[M.M.X.I.V. 171] Sanity breaks

I’m 171 for 171 on the blogging this year, so the post is not going to refer to a sanity break from blogging.  Instead, this is in some sens an expansion on one of my early posts from 2012.

In that post, I described a typical day of mine, together with the thesis that you have more time in a day than you may think.  I had mentioned my attention span for research and reading in it, and my Sanity Break from yesterday inspired me to write THIS post today.

So, doing any sort of work can be montonous, draining, and something to reduce sanity.  During my early years of research, when I was not doing TA’ing, I found that I had to get up from my chair at least once an hour in order to walk around, chat with other grad students, or just get away from the work for a few minutes.

The stretching break has become less necessary since October of last year, since I implemented a standing desk.  However, although I can physically use the break in this way nonetheless, it is much easier for me to move about (i.e. jog in place, dance to my music) while at a standing desk.  This should be obvious!

Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, my focus was draining.  So, I decided to take a joyride around the Lakefill, which was a quick 15-ish minute bike ride.  Not only was it good to get some fresh air, and feel the sunshine and summery warmth, but I also encountered a few friends!  It’s much like when you go out of context, as I talked about last week.  It is still always fun to do that.

Interestingly, last year I took a sanity break involving a bike ride on the equivalent of yesterday, and as it was the day before graduation ceremonies, there were several graduates in regalia, along with their families on the Lakefill.  Of course, the families were well-armed with cameras.  I saw no regalia there yesterday, but again, saw friends!

Although teaching will allow me natural breaks from research, I still feel that it will be necessary this summer to take sanity breaks by taking a Lakefill circuit, particularly on nice and sunny days.  Fresh air and exercise does produce a lot of mental energy!  (Does it use up a little bit of physical energy in order to replenish the mental tank?)  When fall and winter come, I should go to the gym for a little while if I feel my focus waning–rowing or jogging on the track may be just the thing to refocus myself!

Readers!  When studying or working, what do you do when your focus wanes?


Today is the one-hundred and seventy-first day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes twenty-four weeks and three days.


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