Time for self is essential for mental health
April 12, 2007
As my Monday deadline approached for this column, I could not think of anything to write about.
For as much I tried to find something, I was unsuccessful.
While I was stuck in a moment of writer’s block, I took a second to look at my quandary in a different light. I could not think of anything to write about because I did not want to. My brain was too tired.
It was in light of this realization that I knew what I was going to write about-the importance of letting yourself take a day off.
Whether your day consists of time to catch up on some shopping or doing nothing at all, always make sure that every once in awhile you allow yourself to forget all of the responsibilities and constraints around you.
For anyone, letting everything go for a 24-hour period can be a difficult concept to comprehend.
I myself am one who has a terrible time doing nothing.
More often than not, it is 10:30 p.m. and I am flying around the house trying to catch that one last tumbleweed of dog hair that has evaded me for a few days when my fiance nearly forces me to sit down, relax and watch Seinfeld.
Usually I do have a seat between him and the dog, and then I feel better.
This problem of forgetting to relax is one that the National Institute of Mental Health says plagues our society.
In an article on relaxation techniques, the Institute highlights that with everything going on in our daily lives, personal and professional, there is almost no time to relax.
For most of us, I am sure this statement is true. Where is the time to kick back when you are surrounded by school, a job and that professor who will not quit reminding you how many hours you are supposed to study for their class in one week?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, making yourself find that time is essential. Tips they offer include trying an activity that is totally new whether it be in a social setting or alone.
In addition, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and visualization exercises are also a great way to help recharge one’s batteries.
If you wanted to find information about this on campus (and are like me as in too cheap to bring paper or pay a dime per page you print), Student Health Services offers help with relaxation techniques either through literature or counseling.
So for everyone out there, students and teachers alike, the semester is almost over. Before that last big push of final papers, projects and tests, treat yourself to a day where you do whatever you please, whether it be catching up on your favorite soap opera or getting a refresher on how life is during “the summer of George.”