It is a fact that you will not be able to write your dissertation if you are not healthy in both mind and body. Stress, anxiety, depression, and overall physical health can take a hit while trying to finish a PhD and your dissertation. Maintaining your health is a multi-faceted task that involves not only good habits when it comes to diet, exercise, and recreation, but also making sure to be aware of warning signs regarding the onset of depression and/or anxiety.
The University of Memphis has many resources available to graduate students to help with mental health, and we strongly encourage you seek out their services whether you feel like you need them or not. Begin with the video below, featuring Rivian Lewin and Sam Acuff from the Counseling Center, for an overview of warning signs, coping strategies, and mental health services.
All of these things can be bolstered by fostering a community. Make sure to check out the writing groups and other resources to help build fellowship with other graduate students on the Community page.
It is important to disengage from your dissertation. Remember the wider world of friends, loved ones, and...well...outside! Go to a movie, enjoy a good dinner, or enjoy nature. That last one is quite important as fresh air, walks in forests, and so many other physical activities can do wonders for our health and mindset.
Check out the article and videos below on the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku...aka "forest bathing."
This is just one of many possible ideas as there are many ways to enjoy outdoor activities in and around Memphis. Both Overton Park and Shelby Farms have walking and biking trails, and there are two Tennessee State Parks (Meeman-Shelby Forest and TO Fuller) within 30 minutes driving of the city where you can use your Tennessee state employee discount to book a campground. There are also numerous other state parks around Tennessee that boast cabins for a retreat away from the city.
Non-UofM Teletherapy and resources for Out-of-State Students