Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

Even though I’m a young and healthy woman I have to remember I cannot do it all. I’m all for being a superwoman, but this superwoman needs a break. I’ve been reading a few blog posts here and there; talking to other women about this issue and realized that a superwoman needs to know her limits. In addition, a superwoman has to start saying “no”. When you say “no” that does not mean that you are being “rude”. A superwoman asserts herself and is confident. If you want to learn more about how you can be the best superwoman you can be in the workplace check out the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.

Besides this Lois P. Frankel’s book I recommend reading Dr. Amy Freeman’s book about work-life balance, Stress Less: 10 Balancing Insights on Work and Life. I did a Mademoiselle Spotlight on her last year and talked about how she is an inspiration to me as an Black Woman in STEM. She is a wonderful mentor and in her book I learned so many things about how I can achieve work-life balance. Continue reading Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

The Power Nap

Let’s talk about how we can overcome this sluggish-lack-of-energy feeling by re-energizing with a Power Nap. I like to take my Power Nap after my Power Hour depending on my schedule that day. Power Naps are amazing because it’s just enough time to relax without falling into a deep sleep. Continue reading The Power Nap

Recharging After Your Vacation

I am back and recharged! A month ago I wrote a post about How to make the most of your summer vacation. Recharging after your vacation is just as important as taking your vacation. July is the perfect time to take a break because many people take vacations around this time. After my official break I used a few more days to recharge myself.

Here are My Tips to Recharge After Vacation:

1. Read an Inspirational Book(s):

One of my favorite hobbies is reading. During my break I relaxed and spent quality with my family. Towards the end of my break I picked up some inspirational books. Inspirational books will give you the push you need to get back to work or school after your vacation. If you want to see what I’m reading check out my summer reading list.

2. Take a Nice Walk, Run or Jog:

Along with reading I enjoy walking. Whenever I feel stressed or need some fresh air I take a walk. After your vacation take a moment to walk to help you unwind before resuming your regular schedule.

3. Listen to Some Good Music:

I enjoy listening to music and this summer I have been listening to all types of music. Before you go to sleep listen to music that makes you feel happy and relaxed. When you wake up you will feel happier and ready to start your day.

Continue reading Recharging After Your Vacation

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

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Photo Credit: PhD Comics

Now that July is here you know what that means: Vacations! Many people take vacations in July because it is right in the middle of the summer and it is a great time to relax with family and friends. Even if your vacation is short take time to unwind and have fun.

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation:

1. Prepare and Create Lists:
This tip may seem like common sense, but I will address it anyway. Send reminders to our labmates, boss, coworkers or other people that we need to notify. Check out Ph.D. comics (When to tell your advisor you’re going on vacation). A good way to remember what you need to do is to create lists. That way you will be able to enjoy all of your vacation and have things in order when you get back.

2. Switch Your Mind to Vacation Mode:
Leave all of your worries, frustrations, and stresses out of your mind for the time that you are on vacation. Check out this Ph.D. Comics post (Vacation vs Stressed). Have you ever been on a vacation with someone and all they talked about was how they are so stressed and dreading going back to work? Don’t let this person be you. Use your vacation as a time to temporarily forget life’s stresses. This is how to take a true vacation inside and out.

3. Leave Your Work at Home:
This is important, especially for my workaholics out there. The purpose of a vacation is to have time to relax, have fun and explore your vacation’s surroundings. If you are working you cannot enjoy your vacation to the maximum potential. Use your vacation time to completely escape from your work for a while. It will not hurt you. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for it. When you come back from your vacation you will be ready to get back to work! Continue reading How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

Overcoming Post-Graduation Blues

We all know graduation is a time for joy, but sometimes it can be annoying when people ask you certain questions. After hearing these questions you might start to question yourself and feel like you have to make all your decisions about your future right now. News flash – you don’t!

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Decisions take time and use this post-graduation time to celebrate and explore STEM career options.

Post-graduation blues are real and many recent graduates go through it. Even though this is a celebratory time it is also one of the first steps to jump-start your STEM career which can put a toll on your mental health. Remember to take care of your mind, body and spirit. 

7 Ways to Overcome Post-Graduation Blues:

Continue reading Overcoming Post-Graduation Blues

5 Things NEVER to Ask a Recent Graduate

In my last post I shared tips for recent science graduates and now I want to share 5 things NEVER to ask a recent graduate. Do you remember the questions people asked you? I do! After hearing the same questions it can be annoying and frustrating, especially if you are not where you want to be in your STEM career. Things take time and people need to respect your decisions.

My Top 5 Things NEVER to Say to a Recent Graduate:

1. When are you going to get a job?:

This is the #1 question that recent graduates hate, especially if they have been looking for a job for a long time. We all know that it is hard to find a job nowadays and finding a job takes time. When they get a job they will let you know.

How can you Help: Instead offer to look over their applications, CV, resume or cover letters.  Continue reading 5 Things NEVER to Ask a Recent Graduate

Ways to Refresh and Reduce Stress

It’s about that time – spring is in the air! This is the time of year I like to refresh and making sure I am doing the right things to reduce my stress levels. Physical health as well as mental health are equally important. Sometimes when we are busy we can neglect one, the other or both, all of which are not good. Let’s go into the new season refreshed with less stress!

Ways to Refresh and Reduce Stress:

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Continue reading Ways to Refresh and Reduce Stress

Recharge and Refocus

Fall is a great time to recharge and refocus.

Here are my top tips:

Reevaluate your goals:

At the beginning of the year most of us make our New Year’s Resolutions. The fall season is a good time to check your progress. Did you achieve your goals? Do you need to redefine them? What are your next steps? There is still time to make some changes.

Re-network:

Hopefully you improved your networking game this year. If not, you still have time. Step outside of your comfort zone and meet new people. This should be pretty easy because there are many career fairs, new student orientation, and many networking events during the fall. Take advantage of this season to broaden your network.

Mentoring:

Everyone should have a mentor. Become a mentor, find new mentors or do both! Do you remember when you were starting college? Your first job? Here’s a quick story. When I started college I was very shy. I didn’t know anyone at my university. So I decided to join a group for women in STEM at Penn State. By joining this group I was able to meet other young women in STEM and build friendships. Also, I was able to find mentors. The fall is a great time to mentor a young scientist AND find a new mentor for yourself.

What are you doing to recharge and refocus? Comment below.

The Power Hour

The life of a scientist is pretty busy. Between labs, meetings, conferences and association involvement it seems like there is never enough time. I often wonder am I doing enough, but then I realize I don’t have to be so hard on myself. I deserve a break. Work is important. Life is important. Finding the balance is key! Many of us understand the struggle and this is where the Power Hour comes in! The ‘Power’ Hour is a chance for you to focus your energy on something exciting and give yourself a break.

Photo/Comic Credit: PhD Comics

Continue reading The Power Hour