Balance with nine months to go

Oh gosh, I have only just realized that I have nine months left until I am supposed to submit. Eek! I mean, that is enough time to develop a human life but for some reason it is a bit of a daunting time period to develop a PhD thesis. So I really should just chill, but for someone like me, I don’t chill easily.

It also doesn’t help that I am currently in a crazy period of finishing one international conference and having only four weeks to prepare for the next one (read: the next two weeks in my calendar makes a oragnisational freak like me cringe). I have also been faced with the news that despite requesting funding in January, I have only been informed (in June) that my gender equity initiative will not be funded within my College. Which is kind of awkward, considering we are in the middle of the year and have already started programs (like our First Year Mentoring Program). So now I also have to think incredibly strategically (not my strong point at times, but I think I’m on track this time!), which is a bit draining, but I want to make sure we are as sustainable and impactful as we can be. And did I mention I am also on the teaching team for a IARU Global Summer Program? Oh, and what about the Becoming an Inclusive Leader, Leading with Effective Communication, and Leading Teams MOOCs I am trying to complete? What about completing two manuscripts for publication? And the educational research project I am currently behind schedule for?

And this is only really about half of what is going on in my head at the moment. *Breathe*. Like I wrote a few weeks ago, I bring it upon myself. But, if I am honest, I probably wouldn’t give any of it up. I love it all, and together, everything makes me feel happy and fulfilled. As one of the mentoring newsletters I receive says:

Stress doesn’t kill you, how you react to it does

To this end, I have taken up meditation again. I have previously really enjoyed Smiling Mind, and saw 1 Giant Mind advertised through my university’s student association so I thought I would give it ago. The app looks great, and I like the concept of it: you have to unlock 12 steps before you get access to their 30 day challenge. But if I’m honest, I am not finding it as effective as Smiling Mind, and this is possibly because it is supposed to be effortless, and you spend a decent amount of time in unguided meditation. Because I like to meditate before bed (to make sure I get to sleep easily), I have actually ended up falling asleep the majority of times I have used One Giant Mind! I am thinking of going back to Smiling Mind and trying some of their other levels, as I haven’t moved passed level 1 since I found I really enjoyed it!

I am still working out 4-5 times a week, with a yoga session added in too. I recently received some advice about overtraining: essentially if you are working out a lot and are continually tired you need to take it down to 50% for one week. With my 9.30pm bedtime, this sounds a little bit like me! I am hoping to take some time off soon to go and see my nephews again, and with a long weekend my boyfriend has kindly asked to have 1/3 days where I don’t have to work so we can do a day trip to the coast (to which I obviously obliged).

I think I have the elements for balance there (well, balance for me at least), I just need to work on consistently addressing them each week, instead of having bursts of focus on one or the other. I made a point of scheduling work in for my MOOCs, so I think I need to make a point of scheduling personal time where I am not doing my PhD, teaching, or extra-curricular activity work.

In my case, I need to make sure I do it all, to get that balance – personally and professionally!

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2 thoughts on “Balance with nine months to go

  1. Elmyra PhD says:

    Balance-keep striving for it. So very important during this time in your education. Guard it. It’s hard to achieve and even harder to keep it.

    Liked by 1 person

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