3 ways to support your academic wellbeing
Do you ever wonder how to navigate the pressures of scholarly research? It’s important to know how to balance your wellbeing and academia.
From drafting your research to submitting your paper, academia has plenty of stressors. Luckily, there are lots of ways to relieve this stress.
Here are 3 ways you can support your academic wellbeing.
1. Make the most of society memberships
Are you making the most of your society membership?
Joining a relevant society can help to make academia seem less intimidating.
Societies help you to manage your professional development. Some offer programs to record and share their progress. A society’s goal is to “help members recognize what they’ve done, and offer guidance about where to go next.”
Societies can do this by:
Helping you to collaborate with other members
Hosting conferences, which provide networking opportunities
Provide ad-hoc resources to help you build your support networks
Using these resources can make you feel less alone in academia. This goes a long way in helping you to maintain your academic wellbeing.
2. Find a mentor
Sharing the stressors of academic life is key to supporting your academic wellbeing. Finding a mentor is one of the ways in which you can share such stressors.
By finding a mentor and becoming a mentee, you can:
Gain valuable networking skills to increase your confidence
Identify and achieve your career goals
Find someone who has been where you are to encourage and empower you
Develop key skills
Improve your understanding of the publishing process
Hone your writing
Build your professional network
So, how do you find a mentor?
There are several ways, including:
Fostering meaningful connections is vital to maintaining your wellbeing in academia. Mentors are one of these meaningful connections that will help you to lead a fulfilling academic career.
3. Recognize yourself as a researcher
Struggling with your researcher identity is one of the challenges faced in academia. Many students struggle to call themselves ‘researchers’ because of imposter syndrome. This can take a serious toll on your academic wellbeing.
So, what can members of the academic community do to help you develop your sense of researcher identity? They can validate your experiences.
Recognition from others (especially those more senior to you!) plays a key role in internal validation. Sharing your work helps to build your confidence. As your confidence grows, so does your sense of researcher identity – and this is crucial to your academic wellbeing.
Make sure that you’re caring for yourself and your fellow researchers. Share your work, provide constructive criticism – support your peers.
Where to next?
If you’ve found these tips helpful, take a look at:
Our podcast series for researchers – 15 minutes to develop your research career.
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