Why it is okay to give yourself a break

Megan Josephs, Social Media Manager

The glorified notion of being run-down and exhausted in order to be successful in today’s world is an easy way to unconsciously run yourself into the ground. As a student-athlete trying to juggle jobs, internships, practice schedules and a hefty workload, I am often overwhelmed by the long to-do list that is constantly looming over my head. However, every time I mention my crazy schedule, it is often praised by others, who tell me that I am doing so much for my future. But when is it all too much? When is it okay to take a step back and ask myself, is all of this hurting me in disguise? 


All over social media are motivational speakers who praise the “grind,” who try and motivate you to do a million things at once, and who do not ever actually talk about becoming burnt out. The saying “no day off” or “working around the clock” is something that is praised. It almost seen as shameful to take a day off from work or to prioritize mental health over academics and athletics. The stigma needs to be changed. It is not healthy to be loading your schedule so much that it starts to impact your health and happiness, often times resulting in a complete burn out where you start to lose aspects of yourself amidst the jam-packed days. You start to lose interest in your hobbies, stop being social, and start to not have time to enjoy yourself. The pressure to get everything you need to get done becomes burdensome.  


While it may be difficult, it is essential that one realizes when they are almost at their point of collapse. Stepping back and just taking a break from your workload is vital to being able to progress towards your goals. If you load too much on your plate at once, you will never be able to fully commit to anything that you are doing. It needs to be said that it is okay to have a lazy day, watch pointless movies, or spend time with family and friends. It is essential to your mental and physical health. 


So, next time your boss asks you to pick up an extra shift when you already have three games and two exams, it is okay to say no. Next time your coach holds an optional practice but it is a busy week at your internship, it is okay to not attend that optional practice. Trying to juggle all of it may seem doable, but it is in no way worth your sanity and happiness. Balance is key, and without it, you may find yourself taking two steps forward, then three steps back.