With the second week of classes winding down, we as students can feel a bit overwhelmed with classes. Whether it’s jobs, athletics, involvement in one of the many organizations or a balance of everything, it can be difficult to manage it all. Constantly rushing around can be unhealthy and lead to burnout quicker than expected. We as students need to realize that, although we are students, we are humans first. That includes taking time for ourselves.
Taking time for ourselves not only impacts our physical health but can refresh for our mental health as well. With our minds in constant go mode — hopping from one activity to the next — it can put excessive amounts of stress on our brains. It accumulates and soon all we think about are deadlines and what will happen if our grades slip. When we step away for an hour or two and do activities that allow our minds to focus on anything besides school and responsibilities, we can return to our work with a refreshed mindset.
Despite what the media portrays, homework isn’t everything. Of course, it’s important to maintain good grades. But when academics become our entire personalities, it deprives us of the opportunities to have the college experience. If friends want to hang out to watch a game, go. A two-hour break from your paper will not kill you. If your roommates want to go out to dinner, put down the pencil and come back to your assignment later. By all means, do not procrastinate as that can aggravate anxiety about school, but a small break is beneficial.
Taking time for ourselves does not have to be one large chunk out of your week either. They can be small five-minute breaks throughout our week that add up. Watch a 30-minute episode of a favorite TV show. Go for a walk around the block. Listen to music for 10 minutes. Do a two-minute skincare routine. Meditate for 15 minutes. Whatever brings you joy and happiness can be a big mood booster and help us balance our days.
We as students need to start making ourselves more of a priority. The longer we neglect ourselves, the quicker we start to spiral downwards. In the future, when we look back on our college days, do we want to say we spent our heads in our books the whole time or that we still had loads of fun? It’s very well possible to do both, but we can’t do it without nurturing ourselves.