Why It’s Okay To Be Selfish in College

Image from Google

Image from Google

“I’m so busy. I’m so stressed out.”

If I had a penny for every time I thought or said that, I would have enough money to take that Disney (or Hawaiian) vacation that I so desperately need!

Between classes, homework, writing for The Tangerine, blogging, and other obligations, I sometimes feel as if my world is going to cave in! Yikes!

I never realized how bad my stress level was until I went to my doctor and she pointed it out to me. Oy! This year, my stress level has been at an all-time high, and I found myself adding MORE stress to combat the other stress. Silly right? I threw myself into everything & anything that I could, and seriously compromised my health because of it. I guess it’s not normal to be stressed, anxious, tired and irritable all the time. Who knew?

My experience with stress and anxiety in college really inspired me to write this post. It got me thinking about how the world and society holds such high expectations for us. The world forces us to put our own health on the back burner. We are always pressured to do more, work more, BE more. We think that adding more stuff to our ever-growing mountain of stress will distract us. Wrong.  

It’s NOT natural!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful thing to be goal-oriented and have fantastic work ethic – in fact, employers love that! But, there’s something very wrong with living by a weekly planner, living on caffeine, and doing your best work under pressure.

Here’s the thing: We’ve conditioned ourselves for stress. We fear that we would be “selfish” for taking a mental health day. Ultimately, we ignore our own happiness and health, and squeeze in something else into our tight little schedules.

Now that the end of the semester is near, are you finding yourself completely overwhelmed? Do you say yes to multiple things that you have no time for? Is your brain on overload? I could sum this up with one piece of advice: SLOW DOWN! But, that wouldn’t be helpful would it? No. So, here are some tips on how to be less stressed, less anxious, happier & healthier.

1) Look at how you begin your day: We have all heard our mothers say these famous words: “Eat your breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.”  Mother truly knows best! Do you skip breakfast because you’re in such a rush? Stop. That’s self-punishing. Keep some ready-to-go food in the kitchen. Fruit, bagels, muffins, etc, are better than nothing. Feed your body & brain.

2) Unlearn self-punishment and embrace self-love: Often, we get so caught up in our work and goals that we punish ourselves for not reaching them, or for simply making mistakes along the way. We look at ourselves as failures if we didn’t achieve that “A” we worked so hard for. We need to learn to cut ourselves a break. Be low-maintenance and accept that you’re human.

3) Find relaxation techniques: When stress begins to consume me, I try to do something for myself that will make my soul happy. That includes writing in my journal, playing with my dog, drinking hot tea, or even just listening to music. Relaxation is a must. Overwhelmed with your responsibilities? Take small breaks, do some yoga, do a little self pampering, eat healthy snacks, or even wear your favorite color to class.

Believe it or not, little things like that can make a world of difference to your mood and mind. Taking care of ourselves is not selfish; It’s a priority. To be successful, we need to be healthy and relaxed.

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