Lately, I had some of the most complicated months of my Ph.D. Laboratory closure, seminar presentation and some other complications merged together to create the perfect storm. Last week I finally could breathe the fresh spring air that relieved my soul from the recycled air of my underground office. I believed that I would be able to take a break and relax at home these days, but soon enough I realized that I had a serious problem in my mind.
I could simply not relax. Has this happened to you before? You are at home trying to sit and watch some series or play that dusty Xbox in your living room, but after some minutes, random stuff starts to come through your mind. Maybe now that I have time I should put more effort on improving my French? Going more often to the gym could also be a good idea. What about that puzzle I left half-made last winter? The weather is awesome to go out biking.
At the end, I didn’t enjoy the series, I could not decide what to do and suddenly is 23:30. I realized that even during my breaks I try to keep crossing things on my lists. Looking for new missions, new useless challenges to fill empty spaces on my time.
Please don’t do that to yourself. The next time you get free time after a monster assignment, just go with the flow of your own mind. If you want to sit on a bench watching squirrels for two hours eating a chocolate bar, then so be it. Will it be productive? No. Weird? For sure. But if it makes you feel the life coming back to you, every minute will be worth it.
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