Find out how PhD student + fitness instructor Laura Petch is finding balance between work, rest, and workout in these current lockdown restrictions!

 We're back with our interview series, and first up is our legendary Laura Petch (One of our amazing Soul Strength instructors). We're talking all things science, thesis, powerlifting, motivation dips, home workouts and how she's finding balance with the current lockdown restrictions. 





 What does your day to day schedule look like at the moment? 

At the moment, I’ve managed to maintain a lot of structure in my days. Working in a laboratory-based role meant I wasn’t able to bring my work home, so I’ve found myself with a lot of spare time. I still get up around 6.45am, get in a morning workout, write my PhD thesis from 9am – 5pm then do another workout in the PM!


How did you organise yourself to find so much structure in your day? 

I’m a really organised person by nature, so I figured the best thing for me to do was structure my days in the same way as my average working day. At the beginning of each week I plan my training schedule and writing plan as I usually would. Day to day, I get up at a consistent time and go to bed at a consistent time too. I have my lunch and dinner at regular times and I’ve even planned my snack breaks.. it sounds silly, but having control over smaller things like this can make the bigger, scarier things seem much more manageable. 


Do you find your motivation dips, and if so, what do you do to find the motivation again? 

Of course, there’s been plenty of times when motivation dips! Firstly, I take a step back and question if I’m pushing myself too hard. A dip in motivation could come from feeling overwhelmed by the tasks you’ve set yourself, so it’s important to come back to the present and just focus on whatever you’re doing right now. If I’ve purely lost motivation in the task I’m working on, quite often I’ll physically take a break and do something else – shower, take a walk, grab a snack etc. Getting a smaller, less meaningful task done can help you approach the tricky one with a fresh mindset whenever you return to it!


Is it important for you to keep a routine at the moment or do you not mind if you just have moments of free flow?

For me, it’s been really important to maintain a routine, particularly on the weekdays because of wanting to complete my thesis, which need intense focus from me right now. At weekends I’m a little more relaxed – I don’t set an alarm and make a point of taking time out to chill and just breathe. I’m currently using the weekends to catch up on household chores and tie any loose ends of my work – but I flow through these tasks freely and put absolutely no time pressure on myself. 







When it comes to your mental and physical health, are you doing any particular activities to keep these in check, or are you just focused on your thesis for now? 

In terms of physical health, I train every day - most days doing a session in the morning and a session in t