Why You Should Always Make Time for Yourself

Last semester, I was always running through the campus, from class to class, meeting to meeting, usually filled to the brim with work, clubs and associations, internship appliations and the like. If I ever gave myself the time to watch Netflix or simply take a nap, I always did so with a guilty feeling at the pit of my stomach, a nagging thought that assured me that I should be doing something else. The way I saw it, I thought I should be being productive, writing essays, completing assignments, organizing assemblies, sending emails, something, anything, but I took it to the extreme: if I felt tired or took the time to eat calmly, I felt guilty and irresponsible, like I didn't deserve to take care of myself. Besides, with my future looming over me, I didn't have the time for all those things I felt were unimportant: I had to fill every possible last hour of her day with some sort of activity or responsibility that would ensure my future. Still, no matter how many things I managed to take on without losing my mind, I felt I was not doing enough. Long story short, I was working myself to death.

Now I am in front of my computer in the middle of the busy and bustling cafeteria on the first day of the semester to tell you that it is good to do nothing every once a in a while.

After one of the busiest semesters of my life, taking on 19 academic credits and numerous extra curricular activities, I decided to relax through the entirety of winter break. I took a deep breath and told myself that I would not be stressed about anything, life would come and I would just enjoy these very needed vacations. So that's what I did. I spent the whole of winter break binge watching Netflix, eating absolutely whatever I wanted, sleeping in, spending time with family, and playing board games. It was amazing. I was able to lay back and go with the flow, enjoying time with my cousin who studies in New York and my cousins from Texas. We bonded and I felt more connected to my childhood than ever before. I learned new card games, went paddle boarding in beautiful Puerto Rican beaches; I even got a tattoo! As I went on doing "nothing," with which I mean nothing "productive," I realized how important it is to take time for yourself. If it hadn't been for my well-deserved break, I would still be too burnt out to focus on my future, and wouldn't be having experiences that are essential to my personal growth and development. 

It's refreshing to take a moment and breathe every once in a while, especially in the midst of our hectic and demanding student lives. So remember, as this semester begins, it’s okay to watch Netflix; it's okay to relax. When you feel anxiety and stress creeping in, breathe; after all one episode will do no harm.