Most advice about combating burnout justifiably focuses on the physical self—get more sleep, drink more water, eat better food, and get more exercise. How can we heal the smart part of us along with the physical? Although the former has been discussed extensively in the academic setting, the latter has been largely ignored.
I discovered that, to be a good instructor and student, I need to keep my intellectual side engaged, so I keep my Thursday afternoons sacred. This cannot happen in your pajamas within sight of essays to be graded and dissertations to be written. One week might be more expensive, like a trip to a botanical garden, but the next may not cost more than a cup of coffee. It is up to you to define what intellectually replenishing is, so cast your net wide. Although I recommend that you seek out films that will feed your intellectual self, it is your outing!
For all of for parking, we took a tour of the citrus varietals, visited the museum, tasted freshly picked citrus fruit, and wandered around the orange groves.
Though I didn’t do this on an official Scholar Date, I couldn’t help but think that it would have made for an amazing outing. I am lucky to live in one of the densest concentrations of art in the world.
Cynicism: I mean, who isn’t a cynic in grad school? There are a lot of reasons for burnout, but mine is rooted in an increasing sense of isolation.
I dropped my tablet on the floor like it was red-hot, because, over the last eight months, I had slowly accumulated a set of symptoms that added up to something rather serious, to something that had a name: burnout.