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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UGA chapter.

It’s pretty safe to say that I am a people pleaser.

I’m always saying “yes” to things, so much so that I find myself going through a never-ending cycle, with no real time for myself. If I’m not at a meeting, I’m holding a study session with some classmates. If I’m not helping plan an event with one for one of my clubs, I’m acting as a therapist for a friend who needs to vent at the moment.

Not that I hate being involved in my extracurriculars, squeezing in some extra study time, or being there for the people that need me, but after a while, it gets to be a lot.

I’ve been in this cycle for so long, that if I’m not busy doing something like work, school, or helping out wherever I’m needed, it feels like I’m being unproductive. I feel like I’m wasting my time and there’s the lingering idea that I need to seek out something to do to fill the void.

I forget that in all of the hustle and bustle caused by my daily schedule (and any extra tasks I pick up on the side), I’m allowed to rest.

I can say “no”, to people, I can shoot a text to my club members saying I need to skip our weekly meeting, and I don’t have to do my assignments weeks before they’re due. I can take time for myself and relax. It’s okay to take a break and slow down every once in a while.

It’s important to remember that you can’t be at your best if you haven’t had any rest or taken some time to simply breathe. We perform better once we’re energized and in a better mindset. Stress impacts us in so many ways, and it can impair the way we carry out our tasks, and not doing things the way we want to can just lead to even more stress.

Also, we need to remember that we can’t always do things just to please others. We can’t consistently do things with the idea that we’re only going to do them because it makes someone else happy. Instead of going to events or doing things with the idea that it’s what another person would want, we should think more about if we’re actually enjoying ourselves and if it’s something we want to keep doing. If you don’t like the club you joined, don’t waste your time, energy, and happiness by continuing to go to meetings. If you’re too tired to pick up an extra shift at work, don’t do it. Constantly making yourself available and putting others’ needs before your own is draining, and it’s not healthy at all, physically or mentally. As I said before, stress can have a huge impact on our bodies. It affects our sleep, eating habits, and even our heart rates and blood pressure (very scary!).

But taking a break doesn’t always have to be something big like calling off work or completely isolating yourself from the rest of the world. It can be taking a walk while listening to your favorite songs. It can be taking a nap in between classes. It can be buying yourself something new that you’ve been wanting for a while. My personal favorite is watching a few episodes of my favorite show after class instead of jumping straight into studying so I can loosen up a bit. It’s great at helping me feel refreshed so I don’t start working with the stress and anxiety of the day looming over me. The little things are just as important as the major ones, and they can have the same impact on your mental health.

Take it from me, taking a break is not easy. If you’re anything like me (“anxious” is my middle name), you’re always worried about things going perfectly, and you feel like it’s your responsibility to be in several places all at once. Understanding that me-time is essential can be a hard concept to grasp, especially when you’ve been stuck in this loop of working and helping for so long. It takes time to fully implement it into your routine, and the first few times you do it, it can feel awkward simply because you’re not used to it.

However, after the first few times, it gets easier, and you start to realize how much you needed those boundaries and that time for yourself. It’s absolutely worth it.

Slow down, take a deep breath, and relax.

Gabby Floyd is a fourth year Special Education major at UGA. She loves social justice, Olive Garden breadsticks, and Spider-Man movies. In her free time, she's usually reading, binge watching Glee, or making niche Spotify playlists.