Q: What does it mean to take time for yourself and what do you do during that time? Also, how do you speak up and tell someone that you need time for yourself?
A: Something I mentioned in a previous advice column was the idea of taking time for yourself. Now, everyone has their own ways of defining it, but for me personally, it is a time where I can just relax and sort of “un-plug” from the real world.
For everyone it is different, but during my “me time” I personally love to read, bake something for my family and myself, sit down and watch a movie, or honestly just take time to lay down and rest while listening to music. Like I previously mentioned, it can be really tough to make time for yourself, and it is also a constant struggle for me as well. Something I have started to do, especially with doing school from home, is to make a To-Do list of things I need to get done for the day. I write down everything from tiny acts to big events that are happening every day, and I make sure to include something I can do to take a break. Today, for example, I decided to bake Chocolate Chip muffins. It can be something as simple as that. Just a way for me to take a break from the real world, listen to some of my favorite music, and just do something fun!
Taking time for myself is a way to take a step back from the world, and just enjoy doing a feel-good activity. I think it is especially important now with the pandemic making sure that you take time out of your day to enjoy a little bit of what life has to offer since our “outside” lives are so limited.
To answer the second question, I still really struggle with being able to say no. One thing I always keep in the back of my head is that the person I say “no” to will understand. A hope I constantly have is that there is enough mutual respect on both sides that the other person would not be offended if I say no. At the end of the day, you live your life for yourself, not anyone else. You have to do what makes you happy and keeps you fulfilled. Stressing yourself out and having no time to enjoy the good parts of life is no way to live. Sometimes, you just gotta suck it up and say no. I promise you will be ok 🙂
Q: What do you think is one thing everyone can live without?
A : Thank you for your question! I think there are many things that everyone could live without that would shape our world to be a better place, but the number one thing everyone can live without is cellphones. I feel like this is such a basic answer, but it is totally the truth. A lot of how we live and define our daily lives is through technology. Especially with the social media aspect that comes along with having a cellphone, the damage this causes to the people of our world is astronomical.
Now do not get me wrong, there are benefits to social media, but I still think it does more harm than good. If we take a look at self-image, depression, cyber-bullying, etc., there is a direct correlation with the statistics concerning these categories and social media. It damages all these things due to the fact that people make their lives look so perfect on social media. It is truly heartbreaking that people are affected this much by it.
Also, there have been studies done about how getting notifications on our phones affects our dopamine levels. Studies have shown that every time we get a new notification on Instagram or Facebook about a new like, it releases the dopamine chemical in our brain, more commonly known as the “feel-good” chemical. It is insane that a little piece of technology has completely changed the patterns of how our brains release chemicals. I am truly waiting for more research to come out to see how the use of cell phones have changed our brain patterns and waves.
I am subject to feeling good when I get more likes also.
Even more so than the social media effects, the time we spend on our cell phone is astonishing. It has completely changed the way we communicate with each other. For better or worse, we are now more connected than ever. Yet, we are lonelier than ever. Seeing a person over the phone is just not the same as seeing them in person. The interaction face to face is just unmatched. While cell phones have many benefits, I still think that is something everyone could or should live without.
Q: What do you think is the secret to life?
A : Thank you for your question! This one took me by surprise, and I put some real thought into this. I believe that there are things that people use to get through the day to day lifestyle, like a latte, working out, healthy living, dressing up for the day, and always wearing a smile. However, one thing I think that is universal is the understanding that everything happens for a reason. No one’s path is the same by any means. Some will get married or some will not, some will work for money versus others who will work for passion, and so on. We may have different life stories, but we all have experiences that shape us into who we are.
Developing the understanding that every emotion we feel, every experience we share, and the people we meet, are all a part of life. I think the hardest part out of everything I listed is the pain piece. In the moment, it can be really hard to understand why we feel the way we feel, but it is important to keep in mind that every emotion we feel is all a part of the human experience. Everything we experience is there to teach us and fulfill us. Pain, love, happiness, sadness, heartbreak are all normal emotions that at the end of the day will teach us more about ourselves and life itself. Pushing away any of those emotions only makes it difficult to understand and why it is happening to us.
Another key piece to having a fulfilling life is experiences. The memories we create with the people we love are more important than any Gucci belt you could buy. The laughs, love shared, and things seen are not for sale. At the end of the day, the secret to life is the understanding that the experiences we have and the embracement of all of life is what fulfills us in the end.