Starting a PhD may give you a constant feeling of triumph, achievement, and success. But a few months into it, you realize it is not a bed of roses at all. PhD Students is tough. It exhausts you- mentally, physically, and emotionally. You may have to deal with failure every step of the way. Your abilities are constantly judged, and you end up feeling drained.
Many students set unrealistic expectations from their PhD. Even the most accomplished students feel like failures after a few months into their doctoral programmed. However, you will see how rewarding this experience was for you in retrospect. Holding the degree in your hands will undoubtedly be a fulfilling and satisfying feeling. However, it is quite difficult to focus on the end game when toiling through a difficult degree.
Depression, burnout, anxiety, and self-doubt are a part of the life of any PhD student. But one doesn’t have to feel this way. If you are a PhD student and feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders, this write-up is for you. Don’t despair! While treading through a PhD is hard, some survival strategies make the journey easier. All you need is a little guidance. Tips to Complete your PhD Calmly
Check out these tips stay sane, focused, and motivated while doing your PhD:
1. Identify Your Stress Signs
Studying for PhD is the most stressful thing you will do all your academic life. Unfortunately, too much stress is bad for your mental, physical, emotional, and psychological health. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize stress signs to take a break, relax, and refresh yourself.
Following are some common stress signs among PhD students:
- Feeling overburdened with work
- Feeling there is too much work and not enough time
- Feeling inadequate all the time
- Unable to focus on the tasks at hand
- Mental and physical exhaustion
- Feeling you are working round the clock
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in libido
All of these signs indicate stress. So, if you feel any of these while working on your PhD, you should take a break. Also, try to note the things that add to your stress and take measures to limit their impact on you. Finally, there is nothing wrong with taking a break if you are too stressed. After all, nothing matters more than your mental health.
2. Connect with Friends and Family
Studying for PhD is nothing like college, where there were so many fellow students. A PhD student usually works alone for long hours at home, in the library, the lab or the field (depending on their specific subject). It makes them feel alone and isolated. They get too burdened because they think they have to do everything themselves. However, this is not true. Your professor or academic supervisor is there to help you if you get stuck on something. They usually answer your questions and can help you out if you’d ask them.
Moreover, don’t let PhD studies isolate you from your family and friends. While they may not be helpful with your academic problems, they provide emotional and moral support, which is just as important.
3. Follow a Healthy Lifestyle
Most of the PhD students only rely on coffee and junk food. These foods become their best friend because all the pending deadlines to meet and the huge stack of tasks to complete don’t let them cook. But, this unhealthy lifestyle is not going to take you anywhere. Here are some things you can try instead:
- Try getting a good 7-8 hours sleep each night
- Include healthy options in your diet like fruits and vegetables
- Cut down on junk food and coffee
- Exercise regularly, even if it is just for 5 minutes
While you don’t have to turn into a fitness freak, a healthy lifestyle will make you feel better mentally and physically.
4. Don’t Take Criticism to Heart
As mentioned before, PhD students and everything they do is judged by their supervisor. They give you critical feedback, which many students don’t take well. But, keep in mind this constructive criticism is a part of the process. Therefore, learn how to respond to such feedback. Here are two ways to go about it:
- Take the criticism personally and stop talking to your supervisor for months. After all this, you will be wildly behind schedule and will have zero ideas about where to go from here.
- Or take criticism with an open heart, accept it, and learn from your mistakes. Of course, it would help if you also used this criticism to revise your work.
Know your professor is just trying to help you out by being honest. You will not make much progress if they decide not to give you their honest feedback. However, you can change your supervisor if you think they are unreasonably and unnecessarily critical.
5. Learn Time Management
You know, doing a PhD is not a 9-5 job. You will be free some days and may need to pull all-nighters on the weekend. You may also need to attend meetings abroad and work continuously for long hours. However, you will not be given any extra points for staying back in the lab when you could use this time in something more productive. You don’t have to be married to science to attain a PhD degree successfully.
Putting in long hours doesn’t matter as much as being efficient and productive. You also have a life outside studies, and it doesn’t have to suffer so much just because you enrolled in a PhD. Learning time management is an excellent way to complete a PhD without risking personal life. Learn to prioritise tasks and not spend too much time on something that doesn’t need much attention and detail.
Remember, humans cannot be productive all the time. It is just how we are built. Therefore, learn how to use your time effectively to feel better and less stressed.
6. Don’t Compare Your Work with Others
Every PhD student and their research is different. Comparing yourself to others or their work is a road to misery. Remember, the world would be an extremely boring abode if we were similar. Just because some students always get good feedback and complete their dissertation before time doesn’t mean you have to be on the same level. PhD is not a race. Everyone has their pace, and it is completely fine to do things your way.
Don’t chase after others. Make your routine and set deadlines. Set yourself some standards to follow and keep working. Trying to copy others or comparing yourself with them will only make your life miserable. Please don’t do it. Period.
These are some tips on staying focused, motivated, and most importantly, sane while doing your PhD. There is nothing wrong with taking law dissertation help from professionals and experts who have gone through this process. Their writers know where you are coming from and will help you. You can also buy dissertation help online if you feel stuck and don’t know where to go from here. Many PhD students hire someone to write their dissertations after they have completed all the research. Remember, one cannot be a master of everything. So, stick to what you are best at and hand over the rest to the experts