#9 The Importance of Making Time for Yourself

As a student, I find myself constantly working on something whether it be for a class, TEA literary magazine, taking care of chores, or even my blog. I haven’t been posting frequently because I have been taking time for myself. I have realized that this is so incredibly important for my mental and even physical health.

Here in America, we basically worship those who take on handfuls of projects or tasks at one time. Multitasking is a skill that one must master very early on in order to be considered successful or hardworking. I have lived by this very notion since high school. This mindset was required of me in order to stay competitive. However, since coming to college, I have realized that life is so much more than the tasks and projects we take on.

I have taken time to breathe, to decompress, and to collect my thoughts. In doing so, I have found that I wake up happier, more relaxed, and ready to take on my tasks for the day.

In order to be more productive, you have to refuel yourself every now and then. I do this by adding time for pleasurable hobbies: reading, sketching, and every now and then, teaching myself to code. Finding a balance for yourself is key to success. If you can spare just 20 minutes a day to dedicate to self-care and relaxation, you will be much better off.

Unfortunately, it took me an entire semester to realize that this was such an important factor in maintaining both my mental spirit and productivity levels. However, I will be tackling my next semester with this newfound mindset.

I guess the main takeaway would be to not be afraid of having a day to yourself. We are all entitled to some sense of relaxation at the end of a stressful day or week. Once the machine is well-oiled, you can go back to chugging along, feeling much better.

#3 When in a Coffee Shop

When in a coffee shop, free smells of rich espresso float around the room. Concentrated eyes are glued to screens or books. Smooth jazz fills the air to mute the sounds of typing fingers and the odd tick of the refrigerated coolers. Soft laughter is exchanged between groups of friends. When in a coffee shop, I feel at home.

When I was little, my mother always had a cup of coffee in her hands. She always raved about her morning coffee and would quibble with her best friend over what coffee chain was superior. Eventually, I adopted her views on the beloved novelty. When I reached high school, I found myself spending more time in local Jupiter and West Palm coffee shops: whether it was to meet up with friends or to study.

When I moved to Gainesville, my love for coffee shops followed me. I still find myself spending quite a bit of time in local shops like Wyatt’s. Places like Wyatt’s and Subculture have always been a place where I can go to pound out some work or do some relaxing reading. I have also engaged in so many different conversations with local customers that have widened my view of my two different homes: Jupiter and Gainesville.

In my opinion, these cozy shops have brought coffee-lovers and workaholics together more than the typical Starbucks or Dunkin’. There is something unique that local shops offer that the large chains lack—a sense of community. Not only can you get your ‘morning joe,’ you can also engage with the local community.

Next time you go out to get coffee, consider trading in your Venti Caramel Macchiato and cake pops for a simple latte from a local shop. Hopefully, when you are there, you can feel some of the very things that I feel as I sit in my local shop. You can also feel good about supporting local coffee suppliers and the local economy.

With love,
Darby