My process

PeacehD is motivated by my own experience so I want to tell you a bit about how I lived the PhD and what helped along the way.

What was my
PhD process like?

Really tough at times.

It was hard emotionally and I went through many ups and downs. I suffered from anxiety which influenced my PhD experience and as a consequence I experienced all of the following: strong fear of failure, procrastination, the impostor syndrome, low self-esteem, extremely high expectations of myself. Given that I usually somaticize my anxiety, my health during the first PhD years was quite bad.

I started therapy for non-PhD related reasons but have soon converged to the topic of my PhD. Since then my well-being improved in all aspects and I found some peace in my PhD!

The four things that helped me

improve my experience were 1) therapy, 2) a support group of people with anxiety issues, 3) family and friends who I could openly talk to about these problems and 4) activities outside of the PhD, concretely dance, mindfulness and recently Kundalini Yoga.

Throughout the years I learnt how to deal with myself and got the tools necessary not only to finish my PhD in the way I had wished but also to feel much better in general.

helped me?

My process
reflected in PeacehD

When already working with my therapist

it took me quite a bit of time to explain to her all the particularities of doing a PhD. In fact, the PhD world is not necessarily known to all coaches and therapists, but it seems that if they had more information about the whole process, they could help in more effective ways.

While my support group was crucial in times of need, few of them could identify with the PhD-related issues I was describing. When I went on a weekend retreat for people with anxiety issues and heard two girls speaking about doing a PhD, we immediately found a connection. Who can empathize better than someone going through the same thing?

Finally, when Covid started, I appreciated even more the fact that I was already used to the online format of therapy. Now that Covid has us sitting at home more than before, we can easily get more isolated and should therefore find new ways of connecting to people.