I just wanted to share some thoughts on my thought processes of late. The theme for this summer for me is decluttering. Not in the physical space sense (although that is needed at times), but rather in the schedule/mental health sense. I have realized over the last two months that I have tried so hard in my life to pack every last minute with something “productive;” meaning that when I am not working, in class, or doing homework, I’d find every opportunity to fill it with either a fun–or what I deemed necessary–activity. I realized that I developed this mindset heading into my undergraduate studies, where I was in a position where I needed to 100% maximize the balance between work, school, and fun. Although this mindset got me through some good and bad times, when a good friend brought up the need to reallocate the structure of my time, I knew he was 100% right. I was not prioritizing my self-care: emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Even though my extraverted self needs a lot of time with others, which I consider “rest.,” there is just as much value in spending an evening at home.

What does this change look like?

A). Be thankful for the family and friends who invest most in you and spend a significant amount of your time in those circles. These people build you up, and you realize your exact purpose in life is in a community with these individuals.

B). Similarly, ensure that you are creating space where you can also invest in others.

C). Pick up a side hobby that you can do by yourself (or others) that doesn’t take your whole evening. For me, this is disc golf. I can play a quick round after work or school, or during a break. This activity can replace the need or urge to try to fill this time with something “extravagant.”

D). Ensure you find time for sleep and create space for the self-care that you value most (for me, this is ensuring that I can build an effective morning routine and have an adequate quiet time. But this can look differently for many others).

E). LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA. Yes, I’m telling you this as I write on a social media platform, but I have deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts entirely, allowing me to have space to impact the people closest to me. I understand and support the responsibility of being a “global citizen,” which those platforms can provide. Still, I’ve realized that I cannot control the outcomes of all of the discussions and issues that these social mediums present, and pulling away from them allowed me to focus on the relationships and decisions I can control.

F). Find space to create an effective diet and budget- if you build your day around an effective diet and budget, you are more likely to build your day around more holistic things than instant self-gratification. There will be days when you are not perfect, but it’s easier to re-align yourself on these goals when the structure is in place.

G). Continue to seek external resources to help build your holistic self. It’s been nearly a decade of counseling for me, and I’ve recently begun seeing a dieting coach. Both of these resources have proven to be valuable in creating plans and goals that can be successful.

I know I am far from perfect, but these are some tips to help re-organize your life if you feel the need to do so. Taking the time to do this in a lighter season will help create the space needed in the craziest times. I’m sure there will be moments this next school year that will be highly stressful, but I am optimistic that I will be less stressed with these guided allocations.

Here’s to a great week!

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