I came, I saw, I burned-out
After my first year of PhD, I couldn’t handle the pressure, competition, demands, and expectations anymore. I was working so hard, I had exhausted myself. And at that point, it felt like I was failing. I couldn’t ‘hack it’ in the academic world and I was not a good scientist (to put it nicely, in my head this was way more cruel).
I called in sick, official label ‘burn-out’, and went into therapy. As a psychologist you can imagine this feels like you’re failing as well when it comes to your mental health. I felt like ‘I should have seen this coming‘.
I came to the conclusion that the learning I had to do was about; not wanting to let others down, my difficulties setting boundaries, insecurity, perfectionism. I can put down a few more, but you get the gist. So that is what I did!
I figured out how to make it fun again
- I prioritized my mental health, and physical health is an important part in this for me as well
- I improved my stress-management skills
- I learned how to tell my supervisors ‘NO’ in a tactful way and communicated with them in a more effective way
- I got to know what I truly value and took action on that (science was still high on the list but not on top of the list)
- I let go of my perfectionism, which is still a challenge sometimes
- I started to work smarter instead of harder (I got more done in less time)
- I created productive habits that made me work in a more relaxed and focused way
- I stopped adapting myself to the academic environment and started to live and practice science by my own rules
I discovered that when I was doing great, my progress and dissertation were doing great too.
My advice? Start with saying NO
Get to know me better (at your own risk)
My head is so small that a kid-size EEG-cap fits me.
Especially when I’m stressed, I bite my nails.
I only have two front teeth. So if you look closely, you can immediately see my cutting teeth there right next to my two most front teeth.
I am a definite morning person.
Whenever I feel down, I usually get up and sing and dance to my favorite music; instant dopamine rush.
I am drunk after two glasses of wine, very cheap 😉.
During Corona, I started to learn how to play the keyboard.
I really like to get dirty, so mountainbiking and climbing trees are really my thing.
Me and my boyfriend have the agreement that we have to do something weird every day, just to take ourselves a bit less seriously.
I did a twerk-course some years ago.
And oh yeah! This is Rossi ❤️
He and my boyfriend are the most important men in my life, my best friends. Rossi is curious and stubborn, just like me, and he grows up way too fast!
Let’s connect so I can help you feel less overwhelmed, and more relaxed and productive in your science-career.
And also to follow this (not so) little trouble maker .