Pandemic and PhD #1: Maintaining Mental Wellbeing

The COVID pandemic has been very challenging for everyone in many ways. As doctoral students whose work keeps us relatively isolated in libraries and labs anyway, we have faced extra isolation and problems of access to research materials. But, as the UK moves out of lockdown restrictions, Giles Penman reflects on his time researching during…

OnTrack and Creativity: wellbeing through drawing

The continuing restrictions of the lockdown in the UK have frustrated many and put a strain on wellbeing. But creative activities, such as drawing and painting, have a proven positive effect on wellbeing. Giles Penman discuss the benefits of drawing which he, University of Warwick Wellbeing Adviser Janet Winter and other research students encountered in an OnTrack session earlier this term.

Adding pauses in your PhD

As with anything, the key to a healthy PhD is an effective work-life balance. It is important to take pauses and breaks during your PhD to avoid burnout and so that you can enjoy what you do rather than viewing it as a liability. Manpreet Kaur discusses how she sprinkles breaks in her weeks and months.

Cooking during PhD for wellbeing and health

Life as a researcher can be very hectic with long hours in the library or the laboratory. And after all that hard and tiring work it can be all too easy to reach for the takeaway menu or the ready meal. But Giles Penman discusses his experiences of cooking to relieve stress and promote health and wellbeing.

How I did a PhD with a broken brain

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.

Why is Academia so damn SLOW?!

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 libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.

How to Survive Being at Home

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 libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.

How to Make Working From Home Work

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..

Fighting with my thesis: Juggling a PhD and the life of a fighter (part 1)

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.