How do you make sure to take care for yourself while doing a PhD? Some students are so overwhelmed with research, teaching, supervising that the only moment they can totally dedicate to their research is the weekend. Most of them work outside the working hours, after 6pm almost every day and forget to eat well, exercise, relax or enjoying time with their friends.
Self-care should be a priority in school and at work. Having healthy habits as a student will help you to grow positive habits throughout your career too. Many people are surprised at the way I manage to have a positive work-life balance and I will share a few tips here.
I start my morning by taking a nice and hot bath. Recent research showed that taking a hot bath helps in lowering your depression. I then clean my face with a cucumber mask, I then cook myself a nice and healthy breakfast with eggs, avocado spinach and sourdough bread. If you live in the UK the best sourdough bread I bought was at Asda.
As a good Italian, I then go downtown to grab a nice drink. I recently started caring more about the environment. I got close to the topic of sustainability after I started my PhD in Green Chemistry. So if you are the kind of person who treats themselves with a nice and hot drink every day, try to find and indipendent shop and support local. By supporting a local business, you will help families and kids like yours rather than adding another zero to the bank account of millionaires. Fox Cafe’ is my favourite cafe in Nottingham. During the summer, I go there and I sit on the terrace for hours and read my fav books.
Is it even a weekend after payday, if you don’t do a bit of shopping?
Clearly not! Staying on the team of sustainability, I recently started considering second-hand clothes. I used to do this a lot in Rome as an undergrad. I also used to go to swap parties and swap my clothes with other girls. For students with poor finances, choosing second hands will make you save loads of money. I honestly bought Levi’s jeans at 80% of their original price. Bargain!
Another option is to spend a bit of time by doing the things that you don’t have the time to do. I enjoy crochet and this is the perfect time of the year to do it when it’s dark and cold outside. If you want to get creative I would recommend buying this the book “Lagoon – The Sweedish Way of Balanced Live“. You can find loads of cost-free activities to do and get to enjoy the little things in life, like walking in nature and pick berries to do a nice flower pot, as I did Friday night after a long and tiring week in the lab. Seems funny, but apparently, the Scandinavians are among the happiest people in the world and the secret of their life in being lagoom!
Feel free to share your favourite activity by making a comment below.