College is home to some of the most stressed-out people around. Being a full-time student is extremely stressful, especially for students who work as well. Students stress over time management, grades, their social lives, and money. It can even be hard for the student to establish a social life outside of schoolwork due to the overload of stress and work. As a full-time student, I am more stressed out than I have ever been, but I would not dare to leave Radford. So, to keep myself from stressing out so much I do different activities and take personal days to alleviate my stress.
Why is it so important to take personal days for yourself? One reason that should top everything would be for your mental health. Your brain is a muscle that never sleeps, and even when you sleep, your brain keeps trucking with its daily routines. This means that, even though you like pulling those all-nighters to get your work done, your brain cannot handle it. Sleep aids a person’s mental health, without sleep your brain cannot function normally. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “a mouse study suggests that sleep helps restore the brain by flushing out toxins that build up during waking hours…Sleep is important for storing memories. It also has a restorative function. Lack of sleep impairs reasoning, problem-solving, and attention to detail, among other effects.” Needless to say, taking a day to catch up on sleep may be the best decision for your hardworking brain. Stress is not something to mess around with, it can affect your emotions, mental health, and physical health. It can literally kill you, so it is important to be aware of what your body is telling you and take a day off to relax and do something you enjoy.
On a personal note, I stress very easily and I am sure there are plenty of people who do the same. So, to keep myself sane, I go to the gym, I play my guitar, I try not to procrastinate my work, and most importantly I take personal “me” days when they are necessary. When I say “me” days, I am referring to are days spent lounging in my bed reading a book or watching the TV show “Friends” in my pajamas, going outside for the day for some much-needed change of scenery, taking nice naps, or simply catching up on some light homework here and there. These personal days are spent doing the bare minimum of what is required of me, this helps my brain relax for the next hard day at school.
After interviewing a fellow student at Radford University I received more insight on how others may view personal days. Cj Vernon, a junior, shared his thoughts on the topic, and he said, “if someone is stressed in their workplace or schoolwork it can make a person antsy and it can affect their work and make them irritated. At school, it can distract the student from actually learning and absorbing the material taught in class. If you keep letting stress build up on you it will continue to distract and cause more damage, so it’s good to take a day to yourself and relax.”
It is not a bad thing to take some time to focus on yourself. You should always put yourself first, no matter what. Your mental health is nothing to joke about, it is a real thing. Listen to what your body is telling you and if you need the sick day, take the sick day. Stay healthy, my friends.