I will not pretend that PhD studies/ project/ writing is a bed of roses… Be prepared for ups and downs. Sometimes you can face “systemic difficulties”… sometimes can come lack of motivation… Sometimes you can feel don’t good enough… Sometimes you can feel discouraged working with people who don’t share your values… Sometimes you can be overwhelmed with responsibilities and tired… Sometimes you can feel lonely with your struggles…

My advice – don’t stay alone! Take care about your mental support 🙂 

Who can support us in our 3-5 years PhD journey? 

  • Our Partner – he or she will spend few years with us and our PhD project as a huge part of our life, and probably he or she will be the first person with who we share our doubts and concerns. In the same time remember – he or he has also his or her life, and you also have your life together, so try to don’t make your PhD project a central topic of your relationship. Believe me, there is also life beyond PhD project 🙂 
  • Our Friends in general – we have Friends in general to share with someone our ups and downs, and to feel supported, and to be supportive, and to discuss everything starting from everyday life to philosophical ideas about life 🙂 
  • Our siblings – if we have good relations with our brother or sister we can share with them also our “happiness and sadness” 
  • Other PhD students – we meet the in our institute, at our University, on workshops, on conferences, and as I always say – “Nobody will understand PhD student as other PhD students”. It is somehow true that only people with similar experiences can understand our problems good enough. So make some Friends also among PhD students. Sometimes we can feel that we are alone with our doubts, and talking with other PhD students we can get known that other people feel similar. 
  • Our Professor, supervisor, second supervisor  – if you are in a good and closer relations he or she can support you, especially when we struggle with a “systemic difficulties”. 
  • Psychologist – when you struggle too long with problems, and reality of PhD studies starts causing depression, it is good to talk with a specialist. 

And the most important person, who can support me – I myself. We should support oneself, build positive mindset and self-encouragement. We are also the first who are responsible for asking for help – if you feel bad, unmotivated, sad, you have problems with your PhD project, with your supervisor, etc., ask for help, start talking with your Friends and Partner. Don’t stay alone! And remember to stay supportive for your Partner, Friends, Siblings too – your PhD is not the centre of the world 😉 

From my experience I can say that talking about my concerns helps me to release and in the same time to stop thinking negatively – instead of being focused on bad sides of a situation I start thinking about possible solutions, or in cases when I cannot influence something I realise that the best solution is to let it go, and stop paying attention to it, and loosing my energy for being angry.

Watch this interesting video Why we all need to practice emotional first aid by Guy Winch, if I am not enough convincing 😉 

P.S. I am extremely thankful all important people in my life who support me in this journey 🙂 

 

Useful links:

www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygiene – Why we all need to practice emotional first aid by Guy Winch