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