This is the time of year where I always wonder if I’m going to make it. The grading has piled up; there’s only one week of classes left before exams; and those things you started on months ago have to be finished right now. When I’m not working, I’m too exhausted to do anything. Today I made the executive decision to take the day off. I have two doctor’s appointments this morning, which would have put me at work at noon at the earliest. So I decided that I could use the time more effectively doing a combination of work/house things from my home in the afternoon.
I’ve talked to a couple of colleagues who are feeling the same way. Final papers have come in and have to be graded before exams. Stressed out students have taken up free time getting help on either the paper or prepping for the exam. We feel like we’re neglecting our families and our houses. And yes, there’s light at the end of the tunnel in the form of summer, but it feels like a really long stretch before then.
This is when things can fall apart, at least temporarily. Tempers can flare. Comments can be written a little too sternly. Emails get fired off too quickly. You can start to resent the colleague or student who asks for help. I have been telling colleagues to take care of themselves these last few days. No, you don’t have grade that one last paper before getting yourself a snack. Sleep before grading.
I’m reminding myself (and everyone around me) to pause for a moment and apply a little self care. It just might get your through.