The topic of rest is not often talked about in our world. The majority of people and blog posts will tell you how to move forward, keep pressing on in the stressful times, and how to strive towards a more fruitful and successful life. The world will tell you to do MORE, but I’ve learned that the only way to do more is to let myself rest first.
College is a stressful time, and more often than not, my day is packed from 7 AM to 10 PM, Monday through Friday. With a schedule like this, many of you may ask, is time for rest available, attainable or practical in college?
In this blog post, I will answer these questions while also providing ideas on how to rest while maintaining your full schedule!
- Make rest a priority: Just like everything else in life, if something isn’t a priority, it will not be accomplished, especially as a college student when there are always things to do. Save room in your schedule to rest and relax, at least a couple times a week. Plan for the times of rest before your week even begins, and think of them as “non-negotiable” periods in your day.
- Define what rest means to you: It could mean taking a nap, getting a cup of coffee with some friends, or watching Netflix. For me, it is being outside, talking with friends, or reading and journaling. Clarify what gives you rest and makes you feel refreshed afterwards, and keep these options in mind.
- Take a second look at your schedule: Is there enough margin in your life? Is there enough time every couple days to stop and breathe for at least 30 minutes? If not, find out practical ways to make these times throughout your day and week. Some examples of this would be to wake up earlier to journal or have a quiet time or using meal times as a period of time to stop and relax.
- Learn how to say no: A million and one clubs and programs will ask you to join, especially near the start of the semester. Learn how to say no. In one of my college advice posts, (see here) I mentioned the importance of researching and looking into things that interest you, even before you leave for college. It is vital to your success as a student that instead of saying “yes” to everyone and every opportunity, set a list of priorities on what kinds of things you want to accomplish or be a part of in college.
- Give Yourself Grace: If you are in need of rest, restoration and a time to relax, give yourself the freedom to take a break once in a while. Don’t go to that club meeting this week, go to bed at 9 PM and feel free to say no to a hangout with your friends once in a while. Taking a break shouldn’t make you feel guilty or lazy, but instead, reenergized and motivated to keep going.
College is a time of constantly being on the go, but everyone needs time to breathe. In order to succeed, move forward or be productive, rest is absolutely necessary.
I want you to know that this is something I am still trying to figure out. I don’t give myself enough margin, grace or time to rest. However, I have noticed that I am happier, more pleasant to be around, and more successful when I take care of myself and listen to what I need everyday. I notice that I become the best version of myself when I give myself time to relax, which motivates me to prioritize rest.
Rest is something that I will consciously have to choose to do, perhaps for the rest of my life, and I challenge you to do the same.