#12: Social Media Detoxing & the Ph.D. Balance with Alison Cox

In this episode, Rose interviews Alison Cox, curator of @phdbalance, an Instagram feed about staying happy + healthy while pursuing higher education.


15802880_218570648600994_3030820101365432320_aAlison is a full-time graduate student at Michigan State University, where she studies criminal justice. Outside of the ivory tower, she is a fitness instructor and volunteers at the local Garden House in her community. She loves to read, cook, listen to music and go on road trips.

In this episode, Rose and Alison discuss social media detoxing (and why you may want to do it in the first place!), becoming more self-aware and spiritual as well as how to stay on point when life seems overwhelming.

We apologize for any technical issues you may encounter as you listen to this episode. Please be patient! We are limited on our recording devices. 


Rose: Word of the Year for 2017

It’s been a while. I can’t remember the last time I wrote in this space. How many bloggers say this after such a long hiatus?

But it happened. I picked a word for the year in the early days of January. Since then, I’ve been trying it on for size. Does this really fit the year? Will it guide me through as other words have? Or might I let it fall by the wayside, as I’ve also done?

I have a strong sense this one will see me through 2017: Resurgence. 


I give all the credit to my husband, who came up with it during one of our nightly walks. During these strolls, we often discuss life’s many issues: our upcoming goals, ways we could be better, things we want to do, see or accomplish. On that particular night, I was talking about how I just haven’t felt like myself in so long.

You see, 2016 was a year of good transitions. I got married, and we bought a house. We spent the summer building a little life in a new town while navigating our jobs, family and friends. We traveled quite a bit – the weddings never seem to end – and had a good time at each.

But some transitions have been hard. In March, I lost Scone, my cat of seven years. Some days I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten over that.

There were also little adjustments that I really shouldn’t complain about, but I will. Things like a longer commute, slightly higher bills (due to the mortgage) and needing to fill all the space within a house. Again, I shouldn’t complain. These aren’t real problems. But they take some getting used to.

All of the adjustments led me down a path in which I no longer really recognized myself. I let my health and fitness take a backseat. My sleep hygiene was a disaster. I drank too much wine and ate too much chocolate. And I ordered way too much Thai food on the weekend. Simply put: I let myself go.

And that’s why, in 2017, I need a resurgence. I need to bring healthy Rose back. This is the version of myself that brings me the most joy, and I need to remember that when the going gets tough.

Here are some things I plan to do, in no particular order. In fact, I’m already doing them. They aren’t resolutions but more ways to find myself again:

  • Exercise regularly no matter what. Commit to a plan. Right now I’m doing Max 30, one of the workout programs I loved most. I can’t wait to see what eight weeks will bring.
  • Rid my life of processed food and chemicals. I let them slip back in, and they aren’t serving me any good.
  • Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. This is happening. I have been early to work every day for the past two weeks. Maybe it’s just the New Year, but I want this to continue.
  • Do things that bring me joy in the moment. I’ll know it when I see it.

These objectives are really rather simple. If I take care of myself, the rest will fall into place. If I exercise, eat well, get enough sleep and life a joyful life, life is just a whole lot better.

I got this. Time for a resurgence.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, here are my words over the past few years:

In 2012, my word was patience. Next came fortitude in 2013. In 2014, I tried to radiate, and in 2015, it was steadfast. I knew 2016 would be one of transition, so I chose embrace. Each of these words has guided me in different ways, some sticking more than others. Regardless, each word is very active – a conscious choice, something to work toward.


Episode #11: New Year Resolutions & Household Chores

In our first episode of the new year, we discuss our goals and objectives for 2017. There’s a big focus on “social media detoxing” and choosing the activities that bring us the most joy. We also answer a listener question about how to share the load with a partner when it comes to household chores.
Resources for New Year Resolutions:
  •  The 4-Hour Workweek : a book on streamlining your professional life
  • The Minimalists: a book/documentary about living more simply
  • f.lux: an app that makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

Sometimes splitting up household chores can be a challenge & an uncomfortable topic. Take a listen on how we handle it, and please share your suggestions with us!