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Being Chronically Busy Isn’t Healthy: Let’s Talk About it

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LMU chapter.

I’m a resident advisor. A double major with a minor. I have a work-study job, and I tutor elementary school kids. I’m also a Her Campus writer, editor, and member of the executive board. My name is Marisa, and I will admit that I am a chronically busy person.

I’ve always been a go-getter, the type of person to volunteer to do things. Joining a new club? Sure! Going out with friends? You know I’ll be there! Taking the time to care for me? Well… that one I’m not so good at. If you’re like me, you’re always on, ready to take on a new challenge and do the next thing. You have no problem tweaking a slideshow presentation to perfection until you realize you accidentally stayed up all night and have to get ready for your morning class. Your iCal is covered in so many color-coded dots that it looks like a Georges Seurat painting. You choose to go out with friends after a long day, sleep five hours that night, then go out and do something else the next morning. 

Despite all the praise we might get for budgeting our time to the second, the bottom line is that this behavior isn’t healthy. Caring for yourself is not optional, or something you can push to the side in order to do something more ‘productive.’ Eventually, your body and your mind run out of gas; I’ve learned this the hard way.

For myself, I have to set some hard boundaries, such as choosing a day to rest and learning how to turn down plans or activities. I also have to create rules for myself, like not doing work or checking my email in bed. Beyond the concrete, I’ve begun noticing some of my behavior related to toxic productivity. When I’m not doing something, I feel anxious, like I’m missing something. I’m constantly worried about forgetting something because I overwork myself until my brain is on low power mode. I also over-schedule myself to a breaking point, constantly stressed during my overlapping commitments. Although I haven’t completely stopped these behaviors, I know that being cognizant of them is a major step.

Despite the cultural pressures for young people to always be hustling, being chronically busy is not healthy. This year, I want to balance the time I spend working, studying, hanging out with friends, caring for myself, and doing things I enjoy. Let’s move away from the toxic productivity mindset and dedicate this new school year to self-care and balance!

Marisa is a film production and international relations double major and philosophy minor. She loves iced coffee, watching movies, and of course her HerCampus family!
Nikki is a senior at LMU from Honolulu, Hawai'i and is majoring in Communications Studies with minors in Journalism and Health and Society. She is also the president of Her Campus LMU.