It seems that every day starts the same way for students. You get up, get ready and off to school you go. The next day, it’s usually the same, tedious routine.
If you have a part-time job, it only means longer hours of commuting, working and a deficit of that much-needed sleep. Oh, and let us not forget about the piles of homework patiently awaiting your arrival back home. So, how do we stay happy if every day our minds constantly troll countless checklists to make sure all bases are covered?
Some may claim that hitting the bar and grabbing a drink is the trick, while others prefer to keep things simple and curl up on the couch to unwind. Which is more effective?
Honestly, there isn’t one straight answer since there are pros and cons for all methods of decompression. After an endless experiment of trial and error, I finally learned how to keep sane amidst overwhelming circumstances. Although it may seem obvious, the following required a lot of reflection to discover.
First, realize that filling your schedule can be too much. Your brain is a muscle – when you work it, it requires time to recover.
So, try keeping at least one day per week unscheduled to give your brain the essential space it needs to prepare for the busy week ahead. Spontaneous plans are allowed; live in the moment but don’t remind yourself that you planned something for your only day off.
Meditation is crucial; I don’t mean the “sit there in silence and take deep breaths” routine (unless that does in fact work for you), but to find your own meditation technique.
Whether that means sleeping, listening to music or exercising – find something that relaxes you and schedule at least an hour of this activity so you can relax and indulge in what you enjoy.
Also, make sure you have a small support system — small is the key word here. This may difficult for some people. After all, you’ll never really know which friends will stay around and how long they’ll stay.
So, don’t just choose the drunk girl you met at a party. Instead, consider everyone; maybe it’s a sister, an aunt or even an old friend who always reaches out to you. Just make sure you find someone whom you can trust and who will listen to you when you need to vent.
Next time you find yourself feeling down, call up a real friend, try meditation, take a day off and be positive. As Dalai Lama once said, “happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Top Photo Courtesy: Favim