Makin’ Me-Time

Continuing with the spirit of welcome back, I’m going to share a little slice of honest pie….

I’m a student, and sometimes this “back to school thing” gets my heart beating a little more rapidly than usual as I imagine the one hundred million different responsibilities awaiting me (a slight exaggeration), and I’d like to imagine I’m not alone. Right now we’re all going through what I like to call our syllabus days. My typical reaction to this: “Oh my gosh, you want me to write/read/do WHAT?!?… Uh, no way.” Usually, it takes me a day or two, but I soon accept my fate. And by “my fate” I mean my life being  school, school and more school. This semester, however, I am determined that my fate will be different. I am going to be the master of my schedule, and I will continue to do some of the things that I love.

Now, I’m not really sure exactly how this is going to shape up, so I resorted to trusty Google to see what time management and stress management experts had to say (funny how frequently those things go together, huh?).  So here we go… makin’ me-time:

Before even going any further, take a second and think about what your me-time might be. What makes you happy? Helps you to decompress? Keeps you in a happy, healthy and balanced frame of mind? I know for me its reading, cooking and exercising…. All things which fell off my radar quickly last year and resulted in a much less happy, less healthy and overall un-balanced Sarah. No bueno.

So without further ado, here is what my favorite three tips from what the experts had to say:

Make it routine & schedule it in. As Laura  said, this is super important. Your classes are scheduled in, why should your other “life” priorities not. Find a time in your schedule, say Saturday mornings and designate it as your reading/running/watching cartoons/ laughing/ smiling/ fun… YOU TIME!

Find your “time sucks.” Where in the day are you “losing” useful time? Time that you could use to do those things that make you happy, but instead you’re doing “eh” or “so-so” things.  For example, I personally find myself on Facebook—frequently. Do I really need to be on Facebook? No. Does Facebooking really make me that happy? Eh, honestly, not really. If I used that time to do get some exercise/make some tasty food/ read a book would I enjoy it more. Probably.

Find support. Sometimes it can be hard to stick to a schedule, especially if you feel that aspects of your academic life are pushing you farther away from those things. In these cases it can be useful to elicit the help of friends and peers. Let them know what your goals and plans are, and ask them to help you stay accountable. Personally, this has manifested as me and my roommate committing to a gym class together. With the two of us both pushing for the same personal-happiness goal together, we can support each other on our “off days.”

I’d love to hear other tips on how you all make “me- time,” as clearly this is going to be a new endeavor for me.

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