Every morning during the work week, I get up at 6:40 and start off with checking my email. Afterwards I go through and start off with doing the one thing that no doctor recommends, checking social media. Switching quickly from this, I go and brush my teeth and then work out for an hour before running onto the subway. I go and complete all of these tasks in the stretch of 95 minutes.
After getting to work 20 minutes later, I check my work email and start my meetings and projects for the day. I take about 10 minutes to eat lunch and finish up at around 4:30. After either walking home or running to catch the subway again I get back to my residence around 5. Running around and taking care of all of the different tasks that I cannot do because I work during the day on campus, I prepare for my second job as a RA. I typically have responsibilities to either make sure that the residence is well maintained and that our residents are safe or I am working campus security. On those nights I typically finish my responsibilities around 11 p.m. I then go back and return email again and am able to get to sleep around midnight. In addiction I am working on several projects.
What's wrong with this lifestyle is that it is completely unsustainable. At first working and doing various tasks until midnight is something that is kind of fun. Who doesn't feel like being really busy all of the time? There is rush and a feeling that what you are doing is really critical.
One day about 6 weeks ago I started to get sick. What at first seemed like a small cold ended up being a cold that lasted for a few weeks. I just managed to get rid of this cold about a week ago. I went and started asking friends and family why they thought I was still sick. I have gotten sick on campus before and usually recover really quickly. I might be getting old (I'm 22) but I didn't think I was that old yet. The answer I was looking actually came from a call with one of my best friends (after my mother told me the same thing and of course I didn't listen). He said maybe you are working too hard and need to find ways to relax.
I have gotten that notice from friends before (pick up a hobby; take a long lunch, read a book). I never really listened to these pieces of advice until I could not keep up the frantic pace. Around this time Ms. Huffington was coming to my internship to speak. I signed up to go because I have read the Huffington Post before and thought it would be great to see her and learn more about the founder. I had no idea what to expect or what she was planning on speaking about.
She spent her time speaking of this concept of work/life balance and how a health incident led her to change the way that she approached situations.
Isn't it weird how your health can help you decide to make changes really quickly? But anyway her speech included how she decided that she needed to turn off her phone before going to sleep and to disconnect from email an hour before going to sleep.
After this I figured that I could change two small items in my life which were turning off my phone before going to sleep so that I don't return texts and messages in the middle of the night and picking up a stress reliever. I decided to pick up walking and listening to music to relieve stress. So to everyone who sees me walking around, I usually wear pink headphones and I am usually jamming along to music. Don't hesitate to say hi!
Thanks again to all of my friends and family. Remember to take a minute and relax, I promise it will help you feel much better. Ever since I started doing these two things I have been sleeping an average of 30 minutes more a night and have become better at everything that I do.
If you don't learn how to relax, please remember it will catch up with you.