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Well-being in Academia

 
 

As an academic institution, you see the impacts of academic life on your post-grads, early career researchers, and faculty everyday.

Overwhelm, anxiety, depression, burnout, zero work/life balance…

The list is long.

Working with these individuals one-on-one and through workshops, I also see first-hand the impact on the institution.

Lack of productivity, presenteeism, high turnover rates, loss of vital skills & knowledge…

Having been a postdoc in the neurosciences and as a clinical psychologist I have lived and breathed the mental and physical challenges that academic life places on academics.

We watch incredibly bright, capable individuals lose their motivation and direction.

As academics, we tend to have a similar voice in our heads. One that has driven us to be the best, to make it ‘perfect’, to know more, think bigger, to give it our everything. This voice represents our mindset, and as academics our mindset has driven many of us to great heights. But it comes at a price. That price is perfectionism, imposter syndrome, guilt, worry, zero work-life balance, and toxic comparison. We suffer under the weight of this voice. Burnout is commonplace; anxiety and depression rates are growing.

“Graduate students were more than 6 times as likely to experience anxiety or depression as compared to the general population” (Evans et al, 2018)

“47% of graduate students in the biosciences at UC Berkeley were depressed”
(UC Berkeley, 2014).

BUT it can be different.

We can arm our academics to optimize their productivity and become resilient to stress, anxiety and burnout, whilst enhancing their well-being and work-life balance in the process.

Together with academic institutions, I help students, researchers and faculty to rewrite the voice in their heads. What does that mean?

  • To develop more effective cognitive strategies, and reduce self-doubt, toxic comparison, worry, and perfectionist tendencies.

  • To shift their mindset to optimise how they think, feel and perform during high-stress environments and interactions.

  • To develop effective work habits that enhance productivity, attention, focus, memory, creativity, curiosity.

  • To embrace well-being practices including mindfulness, self-compassion, exercise, and socialising.

These workshops are designed specifically to enhance well-being in Academia. They are based on extensive interviews with PhD students, early career researchers, associate and tenured professors and administration staff. They are grounded in leading evidence within the fields of neuroscience and psychological practice.

These workshops focuses on two key themes: THINKING & DOING.

  • THINKING: Rewriting the voice in their head. Reducing self-sabotaging thought patterns and behaviours that hinder performance.

  • DOING: Creating effective coping strategies and improving lifestyle habits to ensure peak performance under conditions of stress and uncertainty.

Optimal well-being AND peak performance are NOT mutually exclusive.

 

For individuals looking to tackle their own voice, who seek to optimise their cognitive performance, enhance their productivity, whilst also creating a sustainable, effective and enjoyable lifestyle.


 

To see my curriculum vitae head here.


For more information contact me here or email me at hello@desireedickerson.com

 

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