(Or Happy Belated 2017!)
Don’t worry–I haven’t forgotten about the Skope, and new stories will be posted later this year! I’ve actually spent most of this month writing. My latest project has been the proposal report for my upcoming comprehensive graduate exam–ahh!! This means I’ve also been reading/studying and I’ve discovered new gut microbiota-brain stories to share in the blog. Full days of writing and exam preparation can be mentally exhausting. To combat brain fatigue, I take one day “off” each week, my day of rest 🙂
Fortunately, I’ve also had some built-in mini-breaks, including a spectacular lab ski trip! (See picture below). My first 2017 Skope post focuses on rest (perhaps an odd choice for a blog on research and graduate life!). Here are some brief reflections about incorporating “rest” into a busy, academic schedule.
- Is this a Goal or a Task? I typically set unrealistic goals about what I can accomplish in one day and then I feel discouraged when I don’t complete my daily expectations. So I find it useful to prepare two lists (mental or written). On one list I write tasks. These are activities with an upcoming deadline, a “must-get-done” activity expected for work. The second list features goals, the items/activities I would really like to get accomplished, but aren’t a requirement for work. If I only finish one out of ten goals –life will still be ok, breath!
- There is a funny “study tip” post I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook. The advice (modified a bit)… “stop. take a walk. walk to the airport. board a plane. leave” 🙂 Sometimes rest requires a change in scenery, not a nap. My cheap version involves jogging. Fortunately, Vancouver is a beautiful city and I enjoy running with beautiful ocean/mountain views. At times, changing scenery could involve leaving your work space for lunch or stepping outside for some fresh air. Enjoy these brief moments of rest.
- Because I’m in Canada–I will conclude with a quote from one of my favorite Canadian works, Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. Following an awkward incident, Anne remarks,“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” –Remember, whether your day is filled with procrastination or workaholism, tomorrow is a new day to attempt a productive and balanced living!