Recently, between my classes, internship, position at the Slate and role in the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” I have found it very difficult to take time for myself. I found that a lot of friends of mine are in similar positions with all of their commitments. It can be a challenge to know how to take the time you need and how to recharge after an especially rough day.
Burnout is never a good thing, and it makes it even harder to keep going when you have so much going on. While it is never the goal, burnout is a very real struggle and one I am fighting tooth and nail to battle against. With a loaded schedule, how do you find the time for yourself? Looking at the little moments has been getting me through the days and keeping me going.
To find an escape from the real world, I have been throwing myself into different ones. I am working on reading ‘The Virgin Suicides’ by Jeffrey Eugenides. While it is a dark, heavy book, reading a couple of pages a day has kept me feeling as though I am doing something personally productive and offers me an alternate narrative than my own.
I have also been rewatching “Game of Thrones” with my boyfriend. Although I have already seen the show before, watching it again and feeling the comfort of a fantasy world I know while also having the opportunity to notice new things has been especially entertaining. Having comfort media has always been something that gets me through tough times.
In order to have quality time with friends, I have set aside times during the week for certain activities, like a Saturday game night with my friends and a Sunday watch party for the newest episodes of “House of the Dragon.” Even an hour with your friends when you need it can offer inspiration and get you ready for the next part of your week.
Additionally, injecting elements of adventure into your free time can serve as a way to keep what you aredoing interesting. My friend and I could not decide what we wanted for dinner close by, so we drove to Hagerstown and made a small evening of it. Though it was a quick trip, it was incredibly fulfilling and satisfied my desire to just go out and do something.
I have also just been trying to give myself time to enjoy what is going on around me instead of worrying about my next thing to do. I recently went on a long drive just to see the fall leaves as they change, and it was the most peaceful I felt in a long time. I also found relief in taking the time to cook a nice meal, which keeps my brain and body feeling nourished. Food is truly the best in times of need.
During the most difficult of work weeks, always remember that putting yourself first is the key. Get your work done when you can, and then give that extra time to yourself to do what you want with. You don’t deserve to sign your time away to tasks that do not require your extra effort or people who do not make you happy. Never ever compromise your own mental health and energy for someone who will not put in the energy for you. And always remember to take a beautiful long nap if you need one.