Well-being during writing retreat for PhD students

Published on
June 12, 2018

PhDs from the Centre for Space, Place and Society and the Wageningen Cente Centre of Sustainability Governance retreated for three days into a monastery to find out how to stay healthy while working under stress.

From May 29 to June 1, 30 PhD candidates from CSPS (Centre for Space, Place and Society) and the WCSG (Wageningen Centre of Sustainability Governance) participated in a 'writing retreat' in the monastery in Huissen. This was a great opportunity to make progress with individual writing, to share and discuss their work and to get to know fellow PhD candidates.

The theme of the writing retreat was well-being during the PhD phase of life. Dr. Rob Fletcher (SDC) shared his insights on maintaining a healthy and productive writing process. Dr. Joke de Vries held a workshop on ‘How to stay healthy while working in a stressful environment’. The sessions were very interactive and offered a lot of great insights and exchange among the participants.

Many of the PhDs achieved the writing goals they had set for themselves. Teaming up with someone who is in the same writing phase helped them to reflect on their process and to reach the goals. Aside from writing, the PhDs also went on a guided silent walk, swam in the nearby lake, and ate, exercised and relaxed together. In other words, the retreat was both productive and enjoyable. Some responses of participants:

- The location and the food were excellent. It genuinely felt like a retreat.
- It was insightful to hear one another’s troubles.
- I liked all the group and workout exercises, and also the silent walk.
- I was able to achieve more in the last three days than in the past month!