How Can I Stop Doing Too Much?
Every year I overcommit myself and get stressed out. After spending the summer living in a much different space, mentally (and literally, since I’ve been at my parent’s house instead of school), I want to make sure not to jump back in my same old habits of doing too much of everything. Except, well, relaxing.
The transition from summertime, where your days are generally spent traveling and having fun and just doing you, to school, where every hour (minute?) has to be managed, is a big one. So props for recognizing that your pace of life is about to be cranked up, and also for planning ahead on how to deal. Especially considering that fall means reuniting with people you probably haven’t seen in a while, we don’t blame you for wanting to say yes to everything: every football game, every extracurricular, every do-nothing hangout. But you’re right: It’s so easy to overcommit to all of the obligations, even the fun ones! And then you have to inevitably deal with the consequences later.
Studies show that if you’re tired/stressed/all of the above, you’re more likely to get sick down the line. And then there are the mental downsides, like anxiety or constantly being worried that you’re juggling too many things, not being able to accomplish what you need, or just feeling overwhelmed. The problem with burnout (speaking from experience here) is that you don’t often realize you’re burned out until, you know, it’s too late. So before you say yes to things, ask yourself honestly: Do I really want to do this? If so, do it! But if you’re feeling pressured into committing, or just simply aren’t feeling it, don’t be afraid to politely decline. Your friends will understand, trust us. It’s not exactly a secret that women want to be liked—and because of this, it’s especially tough to say no. But taking some time just for yourself is so, so important...now more than ever.
After all, a huge part of growing up is learning about yourself—and also loving yourself. The sooner we’re able to accept who we are, the happier we will be later. So if you know what you love, take some time every week to do that thing; painting, writing, playing music, reading, coding, running, whatever.
And if you’re still not sure? Now’s the perfect time to figure that out for yourself. We’re not talking about in a “it’ll look good on your college apps” kind of a way, either. Having a skill or hobby that you can practice alone is totally crucial to surviving as an adult; it might take a few tries to find it, but, interestingly enough, it’ll help you find balance—between work and school and the commitments of life—down the line.