Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

The other day I had a really down day. I was extremely tired, stressed and had no motivation at all. As a college student, these are the kinds of days I fear most. There’s so much work I have to do, and it’s usually reading or note-taking. On top of that, I also have to balance school with my job, social life and mental health. It can be extremely exhausting to try and juggle all of those responsibilities. But while I was lying in bed during my off-day, I came to the realization that I, and many other people, should not be so hard on ourselves for taking a day off. 

It seems as if our society thrives off of hustle culture. Basically, hustle culture is where we are constantly working. We don’t stop until our work is done. Sounds awful, am I right? It makes many people, including myself, feel that we are not worthy unless we are constantly putting something out. Hustle culture also causes us to burn out very easily and turn something we love into something we hate. It makes us feel ashamed for doing something else. However, those expectations are unrealistic. While it has good intentions to make sure we put in our best effort into what we do, it seems to overlook the fact that good work will not be done if you are drained all of the time. Our bodies and minds need breaks. 

While I tell people all the time to rest and take care of themselves, it does not seem fitting to tell myself the same thing. Sometimes I have difficulties in resting and stopping to try and do something else. Resting and practicing self-care are the things I feel guilty about. But I’ve come to the realization that even if it’s not something I want to particularly do, it’s something I need and shouldn’t feel guilty about. It’s something we all need. Self-care is beneficial because if practiced, you will not get as overwhelmed with your workload and have total gloomy days. Sure, things might get hard every once in a while, but maintaining mental health can make it more bearable. 

I’m not here to tell you that working hard isn’t necessary and that you can rest all of the time. Instead, I want you to know that if your body and mind need to rest, listen to them. It might be hard to swallow this, but we cannot do our best work if we are on edge constantly. Actively schedule time throughout your week to engage in self-care and if need be, take a little extra time to relax. 

My down day was a blessing in disguise. It made me realize that I need to pay attention to my needs more and that I should never feel bad for doing something for me. It ended up being a good day because I got to play video games and got cleaned up as a way to relieve stress and burnout. At the end of the day, I did not feel as bad as I did because I found out how I can improve my self-care routine.  If you ever have an off day, know that it is okay to take a break and you have time to get your work done. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your needs always come first. You are always worthy even if you don’t put out as much work as society tells you to.