I am a workaholic. I know that about myself. I tend to dedicate full force to whatever it is I have committed myself. I tend to neglect my physical, emotional, and mental health. Last year, I stressed too much about school and pushed myself harder than ever to improve my grades. By the end of the year, I was burned out. I filled my first year with learning, laughter, tears (no shortage of tears), and stress, but I didn’t fill it with time for me. I definitely pushed aside all of the things that mattered to me before law school (like exercising), and I deeply regretted it.
I decided I am on “Team Me.” I can’t put myself last and hold myself to an unrelenting and unreasonable standard to work, work, and more work. This may sound very obvious to many of you, but you will get swept up in law school’s stress, anxiety, and pressure. You’ll convince yourself to sacrifice an hour you would otherwise give yourself, and you’ll justify it by saying, “I’m showing dedication and commitment to my studies.” Yes, sacrificing one or two additional hours a week to your studies especially during peak times is perfectly reasonable, but slowly those one or two additional hours become zero hours for you. You start by slightly tipping the scales for one over the other then you completely give everything to one. Whoa. How did that happen?
You forgot that you are a priority too. Sometimes that priority shifts depending on varying circumstances, but it should never completely miss the list altogether. It’s incredibly easy to forget about making time for yourself just like you make time for everything else you deem important. You may feel guilty doing it because it means taking away from studying, but it’s a necessary balance. What is the “right” balance boils down to who you are and how you learn. For me, I need to exercise a few times a week because it allows me to clear my head, push out negative feelings, and come back to my books refreshed. For you, well, you decide but don’t forget to make it a priority.