Chances are that you're reading this and still have a million other things on your plate to get done for the rest of the day. Before you do any of that, have a brief moment with yourself. Take a few deep breaths. Stretch. Make some tea. Listen to some quiet, ambient tunes. Do anything to take your mind off the occupied world around you. Now, hopefully that removed just enough of your stress to stay sane for the time being.
Constant business is an addiction. We know it's unhealthy in large portions, yet we never decrease the size in our portions because we don't want to feel its withdrawal effect: boredom. And although we don't like to be bored, we're somehow almost never able to find peace of mind. There's nothing wrong with being involved in numerous organizations and activities. After all, not everyone likes the feeling of social preservation from staying on the couch for too long. But we have to be careful not to become socially starved – burnout isn't a great feeling, either.
What can we do to experience tranquility in the midst of our chaotic participations? As a 19-credit-hour percussion major who's taking on the task of being a fraternity chapter's service chair while leading a campus fellowship group and actively building connections outside the college community, I have a few nuggets of wisdom to share if you're ever on the point of mental breakdown with your schedule:
1. Don't be afraid to say "no."
I understand that many of us like to see green check marks instead of red X's when we receive opportunities to get our names out into the world. But you don't always need to say "yes" out of courtesy. Nothing's worse than scheduling something during your lunch time and starving yourself until dinner as a result. Know what each of your involvements entail.
2. It's alright to ask for help.
It would be pretty downright selfish of us to do every single thing on our own and never seek another's availability. But we as humans thrive on interdependence, meaning that we have to rely on each other while recognizing every one of our individualities. A rhythm section can neither groove without a bassist nor keep time without a drummer. A painter can neither convey texture without intricate brushstrokes nor convey color without specific shades and hues. In the same way, don't hesitate to find assistance.
3. You can't do everything.
If you're someone like me, this will be extremely difficult to come to terms with. Oftentimes we measure self-worth by being as actively involved as we can. But that leaves your physical, mental, and social healths out of the equation. Don't let your activities define you. There are more important things in the world to chase after. And sometimes doing absolutely nothing at all can mean absolutely everything.
4. You won't be perfect.
Perfectionists, raise your hands (yes, both of them). We like the clean cuts, nit picks, and all the detail-oriented aspects of our lives to be just right. Yet we fail to recognize the perfection in our imperfections. We'll never be able to achieve an amazing level of perfection without taking away part of our human inauthenticity. This doesn't mean that we should stop striving for perfection itself, but take comfort in knowing that it's alright to be decent.
5. You got this.
Don't worry. You're busy because you care. Never let any excuse diminish your motivations for becoming successful in your life. You may now resume your regularly scheduled routine.