Just breathe

28 April 2016 by Lisa Meloncon (post inspired by @KristinArola)

This is definitely the time of the year where we are all feeling tired, stressed, worn down, frazzled, out of focus, and [fill in your own term(s) here].

So I just want to encourage you to

 

just_breath

Go ahead and do it with me right now. Close your eyes and think of a happy place. Take a long, deep breath. Hold it. Now, let it out slowly. Repeat.

There is no way to make the piles of student work go away nor is there any way to get out of every one of those year-end meetings everyone is trying to schedule so the only solution is to be nice to yourself. Take a walk. Work-out. Have a drink with friends. Go to your favorite restaurant. Relax on the couch and don’t feel guilty about it. In other words, take care of yourself because that’s the only way to be able to get through all those things you have to do!

As you keep breathing, let me offer just a couple of things to keep the end of term in perspective.

  • We are all feeling the exact same way. Just because I already submitted my grades (last week) doesn’t mean that time isn’t filled with other end of term tasks. I just finished writing my third report. I have three more to go. Sometimes knowing you’re not alone makes it better.
  • Lots of things collide at this time of year so finds ways to prioritize and scale back. All of those things you had hoped to do but don’t have a firm deadline need to be put on the back burner until later. Minimize grading or comments on student projects, particularly by telling students you’ll only comment if they’re coming to pick them up.
  • Don’t scale back on those things that you have to have. Now is not the time to cut back your caffeine in take or if you’re someone who has to sleep, make the time for it.
  • Treat yourself after every major task. This is something you should always do, but it becomes more important at this time of year.
  • Reach out to mentors and friends for encouragement. Don’t be afraid to ask for some kudos or props for getting something done or asking for support in trying to get something done. Accountability in online spaces can be useful for some people and for others, you can always try talking through things with someone you trust.

I am consistently a little bit in awe at the continued expanse and participation of the #womeninTC community. So many of you are generous and kind and ready to lend encouragement or to find time to have a conversation if need be. As I have written before, you have to reach out. You created this network so use it to your advantage, especially at this time of the year.

And really, don’t forget to breathe.

 


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