How to Get Your Life Together After a Slump

The beginning of the semester is always filled with high hopes and dreams for me. I tell myself this semester I am going to get a 4.0, I’m going to be organized, I’m going to eat healthy and I am going to work out regularly, etc. However, this toxic perfectionism almost always sets me up for failure. I can only balance all of these things for so long before I inevitably break down, becoming overwhelmed with the pressure I put on myself. Normally at this point, I try a new approach. I step back and try to rationally assess my habits and how to create a routine that works for me and ensures I take care of myself. While I have not learned to stop this vicious cycle, I have learned to successfully pull myself out of the slump it creates. 

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The first thing I do is assess my routine. How am I budgeting my time? I like to take all of my responsibilities and time commitments and distribute them across the week, scheduling blocks of time to work on homework, extracurriculars, etc., around scheduled time commitments such as work or lecture. This allows me to ensure I have time to relax while still accomplishing everything I have to do in a week and prioritize the most important tasks. 

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Once I create a solid routine for myself I like to reflect on the habits I have been neglecting. Often I will begin cutting out what I perceive to be nonessential but most definitely is essential. This time around I noticed I stopped my skin care routine, I stopped eating real meals and I stopped working out. These things all felt like they took too long so I cut them out to save time; however, each is also important. Bringing to my conscious awareness that I am neglecting these habits allows me to prioritize these things in my routine. 

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My next step is cleaning and reorganizing my space. Having a clean space is calming and refreshing. I have a tendency to hide away messes to maintain an appearance of a clean room, but this quickly becomes chaotic. I shove fresh laundry in my drawers unfolded or never take it out of the basket, I fill my bedside drawers with random junk I leave out and neglect cleaning the surfaces in my room. So, I like to take the time to clean and organize these spaces so I can easily find things.

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I usually like to make a day of these things. I take a day to relax and reevaluate my habits, routines and self-care. It is refreshing and motivating, and ultimately leads to me feeling more productive and happy with my routine. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with work or stay motivated, consider making some of these evaluations.