I came home one night last week stressed out of my mind. I had bitten off all my fingernails; I had consumed more than 10 cups of coffee in 12 hours, and I had Post-it notes on every surface in my room reminding me of stressors to anticipate. And, I had one million pages of what seems like a foreign language to read for Communication Law by 8 a.m. So, I power cleaned the kitchen.
The kitchen wasn’t dirty, but I controlled just how much Soft Scrub to use – about the size of a dime. I controlled how sparkly clean the countertops would be. I controlled where the dishes would go, how clean the floors would be, and I made sure the forks were neatly stacked in the same direction in their little fork cubby, along with every other utensil.
And I felt better. Not because the kitchen was clean or because I’d sharpened my housewife skills for my life as a betrothed woman, but because I did something that wasn’t on a syllabus and didn’t require a deadline. I left my phone in the other room. I didn’t go near my computer. I disconnected myself. I forgot about all the reading I had to do, how much I wanted to quit school, move to the beach and weave necklaces for a living, and I didn’t have to answer to anyone. I gave into my de-stresser, and it was the most rejuvenating thing I could do to preserve my sanity.
Give into your de-stresser, whatever it may be. Maybe it’s running, reading, writing or driving on the loop with your windows down and shamelessly blasting Lady Gaga – I do that one, too.
Let yourself do those things even if they mean you’ll have to wake up a little earlier to read. Check out, unclench and put yourself before school for a little while. It’ll keep you sane, and a lack of sanity will make May come slower – don’t risk it.