Practicing Mindfulness in the Midst of Busyness

October 10, 2019
As a current college student, I can say college is overwhelming. It is also intense, exciting, and one of the most unique experiences I have ever had. For me, college is a never-ending loop, in which I jump from one assignment to the next midterm, to the club meeting and to the job, and finally, to sitting down in my bed and start my readings for the next class.

Don’t get me wrong, I choose to be busy. I like to fill my day with rewarding activities that leave me feeling like I have put my best effort into helping others. But some days, after the midterm and on the walk to the club meeting, I feel a heaviness. I notice I am not as easy to smile, it takes some effort to show up to the next event, and I feel like I have to force the heaviness back down. Those are the days when I get home and realize that my mental health is not where it should be, and as much as I should be writing the research paper that is due soon, it is time to give myself a break.

Sometimes, I just need to cry. The tears come out, and my heart starts to feel a little lighter. Sometimes, I decide that I deserve a frappuccino from Starbucks. Sometimes, I bring out my journal and write about what is on my mind. Sometimes, I call my best friend who is abroad in France. Sometimes, I talk to my mom on the phone for hours. Sometimes, I look at a picture of my puppy and smile. Sometimes, I bring out my paintbrushes and put my heart onto the canvas.

Sometimes, when I don’t have the time to go home and write, I sit down somewhere peaceful and take deep breaths. I focus on peace, what I am thankful for, and calming my mind. Sometimes, on the walk to the library, I glance around my campus and remind myself how amazing it is that I even have the opportunity to attend this university.

Even in the busy days, I prioritize taking small moments for myself. I remind myself that it is OK to feel down, and that I have the right to express my emotions. I deserve to take mental health breaks. I focus on creating a healthy balance in my life. Over time, I see my own growth. I have come to realize that controlling your mentality is one of the most powerful things you can do. Even when I feel myself falling into a spiral of overthinking, I remind myself that I control my responses to different life events and that I have agency over my own life.

It is in these moments when I feel stronger. Not always happier but honest. Genuine.

In these moments I remind myself to think positively and be thankful for all the good in my life.

Today, as you get on the bus, show up at work, order coffee, eat a meal, or pass people in a busy corridor, stop to remind yourself to take time for peacefulness, deep breaths, and gratitude, before the loop of life continues.