VYSHNAVI: I think talking to my peers and friends, especially during the pandemic, was really helpful. The reason being when I talk to them, I realized that I was not alone in the struggle.

So from every conversation that I had with my lab mates or with my friends it was the same story that I heard. That the productivity has gone down and it just doesn’t feel the same as working from the lab.

Although mine is a computational lab, it still doesn’t feel the same as working from the lab if you’re working from home every day. And I think knowing that everyone’s more or less in the same situation, that we are all in the same boat, facing the same struggle, it helped me come to terms with the reality that this is what it is for everyone.

I’m not the only one. This is how it is for everyone. And it made me realize that I was probably setting my bar of expectations really high, to a point that it becomes impractical or not very realistic.

And that was basically the cause of my struggles. Me thinking that I’m not more productive. That I should be doing this. I should be doing that. And then getting upset about it and trying harder.

But that wasn’t really helpful. So I think from those conversations the most important thing that came out was that I needed to accept the reality for what it is, and then just shift my perspective a little and see what I can do given the new reality.