Moving from survival mode to wellbeing in academia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this autoethnographic visual-textual narrative, I reflect on pivotal experiences in my early career while transitioning from learner to academic in changing institutional landscapes. I explore changes to my beliefs and self-managing behaviours as I move from survival mode into recovery and towards wellbeing. Five themes emerged from the visual-textual data, including social expectations, a commitment to ‘hard work’, setting boundaries, competition, and crisis readiness. Overlapping challenges across the themes is research time allocation, our sense of belonging, and precarity. To foster wellbeing at an individual level, I suggest radical self-care such as redefining your workplace expectations and practices, boundary setting with self and others, the celebration of rest, and precious care of your time to avoid burnout. At a societal level, we need to address the negative impacts of performance metrics, exploitation of casual and fixed-term staff, and discrimination in the workplace – before wellbeing is possible for all academics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreating a Place for Self-care and Wellbeing in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationFinding Meaning Across Academia
EditorsNarelle Lemon
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003144397
ISBN (Print)9780367700553, 9780367700522
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameWellbeing and Self-care in Higher Education


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