No matter how filled your schedule is we often forget how important it is to take time for ourselves. This can mean a number of things but overall we cannot expect to give to others in our lives or productively contribute to the aspects of our lives if we ourselves aren’t fit to do so. Whether you have ample free time or limited free time to do as you please it’s important to make yourself a priority. When we don’t feel like ourselves we cannot deliver our talents at their true potential. New semesters begin and we have an entire new schedule thrown at us, new classes with new responsibilities. Here are some ways to keep your health – mind and body, sanity and responsibilities on lock when your routine changes. This is what I like to call the balancing act.
Finding the time – Scheduling
Figure out which days or times of the day you can devote to yourself. Don’t fill your plate up with more than you can handle! It is perfectly normal if not necessary to have free time. I’m guilty of throwing too much on my plate and saying YES to every opportunity I’m given, but I’ve also learned that not every opportunity is a good one. Just because it’s a choice doesn’t mean you have to act on it. You don’t want every second of your time filled with something. You as a human being need time to decompress and enjoy yourself. Planners always help so you can visually see when you have “me time,” it’s easy to block out the time but staying true to your time is a difficult part.
Ask yourself, what do I consider my time well spent?
On your free time and academic/work time you should ask this question. What do you consider a good way to spend your time? At the park? With friends? Exercising? Trying new food? Volunteering?
Yes we all need a job to have money to live but if it’s absolutely miserable it only takes a toll on your mental health. Finding a job you enjoy at least a little helps ease the stress. Personally when I work with my friends I tend to love what I do more because I’m hanging with people I love and I’m making money.
Academically if you’re taking miserable classes without your friends and with a drag of a professor you won’t want to show up consequently wasting your money. Choose courses and professors you will have interest in so class is less of a responsibility and more of an engaging learning experience. Also, internship load can play a huge role in your academics. Internships give you hands on experience but take a chunk of time out of your schedule. Consider skipping an internship if your upcoming semester has a heavy workload. You’re not a failure in life because you don’t have an internship on top of your fifteen credits and job.
We all enjoy our free time differently and sometimes we need different things to satisfy us. Learn how to read yourself and gauge if you need time with friends or if you need alone time to decompress. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to be alone, surprisingly we learn the most when we spend time by ourselves. On the contrary sometimes we need that time with our friends or family to forget stress and just have fun. Go out and laugh, dance or explore a new place with friends. For me family time is the best because your family won’t care if you don’t have makeup on or need your brows done; family time is easy, low stress and comforting – head home and cook dinner with your family.
Remember to make sure you’re getting ample sleep, feeding your body with nutrient rich foods, drinking water and exercising. Each of these is key to maintaining physical and mental sanity. Treat yourself and get a new body scrub or get your hair done. Read a book for enjoyment and not just for educational purposes. Watch a movie. Just breath. Shut your phone off and go explore with only your camera. Make yourself a bomb dinner. Dive into some music and discover new sound. You have the right to free time to enjoy life; don’t become hardened by your responsibilities.
Keep the aspects that make you unique alive. Leave your work and school time for that and your spare time for what you love. Whenever I feel unbalanced or not myself I ask, do I consider my time as time well spent?