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Give Me a Break!

TGIF. It’s been one of those weeks. Classes are in full swing. Committees are meeting regularly. Papers are coming due. Deadlines loom. And we’re smack-dab in the middle of cold and flu season.

It may seem like for every item we cross off our to-do list, two more spring up in its place like some kind of task-based Hydra. Most of us, no matter where we find ourselves on the academic ladder can feel overwhelmed from time to time. There’s always another batch of essays to grade, another class to prep, another student to meet, another email to answer.

It’s okay to give yourself a time out.

In fact, it’s not only okay, but it can often help you be more productive and efficient, not to mention happier and healthier to take a break every once in a while. We cannot function at 110% all the time, and if we try we can end up doing more harm than good. We might push ourselves to exhaustion and get sick or drop the ball on an important task because we are simply trying to balance too many different things.  Even professional athletes recognize the importance of rest and recovery and include these essential elements in their training programs.

I’m not saying to take the next week off and fly to Vegas (although, I do love Las Vegas!). But give yourself a couple of hours of down time this weekend. Read for fun. Go to the movies. Walk your dog. Get lost (literally or figuratively). Hit the gym. Ride a bike. Fly a Kite. Cook or Bake (Pizza! Pasta! Cookies!). Take a nap.

I could go on and on, but the point is, take a break, and tell us about it in the comments section.

[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user kennykunie].

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