I walked out of my classroom after graduation on May 23, and the next time I ventured in was last night, June 28, to pick up a camera.
I believe this is a record for me (except for last year when I was out of the country and geography kept me away). I’ve always had a hard time not working, and that isn’t a healthy mindset. True breaks are necessary to maintaining peak performance.
I realized this when I started to pick up my exercise regimen this summer, and a foot problem forced me into rest days. I’d always thought rest days were for the weak. Turns out that couldn’t be further from the truth.
So of the many things I am already thinking about changing for next school year, I think I also need to add the concept of rest days. Days when, guilt-free, I do no school work. Typically, these days are thrust upon me when I go blazing past my breaking point, and then the rest days are really more like triage days. I don’t feel better after them.
Planning true rest from work is a good summer lesson to learn; I’m on my last of four grad classes, completed half the work for a journalism fellowship (the rest will be done in residence), finished a book that will be published this fall, and have been part of a community choir. I’ve had to schedule rest days to prevent burnout and ensure quality work on all these projects. So it shouldn’t be too difficult to schedule rest days once school rolls around in August.
My health depends on it.