Nowadays, finding some space and time for yourself is increasingly difficult. Finding that work/life balance can be tricky now that we can get emails on our phones, work from home, become self employed or even just revise in our rooms. I hadn’t realised how difficult I find switching off entirely until I had a week alone in my university house. My housemates were gone and my lectures had stopped, meaning I was spending a lot more time in my own company.
I thought I would be exceedingly bored after a day, but it turns out that being able to entirely switch off socially was a welcomed break. I loved it. I could completely reset and recharge, I spent several days in my pyjamas catching up on things I had fallen behind on whilst finishing term. I did my washing, tidied my room, did a food shop, organised my desk and had some all important ‘Me Time’.
I hadn’t realised how tired I was, not just physically but mentally too. Being able to switch off my brain and watch some of my favourite TV programmes without worrying about needing to get up and do anything was incredible. For the first few days I found a perfect balance between productivity and relaxation, I was going at my own pace and allowing myself to relax when I was tired or losing concentration. Rather than feeling the need to rush through everything on my to-do list in order to fit them into one day, I was able to pause and enjoy the day. I felt considerably less stressed.
I even managed to be very productive, I got a large chunk of revision done. I re-watched a module’s lectures and made several mind maps for certain topics, and I even got a draft of my next essay finished. But I only realise how much I got done upon reflection. At the time, I felt like I was wasting my time. There was a constant underlying awareness of the fact that I could be running out of time to do certain tasks, and that this could mean I don’t do well in my first exam, or that I haven’t prioritised correctly.
This concern of not having enough time ties straight back into where this post began. Me time. I had not been prioritising time to myself within my to-do lists and schedules. I was so focused on getting a long list of things done that I wasn’t really looking at my calendar and organising it efficiently. I was putting too many similar tasks on one day, meaning I was getting bored and then doing things slower or more distractedly. I was also working right from the time I woke up, through to the evening before I went to bed. This isn’t sustainable for anyone, so no wonder I was tired!
With revision well underway, and the exam season approaching, it is increasingly important for me to remember to make time for myself. It can be easy to organise your day with the stress of failing exams in the background, when long drawn out days of stress filled revision isn’t productive for anyone. Shorter broken up sessions allow you to keep focus and as a result achieve more in the day. There is always time for me time, whether that be reading a chapter of a book, playing your favourite game, doing a face mask, or going for a walk.
Getting some quality me time reminded me of the importance of taking some time for yourself. I hope this post reminded you too!