I had this idea that as a student I should constantly be doing school work in order to alleviate stress. I assumed that being productive took place in the form of school work and that to reduce the stress of school I shouldn't be doing anything else. I have always considered myself to be good at time management - I get my homework and assignments done well in advance on top of attending classes, working three to five days a week and spending quite a bit of time commuting to school. But as I tried to begin this project I started to question my time management abilities...
I told myself that I would try out stress reducing strategies and report back on my findings. However, when planning out what tasks I wanted to complete in any given day, I found that any stress reduction strategies I wanted to explore were the first thing I decided I didn't have time for. Why was this? What made taking time for myself less of a priority than my school work?
Now I'm not going to argue that money is not a factor in partaking in some stress reduction activities, such as going to the gym. But I believe that if we take the time for ourselves to explore all of the free stress relievers there are out there we can positively contribute to our own well-being... we just need to make this time!
For me, making time means scheduling time specifically for stress relief, this is never something I have done in the past and I've never been the type of person to drop everything and take a break. Every morning I make a to-do list, typically consisting of school assignments or household chores I aim to complete in a given day. I have now begun to add in time to explore stress relieving activities on these lists every day. I have started with just a half hour a day (I find it easier to only get up a half hour early, or take a half hour break from my school work) but I hope to increase this amount of time as I learn to prioritize my own well-being.
Breaking down these preconceived ideas and learning to manage my time to include my personal well-being has certainly been a challenge in getting my Genius Hour research going, but in the time I have designated for hands-on research of stress reduction has been a blast! I have experimented with some yoga and colouring and I'll start to share some of my findings in my next week, stay tuned!
I'll leave you with a quote I came across in my research that I hope inspires you to take some time for yourself and to improve your own well-being...
"It's not selfish to love yourself,
take care of yourself
and to make your happiness a priority.
- Mandy Hale