I have written about dealing with stress before, and I still feel it is one of the most difficult things about my job. The other night I had a nightmare about not being about to answer a patron’s reference question. I woke you with my heart pounding, convinced that I was unfit for reference work.
A good way to attempt to stop thinking about work all the time is hobbies, activities, and well, getting a life. Unfortunately, most of my volunteer activities are library-work related, and sometimes there doesn’t feel like there is enough time in the day to unwind.
My favourite ways to stop thinking about work are:
- tabletop games
- spending time with friends and family (mostly)
- and creative writing
For many years creative writing was a great escape for me. Nothing serious, just a way to let my imagination take over for a time, and distract me from the outside world. As a teen I filled notebooks with stories, and during my post-secondary experience I continued to write, including participating in NaNoWriMo.
As an adult, I have tried to make room for this hobby that I enjoy, managing another year of NaNoWriMo, times when I was writing a bit daily, a bit weekly. But things slowed down. I try not to blame library school, but I feel like since heading out to go to school in 2012, my professional writing is all that I can manage. First with all of the essays (terrible stuff) and then since I’ve become a “Real Librarian” the amount of writing I do for work is sometimes over a thousand words a day. Now, I am not particularly talented at writing, and I don’t tend to have the patience for editing, but there is nothing quite like losing yourself in a story of your own design.
In an attempt to spend my commute to and from work thinking about non-work thoughts, I am going to try and write for at least 15 minutes a day in November. This is not the enormous commitment that NaNoWriMo is, and should be achievable for someone who is as out of the habit of wrtiing for fun as I am.
And who knows, maybe it will help with my blogging output as well.