3 Signs You're a Hot Mess...And 3 Ways to Get Back on Track

In an ideal world, life would notice that we’re in a particularly stressed out period and would kindly take a step back to allow us to gather our bearings. But instead of allowing us that luxury, life instead has a tendency of sadistically pressing its boot firmer onto our already stressed out neck, tossing on yet another task onto our packed schedules. But here are some tips to go from "hot mess" to just being "hot." 

1. You’re Working on Too Many Things At Once/You Lack Focus

 

 

Especially as a college student, it’s easy to lose focus on a task at hand. I often find myself thinking about the five to six other things I have to work on later in the day instead of focusing on the task at hand. Which in my experience, it leaves me anxiety ridden with subpar work to show for it.

 

I’m also the type of person who seldom says no when asked to do something. Saying yes to covering other people’s shifts or picking up that extra credit assignment,  even if I know I don’t have the time or energy to complete it to the best of my ability. But overloading your schedule with plenty of menial and unnecessary tasks is a quick way to lead to burnout.

 

Solution: Stop Multitasking

It’s hard to close those 18 other tabs. Website blockers like BlockSite are usually free and are excellent at blocking distractions ike Netflix, YouTube or other assignments. Try not to work on multiple assignments at once.  It can be difficult to get the mind to stand still.

 

Try to also practice saying no. I know that it can feel as though you’re letting people down, but if you already have a full plate it’s probably best to stop piling stuff on.

 

2. Your Sleep Schedule is a Disaster

 

 

Do you find yourself staying up ‘til  5 o’clock in the morning and waking up just in time to make it to your 3 p.m. class? You’ve done 18 all nighters in a row and now your body has lost all concept of time. Then, you might have a problem.

 

Our bodies crave consistency.  And having a consistent sleep schedule is a fundamental step to not only feeling better physically but also getting more done in the day. Becoming a morning person (or at least a person who wakes up without hissing at the sun) can be difficult but not impossible.

 

Solution: Train Your Body to Wake Up and Fall Asleep at Decent Hours

Anna Akana's video on waking up early is an excellent tool to transform yourself into an early bird. Before you know it, you’ll practically be a Disney Princess, singing to the birds as soon as you rise.  Another great tip is scheduling mini power naps throughout your day in order to keep your energy high.

 

However, if you feel as though your sporadic sleep habits are a sign of a sleep disorder or mental health-related, it’s probably best to refer to a professional.

 

3. You’re a Physical Mess

 

 

Your room’s a mess. Your hair’s a mess. You haven’t worn anything that wasn't stained in weeks. Usually when you’re feeling sh*tty on the inside, it’s usually being reflected on the outside as well.

 

Solution: Schedule in Self Care Time

Practice self-care. But real self-care. Not just slapping on a face mask and ignoring all your responsibilities. Self-care is usually much harder than that. Finding time to clean your room or cut your toenails in between class, work and whatever else is going on can feel d*mn near impossible.  But you’d be surprised how much good it will do in the long run.

 

Keeping a calendar (my favorite is Google Calendar) with scheduled in times to do your laundry or do your nails is a great way to get those things done. If you wait for a spur of the moment burst of free time to take of yourself, it’s never going to get done.

 

While these tips are helpful, it’s important to remind ourselves that a lot of these symptoms also correlate with depression, which is a condition that is shouldn't be handled lightly. If you think that these signs point to something bigger than bad habits, then it’s important to speak with a mental health professional.

And remember, being a hot mess is a temporary state of being.  We all have bad days. We all fall off the productivity wagon. Just remember that as easily as we fall off, it’s just as easy to get back on. Be easy on yourself. It’s gonna be okay.  

 

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