As many of my friends know I am a graduate student in the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism. I’m pursuing the Master’s of Mass Communication as I write this.
However, some people wonder when – or if – I get my work done. They think that, because I sit outside enjoying the beautiful day, I’m not focusing on my work.
To the contrary, when I’m relaxing, I’m doing two things:
- Re-centering myself for the tasks that lie before me.
- Thinking about what needs to be done for those tasks.
A friend of mine, Aaron Davis, often says “plan your day every day”, and I’ve taken that advice to heart ever since.
I used to be one of those guys that allowed the stress of upcoming tasks to overtake me, and it caused me to have overwhelming anxiety and depression. I realized that it wasn’t working, and I needed to change the way I did things.
I started to plan things out, and broke them down into little – manageable – pieces that I could work on one-at-a-time. Without that ability, I would never have gotten into graduate school because I would have allowed the “big ball of craziness” to roll over me.
Nowadays, I start my day thinking of what needs to be done, and I plan accordingly. But, I also do something else. I make sure I have time for ME! When I’m home, I make time to watch my favorite shows, listen to my favorite music, communicate with friends or just sit outside and enjoy mother nature.
All too often, I see so many people get stressed out because they feel overwhelmed about this, that or the other thing. One of the first things I ask in cases like this are “what are you doing for yourself?” Quite often, I’ll get the same response – “Oh, I have too much to do. I can’t relax.”
In plain English, that’s a load of malarkey!
Sure, we all have tasks to accomplish…chores, paying the bills, feeding ourselves and (if you have them) kids, and doing school work.
By no means am I saying ignore those. What I am saying is this…even if it’s just for a half-hour or even ten minutes here-and-there, take time for yourself. You want to watch you favorite show? Do it. You want to indulge in that cinnamon bun? Do it. You want to read a chapter of that book you’ve been thinking about? Do it.
The other things can wait for a little while. And, if they can’t, it’s time reevaluate what you’re doing. You should never be so busy that life overtakes you.
Take time to breathe and to live your life. Don’t ever let anything or anyone dictate what you have to do.
The only thing you need to do is whatever it takes to make yourself happy.
In closing, I’ll ask you this, my friends…what is that one thing that makes you happy? Go out and do it!