I wanted to get us talking and thinking about things we do that make us feel good. Because most of the time, we think and talk about the big D - what I've done, what I have to write, feedback I've received, why I am putting the next chapter on hold ....
In between of course life is happening, we're experiencing and doing far more than just our dissertation. But in our memory all that becomes part of a generally cloudy background. So I thought I'd switch perspective and we could talk about things we do that make us feel good. The dissertation process is about being slow and steady. Nothing much to celebrate. Well, sometimes we stop and feel good that we completed a paragraph, a page, a chapter; these are important milestones along the way. But the distance of the journey stretches out always ahead of us.
So, having something whole and entire to celebrate is important so we can experience, and remember, and breathe in the feeling of completion. It’s important we do not forget how this feels.
And we can give it to ourselves by paying attention to and celebrating the small but powerful things we accomplish. Here are some things that came up in our conversation:
- The weekly yoga/pilates//gym session
- Completing a scrapbook (Anne said it’s like a legacy, and therefore in many ways like her research and dissertation)
- Hiking – the accomplishment of starting out and getting to a specific place; there is enough effort to make the reaching of the destination a cause for celebration.
- Learning a new song in choir practice and getting to the aha! Moment of ‘getting it’.
- Starting a philanthropic project to build more communication in extended family and hearing from a family member after 15 years of no contact
- Getting back in touch with an old friend
- Walking the dog.
Read more about the importance of remembering and making time for your whole self:
The NHS (UK) - article on a study of how physical activity reduces stress
The Franklin Institute - information and tips on stress relieving methods that take you outside of your head.