Stress Relieving Techniques During a Busy Grant Writing Season…
..or Why 2pm Chocolate is a Healthy Professional Coping Mechanism
We all know that in the midst of a busy grant season it’s important to keep self-care in mind, but we also know that this is typically the first thing to come off of our “to do list”. When deadlines are looming, self -care can be replaced with late nights and responding to the grant’s needs before your needs. Here are 8 easy, relatively quick ideas to do a bit of self-care in while still meeting your deadline:
- Schedule a workout into your daily schedule. Get your endorphins flowing, reduce your stress level and get away from your desk for a bit. For more details on the benefits, check out: www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax
- Ease up on the caffeine and ease into music. Spotify, Pandora, YouTube or any of these free streaming music site can be the soundtrack to a great grant as well as a relaxing experience: www.consumerreports.org/streaming-media/best-music-streaming-service-for-you/
- Stress relieving sites on the web. Here’s a compilation of relaxing sites to help you find your inner calm: www.hongkiat.com/blog/websites-to-keep-you-calm/ I found the 2-minute break site a great way to refresh and rejuvenate during a busy day.
4. Schedule a day off. During a particularly busy grant writing season my spouse suggested we take a family day and head to an amusement park. My initial reaction was that I was too busy and couldn’t swing it. But I relented and after 2 trips on an epic rollercoaster I found the fun of screaming my head off cathartic and was relaxed, refreshed and much more productive after a day away from my computer.
5. Identify a task, at home or at work, that you can complete and which you enjoy. Could be baking (procrastibaking?!), gardening, making art, completing a home repair project. Find something that has a discrete and relatively easily attainable completion time. This will satiate your need for closure during a time when there is a stressful deadline looming.
6. Laughter. Take a break and watch a couple of clips of your favorite comedian, watch a couple of Saturday Night Live sketches, or my favorite new favorite the Canadian comedy show Just for Laughs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-9czqr7rmM
7. Change your venue. Changing your writing location to a coffee shop, a library, another office can help give you renewed energy and a new perspective on what you are writing.
8. 2 pm Chocolate. During our recent busy grant writing season, we rented an office in a building with a number of law offices. As a way of getting to know our new work neighbors and a fun afternoon break, we instituted a tradition of 2 pm chocolate. Every day at 2 pm we’d gather for 5 minutes, partake in some chocolate and talk about non-grant writing topics.
Here’s to a stress-free grant writing season filled with good music, laughter, and 2 pm chocolate.