Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Assignment #304: Frazzled! How Do You De-Stress?

This one, like so many Weekend Assignments, comes from my life this past week:

Weekend Assignment #304: How do you de-stress when you're feeling frazzled?

Extra Credit: The Weekend Assignment may soon have a co-host. That okay with everyone? 
(numbering corrected 2/5/10)

Frazzled. It's a word I keep running into lately, and I'm not the only person who has applied the term to me this week. In British English it apparently has a slightly different meaning than here, or at least a broader one. On Doctor Who it's been used to mean "broken beyond repair," or possibly "burnt out" in the sense of electronics. For me, though, it primarily means the way I feel when this is a good visual approximation:

Which I suppose does mean "burnt out," in a sense. But I hope not beyond repair!

Anyway. I've been working on a complex and difficult project at the Church, the sort of thing where I fix one problem and two others pop up. Time has not been on my side, so I've had to scramble frantically to get things done, sometimes on even less sleep than usual, spreadsheets proliferating wildly in my wake. On Friday I was sent home to rest and de-stress, on the grounds that I hadn't had a day off since the 3rd or January, or was it the 1st? It was getting pretty obvious to others that the pressure was getting to me.

So what did I do when I got home?

I worked on the problem a little more, in email, and it helped.

I watched the series finale of Dollhouse. And it helped.

I petted the dogs. And it helped.

I edited photos for the Round Robin. And it helped.

I did laundry. I'm not sure it helped with that particular source of stress, but at least now I have clean clothes!

Then today I met with the church treasurer for several hours. And it helped A LOT.

Generally, there are three things that seem to help me:

1. Sleep. I cannot overemphasize this one.
2. Get away for a bit. Yes, that can be escaping into Facebook or a tv show, but that's too routine to help all that much. Getting out into the mountains with the dogs and my camera is a much better bet for me, as I did last weekend.
3. Solve the problem. That's really the big one for me. It's fine to take a break, but if I can then tackle the actual problem and triumph, even over a small piece of it, that's what really helps me. How about you?

A word about the Extra Credit above. Sometimes the Weekend Assignment, as much as I love it, adds to my stress. After two years of making up the questions, with occasional suggestions for "guest professors," I find it hard sometimes to come up with something that's interesting to write about, not too complicated or obscure, and that hasn't already been asked by me or by John Scalzi before me. To avoid getting completely burned out, I've asked our friend Carly if she's willing to co-host the Weekend Assignment starting a few weeks from now. This means she would be creating and posting half of the assignments, bringing fresh ideas into this old meme. She's already come up with the idea to have a logo for the Weekend Assignment, as I've posted above. I encourage you to use this logo in your own blog. It's available in several sizes besides the big one:

250 pixels wide

220 pixels wide

125 pixels wide

I've included the following link so you can make the logo clickable if you like: We'll have a similar one for Carly's blog once we get going - assuming it's okay with you folks, of course! Or just link to the week's particular Assignment entry - e.g. this one.

Meanwhile, let's take a look at the results of later week's Assignment. For Weekend Assignment #303: To Tweet Or Not To Tweet, I asked whether or not you use Twitter and why. Click on the names below to read the full responses:

Julie said...
I love Twitter as much as it frustrates me. I've had to unfollow and/or block some folks who started off interesting and then suddenly changed into non-stop self-promotion machines of the most annoying kind. Oh, yes: Twitter is a very useful tool for promotion, but, like any other tool, it can hurt you if you use it wrong.

Carly said...
Ok, I admit it. When I first heard about Twitter I had to wonder what the big deal was. Ok, so you can find out in real time that "Henry" in Boise, has just milked his cow. Or maybe you could find out within a matter of seconds that "Simone" in Fairbanks has just finished her breakfast, but really, why would I care? Ok, it did intrigue me that someone famous could share their day, I mean that would be pretty glamorous right? I mean, it's going straight to the source, without all those pesky tabloids to make it all up, or airbrush the heck out of it. So, ok, I could see that as fun. Hmmm, I thought, maybe there was something to it.

Freda (welcome!) said...
I tweet. @fredalicious

Following 434
Followers 566
Listed 24

Mike said...
I know there are a lot of people who think Twitter is stupid or only for self-important people, and they can be right, but it can be useful at times, too. I've learned about several things first through Twitter; earthquakes, plane crashes, etc. Not to mention that J.D Salinger had died. I've never read Catcher in the Rye, but still, it was important. If used right it can be fun and informative and full of spambots, but there isn't much you can do about that.

Duane said...
I was avoiding social networking sites like the plague; they just didn't seem like my cup of tea. Several people told me I needed to get on Twitter, but I kept putting them off. One evening, my wife basically just put me on Facebook, and within a day or two, I finally decided to take the Twitter plunge. Both have worked out pretty well for me. 

So there you are - five responses to last week's Assignment. Will you join us this week, and tell us how you de-stress? Here are the guidelines in case you're interested:

1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, February 5th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better.) I hope to get the next WA posted on Friday night, or Saturday night at the latest. If you get it in before I post, basically, you're golden!
2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry. Using the logo is encouraged but not mandatory.
3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."
6. I haven't run into any unpleasantness with this meme, ever, but just in case it ever happens, know that I reserve the right to remove rude or unpleasant comments (not to mention comment spam), and to leave entries off the linking list if the person has been majorly unpleasant, or fails to mention the Weekend Assignment in the entry.

That's it for now! I hope to hear from you soon.



Florinda said...

I'll be back later with my link, but I think it's great that Carly will start sharing hosting duties!

Florinda said...

And now I'm back.

barrettmanor said...

I hope I'm not too late:

Mike said...

I'm up. What number should this bee. 304?

Carly said...

Hey Karen

I am writing up this week's assignment and it will post at midnight ET. I wil comeback with the link at that time. By the way, I think Mike is right, this should be WA#304. :)



Carly said...

Hi Karen :)

Here, as promised, is my link! :)