I’ve learned very quickly that PR girls have a very busy lifestyle. I’m balancing a full course load, a part-time job, an internship, and membership in a club. Doing so much at once without strategy was beginning to hurt me, but I figured, “Well, that’s just how comm careers are.” No. Tense muscles, lack of sleep, and feelings of guilt for taking breaks should not be part of any job description! I was too busy obsessing over my to-do list to realize I was suffering a list of unhealthy stress symptoms.
According to mtvU’s 2006 College Mental Health Study, 52% of female college juniors agree that they “have been stressed to a point that they have shut down and felt they couldn’t function.”
I am a female college junior managing a packed schedule, and PR is a fast-paced, demanding major! So, I decided to make some changes so that I would not reach that point.
1. Taking 15 minutes each morning to stretch has helped reduce pain in my neck and shoulders. In fact, I can already see my flexibility improving as well! It wakes me up and puts my day to a refreshing start.
2. Reducing my daily to-do list to a few high-priority items rather than writing down a long list of things to do gives me a realistic goal each day. This way, I am not beating myself up for taking breaks or spending more time than expected on a task.
3. Allowing myself to have a real day off each week is the hardest, yet the most beneficial. Monday through Thursday, I have school and my internship, but I have only been receiving two shifts a week from work lately. My mind immediately jumps to, “I should pick up a shift on my day off. I need the money.” I’m striving to break away from that mentality and allowing myself one day each week to relax or do something fun—without any guilt.
These changes may be small, but they are proving to make a difference already! First taking baby steps toward better mental and physical health can help promote some bigger changes later on, right?
How do you find balance in your busy lifestyle? Do you have any tips to minimize stress symptoms? Let me know!