As the school year wound down, I felt the weight of the academic year get lifted off my shoulders, at least for a good 15 minutes. But as the first few days of summer started, the side effects of a hard semester settled in. I was exhausted with barely enough energy to go to work, I was constantly sick (I got Strep twice!). I could not keep up with all the responsibilities that I had committed to. So I did what a very stressed out sickly student would do: I dropped all nonessential responsibilities and took some much needed me time.
I prioritized responsibilities and didn’t complete tasks that didn’t need to be done at that very moment. I stopped checking my email twice a day. I stayed in on the weekends to finally read that book that has been sitting on my nightstand for months. I went to that downtown antique store I have been meaning to get to. I spent a whole day reorganizing my closet and cleaned behind the oven. As I took weeks off work to visit with family and I sat on the couch binge watching TV, I started to feel a little guilty. I felt like I was never going to make it to my goals if I wasn’t working everyday to make those aspirations come true. But as I continued to take me time, I found it harder and harder to get back to what I was doing before. But this long break of continued procrastination made me realize something: If I didn’t want to do something, if I wasn’t passionate about it, if it made me feel drained, I shouldn’t be doing it!
So I collected my thoughts, spent some days thinking about the things that I wanted to do, the things I needed to do, and the things that just plain made me tired. As the summer days dwindled (yes, my ‘”me time” lasted almost the entire summer) I finally started to feel like I had a clear headspace to start the new school year. I dropped some of the responsibilities that just put too much stress on me; I took on other activities that provide me with experience in subjects that I am passionate in. I finally found a balance that I feel comfortable with.
So I am not sorry I took that much needed me time because it allowed me to find myself amongst all the mess. In the future I will probably need another break, and I don’t think I am going to feel guilty about taking it at all. In fact I am already planning my next break: I think I might try to learn yoga.
If you're ever feeling like you're drowning in responsibility, you are constantly exhausted, you visit your doctor more than your family members, its time to take a break. Trust me it's worth it!