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Thinking Positive

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    Productivity vs. Relaxation – Finding a Healthy Balance

    Although it doesn’t take much to fascinate me, I get bored very quickly. I do not find sitting on the couch, “doing nothing”, relaxing, especially if I could be doing something productive. I don’t want to waste time. Oftentimes, I find myself in a mindset of if I keep myself occupied with meaningful work, then I will be fulfilled and won’t worry about missing out. This is not true. Instead, I take a break from one thing to make progress on another, because I do worry about wasting time. It’s exhausting and unhealthy. 

    I am a very determined, hard-working person. Once I set a goal, I will reach it. Is this the best philosophy to have? What’s more important – personal health or checking something off my list? I realize that I should step back from the one track mind perspective I am stuck in. I need to think about anything other than the task at hand and allow myself to truly take a break.

    WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT TAKING A BREAK?

    Both of my parents are workaholics. My dad is an attorney who owns his own firm, and usually works seven days a week. My mom starts her day at 4:30 at the gym, then works with my dad, the community, and in our home until she goes to bed. Their success is a direct result of how hard they work, and I see myself following suit. Always looking to improve, I get preoccupied and find the details of my daily life to be boring. Constantly looking forward to the next checkpoint, or looking back at what could have been different, doesn’t leave any time to focus on the present. 

    USE YOUR TIME WISELY

    Growing up, summer was my least favorite season because I missed the routine and work of the school year. Now, I fill my summers with classes, research, and personal work that I couldn’t find time for during the year. However, I’ve also made a point to take a small part of each day to relax. As a rising senior, I look back on the past few years and remember the classes I took, the campaigns I ran, and the clubs I participated in. I also think about the times I turned my friends down, the parties I skipped, and the events I missed. I have often heard that time flies when you’re having fun, and I guess that’s true. For me, time flies when you aren’t present would be a more accurate statement. Finding a common ground between work and relaxation is difficult, but it is so important for success and mental health.

    BE CONTENT, NEVER COMPLACENT

    I don’t regret the choices I made and the things I prioritized, but I will try for a more balanced future. Recently, I have focused on differentiating between being content and complacent. Taking a break to recuperate after a long project, and being genuinely proud of what I have done is being content. Being complacent would describe me if I was satisfied with what I had done, and stopped pushing myself forward at all. I strive to be the best person that I can be, and know when to take a break to relax – the healthy balance.