Ah, the end of the semester. The time of year when I curse how much I've taken on with one hand, and sign up for even more next term with the other. I'm trying to reverse this trend; it's better to commit to few things well than to many things poorly, and it's always a possibility to pick up on the optional if there's free time.
Written? Kitten! got me through a first draft of my first lit review. A wiki of engineering education resources provides a productive stream of distractions; even if I'm not doing my assignments, I'm at least learning something related to my field. I'm either working, sleeping, relaxing, or (more commonly) trying to relax; it's the first time I've made a point of striving for balance instead of trying to work as much as possible, and (to my surprise, but still to my constant untrusting anxiety) work manages to get done anyway. It is a gas that expands to fill all available space.
You train into rhythms and build up storehouses when times are good so that when times go haywire, you have habits and reserves to draw upon. I'm glad I started hitting the gym this semester; the increased fitness makes my spates of terrible posture and late-night typing now all right, even if I'm now skipping sessions and slumping during the times I manage to hit the gym, barely managing to creak out 11-minute miles on the treadmill, wearily dragging myself through lunges holding 20lbs. It's something I know how to do now, so I can still sort of do it, even badly. Light discipline in more things next semester, I hope, following that pattern. Light discipline that looks silly and easy when the times are good, but will be gritty to stick through when the times get hard.
This is difficult to do alone. I need to set up study groups, pairing times, social-work hours to get through. Accountability. People to sit and work beside me in parallel, even if we are working on different things. Supper-and-studying buddies. Alone, it's too easy to get distracted.
Sanity... it's a good thing. I'm trying to maintain it, and I hope I'm getting better every time.