Dr. Pei Qin (Sabrina) Ng, PhD

Previously "The Dataminer's Diary" | PhD in Plant Epigenetics and Bioinformatics |Bioinformatician| Did someone say coffee?

This holiday, I learn about self-care

After two years since graduating from my Bachelor degree and starting my Master of Philosophy (MPhil) research candidature, I decided to take a break and go home.

I have worked myself to the ground for the past one and a half year, and I can feel the exhaustion kicking in.

I used to have these thoughts in my head:

” I am not good enough.”

“I am not learning fast enough.”

“I feel like a fraud.”

These little voices in my head motivated me to work harder so I can be ENOUGH. But when motivation goes overboard, that is when everything goes downhill. My health goes downhill, and I lost the sense of joy which I used to have working on anything related to science.

I started asking myself some questions:

” Do I really love science?”

“If I do, why doing something which I love makes me feel so exhausted?”

“Or perhaps, is there something that I missed when I was frantically chasing after my research dream?”

This holiday, I switched off completely. Instead, I tried doing more the things which I used to enjoy a a lot: swimming, running, cafe hopping, and reading. I also spend more time with my friends and family, trying to catch up the lost times while I was away in Australia doing research.

I looked at myself in the mirror, and I realised I did not like the person that I see.

She looked so tired, frail, and lost.

I need to change. I need to take care of myself more.

This holiday, I came to learn that loving something does not mean you give up everything for it.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

– Anne Lamott,  American novelist

Self-care is about balance. When all your life aspects requirements are met, that is when you can do what you are passionate about even better.

I see this holiday as the time I unplug, so when I am back into my “research active mode”, I could do better. This time, better and happier.

Image credit: unsplash-logoJonatan Pie

2 responses to “This holiday, I learn about self-care”

  1. […] That is what I call the academic-workaholic pitfall, and I have been there (If you are interested, you can read my blog post on self care here). […]


  2. Ηello there! This post couldn’t be written much better!
    Reading throuɡh this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talkinng aboսt this. I’ll forward this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’sgoing to have a great read.Thanks for shаring!


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