Webinar: Be kind to yourself! Learn how to take care of your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

Be kind to yourself! Learn how to take care of your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

Driving to the supermarket because you suddenly decided to bake but were out of eggs.

Grumbling about traffic on the way to work.

Going to a party with your closest friends.

Taking your kids out for ice cream on a weekend.

Paying your grandmother a surprise visit on your day off.

Until a few months ago, I’m sure these little moments were a normal part of your life and didn’t seem like distant luxuries. But now with the COVID-19 pandemic changing life as we know it, “normal” doesn’t seem so simple anymore. This global crisis has brought with it changes and challenges in both our personal and professional lives – we’re unable to leave our homes at will, we’re away from our loved ones, we’re terrified for their and our own safety, we might be struggling with a new work routine, our jobs could be at stake, the uncertainty and isolation could make us stressed and anxious…this seems to go on. Given this, it’s no secret that the COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health.

If this wasn’t bad enough, it seems as though researchers are being expected to get more done now, especially if they are working from home. Several conversations on social media have been hinting that academia might be failing to understand how COVID-related stress is affecting researchers’ mental health and productivity. So as a researcher, your mental health and wellbeing might be even more strained. And with the world relying on researchers to “fix” this crisis, it’s only normal for you to feel more pressured, more stressed, and more anxious than usual.

We want to help you cope better and make sure that you’re being as kind to yourself as possible during this challenging time. And so we’re organizing a series of motivational talks to help you focus on your wellbeing and take care of your mental health. Our first session of this series by the knowledgeable Dr. Ewa Pluciennicka (Neuroscientist, psychologist, and Founder of PhD Success) is specially designed to do just this.

In this session, Dr. Pluciennicka will talk to you about the feelings of being stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed; each of which you might have experienced at some point or another along your academic journey, especially over the last few months while dealing with the enforced social isolation and uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic. She will focus on the cognitive, emotional, and physical responses to these mental states and their influence on your professional and personal life. She will also explain the mechanism related to the increase of stress and anxiety during COVID-19 crisis and share practical advice on how you can better deal with these mental states, reduce them, and possibly even use them as positive drivers. To explain how you can manage your mental health better, Dr. Pluciennicka will propose practical exercises to help you work towards focusing on your own wellbeing.

This event is part of the https://covid19.researcher.life/ initiative of CACTUS.

Date and time: Thursday May 28, 10:30 AM UTC

About the speaker

Dr. Ewa Pluciennicka

Neuroscientist, psychologist, and Founder of PhD Success

Dr. Ewa Pluciennicka was born and raised in Poland and pursued her education in France. After obtaining her Master's degree in Psychology at the University of Strasbourg, France, and working as a therapist for 2 years, she reintegrated into academia. In 2015, Dr. Pluciennicka was awarded a PhD degree in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Lille, France, and went on to pursue an academic career as a postdoctoral scientist in psychology and human neuroscience. In parallel to her academic activities, Dr. Pluciennicka frequently supported her colleagues as they tried to deal with their own struggles and challenges as well as their mental health along their PhD journey – a vocation she soon realized she was very passionate about. In line with this, she created PhD Success – an online a platform dedicated to the mental health and wellbeing of PhD candidates. By offering one-on-one consultations, community experience and free resources through this platform, Dr. Pluciennicka helps PhD students overcome their difficulties and become confident, productive, and successful researchers. By creating PhD Success, Dr. Pluciennicka has been able to combine her love for working with people, expertise in psychology, and passion for contributing to science. She hopes to create a healthier and happier research environment for young academics through her work.