Life isn’t always about “taking care of business”
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I have learned in college is that you need to take a break from taking care of business.
I spent everyday of my college education worrying about getting things done and keeping myself going. Even when I had completely finished a long list of to-do’s, I started a new list right away. This impacted me negatively in various ways. I’m a generally outgoing person but, as time passed, I was constantly on edge.
I became less social — inside and outside of the classroom. I found myself dreading going to class when I knew that I could be crossing one more thing off of the to-do list. When really, I should’ve appreciated that class time was actually a mental break from my constant need to cross things out. I also found myself participating less and feeling less confident about myself. Then I realized, it’s because I hadn’t taken the time to take care of my personal needs. I mean, sure, I went to the doctor and made sure I was “healthy” whenever the yearly check up came around. I just did not feel mentally or emotionally healthy.
As someone who went to a term school, I was constantly reminding myself that I only had 10 short weeks for each of my classes. I was constantly reminding myself to stay on top of things and to hardly take breaks. When I did decide to take a break, it usually ended up with me doing something else on the list or even thinking of things to add to the list. So, what did this lead to? Well, the answer is S T R E S S.
We all know that everyone stresses — which is why it is extremely important to invest some time in de-stressing. It was hard for me to relax at first (still, kind of is). After going so long without giving myself a break, it felt weird to relax; it felt almost uncomfortable. So, instead of jumping right in to “me” time, I did little things to help myself relax. I hardly watch TV, so I started by watching an episode of something I found interesting. This helped me relax a little, even if the episodes were only 20 minutes long. I started to do other things to help me relax after that. Once a week I make some tea and put on a face mask while working on a project or something for work. Once a month, I treat myself to a massage.
I’ve realized that “me” time doesn’t always have to be time consuming. I learned how to take little breaks from my busy life in order to de-stress. I’ve learned that I like doing little things throughout the week as opposed to one day of self-care.
Remember, you don’t have to do what everybody else is doing to take care of yourself. Make it personal and take a break from taking care of business.