My first semester on campus at UMass Amherst has been amazing. I’ve met so many new people, tried so many new things, and experienced a lot of self growth. When I first got here at the end of August, I felt like I had to make up for lost time since I took classes from home my entire freshman year. I said yes to everything, and though I was having a great time, I started to get super worn out once classes started. At home, I’d always had time to just decompress and chill; it was a part of my routine. But at the start of my on-campus college experience, I’d been too busy with the “seeing friends” and “homework” parts of my routine to worry about “me time.”
After a couple of weeks of this, I realized I needed to treat “me time” like any other part of my routine. I’m a planner, so every day I like to make a rough daily schedule of what I’m doing that day. At first it felt weird to put something seemingly unproductive (I say “seemingly” because making time for yourself is definitely productive) into my daily schedule, especially since I’d never needed to before, but it made all the difference. By setting the time aside, usually at the end of the day, I made sure that I was able to get the “me time” I needed to recharge. I actually made the effort to journal after doing my skincare routine or read for 20 minutes before bed, and it made all the difference.
Once I put “me time” in my schedule, I noticed such a big difference in how I was feeling. I was more social again, and I was happier and more relaxed. Having a rough time frame of when I’d be stopping my homework and transitioning to “me time” created such a nice end-of-day routine during the week, and I even noticed that I had an easier time falling asleep. If you’re at all feeling like I was at the beginning of the semester — drained, tired, and worn down — I can’t recommend enough that you make the effort to make “me time” a part of your daily routine.
It doesn’t matter what your “me time” is, as long as you feel relaxed and peaceful. For me, I love to recharge by journaling, reading, watching Netflix, or stretching with some good music. I think the most important part of your “me time” is that you don’t feel stressed about other things you feel like you should be doing — that’s where the importance of scheduling comes in. By giving my “me time” its own spot in my schedule, I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be doing something else more productive.
Set yourself up for success in all areas of life by taking care of yourself and giving yourself the time to recharge that you deserve!