If you’re like me, you’ve probably hit a wall and are in desperate need of Thanksgiving break. I’m mentally and physically exhausted, my motivation has decreased, and yet I still feel the need to be productive. I feel pathetic for not being highly motivated, and my perception of myself and my worth is entirely contingent on how productive I am. If you’re like me, and you feel pressure to be productive, here are 5 ways to NOT be productive. You work hard, and you deserve to enjoy yourself!
- Take A Walk
I absolutely love taking walks around Denison’s campus and through Granville. It is such an effective way to disconnect from screens, enjoy nature, and clear my mind. It calms my anxiety, and I get in a great workout. Listening to my favorite album – Stick Season by Noah Kahan, at the moment – and going for a solo walk is the best, but I also love walking with my friends, catching up on each others’ lives amidst our busy schedules.
- Practice Mindfulness
The great thing about mindfulness is that there are so many different ways to practice it. You can implement it into your everyday routine by doing a 2-minute breathing exercise. Or you can practice more extensive forms, like yoga. The great thing about Denison is that they offer so many different events at the Wellness Center – yoga, pilates, koru, and more.
- Start A Gratitude Journal
This might sound kind of strange, but a gratitude journal will force you to live in the present moment. I think a big part of trying to be productive is the fear of the future. What if I don’t get this assignment done early and then I have less time to study for an exam? What if other people in my class are ahead of me? What if I don’t end with straight A’s? You’re not letting yourself enjoy the moment, and writing down at least one thing a day that you’re grateful for will make you begin to appreciate the little things in life. You’ll spend time reflecting on everything around you, and hopefully, stop your constant worries about the future.
- Listen To Music (& Dance If You’re Up For It)
As I mentioned earlier, I have been loving Noah Kahan’s new album (as a New Englander, myself), and it has been a great way for me to live in the present and relax. Sometimes, however, I am in the mood for 2000s music that brings me back to my childhood. In dancing and singing along, I almost get to experience my childhood again, in a weird way, a time in my life when my worries were almost non-existent.
- Practice Self-Acceptance
You are so smart, beautiful, strong, inspiring, and perfectly unique. Do not let yourself forget that. I know that I constantly need to remind myself that my self-deprecating thoughts will negatively impact my life. Acknowledge your flaws and mistakes, but do not let them hinder you from being successful. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Just because you are not being productive at all times, does not mean that you are worthless or are doing something wrong. If you need to rest, rest! Of course, that is so much easier said than done, but every step you take in trying to let yourself rest is a step closer to being more at peace!
I know this part of the semester can be rough as you race toward the finish line, but keep on pushing; I believe in you!