Is it ok to make people feel uncomfortable? 

This post has been inspired by two very different sources – but they have come together to form a post and a message that I would like to share. One about speaking our truth and being ok with making people feel uncomfortable. Read on to find out why I think the answer to the question, “is it ok to make people feel uncomfortable?” is yes, and why I think we should be actively seeking to do so.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

When Anxiety comes knocking…

I know I’m not the only one that struggles with anxiety, in life in general and when it comes to doing a PhD. Though not many of us share the realities of going about daily life feeling worried, concerned or like our hearts might jump out of our chest. Sometimes knowing exactly why, other times not having a clue, just knowing there is this sense of impending doom that you just can’t quite put your finger on.

First of all, the anxiety I am personally talking about here is that feeling of worry, bordering on panic, feeling sped up and like there isn’t enough time to do everything. Shallow breathing, heart pounding just a little quicker and perhaps feeling unusually warm. A brick in your chest, a lump in your throat and your stomach doing somersaults. The anxiety where your mind spirals and decides to show you the low-lights reel. The what if’s and the worst case scenarios. Perhaps you can relate? With practice, these feeling states can be noticed, before you fall too far down the rabbit hole. And the point of noticing, the point of awareness is really the beginning of getting to the bottom of things.

I thought I’d share some of my go-to’s for when I’m feeling anxious.

Continue reading

Review: ‘The Science of Stress’ at The Royal Institution

A couple of weeks ago I attended an event at The Royal Institution in London called ‘The Science of Stress’. I probably wouldn’t have ventured to London mid-week if it hadn’t been for the fact that my supervisor Professor Julie Turner-Cobb was amongst the three experts presenting and then providing a question and answer panel session. It was great to support her and to see other individuals in the field present their work, and I was really glad that I went.

As someone who quite likes a bit of event management and organising an event, I was thinking on the train back to Bath, what makes a good panel event? Or any event for that matter? It really was a fantastic evening and I came away feeling enthused, excited, curious and impressed by all that I had heard. It was worth the journey to London and back.

So, what was it about this event that was so inspiring and excellent?

Continue reading

National Stress Awareness Day

You may or may not be aware that it’s National Stress Awareness Day today, a day founded by ISMA (International Stress Management Association).

It’s not a long post today, but I just wanted to bring the day to your attention. To maybe provide a prompt for you to look inwards and see if there are any situations or areas in your life that could use a little stress awareness. It doesn’t have to be hard work, it doesn’t have to involve ‘doing’ anything to fix it, just bringing your attention to where you might be feeling a bit over stretched can work wonders. Becoming aware is the first step to allowing things to change or improve.

Continue reading

Stress – friend or foe?

Those who know me will most likely know that my PhD research is focussed on studying a factor called stress. Something that we have probably all had a taste of. But when we talk about stress we are often referring to a psychological state and rarely are the physiological aspects of stress considered. Many people have heard of the fight or flight (and more recently considered, fright/freeze) response, and when provided with the classic saber tooth tiger analogy they can somewhat appreciate the possible benefits of stress. In that situation it is quite simply survival. But at what point does stress become too much? At what point does stress go from friend, to foe?

Continue reading