Red, puffy eyes. Uncontrollable yawns. Broken alarm clocks. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me! We’re approaching the end of our first month of the school year, and I don’t know about you, but students (and faculty) are already pooped! #tgif
In just a few short weeks, I’ve heard a number of moans, groans, and petitions for required nap time, and so I find myself wondering from where such lethargy comes? In such a busy world as boarding school life is, students and faculty are required to juggle adequate sleep, work, sports, clubs, extracurricular activities, meetings, three healthy meals, class, and personal downtime. Are there even enough hours in each day to devote time and energy to every single commitment without forgetting what matters most: YOU? In the midst of reflecting on such feelings, a student recently approached me wondering the very same thing. With an air of curiosity, she asked me how I take time for myself?
Right as the words flew from her mouth, I realized that it’s less about taking time for oneself and more about making time. It’s about finding balance, and doing so is an act of self-care. One has to put him/herself first by…
Identifying his/her needs. Are you hungry? Tired? Anxious? Sad? Uncomfortable? Figure out how you feel.
Naming the source of your feelings. Are you stressed out with tons of work? Did you have a tough soccer practice? Did you get into a fight with your parent, friend, or significant other?
Being intentional. Recognize what you need in order to heal and carve out some time to do just that. It could be running a bubble bath with candles and relaxing music (which sounds heavenly!). It could be retail therapy (because who doesn’t love a good sale?). It could be watching your favorite sports team win the game (go Bulls and White Sox!). Whatever makes you happy and gives you peace of mind, body, and soul…do that!
Being strong and self-aware. Some days are better than others, but at the end of each day, you know what you can handle. Stay attuned. Some people may ask you to do more than you can, and you may want to help (which is great), but don’t do so if the price you have to pay is your sanity.
Finding a balance and making time for yourself is not easy. It takes a lot of dedication and effort, so start with a few minutes each day, and slowly add more. Revolutionary womanist, Audre Lorde, once said “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation…” Care for yourself. Preserve your very being because at the end of the day, you only live once! #yolo