Giving thanks

Welcome back to this week’s Mindful Path to PhD! Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, coming very early this year (or perhaps I just feel that time is flying by much too quickly now) and I wanted to take pause and reflect on a few things I’m thankful for. Here are my top three things I’m thankful for this year:

  • Those I cherish most, my family and friends
  • The opportunity to pursue higher education
  • Giving mindfulness a chance & prioritizing self-care

I never wish to take my loved ones for granted, so I must say my family and friends are something I’m always grateful for all year long. While this might come as a surprise and despite how challenging graduate school is, I’m grateful for having the opportunity to pursue higher education.¬†Finally, this year I’m thankful for having tried mindfulness meditation and for having incorporated self-care practices as one of my top priorities. My highest, and arguably only, priority used to be work. However, the demands of graduate school really began taking a toll on my overall well-being, particularly my mental health. So this year, I’m going to take some time to acknowledge how far I’ve come and be thankful for all of the support and opportunities that have come my way.¬†

I still have one giant deadline looming over me and that is my first independent fellowship application to the NIH. I will likely be needing to really focus on work during the Thanksgiving holiday, but I’m going to do so mindfully. I’m going to do the best I can do, and not dwell on ensuring each and every word is correct. I’m going to keep working hard and complete the task. I plan to mindfully be present in my work when I’m working and then to be mindfully present with my loved ones when I’m celebrating the holiday with them. My family’s tradition is to put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving evening and I am choosing not to let my deadline ruin that tradition this year. I hope you all take some time to reflect on those things that matter most to you. Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

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