If you don’t know, I am documenting my journey towards thesis completion through the ‘operation gtfo’ posts.
Although the last 6-9 months of a PhD are obviously busy, like really busy, and you feel as though you should be working 80 hours a week, there is never a more important time to implement self-care.
I have previously published posts about self-care including my journey of discovering the importance of self-care and some of my self-care techniques, however throughout the previous three years self-care was more of a nicety. Now, it is a necessity.
Working towards submitting a PhD is tiring, and stressful, and scary. You feel so exhausted and frustrated. I realised pretty quickly that I will burn out if I don’t give myself chances for rest and rejuvenation.
However, saying you need to practice self-care is much easier than implementing it.
Every Sunday afternoon make a rough weekly schedule and ensure that you allocate yourself time for self-care. Things like exercise, getting out into nature, cooking healthy meals, and going to bed early. If you plan for self-care, you will feel less guilty when you are ‘taking time for yourself’. You will also be more productive during the time you have allocated for your PhD.
Also remember that self-care is more than bubble baths. Self-care is legitimately looking after yourself. This means that your self-care can’t just be time away from your PhD, as often we use that time to spend with family, friends, or our partner. Or we use the time to do chores or run errands (these can all be aspects of self-care but not the only form of self-care you do).
Make sure that once a week you spend one hour doing something only because you want to.