If you’re in the same situation as me, you are in school and when you have alone time you feel guilty that you might be watching a Youtube video instead of reading that book or writing that essay. Whilst yes doing your work and completing it to the best of your ability is important, looking after your mental health and wellbeing by taking breaks and doing things for no other reason but for yourself and whatever you need in that moment.
A lot of people would mislabel this form of self-care as procrastination, and I guess on a surface level this may seem to be true as you may not be doing the work that you are meant to be doing, but there are a few things to consider here. As I have mentioned before, this is all about intention, taking time for yourself means doing things with the intention of self-care which is very different to the true intention of the act of procrastination which is to purposely avoid an important task. So, it is important to make that differentiation when thinking about how you are spending your time when you aren’t working, and hopefully that will make you feel better about whatever you are doing, I understand that this is difficult, and it is unlikely to stop the feeling of guilt that we feel when ‘not being productive’, but, I invite you to think about it this way; spending a concentrated 30 minuets on self-care/doing something for yourself will in fact make you more productive in the long run! Being able to feel satisfied so that you can actually switch your phone off and focus on the task at hand will mean that you can get it done sooner and to a higher standard as you eliminate the possibility of intermittent procrastination where you spend 5 minutes working and then 4 hours on TikTok.
So, like last week’s blog on being alone, this is all about balance, you need to make sure that whatever needs to be done does in fact get done, but you also have to prioritise yourself and your needs. Spending 4 hours doing something for yourself and 5 minuets working, however good it may feel, is equally as bad as when the two are switched. A 5-10 minute break for 30 minutes of constant work is pretty standard, but there are countless resources out there that can help you with scheduling if that is something you are interested in.