I can’t say “No!” to anyone. If I get asked to join a club, help out at an event, or take on a role, I instantly say “Yes!” without a second thought. I like to be involved as much as I can and help out when I am needed. This created a HUGE issue for me the past few months while in college. I became stretched too thin, and this resulted in me losing sight of what mattered in my life, myself, and my happiness
Just to give an idea of how busy I have been this past year:
I am the CSA (student government) Executive Treasurer; I am the Benchwarmers’ President (last semester I was the president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer simultaneously); I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Tenth Muse literary magazine; I work three jobs – a circulation desk worker, a tour guide, and a microeconomics tutor; I am on my third phase of CU LEAD (a leadership program at Clarke University); and I am a part of Investment’s Club and Future Young Professionals.
On top of sixteen and seventeen credit hours, working out every day, managing five social media pages besides my own, and my social life (Haha, what is that?).
There is not a second in the day that I can relax. If I am not tackling my mile-high stack of homework, I am working on my CU LEAD project. If I am doing neither the former nor the latter, I am at meetings for one of my various obligations. It is never-ending. I do not have time for myself. This can – and will – result in a major crash-and-burn at some point because no one can handle being on the move seventeen hours a day, five days a week.
For this reason, I have come up with four tips for those who feel they are involved too much or just need a breather.
1. Say “No.”
Really? Say “No.”? That’s what you got? Yep, it is as simple and as hard as that. Saying “No.” gets the potential obligation off of your radar, and you can worry about what really matters instead. However, if you’re like me, saying “No.” can seem damn near impossible because you do not like to disappoint anyone. But, you really are not disappointing or upsetting anyone; rather, you are just letting that individual know that you have no desire to partake in what he or she is requesting.
2. Take a breath.
Running around like a chicken with your head cut off for seventeen hours a day can sure get exhausting. Before you know it you are about to collapse because you forgot to breathe in the past ten minutes. So, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and breathe.
Tip: If you have an Apple Watch, it has a “Breathe” app that really lets you hone in on your breathing. I have it set to notify me to breathe four times a day. Totally has been working out lately.
3. Take a few hours a day to enjoy yourself.
Go to your favorite coffee shop and order that double espresso shot you have been craving, or maybe that three-cream-two-sugar caramel frappuccino that tastes so sweet. Personally, give me a black coffee and a banana nut muffin. I will be so content.
Or, take the time to do what you want to do. That could be playing a video game, journaling, blogging, or cooking. It is crucial to have “you time” every day to remind yourself that you have your own hobbies outside of school and your obligations.
Me? I reward myself every day with an hour of YouTube and an hour of “The 100” on Netflix. Both help me escape my obligations and remind me why I need to be with myself for a few hours a day.
4. Have a beer with your closest friends.
No matter how busy you are in life, there is always time for a beer/beverage with those who are close to you. My roommate and I have recently picked up the hobby of buying a six pack of mix-and-match craft beer and seeing which ones we enjoy the most. The winner so far: Nitro Milk Stout. Delicious. Expensive, yes, but delicious. Just relaxing and tasting the flavors of a high-quality craft beer can really calm one’s nerves. Don’t like craft beer? Hey, your loss, haha. But, find a drink you do like, sit back, relax, and crack a few with your buds.
I hope that my four tips can help any overworked, burned-out guy or gal relax and take the stress away. Just know that you can always say “No,” breathing truly helps, “you time” is crucial, and there is always time for a beer with your best friends.