PhD self-care toolkit

Women sitting in a window sill drinking a cup of tea and looking out the window smiling

We are in the fourth month of 2022 and it's already getting really busy.

The Easter long weekend is just around the corner and most of us cannot wait for it. Long weekends like that should really be a break for research students too but there are some of us who find ourselves working through weekends and holidays. I thought now is a good time to ask higher degree students, "what is in your Ph.D. self-care toolkit?". Below are their responses.

What is in your PhD self-care toolkit?

  • The best thing I do is to flip the script. Start with ‘yes’ and then ask myself if I need or want to say ‘no’. This helps ensure that I am not over-committing and spreading myself too thin. It's very difficult for me to say no so being conscious of that I say yes to helps me create healthy boundaries.
  • Steady rather than frantic work, progress over perfection as we are often told.
  • Outdoor time, long walks and sunlight.
  • Indulging in my skin care routine.
  • Weightlifting, rowing, swimming.
  • Cooking and cooking classes plus sharing food with friends and family.
  • Puppy snuggles, cat cuddles and horse rides.
  • Reminding myself that I’m on my own path, doing important research, and I am making progress everyday.
  • Photography – when you’re concentrating on the outside world to try and take a good picture, none of your focus is internal so I can get out of my panic mode and give myself a brain break.
  • Music and creating Spotify playlists for study.
  • I try to enjoy the process of my work and focus less on the outcome.
  • I remind myself of how lucky I am.
  • Naps.
  • Frozen leftovers in case I don’t have the energy to cook. It really makes a difference.

What would you add to this list as an HDR student? What about as an undergraduate student? Share it with others and tag us on @uofastudentwellbeing.

Tagged in what messes with your head, phd, self-care