Reading/watching other PhD students’ week in the life posts & videos usually gives me a kick up the butt to get moving and/or makes me feel less like I’m the worst PhD student in the world and more like I’m feeling normal things. And it seemed like a good way to start changing this blog from being purely about books to more about research.
I’ll update this at the end of every day this week with what I’ve been doing & some more interesting photos when I’m at the museum. I don’t have much booked in at the beginning of this week (but work to do), and then I’m at the museum all day Thursday and Friday morning. I’m about 7 months into my PhD, and you can find out a little about my project here. (I’ll do a full post about what I’m doing soon).
Let’s see if the observation of a thing really changes that thing and I procrastinate less than usual just because I know I’m going to write about it…
Today’s about catching up on a few emails, then getting stuck into some literature.
I’m coming towards the end of my realist review (hopefully!). I’ll write a post at some point about my experience of doing a realist review as compared to a standard systematic one, but the main thing to understand for today’s work is that it has less clearly defined boundaries around what to include, so it can be hard to know when enough is enough. Or at least that’s where my anxiety lies. At the moment I’m deciding whether to include an area of literature as a formal part of the review or as a discussion point. I think it will be a (key) discussion point, and something I think about for my evaluation, but I just want to read around a little more.
It’s actually really interesting how little there is about the dynamics of caring relationships in dementia, both for professional and family carers, and how those dynamics can have an impact on, or be a context for, how psychosocial or creative interventions work. There is some research there, but not enough. (I got some really useful signposting from a researcher here in Exeter and someone I met on training last week. I’m definitely getting better at asking for pointers when I’m stuck, instead of just trying to wade through treacle by myself.)
Speaking of wading through treacle, I’m really tired today, so haven’t been the most productive. My health shenanigans include severe fatigue, and I haven’t been resting properly the past few weeks so it’s catching up with me a bit. I actually napped during the day at the weekend (which as a person who can’t sleep if there’s any light/noise is basically unheard of) after a week of headaches, nausea, etc, so I know the warning flags are out. I’ll be fine; I just need to pull back a little & reconfigure how I’m living before the warning flags become a proper flare-up that takes a lot longer to crawl back from. There’s always that tension, for everyone, between what you want to do and what your body can do, it’s just that my Threshold of Nope is much lower than other people’s. Early finish, then trash TV & a pizza for me tonight!