Life is hectic, you know?
I feel like it’s an expected thing to have a busy schedule so once you’ve got some free time it feels weird. It makes you want to fill the void with something; seeing as you’re used to constantly doing things. Life moves so fast that we need to learn to put on the brakes and embrace alone time. Remembering to communicate and check back into yourself. Sometimes you don’t realise how you’re feeling until you completely stop and crash.
It can be something that’s drilled into us. I remember in high school whenever we had breaks either in between terms/semesters/yearly we were told, (especially in senior years), to make sure we used our break to work on or make a start on new assignments. At university, I remember saying once how nowadays everyone is always busy. So busy to the point where we have to pencil in free time! We have to schedule in free time. Crazy.
Everyone deserves some alone time. As a more introverted person, I enjoy alone time immensely in order to recharge. Those who are more extroverted, however, tend to be attracted to social settings to recharge. It all comes down the individual to work out what’s best for them. With that being said, I feel as though no matter what, even if was just for one afternoon or sacrificing one night out for one night in is beneficial towards mental health.
Sort out Your Thoughts
Having time to yourself gives you the chance to wind down and the perfect option to sort out your thoughts. If you can’t switch off but are in need of alone time; grab a hot drink, a journal/notebook and just start writing. Whether that’s for work, thoughts and emotions running through your mind or get ahead of planning. I find it helpful to simply start writing and empty my head onto a piece of paper. If you’re having a problem and stuck on something to do with work or school, placing yourself in a less stressful environment can make it clearer. I’ve even heard in the middle the night, if you can’t shut off your mind then writing everything down helps.
Don’t say ‘Yes‘ to Everything
If your day is already jam-packed with a monstrous to-do list, it’s difficult to squeeze in new tasks. Despite this; if people ask you for help or to run an errand for them, you feel obligated to say yes. Sometimes you’ve just got to politely decline (this is something you can easily feel guilty about), because it’s impossible to do every little thing. You can argue by saying how pushing yourself to go out is good; you never know what you might miss out on, but if you push yourself too much then you’ll exhaust yourself. To distribute the weight of task it’s best, depending on your schedule, to spread it out or just have one big day to free up the rest of the week. It’s all about being selective and working out your main priorities. As long as your important errands are completed then that alone will take the weight off your shoulders! And don’t be hard on yourself if none of the other tasks aren’t completed. Balance is key.
Now this might make you think like… what do you mean guilty pleasures? Let me explain. What I mean is doing something for yourself that you wouldn’t if other people were around (I know I’m saying that phrase a lot but it’s a good phrase to remember).
Personally, if I get a whole day or evening on my own, I have a few go tos:
- Watching that cheesy romance movie for the hundredth time…
- I’m that person who, once I find a movie I love, I will watch it endlessly!
- Putting on a show that I’ve been dying to watch on my own, so I soak in all the feels without interruptions (take away, snacks, drinks)
- Rocking out to songs full blast
- I’ll admit aside from listening to my usual music my guilty pleasure is dancing and singing along to musicals or Disney songs
- Confession: I’m fascinated with the way Lorde dances and when I have the house to myself, I blast Green Light and channel my inner Lorde and dance as expressive as her (but I’d probably look crazy if anyone saw me!)
These are great ways to embrace and release your inner child. Acting silly makes you smile and laugh at yourself. It’s great to just forget all about the pressure and the rest of the world. It’s great to just have fun.
Overall, what I’m attempting to project to you is to make time for yourself. Don’t let life run you. It is your life after all, and at the end of each day we should go to sleep with a happy sigh (and not a constant checklist of tasks for the next day). It’s something I’m learning to follow as well and trying to create a comfortable balance. It’s definitely easier said than done but if it helps my mental health and happiness then I’m all for it. It’s always the littlest things that can weigh you down the most, so I always look for the littlest things that make me feel the happiest (like dancing in my bedroom in my PJs!).
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