This time of year I know for a fact that most of us will be incredibly busy. Christmas means family time and enjoying yourself- but for most third year uni students it also means essays, deadlines, and trying desperately to resurrect any kind of social life before you head home for the holidays. I am lucky in that I’ve kept well on top of my uni work- but I still have lots to do before I can go home. Some of my friends also have jobs, and extra Christmas shifts to complete. My mum is working nights non-stop until Christmas Eve, she has part of Christmas off, and then goes back to work. There are presents to buy and wrap, people to catch up with before I go home, blog posts to prep, money to try and stretch…
And wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just take a step back? If we could all just unplug for a second.
Something I find very hard is not worrying about the little things. I had managed to spend a lot of money this weekend- buying gifts, socialising, breaking my straighteners and having to buy new ones, the usual costs of food shops/bills/things you run out of at an inconvenient time- money can be a worry for lots of students at times. Mess is not a worry for lots of student, but it is for me. I can’t work if somewhere is messy. It throws me off. Knowing my house needs cleaning before we leave for Christmas, it annoys me. I’ll bet a lot of you struggle to unplug from little niggling worries of your own as well.
Sometimes, it can be hard to unplug from other people. People who tell you how stressed they are, or you know that really aren’t that good for you deep down. It can be hard to unplug from social media. It can be harder to unplug from work, because you’re so desperate to finish it before Christmas, and then-
You spend all of the Christmas you looked forward to spending with family and friends in a state of burn-out/ tiredness. Maybe even in heightened anxiety.
This week, all I want you to do is identify the areas of your life you need to step back from for a while, or need to put a limit on the time you spend on them. And then I want you to think of ways to relax (check out my self-care suggestions if you’re really stuck). And by Christmas, you’ll have completed your work, and be ready to appreciate the special few days- rather than sleepwalking through them.
I am not saying do no work, and forget about real life. For this to work, you need to prioritise your tasks, and work in the most productive and efficient manner possible. But, when you do take some time out it becomes easier to work this way, because you’re feeling more refreshed. Life lasts a very long time. Do you think you can live in a state of constant productivity, constant pushing yourself, 24/7? No, you can’t. You have seven days in a week, and plenty of time to work- an hour to yourself won’t kill you.
Here, I’ll show you my lists…
Things I need to UNPLUG FROM:
- Working way into the evening, and not winding down sufficiently
- Stressing about messy flats, and money (of course, this doesn’t mean my flatmates won’t be taking their share of the bins out, and that I’ll be spending like there’s no tomorrow. But it isn’t worth my constantly thinking about)
- Social media comparisons
- Negative people who tell me how stressed they constantly are- making me feel like I should be stressed to tell me that I too have been working enough (when in fact, this is the opposite way around)
Things I can do to RELAX:
- Take an hour in the evening to watch YouTube or Game of Thrones, or read, or listen to music with a facepack on
- Meet friends who are overwhelmingly positive, and catch up
- Do a proper pamper session
- Exercise in a way I enjoy, or just take a long walk
- Chat to my family on the phone
It is much easier said than done, but I hope you try it out, and that it helps you. Have a fab week guys, and remember: you don’t need to be plugged in 24/7. When you leave phone chargers plugged in too long, they break. And when you switch something off and then on again, it usually comes back to life.