We marked this year’s Self Care Week (12–18 November) by asking Bristol’s postgraduate researchers: how do you look after yourself?
The tips we received were varied — from baths to boundaries — but there was a strong emphasis on taking a definite step away from your research degree to do something different. And, when you’re in need of some peace, knitting seems to be a go-to pastime.
So, without further ado, here’s what helps you unwind, de-stress and forget about your research.
‘My #selfcareweek tip for PGRs is to do positive affirmations. ‘I am doing well’, ‘I am worthy of this opportunity’, ‘I am making a valuable contribution’, etc. It’s amazing how they can people to rewire their anxious minds. Check out Louise Hay’s work on this if you want to know more.’
‘I like to make myself aware of the different ways creativity works.
‘Sometimes when you’re stuck at solving a problem or writing, just do something completely different. Your brain will continue to subconsciously work on the problem (and much more effectively than your conscious mind can), while you can do exercise, nap or eat. Consciously taking time out doesn’t mean you’re being lazy. In fact you’re being more productive, but also taking care of your own wellbeing.’
‘Knitting and Lego.’
‘Forcing myself to only work the 1 hour I am paid for preparing a seminar, or the 20 minutes I am paid for marking a paper, even if doing a good job means working triple that and working extra for free.
‘If your life is busy and full of thoughts and people, find a way to be quiet and alone once a day. I’m no good at doing nothing so meditation doesn’t suit me. Instead I like a hot bath (doesn’t need to be long), a little yoga or a walk in the fresh air.’
‘I go to yoga class.’
‘As research can be hectic at times, I try to involve myself in exercise classes throughout the week, taking a break away from my desk whilst meeting new people!’
Update, November 2020
Fancy entering this year’s Self-Care Week competition — and maybe winning a £50 Rough Trade voucher? Read our latest blogpost.