Do you ever feel like your PhD is trying to kill you?

Hello! Hope you’re all well and safe and getting loads of 100% satisfying/useful research done. I know I’m enjoying sitting indoors on the first sunny day of August that Scotland has seen this year, reading all about D.H. Lawrence’s theories of the dark, intuitive “blood-self” and the intellectually clear “nerve-brain-self”…*smile*

We’re staying in the Borders at the mo and the scenery looks like this…


…so it’s particularly tough not to be out amongst it when it’s warm.

In all honesty though I actually gave myself a concussion yesterday so have been advised to take it easy. What happened, you say? Well, I was foraging for snacks in the fridge, one of those big SMEG fridges with the freezer at the top. My head was right in there, rummaging through everything in search of (high sugar, totally nutritionless) concentration foods. Obviously I forgot about the freezer and whipped my head up far too fast, directly into the door of it. Never has the desire to vomit and cry come over me so quickly. LOLLLLL (not lol).

Anyway, long story short, I went back to my books almost immediately and tried to carry on working, since this thesis won’t write etc. etc. I sat for about half an hour trying and failing to focus on the book in front of me until I gave up and decided an afternoon off would be necessary. (NB I checked with my medical professional sister who said it was most likely just a concussion and to keep an eye on it – the nearest hospital is over an hour’s drive away from here and by that point I was the only one in the house who hadn’t had any alcohol and didn’t think I’d do that well behind the wheel of a car. At the time of writing 24hrs later, I’m pretty much fine besides a lame headache.)

BASICALLY what I’m trying to illustrate through this pathetic tale of medical mishap is that as PhD researchers I think we can tend to put a little too much pressure on ourselves to be constantly at our desks working with no respite, sometimes to the detriment of our health. I had a disgusting cold last week and ploughed on with work when really I should have just given myself a day in bed to recover. Instead the cold lingered for 7 days and ended with me, tired and hungry, rooting through the fridge-colossus that was to be my downfall.

Take care of yourselves and each other, sweet truth-seekers! (Do we like “sweet truth-seekers” as an alternative to “researchers”? Just gonna leave it there for you to ponder.)

More blog action to come on THURSDAY with another excellent guest post – tune in then to find out more! As ever, if you have any suggestions or posts you’d like to share, get in touch with us at You can also tweet @SGSAH_ or find me @MarianneMacRae (though I mostly just retweet pictures of baby animals in clothes…)


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