It's gotten harder. I spend more time in my real life and bank on the fact that time away from the job struggles will bring perspective. Uh, was I supposed to treat this lightheartedly? I got nothing.
Some semesters, I just give up on a class, or all five of them. I function for the remaining weeks. Then, when the grades are in, I set the out-of-office messages and disappear. See Fab's comment for the rest of my strategy.
I think that occasional strategic loss-cutting may benefit us and the students.They'll have other proffies next semester, and we'll have other students.Group dynamics are not always in our control, and it's this more than any one student that causes things to go less than optimally, at least in my experience.As for what do you do? Friends, family, nights out, watch a TV series you never got around to.Watch something ages old and classic (if season one of "Cheers" doesn't work...)Failing that, dark dark humour.
My half-assed answer: I go for a hike. At least that way, I feel like I've accomplished ONE thing, even if it's not work related. That makes me feel better. It doesn't mean I get any work done, but I feel better.
Read CM, drink and leave work early (when not teaching). It helps but it's getting less effective.
Reading CM, definitely. And Apothic Red.
(not a spam link, really!)https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/48/85/ab/4885ab394a5515709bbb66487b17ae40.jpg
Same as CC: anything outdoors makes me feel great. The more challenging, the better; a tough weekend backpack with fun people is the best. Nature makes you feel good, the challenge is invigorating, and the sense of accomplishment (and the beer and cheeseburger) when you're done is a nice "F-You" to the petty nastiness and stupidity of office work.
WooHOO, a kindred spirit. My people have a word for it:shinrin-yoku (forest bathing)...
Another vote for outdoor activities, though I think mine may be a bit less strenuous than Surly's and Cynic's (more walk than hike, though I can go a good distance; gardening is also a good way to take my mind off other things for a while, and/or let them simmer -- or ferment, or fester, depending on the subject -- in a far corner of my brain), while accomplishing something with visible results. Projects with visible results are good, since so many of the results of teaching don't necessarily show up immediately. Also swimming, when available. Spending time alone at home also helps (even if I'm teaching an online class), since I'm an introvert (spending time at home only with people to whom I'm close/very familiar would probably also work, but it's been a while since that option was part of the picture). I never realize quite how tiring I find the ongoing round of meetings, activities,rehearsals, programs, etc., etc. (at church as much as school) until they stop for a while. I think the other factor (besides introversion) is that I'm not really good at estimating/planning how long a task will take, and I tend to get into tasks once I get started, and not want to stop until I'm done, so constantly trying to figure out what I can get done in the time available, and stopping and starting, and deciding whether to finish and be late for something else (never class, but sometimes meetings/choir rehearsal) or stop and have to start again, is wearing. Also sleep. And ice cream. Not necessarily in that order. Almost anything seems better after one or (preferably) both.
All of the above appeal to me, too. I also volunteer at a local community thrift store. That always has crap (lots of crap) to sort mindlessly. That also helps me to feel accomplished. :)