Seriously, I do! I know I can count on y’all for warm fuzzies and good advice. Do you guys read the comments? If not, you’re missing out!
Several of you suggested I could go to a coffee shop or library to write my thesis. This is brilliant and so obvious, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it myself! Probably because I’m not thinking very positively right now and can only think about problems not solutions. Anyway, this is excellent advice, and I’m definitely going to try it. Going to a coffee shop for parts of the day is a good way to give the day structure and to be around people (even if I’m not necessarily interacting with all of them).
Yolio gave so much good advice, I can’t list it all here. Here are a couple of things:
Have an official start time and end time to your workday. Also, get dressed for “work.
This is really important and something I had already considered. That’s why I plan on getting up when my husband gets up in the morning to go to work. I prefer to sleep in (I’m not a morning person at all) but if I don’t get up until later, I might spend half the day in bed or at least half the day in my pajamas doing nothing. Not a good way to stay mentally healthy.
Also, yolio said:
Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your successes. Every day look to what you accomplished that day and appreciate it, don’t be a critical jerk to yourself. Seriously, do this.
Yolio, you are totally channeling my psychiatrist. This is something I really have to work on because I completely suck at it (ironic, isn’t it, that in saying this is good advice, I still manage to be a critical jerk to myself). In fact, this is so important, I may devote a whole post to it sometime in the future.
Scicurious had this excellent suggestion:
I don’t know if you’re “in” to exercise per se, but have you tried dancing instead? It gets you moving, and if you take lessons or something, it would be really social.
I am soooo not into exercise. My psychiatrist (hearafter know as Dr. J) has been trying to get me to exercise for years. I finally told her I simply could not add one more thing to my plate at this time. I think she secretly wanted to do a little dance when I mentioned that I’m trying to add that into my schedule in CA (admit it, you know you did!)*. I do get some exercise in that I walk to and from lab everyday (unless the weather is really bad) and that’s 25 minutes each way, which Dr. J is very happy about, but she wants me to do some cardio and get my blood pumping and endorphins released and all that good junk. *sigh* I know she’s right, so I’m going to try really hard to make it part of my schedule (when I get to CA, don’t go thinking I’m going to do it here!). And, Husband and I have been talking about taking swing dancing lessons forever but we have been prohibited by not living in the same location. Maybe it’s time we started.
NeuroPostdoc said this:
You also shouldn’t stress too much about the future (from the person who just extrapolated horrible career “what ifs?” 10-20 years into the future to her psychiatrist yesterday this is kind of funny to say)–when we get depressed we can’t think straight and we can make ourselves even worse by focusing on the most negative outcome to every event.
First of all, I completely relate to not being able to take my own good advice. I’ve told many a person not to worry too much about the future while secretly wondering if I will ever have children and if I don’t, who will help me when I’m old and gray and I’ll never have grandchildren, etc., etc. And you are right, NeuroPostdoc, when I get depressed I focus on the most negative outcome to everything! Which makes me more depressed. It’s a vicious cycle.
Overwhelmingly, the advice has been, “Don’t worry about the future. Just see how things go in the next month or two.” And, you guys are right, I should just focus on getting my thesis written and not freak out about whether or not I will ever have a career. Or, at least I should tell myself that I’ve always been able to manage whatever has come at me so far and I will be able to do so in the future, too (one of my friends from college always says I’m a cat person–I always land on my feet). I will work on this.
It’s sort of funny to think of people you’ve never met as your friends, but that’s how I see you guys. And I’m glad I have friends like you to help me through this!
*She reads the blog sometimes. Hi, Dr. J!!!