I recently took a step back from writing for Odyssey, and have spent the past six months in what felt like a desperate attempt to get a grip on my mental health, and frankly, my physical health. I have always been of the mindset that being busy and having a packed schedule is ideal because it keeps me from even thinking about being sad!!! Well, like most stories I tell, boy was I wrong. Instead of being so focused on the huge strides I was making, I was making those strides at the expense of both my physical and mental health, to the point where I had a day off last spring and realized I was having some serious issues that I was ignoring for the sake of "professional development."
It's hard for me to take time off like it is for all college kids. We have it beaten into us that if we have free time, we're doing something wrong, and we should be perpetually be overwhelmed. In addition to a full schedule of classes, we're expected to have a job or internship, as well as time to exercise and cook healthy meals (side note: does anyone have recipes for healthy meals? I've been eating a lot of Kraft mac and cheese, and it's getting concerning). If you didn't come into college with mental health problems like I did, you're certain to develop at least some level of anxiety with all the running around on no sleep and too much caffeine that we do.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that you need to take time for your health in general, but especially your mental health. When you start feeling worn down or just plain old tired that invades the deepest crevices of your bones, it's time to take a step back from something to free up some time to handle what you have going on. Whether it just takes a few more hours of sleep a night or seeing a therapist for a few sessions, it is so important to prioritize your health. It's the one thing that no matter what, you can always control, and you will do so much better in school, that internship you worked your ass off to get, in everything when your mental health is stabilized and you aren't constantly giving up on yourself.
The best part of taking a step back from something you love, though? Coming back when you feel 100% and getting to start again, feel the love and excitement you had when you first started all those months ago.
And Odyssey? I hope you like me because I'm here to stay.