Happy New Year!

2019 has begun, and I hope you got what you needed from the recent Christmas break. Here’s looking forward to a happy 2019!

Have you made any new year’s resolutions for 2019? The New Economics Foundation have developed an evidence-based Five Ways to Wellbeing, and you may find inspiration for your resolutions here.

Feeling good and functioning well are important for ongoing success in any endeavour, and that includes completing a PhD. While it might be necessary to focus all your energies on your research or writing at times, it’s only possible to do this for short periods of time. Over longer periods, this is likely to reduce your both your productivity and wellbeing. Its all about finding that all-important balance.

So what would it look like, to resolve to look after our wellbeing in 2019? Building on the Five Ways to Wellbeing and in addition to the generic explanations from the NEF and advice from UoB Workplace Wellbeing, here are some suggestions.

Give:
You have built up a lot of expertise in your area of research, your research methods, and the research/PhD process. Share this knowledge with colleagues by contributing a blog post, attending PhD Chat or organising a PGR-led event. Write a thank you message to someone who has given you support or advice.

Take notice:
If you are lucky enough to visit the Edgbaston campus regularly, you will know that there is plenty to take notice of in the changing seasons (and university infrastructure!) as you walk between meetings/cafes. Find the beautiful near you. Keep a gratitude journal.

Be active:
Ah, the season of soon-to-be-lapsed gym memberships is upon us. If you are being slowly overtaken by the sedentary nature of your research activity, now’s as good a time as any to develop a more active habit. Find something you enjoy, and a community to enjoy it with (e.g. yoga with PGR colleagues at Westmere). Sustainability is key. Goal-oriented? Try something like #walk1000miles.

Connect:
Nurture your relationship with your supervisor(s). Meet other PGRs to build your social and support network via events at Westmere (or contact the Westmere Scholar for distance-learner and part-time PGRs). Try out some of the Student Groups from the Guild of Students.

Learn:
I think you probably have this one covered…

Whether it’s to spend more time with family and friends, do physical exercise, be more grateful, or to give more for charity, there are tangible benefits to your wellbeing from making a new year’s resolution and sticking to it. Ultimately, that can only be good for you and your research throughout 2019!

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