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Nurturing Mental Health and School Work: My Journey as a Woman in Science

As a woman pursuing a career in science, I have come to realize the immense importance of prioritizing my mental health while managing the demands of school work. The pressure to excel academically, the constant deadlines, and the challenges inherent in a field traditionally dominated by men can sometimes feel overwhelming. In this blog post, I would like to share my personal journey and the strategies I have discovered to maintain a healthy balance between my mental well-being and my academic pursuits.

I have learned that my mental health and my academic performance are intimately connected. When I experience bouts of anxiety, stress, or self-doubt, my ability to focus, concentrate, and perform at my best suffers. Recognizing this interconnection has been a crucial first step in addressing these challenges head-on.

Over time, I have become more attuned to the signs that indicate my mental health is impacting my school work. When I find myself feeling unmotivated, constantly overwhelmed, or struggling to manage my time effectively, I now understand that it's a red flag indicating the need to take a step back and prioritize my well-being.

I have also discovered a variety of coping mechanisms that help me navigate the pressures of school work. For me, self-care is paramount. Taking regular breaks, engaging in activities I enjoy outside of academia, and practicing mindfulness have proven immensely valuable in recharging my energy and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, I have learned the importance of setting realistic goals, practicing effective time management, and seeking mentorship from those who have walked a similar path.

Being part of a supportive community, such as the Women in Science Society and Women in medicine, has been instrumental in my journey. Through those groups, I have found a safe space to share my experiences, seek advice, and receive support from fellow women who understand the unique challenges I face. 

Together, we encourage and uplift one another, creating an environment that values mental health as much as academic success.

Much love,

Mariam Al Ethawi

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