country, with no family and very little friends meaning no safety net in the uncharted territory? Doing a research degree which heavily relies on your original ideas and therefore, depends on your thoughts, effort, time management, and research skills, can indeed feel like a…
If you find the messiness of your desk stressful, then this blog could be just for you! Sophie shares reasons to declutter your desk and how it might impact your work for the better.
Do you look at your phone first thing when you wake up and the last thing at night? Do you find it hard to resist logging onto social media whilst working? Then this blog could be just for you! Sophie shares her experiences of a digital detox and provides tips on how to decrease the…
At this time of the academic year, you may be starting to think about planning a holiday. Sophie explains why taking a break is beneficial and why pushing yourself out of your comfort zone on your time off can help with your PhD. Moreover, it might just lead to the best work you do!