Whilst on a recent coach journey, I reluctantly got into a conversation with a young, pretty woman sitting beside me. I was tired (as always, my supervisor might say) from staying up most of the night and all I wanted was the warmth of a bed. But she was insistent on chatting. In less than a minute, I had her details: sixteen, married, pregnant with her first child and doing her best to not smoke. Most interestingly, she told me she hated school and was happy to drop out, thanks to the coming baby! When I told her I was a research student, I noticed her effort to keep her eyes from nearly popping out of their sockets. If my sixteen year-old new coach-companion disliked school because she thought ‘it’s boring’, research would be a nightmare to her!
Like she thinks, research could be beyond boring, very difficult and stressful. And this is one reason why MOB events have been organised – so that ADM research students can benefit from staying motivated. In the course of doing research, it can be hard to maintain a positive attitude and stay constantly motivated. Insecurity, anxiety and boredom have been identified as normal feelings during the course of undertaking PhD research. However, shaking off these feelings in order to remain focused and motivated is a personal decision. One of the ways to do this is engaging in activities that keep the brain active as well as relaxing it.
Thanks to MOB, such opportunity was mobilised via dance to mark the end of term in December. Dance is a powerful therapeutic tool, possessing physical and psychological benefits for those that engage with it. It deals with stress-producing emotions and releases rather than locks up feelings. The use of creative arts as therapy engages arts in a healing process that promotes an interactional approach to the wellness of body and mind.
The event was rewarding, refreshing and revitalising. The wine was good, the mince pies great, but the time spent dancing and easing off the stress of research was amazingly rewarding. As a naturally awkward dancer, I took pleasure in distracting myself with taking pictures and making a video of the beautiful and talented dancers on the floor. The trainer was excellent; his dexterity rebuffed his age, proving that dance is an art for every one of all age, race and background.
MOB events are worthwhile as the Northern soul dance class proved. Beyond being an opportunity to meet other research students and talk about one’s work, progress and challenges, it presents the time to cool off, ease off and give the brain the productive relaxation it deserves for working so hard.
See you at the next MOB event!