Burn Out: The half redacted/half misspelled moments of life.

It’s a blue sky day here in Chicago. It’s sunny with a high of 80. Everyone is wearing sandals and all beverages are iced. With only a few weeks remaining in the semester I’ve been finding myself a bit distracted. OK, truth be told I’ve been procrastinating. Spring has me daydreaming of break and/or a tropical vacation. I still have a mountain of work that I’m excited to finish, but this week I’ve been focusing on self care. Grad school is a balancing act. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in school you forget to think about yourself. Usually when I get close to burning out I get a cold or bronchitis and my body forces me to slow down (and spend three days in bed with a fever). Recently I’ve been thinking about ways to chill out and incorporate more self care (and fun) into my daily life on campus.

Iced Tea + Blank Notebook Perfection

Self Care in the South Loop

(A list in no particular order)

  1. Take a selfie with all the murals on the Wabash Arts Corridor.
  2. Meditate and/or nap in your studio.
  3. There is a lake! Walk till you see it. Then sit and squint your eyes–see, it’s basically an ocean.
  4. Go see a movie at the Adler Planetarium.
  5. Sweat it out at Columbia’s Fitness Center.
  6. Over the course of one afternoon taste test all donuts shops within 6 block radius.
  7. Explore Columbia’s buildings until you find an amazing view. Headquarter there for the day.
  8. Enjoy the view from Shedd Aquarium. Relax.
  9. Guys, there is a Money Museum.
  10. See the dinosaurs at the The Field Museum (student and Chicago resident discounts).
  11. Get in free to the The Art Institute of Chicago and find a bench; watch the people, not the art.
  12. Walk for longer than you expected.
  13. Talk to a stranger that’s paid to listen.
  14. Have a picnic in Grant Park.
  15. Turn off your phone and get lost-ish.
  16. Walk to an L/bus stop along your commute that you always pass.
  17. Listen to an audio book while staring at clouds.
  18. Get a drink.
  19. Take a blank notebook to a coffee shop, forget all writing instruments. Figure things out.
  20. Find an event that’s about to start and go regardless of the topic.
  21. Repeat number 6 with ice cream shops.
  22. Explore Chicago’s Lakefront Trail on foot or on a Divvy Bike.
  23. Go to the Fabrication Lab and play with clay.
  24. At noon, find the lunch spot with the longest line and try it.
  25. Hang out in the Papermaker’s Garden.
  26. Eat pizza at least twice in one day.
  27. Help a tourist navigate the city.
  28. Explore Harold Washington Library. Bonus: research anything using the zen microfilm room.
  29. Go to Trader Joe’s with no list, stay for 30 minutes, and purchase only a single chocolate bar.
  30. Sit for longer than you planned.
  31. Take a deep breath. Repeat.