How to Stop Feeling Guilty About Taking Time for Yourself

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If you are anything like me, you constantly feel guilty for taking time for yourself. It could be just an hour of watching your favorite show, or sleeping in an hour extra because you’ve had a long week. Either way, you still feel extremely guilty about it because you still have x, y and z to get done. You’d rather push yourself to the brim before you let yourself off for a second, even though you know you need and deserve it.          

To be honest, I’m still learning how to give myself a break, but the more I work at it the better I get it. 

Here are a few of my tips and tricks. 

1. Multitasking Takes the Pressure of Being Productive Off

As I’m writing this article, I have my screen split it two. On one side is this article, on the other is Amazon Prime open to the current show I’m watching. It’s Saturday and after going to school all week and working the past few days, I’m tired, but there’s still work to be done. So I throw on a show in the background while I write or make notecards. 

Putting on your favorite TV show or some music in the background can make it feel like you’re not working while you are. It definitely makes it much easier to do work. But if it doesn’t work for you and you can’t concentrate on your work, then my next tip is for you. 

2. Schedule in Time to Relax

I’m the Queen of Scheduling, let me tell you. Ever since I started working during the school week, I’ve always got a game plan for my homework. I know now what I can fit in where and how much work can reasonably be done on a certain day. I have all my homework written in my planner and then a sticky note stuck over Saturday and Sunday with my six-day weekly homework game plan. Not only does that allow you to have an overview of what’s to come and when you want/need it done, but it’s a quick reference guide to show you where you are. 

Plus, I strive every week for Sundays off of work and homework just to give myself a little weekend. But during the week, on Mondays during my two-hour break, I usually throw on Netflix or Amazon Prime and give myself a break before the real work begins. And remember to give yourself some time to breathe before going to bed. Going to bed stressed and angry will never give you a good night’s sleep. I try to have all my homework done by 9 p.m. and give myself that hour to distress. 

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3. Remember, Homework and School Isn’t Everything

Now, don’t fail your classes, but know that maybe not reading that one assignment for class isn’t going to kill you. But do it sparingly. I put way too much pressure on myself to be the perfect student, but you have to do what you have to do to remain sane too. So, next time your stressed out and on the verge of a mental breakdown…put down the homework and pick up something enjoyable and just relax for the rest of the night. Don’t put yourself in a bad situation without yourself. 

4. Learn to Balance Your Schedule, While Being Mindful Things Aren’t Always Going to Go Your Way

Some weeks, I have zero days off, some weeks I have a couple days off. It just works out that way, but if you make an effort to get everything done, then you deserve a little time off. Most of the time, I get my entire Sunday off, other weeks (like this one) I’ll only get half the day off because of a group project. But a half day, an hour, a half hour, or even 15 minutes is better than nothing. Know it won’t always be the same, but make sure to give yourself some time off regardless. 

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Regardless of how much work you have, know you deserve some time off. And the longer you practice not feeling guilty the better it will get. Balancing work, life and school is difficult, which is why we all deserve a moment to enjoy ourselves.