Post PhD submission boredom

I was warned by my supervisors that submitting a PhD is a big life adjustment… in a positive way, but nonetheless still an adjustment. You go from spending a ridiculous amount of time thinking about your PhD or feeling guilty for not thinking about your PhD, to not having to think about your PhD at all. I had two weeks of marking left when I submitted my PhD (on top of my full time job) so I think that was a good way to wean myself off of the 16+ hour work days. However, my supervisors were definitely right, it is a big adjustment. I have never been particularly good at being bored, my partner actually said “I think the one thing you are terrible at is being bored” and it has been a really long time since I have experienced guilt free boredom. 

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It is an odd and confusing feeling between submission and defense because you cannot fully relax (as there is still lots of PhD to do) but you are also free to relax. I am still working through these feelings and have so far realised a few key points; 

  • Be kind to yourself- you have just submitted a PhD- be kind to your mind and body.
  • Sit with your boredom-I have found that it is important to just sit with your boredom and get yourself used to the feeling of not having anything.
  • You will be exhausted- in a way you took a kind of loan on your body, you put it through years of stress, lack of sleep, perhaps unhealthy eating / exercise habits. And like any loan, your body needs to be paid back, you will need a LOT of sleep. 
  • Go back to things you previously enjoyed- I am sure that you gave up things you once really enjoyed during your PhD. It is time to bring those back!

 

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