Man, does anyone else feel worn out?
Yesterday evening, I finally pried myself away from my computer long enough to make a proper dinner. Downstairs, my roommates were burning a Japanese Cherry Blossom candle and I literally started crying.
Wait, Cristina, back up...you cried? Because a candle was lit? Did I miss something?
Let me 'splain: The scent reminds me of my mom because that's her absolute favorite scent from Bath and Body works. When I smell it, I see her getting ready for work in her bathroom. She plugs in her flat iron and turns it on and calls for me or my sister to come help her because she can never do it herself.
And I just cried. I missed my mom so much. I missed being home and having my only worry be what I would eat for dinner or if I would finish my homework in time to watch Full House on cable.
(My roommates are probably reading this right now feeling very weary to ever light the candle again. Don't worry ya'll - I love it!)
So, obviously I'm stressed out. When I'm stressed out, I cry at everything. I cry at cute videos of dogs on Facebook and those "faith in humanity" posts on Twitter. I cry when I can't find a parking space on the level of the parking garage that conveniently leads right out onto the street. I cry when I burn my dinner. You get the point.
I'll be straight up with ya'll. I'm only taking 12 hours this semester. I ended up dropping a class that I didn't really need, and though I was only left with 4 classes, I'm still on track to finish on time since I got ahead this summer. So I was like "Great, I'll get a chill semester and I can really invest time in some other stuff."
I am drowning ya'll.
Each of my classes this semester requires a ridiculous amount of work. Not only should you go to class and cease from blinking so you don't miss any information, but there is tons of reading, various assignments that are due throughout the week, major papers, quizzes, and tests, and all that stuff. "Well, that's school for you, Cristina." Yeah, I know. But this is next level...Swears.
Blogging is a great stress reliever for me. Sitting down and writing out my feelings does wonders for my mental health and keeps the stress zits at bay. However, it is a time consuming hobby/job. I put the "/job" because any blogger that is also a full time student can tell you that they consider it a part time job. There's no minimum wage involved and you don't wear an apron or embellished ball cap, but it takes up every other hour that isn't spent doing school or basic survival needs.
Again, (and I stress) I love it. Wouldn't change a thing. But it's something on my plate. (But let's consider it the mashed potatoes of the plate...although it takes up space, it's the best part!)
I know I'm not the only one who is feeling like they are struggling to tread water here. It seems lately that every time I grab lunch with a friend or text someone to see how their day is going, we are all in the same, sad, stressed out boat. Everyone has obligations and responsibilities that really keep them from being at their best. We all have those weeks where we have three exams or where all we seem to do is homework.
This blog post is starting to sound too pity party for me, so let's change gears. Solution time.
There is a point where you need to say, "I am done for the day." This is something that I've had to work long and hard to master. I am an over-achiever. I constantly tell myself that I am never doing enough. I could study more. I could add more research to that essay. I could read ahead for class. I can go to that meeting that's not mandatory but would look good on my resume. You have to make yourself, stop, relax, and be done at some point each day.
The best way I've found to do this is to do something selfish each day. By "selfish" I mean an uninterrupted time for yourself.
You don't answer your phone. You don't take work emails. You don't open your school books.
You read your favorite book. You go on a walk with your dog. You cook dinner for yourself and play Justin Beiber really loud. You go to Zumba class. Find whatever it is that you can do for you each day and make it happen.
It's best if it's something that really takes your mind off the day. I like my Zumba classes on Mondays and Wednesdays because for a whole hour, I put my phone away in a cubby and just focus on my workout. I'll admit I bring my flashcards or my books with me to read while I'm waiting for class to start, but once the music starts playing, it's me time. By the end of class, I'm a hot, sweaty mess who's relieved some stress and burned a ton of calories.
Find your Zumba, ya'll. Trust me, it's so worth it to take time for yourself.
Also, encourage others around you. Like I said, we are all in the same boat. Even your mom who works two jobs. Even your little sister who has a tough course load at school. Even your grandma who gets lonely sometimes living by herself. Call them, send a card in the mail, let them know you're thinking about them and rooting for them.
You are not defined by your GPA. You are not defined by how many parties you can make it to. You are not defined by whether or not you make it to your bible study group every week. You are not defined by the amount of hours you put in.
Crazy, busy weeks (or semesters) are going to come. Just like rain, just like heartache, just like a new show to binge-watch on Netflix, there is a season for everything. Bottom line is, no matter how stressed you may feel, know that you are doing just fine. Not every day is as productive as you may want it to be, but that's ok. Take time for yourself. Love yourself. Have a Justin Bieber dance party. You'll be ok.