Making time for myself – Handling Stress
Note from Fresh2Senior: Crystal creates a picture of what being an undergrad, masters and what I imagine being a Ph.D. candidate is like. It is great to see how some determination and outdoor exposure, even just one hour a day, can make such a difference. I am glad she is getting some results and feeling great about it.
Exercise is a fantastic way to manage stress and clear your head. Whether you are doing a Ph.D. or an undergraduate, the benefits of some physical activity are enormous. I refer to the numerous health and productivity boosts that exercise can provide you with. According to studydaddy.com even in a busy week, don’t underestimate the amount of focus that even 30 minutes of exercise can bring back to you. You will quickly see how much easier it is to do homework, study or even write after even just a short walk.
As an undergraduate, my day-to-day existence was a predictable weekly pattern consisting of lectures and lab sessions, homework, shifts at my part-time jobs, and time to just chill and have fun with my friends and flatmates. According to studydaddy.com this prescribed and comfortable routine changed a LOT when I entered the strange universe of grad school as a M.Sc. student; suddenly I was only taking a course or two each term, and spending the rest of my time figuring out how to do this thing called “research”. Now, as a Ph.D. candidate, my time has become very much my own to manage.
It’s funny: at first I assumed that the lack of course work would translate into a nice, stable, 9-to-5-ish existence, similar to the one I had when I was in the workforce and had a Real Job. Then the reality of the enormous amount of work I had to do hit me. Sometimes it seems like there are simply not enough hours in the day to get it all done and that I’m forever juggling how I prioritize items on my to-do list One thing that I am consistently guilty of shuffling onto the “To attend to later – way later” pile – is me.
It’s easy to do, isn’t it? I mean, you have students, labmates, collaborators, volunteers – oh, and let’s not forget the advisors – all depending on you and expecting high-quality output. As if that wasn’t enough, you might have a part-time job. You might have a home that desperately needs a good cleaning and laundry in a pile that can no longer pass the “sniff-sniff, not too bad, I’ll wear it anyways” test. You might have pets dying for your attention: the cat is sitting on your laptop (HINT HINT PET ME) and the dogs are looking at you dolefully as you say, “We’ll go for another walk later – I promise”. According to studydaddy become a tutor service you might have a partner who is getting awfully sick of seeing the back of your head as you hunch over your laptop for the 14th hour that day, pausing only long enough to whip up something quick for dinner – which you bring upstairs and eat in front of your laptop. (NOTE: I am not necessarily describing my own personal sitution in these hypothetical scenarios, but there is a very good chance that I am.) Some of you have children. I seriously have no idea how you do it.