A.S.U. It stands for "All Spun Up," and in my hands, it can be just as deadly. It's also a weakness of mine. Here is a fictional-but-might-as-well-be-real conversation:
COLLEAGUE: Hey! How's your summer going?
ME: Oh my god. So busy. There are all the things and I've only gotten half of them accomplished which I suppose is typical but this fall I've got This Many classes plus The Same Many independent studies plus Big Committee X and Y plus organizing the events and this is supposed to be my research semester and o my god ALL THE THINGS...
COLLEAGUE: [flees in terror, resolving never to speak to me again]
This is me. This is what I do. I say yes when I've resolved to say no, I panic, and then I talk myself into a greater panic.
So, I'm gonna take this like a twelve-stepper: one day at a time. One task at a time. Or maybe a marathon runner, who focuses on the next mile, rather than the whole 26.
This will be for my sanity. But it will also be for the sanity of the people I work with. I want to be a positive force in my work life. But I need to secure my own oxygen mask first.
And remember: the correct answer to "How is your summer going?" is "Not bad! [omit details that will send me into ASU territory and shift the topic] But I want to hear about you!" Cheezy, but it keeps me out of the bad place, right?