yDiv event series: Mental Well-being in Academia
Working in academia as a high-stress environment can be a challenge for maintaining mental health. The aim of this event series is to raise awareness for mental health issues occurring in academia. Topics include specific challenges like publication pressure and perfectionism, but also general advice on how to keep well-being when confronted with work-related stress.
20 April 2021, 4:00 - 5:00 pm
Online via Zoom
Lecturer: Desiree Dickerson, PhD
Target group: Doctoral and postdoctoral researchers
The event has already taken place.
We argue that our perfectionism drives us to great heights, to excel, and to maintain our edge. We rarely stop to see the costs it carries. Imposter syndrome distorts the way we see ourselves, our performance, and our capabilities. Both reflect our doubts and fears – fear of being judged, fear of failing, fear of not being good enough, fear of not belonging. They’re the product of distorted thinking patterns. Thinking patterns that we can change.
- The true costs of these doubts and fears, and the extent to which they are impacting on your productivity, mental clarity, and your joy for what you do.
- Simple ways to notice when your perfectionism or imposter syndrome is tripping you up.
- Simple ways to reshape your inner critic to be more objective and more compassionate, so that you are able to thrive thanks to the voice in your head rather than in spite of it.
Procrastination is a way of easing our own discomfort. Discomfort because the task is too hard, too boring, too big, too scary. The difficulty with procrastinating is that it makes you feel better for a moment, which makes it very reinforcing (and therefore more likely that you will do it again next time), but it does nothing to fix the reason the task feels uncomfortable to begin with. It is still too big, too hard, too scary, or too boring the next time you sit down to do it. So, the cycle repeats.
We discuss ways to:
- Identify these procrastination loops when they start to unfold,
- Identify some of the thoughts underlying the discomfort and reframe them,
- Employ alternative strategies that can alleviate the discomfort AND make the task less difficult, scary, hard or boring.
- Explore drivers of our motivation.
Learning to navigate the supervisor/supervisee relationship is critical to positive outcomes in our PhD/Postdoc experience. This dance is not necessarily always easy.
We will discuss ways to:
- Create and foster a healthy relationship.
- Manage expectations, set boundaries, and communicate clearly.
- Recognising when our assumptions, thoughts and behaviour patterns aren’t helping us.
- Interpret feedback (and not take it personally).
- Navigating different types of Supervisors.
- Recognise when to walk away.
Desiree Dickerson is a clinical psychologist who specialises in the mental health and well-being of researchers and the academic community. Having worked as a researcher in New Zealand, Australia and Austria, Desiree now works globally with universities, lab groups, and academics in the pursuit of a healthier approach to research.