Everyone handles hardships differently. Some find relief in confiding in others, while others bottle up every feeling or emotion that surfaces. However, many people look for something that will distract them.
Distraction can be your best friend in times of distress, but it can also be your mind's worst enemy if you rely on it too much.
What does that even mean? How much distraction is too much?
Before I give my two cents on this topic, I would like to preface this by acknowledging how incredible I think it is to be a hard worker (even an over-achiever, if you will). It's not an easy thing to be able to balance your schoolwork, health, social life and a part-time job all at the same time. It's really awe-inspiring if you can do it right. However, some people attempt to juggle all of these and fail to accept help when they need it or fail to accept the real reason why they keep so busy. It's taken me a long time to really grasp this (and I am still learning how to) but it's perfectly OK to ask for help or take a step back when you're feeling too overwhelmed.
Obviously, some distraction in life is good, but trying to juggle a million things at once just so you don't have time to think will end up hurting you more in the long run.
Yes, downtime can be scary. Yes, your seemingly endless to-do list may haunt you. And yes, anxious thoughts may creep into your mind. But it's healthy to be alone in your room once in a while with just your thoughts. This downtime is necessary because it is when you're the most honest with yourself. How will you find comfort in being alone with your mind, come to important conclusions, or face your fears if you don't make the time to do so?
Last semester, I accidentally turned into a workaholic, which was a really new lifestyle for me. I became almost addicted to the need to always be doing something. Anytime I was alone with my thoughts, I didn't know what to do with myself. It was as if more downtime meant more chances for terrifying thoughts about my future to creep into my mind. There was also more time to think about things I messed up or things I couldn't change. I had always been a hard worker, but this wasn't the same thing.
Distraction really is a good thing when you need to stop focusing on a specific event, person, failure, etc. It can help you get back on track with your routine and allow you to live in the present again.
Distraction can be harmful when you're constantly distracting yourself from the truths you're too scared to face. It can take a toll on your body when, in reality, every busy bee needs a break once in a while.
As hard as it is, you can't be on the run forever. At some point, you just have to find balance amidst the chaos.