Let me tell you a story.
At the time when I was completing my undergraduate studies, during my last two semesters, I was up round the clock doing my part-time job and drafting up plans and brainstorming ideas with my team to lay the foundations of my business. I also had to work on my senior project – which was, much to my pride, apparently the first actual human experiment to be conducted on-campus.
At that time, one of my juniors who was a foreign student would always hang out in my room because her rented room was too far from university. Sometimes she would bring another friend along with her baby. Most times she would turn the music on loud and walk around the house naked. Yes.
I also had another friend from a different faculty who would come every evening to ask me to help her with her assignments because her English sucked real bad. By real bad, I mean real, real bad. She did not understand what her lectures were about. She could not comprehend her assignments. She could not even remember what I taught her. I ended up going with her for days to the library just to help her with her assignments.
Okay, I was being quite helpful. Never did I express my tiredness or lack of time for my senior project. But as days caught on, I realized I was putting off a lot of my own assignments and postponing several deadlines – deadlines I set for myself. I began feeling as if I lost my value and energy. My hard work seemed to be running down the drain dealing with all the drama in the house.
Due to all the stress, I lost the job that had been feeding me for the past three years. I told my girlfriends no, I am sorry, but I cannot possibly help you anymore. But did they understand what I was telling them?
Well, I moved in with the one from the other faculty because she was willing to help me with the accommodation. But what I did not realize was that she did not even know how to send an email or write to her husband in English? I always wondered why the heck she could not write to him in their own native language? I also noticed that although I told her that I was quite busy with an exam the next day, she still asked me to help her with her presentations!
Oh, I hope you do not get into the same problem as I did. What did I do to solve the problem then? I scolded them vehemently. I also unfriended them. On top of that, I got up very early every morning at approximately 6AM, did my prayers, and then walked 500 meters to school. Every morning before the sun rose itself. I tried studying in the library… until my friend who couldn’t understand English turned up again out of nowhere to ask me to assist her! One day she even brought another friend who was having issues with her own project.
God bless my heart and my soul. Why was getting away from my girlfriends so important? I had definitely sworn myself out of lesbianism, to be sure. So why did I have to give them a hearty scolding every time and run away as if I were the thief?
Because it is very crucial for my subjective well-being. I needed a lot of time to think about more important matters, like my fees – I was graduating soon anyway.
Alone time. Hard, death-like situations are opportunities for growth, and to grow, you need to think. You need to rearrange your thoughts and give yourself a little peace of mind as you navigate yourself well. Even if you are not in a dead-end situation, you need some precious time for yourself. For growth. For self-care. That moves us to the next section.
Self-care. You only have all the time in the world to attend to every matter around you. Give yourself a little gift of time. Sip slowly over a hot cup of green tea, read your favorite detective novel, or simply do nothing for awhile. This leads to the next point.
Well-being. A holistic approach to self-care looks at not only proper functioning of the body, but also the well-being of the mind. We got a brain to think, not just for ourselves but also for others. This mass of grey matter, with all its fancy nucleus accumbens, mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways, and the stuff in your hippocampus (pardon my language) that puts you to making the right judgements – resembles other muscular tissues in the body, and requires consistent exercise to keep running. And as far as we help others do their thinking, we have to give ourselves a break to redirect our focus too.
Exercise. As mentioned earlier, self-care in the positive psychological perspective involves working out on a timely basis to keep physically and mentally fit. Join a dance class to get the entire body moving freely.
Opportunities for Self-development. Time is of essence, and the time in which we invest our time is very important. When you are already tied down with a long list of things to do, it’s okay to say no. Just say it. Don’t even feel obligated. You need time to fine-tune your strengths, because stars don’t grow overnight. They always emerge from the core of mysterious nebulae and take millennia to mature. In the same way, great ideas always form from muddled-up minds of a plethora of experiences, knowledge, and wisdom altogether. You just need to reorganize your thoughts so you don’t leave them hanging. When you mix the ingredients for a cake in a bowl, and then put the whole thing in the microwave, you’ll get a cake in the end. Of course however well it’s done requires all the love, care, and patience it needs too. So you need to be very clear to anyone who is begging for your attention while you are trying to make an amazing cake, to be able to concentrate on making such a nice cake.
Of course in reality the cake is you, and I bet you are sweet too. What about those girls who came into the picture from the start of the story – did they stop asking me the same goddamn question? No, they didn’t.
PS.: No one could find any photographs of the naked girl, so pardon me.