the 20 minute rule.

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via cup of jo

I’m here; it’s me, really.

I haven’t been swallowed up in teacher survivor mode. Rather, I’ve been doing something amazing, necessary, something shouldn’t be considered amazing- but rather merely a part of every day life. But it feels amazing. I’ve been working and then working out, seeing friends, cooking. Leading  a happier life than the workaholic mode I was in before. I still get stressed (I’m an anxious lady, afterall), but I’m doing better.

One thing that’s helped? Only talking about work for fewer than 20 minutes when I get home. No more long rants about education policy or a particularly troubling moment with a student. I am trying more and more to leave that stuff outside my home so I can actually enjoy myself when I am home. It’s hard; all that stuff is on my brain, and I want to blurt it out to a listening ear. There’s some degree of catharsis that results from “getting it out.” But it’s also ultimately selfish to do that, isn’t it? And it really prevents you (me) from leaving work. Boundaries blur if we don’t limit ourselves.

I think we all struggle with this to some degree, particularly those of us in a helping profession. It’s hard to disconnect, to truly be away from work, to be yourself outside of your profession. The 20 minute rule is genius (thanks to my friend Janna who’s a nurse) in that it puts a finite amount of time on our ability to rant. It forces us to engage in conversations about other things– things we know interest us and are important but which are overshadowed by our recent experiences at work.

How do you disconnect from work? Do you find it hard?

lv, molly

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3 thoughts on “the 20 minute rule.

  1. I’m going to try the 20 minute rule in my apartment! My poor roommate has had to deal with tears and rants for the past few months (social work!) and I really find it hard to disengage after I leave my office.

    Blogging about happy things helps me too :).

    • Absolutely– that helps too. :)

      My friend who’s a nurse recommended it, so I bet it’ll help you too! Let me know how it goes!

  2. Really great idea. I often feel the same way about blogging—when I come home from work, I blog. After work, I meet with girls about blogging. Blog blog blog blog blog. It can be challenging when your part time hobby could actually be a full time job, and I can absolutely relate to how hard it is to turn off one’s brain—especially when you really do love what you do because it feels good to think and talk about it.

    Love this reminder that we all have lives outside of “what we do”—and it’s important to put into our personal lives all of the energy, love and curiosity with which we approach our work. xo!

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