It’s that time of the year again. Classes have started, clubs are meeting, and there is so much you need to do in such little time. Trust me, I’m right there with you. The beginning of the semester is always overwhelming, but I find that striking a balance between school and self-care is the best way to maintain my sanity as school gets back in full swing.
SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE
Life is only overwhelming when you let it be. Putting all of my assignments into my planner and adding the dates for all of my meetings to my Google Calendar is the best decision I’ve made to stay organized and afloat. I schedule time to get work done and time to take a break. I’ll ask one of my friends to sit down with me and just work. There’s nothing better than being able to coexist with your besties and actually be productive.
To-do lists can be your best friend or your worst enemy. For me, it can be daunting to see how many tasks I have to complete before the day is over. But, if used correctly, it can be a big weight to lift off your shoulders and allow yourself the time to relax knowing everything is planned out.
It’s so important to know when you need to take a break. Balancing the demands of your academic and social life and your own personal needs is extremely difficult. Taking a break after I’ve accomplished a task or two is so helpful for me, as it keeps me from pushing myself into a more stressful mindset.
I’m guilty of opening TikTok as soon as I’ve finished an assignment, but it’s a reward for finishing my tasks. Breaks are also an excellent motivator; I want to work harder to get to my break faster, so I’m going to complete my assignments quicker.
Prioritize time for activities that are restful just as much as you would prioritize time to work on school. Mental health always comes first! Our brains are not wired to sit with the same task for hours on end. I like to split my work time into blocks and give my brain a rest in between.
LEARNING TO SAY NO
The greatest thing I’ve learned is the power of saying no. It can be so tempting to go to $2 Tuesday at Township instead of giving yourself rest or working on an assignment, but sometimes you just need to say no. There’s nothing like going out and recharging with your closest friends, but I’ve found that taking a night off and dealing with the FOMO that comes with it is better than pushing my brain past its limits. Self-care nights are essential — there is nothing better I can do for my mental health than taking a night in for myself!
Hopefully, my experience gives you some motivation to put your mental health first as we dive head-first into the fall semester!