Oral presentation or poster presentation?

I’m stepping away from the mental health focussed posts for a few weeks to bring you a new ‘conference series’. The plan is to help with decisions around presenting at conferences and to also provide handy guides to producing presentations that will help you communicate your work as succinctly and professionally as possible. Of course, I can’t completely step away from the self-care approach to studies, so this week’s post, which helps you decide between either a poster presentation or an oral presentation offers practical considerations but also personal factors to take into account in order to do what is right for you. I hope you enjoy this new series!

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An honest and vulnerable share…

Yes, this is my second post in as many days.

I sat down to write this post late last night after having dinner with a friend and only a few hours after my last post – which was all about non-negotiables and self-care. It feels kind of ironic in a way.

I was unsure whether to publish this post, but I decided to, and sooner rather than later – before I changed my mind. Because it’s always easier to talk about past struggles once they have been overcome and things are feeling better. It’s much more difficult and vulnerable to admit in the moment that things are hard.

I decided to post this because I am a huge advocate for mental health and I am always banging on about how important it is to share our difficult and challenging experiences in order for them to become accepted and so that we can know we are not alone – and I feel nervous about posting this. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t. But that isn’t what I aspire to, I want an open conversation and I’m going to have it. I believe that it really should not be a big deal to say you are struggling or that you’ve lost your way.

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Non-negotiables and self care

It’s self-care week! This campaign is led by the Self Care Forum and the NHS have got on board too. The focus of this week is about empowering ourselves to look after our health and to take steps that might reduce our chances of needing medical intervention later down the line. Self-care can operate on so many levels and can mean different things for different people depending on their lives and the things they might be facing at a particular moment in time. Today I wanted to share something that has been really important for me in my self-care journey (it really has, and continues to be, a journey…!), that is non-negotiables. 

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We’re all human in academia

This is not the post I had intended to write and send out this week, but nonetheless I felt inspired and like this was what wanted and needed to be shared on this occasion.

I recently requested for members of staff within a university department to complete an informal, anonymous online questionnaire about their experiences with mental health, both during their own PhD studies and also now as an academic. What follows are some of the insights I have had as a result of being privy to these experiences, ultimately, we are all human and though we may put others on a pedestal, they too have their own issues and difficulties to manage and cope with.

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Breaking (it) down?

Hello again. Before starting this post I want to thank everyone for their great feedback and engagement with the ‘Addicted to our desks?’ series. It was a real pleasure to write and I’m so glad that it was well received and helpful. It’s great to hear from those of you who have implemented some of the tips. If you ever want to get in touch with me, you can do so here.

In this post I want to talk about break downs! Or perhaps more accurately, breaking things down. I’ve reached a point in my PhD where things are starting to get busy, one of those times where marking, data analysis and planning for my next study all seem to coincide – and it’s easy to start getting rather stressed and anxious about starting things.

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Addicted to our desks? Part 3.

Hello there. Welcome to the third and final part of my series about recovering from work addiction. In the first post I covered what work addiction is, what purpose it serves and some signs to look out for. My second post involved thinking about and tackling beliefs surrounding work, productivity and success. This final post will give you some practical skills and tips to start you on your way to seeking a more balanced approach to working. This is all very personal, and these are things that have helped me and others that I have spoken to you. Perhaps none of these tips will apply to you, in which case I encourage you to seek out somebody who might be able to help you put together your own tool kit to help you.

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Addicted to our desks? Part 2.

Hello again. In my last post I introduced a new three-part series dedicated to understanding and tackling work addiction and spent some time outlining workaholism, the challenges of overcoming it and some warning signs.

This time I’m going to dive a little deeper, and invite you to question some of your beliefs surrounding the way you approach work, what you might be gaining from work and how to start to change your prospective. These are only my experiences and my suggestions, there are undoubtedly a number of ways to approach this. I’d invite you to share your experiences if you have any, or to challenge any of the points I make.

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