So here's the thing, I thought I had it. I thought I was doing well until about a month before the book deadline, when I was finalizing my last project for grad school and trying to wrap up the work on the book, I just buckled. You see, you can only sustain the pressure for so long before you just can't any more. Since then, I've been sick more days than I've been well but I'm finding ways to pull myself up out of the valley and remember being normal again. I thought I'd share some ideas that I have to help make it through.
Tips for When You're in the Weeds
Pick your top priorities and say no to everything else.
Whether your stressors are self-imposed or coming from an outside source, choose your priorities and ruthlessly cut out all other asks. There are always people/things/interests that will pull on your time but when you're in the weeds, ain't nobody got time for that.
Prioritize something good.
Make sure at least one of your priorities needs to be good for you. I love to read. I read over 100 books while in grad school and writing a book. That's because reading to me is such a part of who I am that, without it, I wouldn't be me.
Share where you are.
It takes a village people. Who is your village? Who knows what's going on with you and will check in on your status? I think that we need at least one family member, one colleague, and one friend who can be our person on tough days. If you don't have that, think about how you can cultivate it.
Don't forget your why.
Whatever your stressor, you haven't peaced out and moved to Timbuktu for a reason. What is your why? Are you supporting your family? Following a dream? Working for the good of your students? Relate what you are doing to your why and keep your eye on the goal.
Tips for Recovery
Give yourself the gift of non-productivity.
After moving past your time of "biting off more than you can chew," you need a break! Like, a real break. Vacations might count but there will be some time when you are less productive than your usual self. That's to be expected. When we're lucky, that happens right around the time of summer break! Even when it doesn't, give yourself some grace.
Share where you are.
Remember that village? It doesn't end when our stressors do. Keep sharing where you are. Not just the good stuff too - the main stressors may have passed but we're still working our way back to normal (or a new normal).
Friend, you have done amazing things. Celebrate those things.
Grant time to grieve.
If your time of great stress came from crises, work environment, or other negative circumstances, give yourself the time to grieve that which once was.