Work: highly fluctuating
Private Life: abysmal
Creative Projects: … making backups of my data like crazy
One thing I recommend to everyone who does a PhD, is a PostDoc or otherwise has a stressful job is to maintain different, independent pillars to keep you up. Be it sports, music, tinkering, whatever — there have to be some other, independent areas that do not go down when your work/private life becomes taxing and your emotions are in free fall.
For me, for various reasons, one major pillar is doing creative projects (like this site or other projects). The main advantage of creative projects is that you can do a lot of them by yourself, which is great if you do not want to see anyone for a while.
Personally, I think that is also one of the main advantages of using an idea collection (see “IV. Collect Ideas” in my book). If you not only capture your ideas but put them into a collection that lets you easily access your ideas for creative projects, you can easily pick a creative project that you can realize even when … things go wrong otherwise. Because there are times when both work and private life suck — and even if the project you are working on at the moment also fails, you have other projects to simply pick and chose.
It can be the thing to get you over a … bad day.