Get ready for #ResearcherRenew 2024!

A blue mug filled with hot chocolate rests on a blue cloth beside a small blue plate covered in icing dusted round cakes. All of this is placed on the snowy ground with grey skies behind and the phrase #ResearcherRenew 2024 overlaid on it.It’s the most wonderful time of the year! #ResearcherRenew celebrates its sixth year in 2024 with activities designed to ease you gently into January and ensure you end the month feeling better about yourself and ready to take on the rest of the year.

How does it work? Every couple of days throughout January I’ll post an activity here on the Research Companion blog. Topics covered during the month will include:

  • recognising your skills and talents
  • identifying your support network
  • managing anxiety
  • self-care strategies and prioritising treats
  • plus more practical jobs like data cleaning and time management

Do I have to pay to join?

No! It’s absolutely free to do, there’s no commitment, or sign up. You just do the tasks you’d like to try – as many or as few as you prefer. All activities described during #ResearcherRenew are designed for you to adapt to your situation and are either free or low cost to carry out.

How hard is it – will it take a lot of time?

Sometimes activities will be quick, fun and easy. Others may require a bit of planning or be something you decide to tackle later in the year.  All the activities are designed for you to opt in or out of and to try at your pace. It’s not a competition but does encourage companionship and celebration of your unique talents.

How can I join in?

You can do the tasks by yourself or share with friends or colleagues in your work and study spaces. If you want to feel part of the #ResearcherRenew community you can

  • add comments to each blog post
  • keep track of tasks with me on Threads using the hashtag #ResearcherRenew (new for 2024, let’s see how it goes!)
  • chat through each task over on LinkedIn for even more connectivity and comfort

Can I share #ResearcherRenew with students and colleagues?

Yes! Please let others know about it. Some people do the tasks in small groups, even setting up their own WhatsApp discussions to talk about what they’ve done. Others have used #ResearcherRenew more formally (and with credit) as part of pastoral care or wider teaching.

Why should I join in?

You may be looking forward to a new start in 2024, or leaving things behind from the old year. You may be hoping to begin or end your studies, get a new job, take time off, or simply feel better if things have been challenging for you. Whatever your reason, hopefully
#ResearcherRenew 2024 will be just the thing you need to build your confidence and boost your mood. While it’s primarily aimed at those working or studying in academia, anyone who feels in need of some comfort and wants to get a bit more organised can take part.

What have people said about #ResearcherRenew in previous years?

“The tasks helped me through the year”
“I liked knowing every couple of days there would be a new thing to try and someone to check in with”
“During lockdown Researcher Renew was a lifesaver”
“I struggle with managing my time (poor executive functioning) and with low energy, so I needed practical advice I could apply on my own timescale that didn’t feel overwhelming and threatening”
“I liked it when we discussed the ideas on social media with more tips on how to do them in practice – and the cat photos!”
“I did the first Researcher Renew and have come back each year. It wouldn’t be the start of January without it. And now my students agree!”
“I’m skeptical about New Year wellbeing messages so initially thought I would hate this. But it made me feel so much happier”
“I didn’t sign up to build my confidence but at the end of the month I felt more positive”
“A lot of these skills should be taught to all students. They’re essential!”
“Being in the company of friends from all over the world I knew were doing Researcher Renew made me feel less alone”
“I always find the start of the New Year challenging, this was exactly what I needed”
“I really missed it when it was over!”

What do I do now?

All you need to do is remember to check this blog throughout January 2024 and follow the tasks set. Your first job is to put a reminder in your phone or diary to come back on 2 January 2024 when your first task will be waiting. Looking forward to seeing you then!

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