I jog therefore I sleep

Image from Nathan Rupert

Image from Nathan Rupert

I recently watched a fantastic speech that Tim Minchin made at a graduation ceremony. If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a look. In the speech, he gives some excellent advice, and one suggestion was to ‘run, my beautiful intellectuals, run’.

I know already from twitter that a lot of my fellow linguists gain benefits from regular exercise, and it’s no secret that it can lower the risk of some chronic diseases, cancers, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Regular exercise can also boost self-esteem, mood, energy and sleep quality, and reduce stress and depression.

So, after having a short period when I wasn’t sleeping well at night, I asked myself: why aren’t I doing some exercise?!

I’m now coming into the writing up year of my PhD, and things feel very different from my past nearly 5 years studying (2 years part time for my Masters and now nearly 3 years of PhD). While I did my Masters, I taught at an English language school. For the first three years of my PhD, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I taught at university. As well as teaching and lesson planning, my days were kept busy with fieldwork and the usual meetings, supervisions, seminars, library visits etc. However, this year, I’m not teaching and I’ve finished my fieldwork. I’m working from home with only my lovely dog, Lola, for company in the daytime. It’s a much more sedentary and solitary life than what I’m used to.

Basically, I need to get out more.

So, just under two weeks ago I started running (again), and I have to admit I really feel it’s making a difference. So far, I’ve been sleeping much better, I’m feeling much more focused and able to concentrate on my work, and I feel determined each day to complete my tasks. I even started this blog for goodness sake!

It’s early days, I know. It’s now October and here in Manchester, the days are getting shorter, greyer, colder, and wetter, so it’s not always going to be easy. I just hope I can keep motivated and continue to see the benefits.

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