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What's your favourite way to relax?

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:50pm
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you are all engaging in much egg and chocolate consumption (although, as I write this it occurs to me that I haven't partaken in any egg or chocolate eating yet today. Hmm, must rectify that...). Unfortunately I've been sick since Thursday, which has really been incredibly inconvenient considering the workload that I've got for school right now. The end of my second year at university looms up ( how can we be finished on April 2nd??), and that also means that the frantic scramble to write papers, study for tests, and complete the assigned readings is in full swing.

Thank goodness it's a long weekend! I'm just about all recovered from being ill and I managed to get a decent amount of work done (although it's never as much as I would've liked to have completed). It seems as though everyone is under a lot of pressure to finish all of these assignments, which brings me to the question of time management.

How do you manage your time? Ethan Hawke's character in Before Sunrise points out how technology is useful because it gives us all this extra time, "But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work." I think that that's pretty true. People often complain that they don't have enough time to do this or that, but the problem is not that there's not enough time but that we aren't very good at prioritizing and managing our time.

Yesterday in my Nutrition class, my prof was discussing weight loss and she said that if you want to lose a pound a week through exercise alone (that's expending roughly 500 calories every day), then that's the equivalent of covering 5 or 6 miles a day, in addition to your regular activities and lifestyle. She added that that's just not very realistic, as people don't have enough time to devote to that; at this point, my friend Evan laughed a little and said to me that it's really not that difficult to fit in an extra 5 or 6 miles a day.

I agreed with him, but then again, he competes in marathons and triathlons on his own time. And I'd go nuts if I didn't walk to and from school and work regularly. I think most people would just see that as a hassle and a bit of a waste of time (but when you think about it, walking for 5 miles only takes a little over an hour, which is the same amount of time as many tv shows, and somehow we find time to watch our favourite shows... hmmm). But the point is that for me, that's a priority. Getting in activity each day is very important for me, and for someone else it might not be so important. It just depends on whether or not you know what your priorities are, and once you've got them figured out, if you're able to let go of the things that aren't as important to you. It's the sad truth that we can't do absolutely everything, so we've got to pick and choose as to what is worthwhile and necessary, and what is not. There needs to be sacrifices made so that other things are accomplished.

Time management is a skill that is overlooked way too often. Perhaps university is supposed to assist in teaching people that skill, but I think that a lot of people only half-heartedly figure it out. After all, having fun and studying are both topping the list of priorities for most students, and how do you manage to succeed in balancing those without becoming a fatigued stress case?

I try not to worry too much about getting everything done on time. Resting in between the work is essential to producing something of good quality, so I take full advantage of taking a break when my brain starts to go fuzzy from studying. And I've got to say, when I see my mum tackling all of her responsibilities- owning a business, volunteering on the provincial board for her womens group, and acting as a teachers assistance for a veterinary acupuncture for a week every month or so- it sure puts my difficulties with school into perspective. I figure, if she can manage to balance her life like that, then I'll be able to finish the papers for my classes no problem. Taking into account that people are forced to find a way to accomplish these and much more difficult tasks, and that they manage to succeed in doing so, is very encouraging. It definitely puts my mind at ease!

Don't forget to take a break today and relax; it'll do your body and mind some good. I took a lovely long bath today for the first time in months and it felt absolutely wonderful to indulge in that. What about you; how do you manage your time and what are your favourite ways to relax?
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