I have interacted with many to conclude the survival strategies that have helped them to sail through a PhD. This could compile into an extensive list of suggestions and strategies, to my surprise and they were diverse with a lot of subjectivity on individuals incorporated.
The opinions range from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to meditation and yoga. There were many who found solace and survival strength in religion, philosophy. Completely diverse, but some also found sports or creative outlets as stress busters
My friend Anna got into a miserable mental state after failing to grasp the gist of a class on multiple regression analysis. When I got to share a word with her, she said that a very sound advice from her friend, Jane came as a survival tip. “Would you be using Regression for your research?” Jane asked her. When Anna admitted she did not, Jane could justify to her. “Why do you bother about knowing everything around? Focus on what you need, it’s ok.”
Jane’s support in the way of a sound advice worked wonders for Anna, teaching her one of the important survival trick, to focus on only the necessary. It is perfect to not be perfect. Isn’t it?
Then to add on, the disciples of different philosophies had different approaches to vouch for. The CBP propagates insisted that a change in behaviour can influence our output in a great way. The yoga and meditation crew argued for finding means to convince self as that is the key to achieve balance in life. Then of course, there is contribution of sports and creativity that has it is own relevance and importance. Reconnection with interests, nature and things around is a great way to get back the strength within.
This post gives a very clear message; there are approaches, each with its own characteristics and benefits. It is up to an individual to identify what is the most workable alternative for him. The benefits of these are much more if there is support and help from peer group, there is sharing of experiences. We need to constantly strive to encourage not just ourselves but others as well.