Monday, August 9, 2010

Partial Disconnect

Lately, I've been suffering from burnout. I defended my dissertation last summer just in time to start preparing for the Fall semester and two new classes. I had two new classes in the Spring, too. I taught Honors Symposium this summer, and I've got four preps this Fall, including one new class, one class that I've taught before but on T/Th and this time it's MWF, and another class that I've taught before, but for some unknown reason I decided to change books. Well, as soon as Honors Symposium was over, I tried to write the paper that I'm supposed to present at the JASNA conference in October, and that's when it hit.

Burn out.

I couldn't write a word. Oh, I re-read the novel, and took some notes. But when I sat down in front of my computer, nothing happened. For two days. Nothing, that is, but headaches and stress. I was just so tired.

So I told myself that I wouldn't write just yet. I'd rest. But I was too wired up to rest. I'd had constant mental stimulation for years. I rarely (maybe never?) just turned everything off. I'd been doing so much for so long, I didn't know how to do nothing.

So, the first thing I did, besides giving myself permission not to write, was to do a partial disconnect from the internet--mainly Facebook and Twitter. I checked it once in the morning and once in the afternoon, if then. That's it. I put my iphone out of sight--somewhere I could answer a call but not have its presence be a constant temptation to check something. The first day was weird. The second, not so much. Now--not at all. And I feel calmer. A lot calmer. And the headaches are gone.

The other thing I did was re-establish a yoga practice. More on that tomorrow.

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