If I have to summarise my typical day during the week, it would be something like breakfast, PhD-ing, lunch, read an article, projects research assistant work (non-PhD related), chocolate bar as my energy is definitely running low, read some more, maybe write, plan the next day, maybe gym… dinner, another late night… And at the end of it I feel like I’m not doing enough. Well, some days are better than others and some things get done faster than others.
One thing I learned as a PhD student is that I need to relax, at least from time to time. Now to be honest, I find this hard. I am one of those people who tend to keep all the stress in and get preoccupied to a point when I want to scream while I’m running up and down the corridors and trying to sort things out in my head. But enough winging… stuff needs to get done. By the method of trying different things and learning from every day experiences, I have discovered three things that really motivate me to get going even through the not-so-productive days…
Traditional Bulgarian dances called ‘horo’
I am by no means a professional dancer, it’s just about having some fun with people who don’t necessarily think ‘PhD, research questions, data generation, findings’ all the time. How do I put this, dancing gives me space to breathe and see that there are other things beyond my project. The dance group is set by a few students at the University aiming to preserve who we are and where we come from. Nice idea, considering that in the business of daily activities and running up and down, sometimes I realise that a week or more has passed without any Bulgarian language or reminder around me.
Books for pleasure I mean. I try to read on the tram, or before bed sometimes. A chapter or two before bed is always relaxing for my busy mind and getting me ready for a sound sleep. I am currently reading Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday and I am finding it amazingly simple, yet inspiring… Highly recommending it!
There’s nothing better than a heartwarming mug of hot chocolate with a few marshmallows for a change. Lately, I have been exploring different tastes and combinations and my favourite ones are coconut chocolate and lemon meringue white choc… mmm all the sweet things that make us warm and cozy!
Well, that’s about it for my top 3 relaxation escapes. What are yours?