In general, I would like to consider myself a productive and organized person who gets things done. The usual joke amongst my cohort members is -- who has their stuff together -- and I tend to be one of the people they mention. Lately I have not felt that way in any sense.
The past month has not been easy. I am not feeling myself at all. If you have read my previous posts you know I am an advocate of self-care, taking time for myself, health and wellness, etc. To put it this way, I got told I should rest and take some time off, to which I laughed at. How can I? It is impossible for me to take some days off considering all the things I have on my schedule. This is literally the busiest time of the semester and we all have 10,000 things to check off our list. It’s grad school. Literally impossible to stay home and not take care of business. But really, no.
The clear consequence of not taking time off has been prolonging not feeling okay and feeling like I am ghosting around life and my usual activities. This is the time where I need to feel the most productive and the most energetic to finish the semester on a good note and I clearly hate not feeling that way. People have noticed that I’m different and I constantly struggle with the idea of not being in my natural state of effectiveness; particularly in times when I can’t take a break.
All in all to say in this blog is that it is important to take care of oneself especially in the season where half of us are sick, ever-tired, overworked, and just ready for the semester to end. While I am currently not doing what I am preaching (because it is a Sunday and I have 6 things to check off my list), I ask you to take time to yourself and give yourself some grace. The past few weeks have not been easy for some of us and the rooms where have to continue to work, be productive, be efficient, and be effective have been filled with lots of emotions and dialogues that are difficult to navigate. I ask you to be able to recognize your emotions, know how you feel, acknowledge the way others feel, and really take a break whether you need it physically or psychologically, or even if you don’t think you need it, take a break.
With the upcoming holiday break, whether you celebrate or not celebrate, do everything in your capacity to make some time to rest, process, do something you like, and recharge for the end of the semester. This is the time when we have a few days before we can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel (or at least the semester tunnel) and really come back to the university with a full set of batteries.
I hope that my personal rant about not feeling myself that became a little bit of life advice (that I am actually not currently following) serves you in some way and you enjoy the few days off we have (even though we all know that as grad students we’ll continue to work on something anyway).
Mara Schaffler | Educational Administration and Human Resources Development
is a second year in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) program within the College of Education and Human Development.