By: Mackenzie Egan
Featured Image: @missalexlarosa
I don’t know about you, but I never wanted to learn how to juggle as a kid. I liked juggling well enough – I liked it the most because it was entertaining. Not because I ever wanted to be skilled at it. Juggling was well enough in shows, movies, and the circus. Not in my day to day life. Little did I know, when I was eight years old and told my mom that I ‘never-ever want to juggle’ that it would become one of the things that, I am the best at.
Juggling is funny to think about. It’s a balancing act, it’s a talent, and it’s time-consuming. And for those of us who know how to juggle, it’s almost a badge of honor. No, I’m not talking about juggling balls or bowling pins. I’m talking about juggling school, work, a social life, and doing so without hurting your mental health. It’s the same juggling act that most of the people I know have to do; because today, millennial women have become some of the best jugglers in the world.
So you’ve got work and you’ve got school. That shouldn’t be that bad, right? That would be the case…if you didn’t have to make time for your social life on top of all of that. Be it your friends, your relationship, or your numerous school clubs, your social life takes up a big chunk of your calendar week.
At any point in your week, you’re focusing on eighty different things. You’re trying to get to the gym, get that paper done the night before it’s due, get to work on time, get some time with your partner alone. You have meetings and exams and study sessions that keep you going all day. You’re busy, you’re stressed out. You’ve become a master juggler, honey.
It can be hard, when we’re working on juggling all of these different things in our lives, to make the time for ourselves. Our eating habits get worse, our sleep schedule gets hectic, and our relationships take a strain bearing the weight of the world. I’m there with you. It’s in mid-to-late-February where self-care becomes extremely important. Because, between school, work, and social obligations, it’s really easy to lose yourself to your life. And sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re lost until it’s too late. Before you lose yourself to stress read the 6 ways to prioritize self-care when you are stressed out below.
Do Your Nails
Take an hour out of your week (or three, if you’re like me, because nail polish doesn’t last long on my nails. Thank you, anxiety), put on some Netflix, and give your nail beds some TLC. Whether it’s just putting on a new color or doing the whole nine, taking some time to yourself to do this little self-care ritual makes all the difference. It gives your brain a break and allows for some much needed you time. Plus, it’s still being productive so you don’t feel as bad for catching up on your favorite new show.
Go On a Date
In a relationship? Not in a relationship? It doesn’t actually matter. Dating in your twenties is hard. Between school and work, there doesn’t seem to be any time for you and romance. But you need to take that thought and lock it away. At least once in a while. Tell your partner you need a break or ask one of your friends to set you up (or download an app, or flirt at work – whatever you feel most comfortable with) and hit the town for a night. Taking a break from your daily routine, and shutting off your cell phone while doing it, acts as refreshing as a cold glass of water on a hot day.
It makes you feel human again. It also makes you feel confident again. When they see your version of the LBD and their eyes get wide, and they can’t seem to form words for a minute, you’re feeling your best. You know that despite how exhausted and stressed out you are, you are still the beautiful woman you should be reminded you are more often. After dinner, and a movie, you can get back to finishing that paper, or studying for that exam. You can go in to work in the morning feeling a little bit more chipper. You’ll see the world differently after a night out.
No one likes to admit that they need help, especially professional help. But there is a big difference between therapy and counseling, and for those of us who are just extremely stressed out most of the time, counseling can be a big help. A counselor is just a sounding board. Someone that you can complain to and who can advise you on time management and anxiety managing techniques. Even if it’s once every couple of weeks, going to see a counselor regularly can be a great way to let off some steam over your busy schedule.
Buy a Planner
I would be lost without my planner. I make notes in it regularly – whether it be school or work assignments, appointments, reminding myself to call my grandmother once every week, my planner is the mini personal assistant that I can take with me everywhere. Planners help when juggling your daily demands for a number of reasons. We tend to remember things better when we write them down, having a routine of making notes about what we need to accomplish helps us acknowledge all of our responsibilities, and so on and so on. Planners are relatively cheap but can be life-saving devices when it comes to being stressed out and overbooked. We created a weekly wellness planner to help you write out your goals and plan for success while you can check it out here.
Yes, yes, I know – we all know the benefits of drinking water every day. But I’m not talking about taking a sip of water as you read, write, study, type. No. I’m talking about getting up from your desk, or wherever you’re sitting, walk into the kitchen, or out to the water fountain, and take a drink. Stretch your legs, press pause on whatever it is you’re working on. A water break is sometimes all you need to get the creative juices running or to break the slump when you’re studying.
Discover a New Hobby
I, personally, love to work with my hands. So when I find myself extremely stressed out due to my workload, classes, or social engagements, I take a break and knit. And last summer, I learned how to build cutting boards and coasters with my uncle in his shop. Knitting, woodworking, even working out – any hobby you can find that brings you peace.
Just remember, however you chose to take some time off and enjoy something non-work or school related, enjoy the time off. Do something new and exciting. Or something old and relaxing. You and your body both need a break today to get back to your best self tomorrow; the you that can conquer the world.