Sunday, April 29, 2012
As a graduate student I have the tendency to run myself ragged. There seems to be this little voice in the back of my head saying “you don’t have time to sit around!” I come home from school or work and feel that I have to do more, clean my apartment or finish a paper. This voice criticizes me for taking a break to watch TV or take a nap, telling me “you need to be more productive!” Usually I can keep this up for a couple of months until the end of the semester when my body finally surrenders and I get sick. I think this is my body’s way of forcing me to slow down.
Lately however, I have been starting to challenge myself in this area. Maybe it’s the fact that graduation is so near or that I’m simply tired of my scheduled colds, but I have started to practice truly listening to my body. When I’m tired I take a nap, when I’m hungry I take a break to eat, when my body asks me to sit on the couch and watch reruns of the Brady Bunch I do it. I have found that the more in tune I am with my body, the more I respect what it needs, and the more I respect it’s needs, the more my body is able to give back to me. By giving my body the breaks that it needs on a regular basis, it is able to give me the energy and concentration I need to really be present at work and school.
For me this not only applies to giving my body physical breaks, but mental ones too. I don’t feel like it’s really a break when I go for a walk and spend the whole time stressing out about work I need to get done. When I get back from the walk I feel no more rejuvenated or motivated than when I left. My mind needs just as much breaks as my body, to go on Facebook or read a good book (not in the form of a textbook). So I challenge you to take the time to listen to your own body. You might be surprised at how much it has to say!
By: Kaitlyn Gitter