Saturday, 14 November 2015

Thoughts on Balance

I think a lot about balance these days. On many levels: privately, academically and socially. Maybe all this yoga has gotten to me, and the constant emphasis on focus, balance and connect with your inner self.

It’s been pretty clear this semester that I haven’t gotten the balance completely right; in about two months I counted 15 migraines, a timespan in which I’d normally see maybe 5. I’ve been under more stress than normal, prioritised reading over friends and experiencing Sydney - and seen my stomach react to all this in very limiting ways. Eating is less enjoyable when your stomach bloats up the size of a balloon after each meal.

My migraines clearly have been getting worse, and more intense. I had the same sort of ‘hitting a limit’ in May this year, after a few weeks of serious exam studying, after which I was ill, tired and nauseous for about a week. But life goes on and you forget quickly. Perhaps foolishly so.

I tried acupuncture for my migraine, as it helped my mum in her mid-20s, but this far all it seems to be doing is triggering more migraines. I’m attempting this diet that allegedly is soothing for the stomach, but yet I haven’t done it properly and so see very little result.

As I noted the other day, I was dizzy and felt nauseous after my Tuesday exam, which has happen way too frequently over the last month or so. I can’t blame my body for reacting, when I’m pushing it harder than before, both physically and academically. But exams and stress are part of the student life, and I need to learn how to cope with stress, irregular sleep and a fast-paced academic environment. Physically, mentally and socially. The very same way I need techniques for studying, for taking notes, for memorizing and for most things in life, I also need techniques for keeping myself in balance. Haven’t really nailed that one yet. Maybe this is the price I must pay for doing what I love? Or equivalently: my body telling me not to.

So I took the afternoon and evening off, enjoying Sydney’s rainy side. But even when the sky is grey, this magnificent city has a certain beauty to it – not to mention how the rain turned my uni almost magical. Mystical.

I’m really curious as to how other academics are managing, and especially how hard-core students like the ones over at PhD Life keep it together, maintaining balance and staying healthy, mentally physically and socially. Maybe Züleyha has more valuable advice?

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