Demotivated and tired


I am in my 2nd year of my Phd in public health as a part-timer with a full time job. And it’s been a while i am demotivated, crying, edgy, tired all the time and procrastinating a lot, i am not meeting my to do lists. Reading others posts made me realize that’s maybe it’s normal what I am passing through. I feel like quitting cause I am just tired all the time and too stressed, i can’t take off days cause i can’t afford it with the economic situation in my country and to add on i have huge deadlines and i have the stress that i need to finish in 3 years cause cz self-funded. I am writing my scoping review article and doing the extraction of 42 articles, working on a delphi study with the whole statistical parts and preparing for the 2nd round, and validating 2 outcome measures tools on patients in parallel... always feeling am incompetent and my work is not good enough, that i should read more references, improve more the writing, fix the protocols. I have 2 supervisors cause i am doing it jointly between 2 universities, they are supportive but i feel sometimes they r over busy to really help me practically. Sorry for the long post.. any tip to motivate me to continue and get back on track? Thank you


Hello, I'm sorry you are finding things tough. You're right, it is very normal to feel like this during this stage of your PhD. Interestingly, I'm currently working post doc in Public Health and part of that is a Delphi study, so please feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions I can help with.
Your supervisors will be very busy right now, the eyes of the world are suddenly focusing a lot on public health with the pandemic, and most academics are trying to get used to the new world of online teaching, working from home and amending study protocols to fit new guidance. However, they still have a duty of care to you and if you are struggling, please communicate this with them. Also, remember you are your own worst critic, no one is as harsh on you or as critical of your work as you are. In some ways this gives you a massive advantage, those with large egos rarely see flaws in their work and as a result never achieve great quality., but it does come at the expense of your mental health sometimes.

I know you can't take time off, but do you have anything that helps you let off some steam? It seems counter productive when you are so tired, but exercise can really help. I do martial arts and an hour at my punch bag in the evening leaves me feeling awake, alert and calmer. Yoga is also great, or even dancing. Use youtube to learn punch/kick techniques, or follow a zumba video/yoga tutorial. These are all free on youtube and might really help you. Also, please make sure you are eating well, nourishing your body and drinking plenty of water.

You might also want to rule out any other causes for your feelings if they are quite new to you, such as iron/vitamin deficiencies


I really appreciate your message, i started exercising again 6 weeks ago you are totally right it’s helping me a lot. Would you recommend a certain reference for the delphi to follow to calculate the consensus? I am relying on Blieck 2018, Consensus among stakeholders about success factors and indicators for quality of online and blended learning in adult education: a Delphi study, where i calculate the interquartile and median at the first round which is simple to do with SPSS but studying the stability at the 2nd and 3rd round which is complicated. Do u advise me another reference? Thank you a lot one more time


Hello ZaYa- I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. I have to say that it is VERY normal though to experience this in a PhD program and journey! I found good mentors to be very helpful. I also agree that exercise can help a great deal, as can rest and making time for relaxation. Do you have a group of friends or colleagues who are supportive? This can be useful. See if there are resources at your University, and do not hesitate to use them! It is particularly tough now because of COVID too. I offer some support for PhD students, but really finding this can be incredibly powerful! Seek out mentors at your University if you can too. Take care!


Thank you for your message, i really appreciate it, i have a supporting group of friends! But i have rare friends doing their phds..but will try always to seek support to pass this tough phase especially after the explosion of 4th of august it made things tougher! Thank u one more time