There are two things I love in this world: school and summer. (Okay, there are definitely more things, too but still.) I have always defined myself by my school work, extracurricular involvement, and grades, along with my summer adventures, beach trips, and tan. However this year I faced a struggle between school and summer.
For the first time in a long time, I came home from school to a summer of freedom. With no major obligations, appointments, or assignments within the first two weeks of my time home I was faced with pure freedom.
And boredom, anxiety, and stress.
I know this sounds completely crazy. I, too, was that student counting down the days to summer. Then before I knew it I was that, for lack of a better word, bum who woke up, laid around, then took a nap to pass the time. I know that I earned these couple days of free time after the months of relentless work I put in at school. But I was soon anxious that I was not doing enough.
Going from class, work, sleep on repeat with rarely a true hour to myself, to free summer days was a shock, to say the least.
But it also taught me a lot about myself and how to relax. Once I let myself stop making to do lists of lofty goals and things that I did not necessarily have to do, I was able to enjoy my time to relax. Although I definitely forgot how to relax this past school year, I now have a better idea of how to use free time... when I have it.
First, you need to stop feeling guilty. Despite how hard it may be, it is necessary to convince yourself that even if your life is hustle and bustle for 364 days a year, you deserve one day of doing nothing. That day is not going to impede the rest of your hard work and progress.
Second, seriously do nothing. You deserve it. Take it from me. You'll feel worse when you don't finish that to-do list of things you don't need to get done immediately.
And last, avoid comparisons to other people. Nobody is going to post the truth behind their days of vegging out on Instagram. Even their "lazy days" on their stories online are not what they really look like. So, don't compare your relaxation to others.
I know that in a few months I'll be wishing for the days of nothingness that I dreaded a couple weeks ago. So while I have summer days left, I will soak up my days to veg and relax. Especially now that I have begun to learn what relaxing really means.