This Time, Actually Give Yourself a Break

It is one of those sayings you hear all the time: “Give yourself a break”. Heck, I am sure we all have said this to at least one other person in our lifetime when we thought they needed to hear it. That's great and all, but how many of us truly take those four words to heart, acknowledge the need for rest, and reflect on all we have accomplished or overcome?

I, for one, will admit that I do not give myself enough of a break. I do not take the time to recognize the many things, both good and bad, that I have been through and how hard I have worked to get to where I am now. In a world where we are expected to be down for anything and always be a few steps ahead, taking the time to be proud of yourself can be really hard. 

As someone who is learning to take one day at a time, not knowing what it will hold, or how I will feel when I roll out of bed in the morning, it's important that I continue to understand that I can only handle so much. There is nothing wrong with knowing your limits, whether that applies to your social life, school life, or work life. 

College students have enough going on as it is. Life at this age can be challenging, and figuring out how to balance everything you want to do is quite hard. Speaking from experience, it can also take a toll on your overall well-being.

Image Source: Pixabay

So, how can this issue be handled? What can be done to prevent burnout? 

Personally, over the years, I have had to learn that this is my life to live and no one else's. I am not living to please anyone besides me, myself, and I. It has not been easy to accept this idea, and it is something that I still have to work on every day.

Understanding that you are your own person with your own life to live is the first step in allowing yourself to rest and take a break. It is easy to feel as if you need to take advantage of every opportunity that knocks on your door. Some people can live that way, swiftly going from one thing to the next without a second thought. Others, like myself, need to create space between activities or commitments in order to avoid feeling too overwhelmed.

I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day, explaining to her how I was feeling overwhelmed with everything going on. I found myself asking her, “Do I need to go to every social event? Should I be putting myself out there more?” She laughed in response, then followed that with saying, “Honey, you are a grown-ass woman! You can do whatever you want!” She was basically speaking the lyrics of Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” right to me when I needed to hear it.  As I continue my education here at UCD and work towards achieving my goals, I need to make time for myself more often along the way. Sure, I’ll keep working hard in school and will put myself out there as much as I can, but I’ll also work on myself and do what makes me happy. 

In the end, we are all human, and we are built with the need for rest and relaxation. So give yourself some R&R sometime soon. The things you think are important or have to get done usually can wait just a bit.