Energizing as a Full Professor of Human-Computer Interaction – Painting Walls, Floors and Ceilings

How do you regain energy after a Covid-19 period? I had low hopes for the Christmas vacation and no plans really. I felt quite drained of energy after a period of too much to do, a new role to take on and some people around me who felt clinically depressed and drained of energy.

I have had a long Christmas break this year, and have been extra careful to take many days off work, and I have not even checked my email (!!). In all, I was off work for three full calendar weeks. This was really good for me!

Instead of working, my husband, four kids and I have spent quite some time painting and renovating three bathrooms and one bedroom. Of course, the equipment was bought online and delivered to our house due to Covid-19. My partner has done most of the IKEA furniture assembling work and laying a new floor in one bedroom. I have mostly done the painting projects which I truly enjoy! I believe that painting surfaces can be a powerful stress-relieving exercise where you see a tangible result;

1) You can recognise what you have achieved since that section looks great.

2) You can clearly understand what you have left to do since that section is less good looking.

3) There is no need to use your mind, but better let your hands learn what you are supposed to be doing and

4) You can listen to books or pods while paining (I have listened to Swedish radio programs on health and wellbeing and books).

Indeed painting is very unlike scholarly work in general which is not that clearly defined and you most often have only a vague idea of how far you have reached. Notwithstanding, I’m quite convinced that painting is my prospective career. I am covered in paint when I am done, and I am not very professional in my performance as there is paint all over the place. Good thing that there is acetone to clean off paint from the skin before the Zoom rally began this week!

I really feel energised by all the painting and I am looking forward to starting working this week. I am, however looking forward to the vaccine being launched globally to live life more as usual. Since March, we have been working from home, and our social life has been minimal during this whole period. And we have teenagers at home due to homeschooling, and also most weeks one of the younger kids who claim they have a headache or a sore throat. We have had one indoors guest only since March. Luckily, that person is super interesting to talk to and to discuss with. We have really enjoyed the company with good food and Disney films.

I hope that your Christmas was great and that you had something meaningful and fun to do that gave you energy!