Episode #193

What To Do After A Sleepless Night

The end of October/beginning of November is a stressful time for academics. You are grading, preparing for finals, applying for grants, and writing and publishing. It is expected to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.


In today’s episode, I share two coping mechanisms to help you navigate high-stress periods. Whether at work or home, it is inevitable to enter a season in life that feels transitional. This often comes with a hefty to-do list and pressure that negatively affects your sleep, energy, and productivity. So, if you feel overwhelmed by a never-ending list of tasks invading your brain, this episode is for you! 

Coping Mechanism #1: Develop Systems and Processes

Spending the time to develop, nurture, and refine a system or process that works for you eases any stressful situation. You will have that process to fall back on when you begin to feel overwhelmed. It assures you that you can step back without impacting your career or routine.


Example: The Soaring system is a way to get and keep your writing practice on track. It starts with finding the best time to write and making it available in your schedule. Next, you need to honor that time consistently. Once established, you can trust that you can return to that writing rhythm if interrupted. 

Coping Mechanism #2: Treat Yourself with Grace and Humanity

DO NOT power through! You are human, and it is okay (and necessary) to acknowledge times of struggle and overwhelming feelings. Learn to accept that whatever you can do in that moment is enough.



  • Lower expectations on what you want to accomplish
  • Let the day take you where it wants to, and accept that it might look different than what is written in your calendar
  • Set limits on how long you do something based on your energy


“Once you learn and develop the systems and processes that work the best for you and you continue to put energy and time into refining them, nobody can take those away from you. You have them to fall back on when you don’t have the energy or when you don’t have the motivation.”


“When you have the systems in place it becomes easier to treat yourself with a lot of humanity and grace on days where you feel exhausted or when it is extra stressful because things are aligning together in a way that is less stressful.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist here.  



  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Get on the waitlist here!
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
  3. Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.





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