Self-care can be transformative.
It’s the product of an inward, self-aware attitude to your day to day life, in which you recognise what’s not good for you and introduce things that are.
It may be as simple as starting a gratitude journal, taking ten minutes each day to meditate, allocate time away from screens, or connecting with a loved one.
Or, it may be more drastic. It may involve distancing yourself from toxic people in your life, avoiding food or drink binges, or perhaps – most drastically – changing PhD supervisors.
Whatever it is, self-care becomes self-reinforcing. The more you take time out to care for your well-being, the better able you are to handle what your PhD throws at you. Then, the better able you are to navigate the PhD, the better able you are to exercise self-care.
I’m talking from experience (albeit bad experience). I exercised very little self-care during my PhD. I drank too much, I had poor routines, I didn’t look inwards and ask myself what is and isn’t making me feel good, and I generally took poor care of myself. The result was an incredible amount of stress, self-loathing and difficulty.
It is only in my post-PhD life that I have discovered the transformative power of self-care and I want to share that insight with you.
To find out more about self-care in particular and mental good health in general, I can highly recommend the Tiny Buddha blog. It’s completely free and is an incredible resource for those looking at taking better care of their mental wellbeing.