After a particularly stressful summer last year, I resolved to try to rest more and try to change my attitude about work. Six months into that resolution I’m doing fairly well, although the goal of resting at least one day every weekend during the academic year still needs some work. A big part of making next academic year better will be to make the most of this summer break. So I’m going to start by writing down some of the things that summer break represents to me:

  • Summer break is taking both days off every weekend without even a moment of hesitation.
  • Summer break is giving my alarm clock a rest.
  • Summer break is completing more to-dos than I create each day.
  • Summer break is moving a to-do to the next day and experiencing no consequences.
  • Summer break is walking away from my computer for several hours and not having any new emails.
  • Summer break is having the mental space to notice that the walls in the house need painting.
  • Summer break is mostly about research.
  • Summer break is a reward for all those years spent in the purgatory that is graduate school.
  • Summer break is not stressing about how I’m going to get it all done.

Thinking about at least one of these things every day between now and September should help me appreciate the summer and cope once the pressure picks up again this fall.