Manage your time, and then meditate on it

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: CHRIS MISZCZAK
Remember, only you can take charge of yourself in these uncertain times.

It was the midst of those last few weeks before the holidays that something very interesting occurred. Whether it was because of being overworked, technology, or zoom fatigue, one night I just could not sleep. In that one brief moment I did something that I have not done in a long time, I lit a candle and placed it on my dresser. Thus, it was in the quiet of the night, with my window ajar and the cool winter breeze billowing around me. The softness of the candlelight was before me, and a sketchbook. For a moment, a brief moment in all the chaos of those last few weeks of the previous semester, that my mind found a sense of true peace and quiet.

The following morning, I woke up with a clearer and sharper mind. I knew that in this moment I stumbled on something important that many others have discussed before, but still, is very important.

This is about taking the time to unwind, to relax and find a quiet place to refocus. It was then, in this moment as a student, I was looking forward to unwinding and relaxing when the semester was over. There are so many things that are going on right now which makes us anxious.

A person shown reading a book. Text states exam time can feel overwhelming. Let us help you succeed.

Andre Picard in his article, “COVID-19 didn’t take a holiday and the vaccine rollout should not have been allowed to either,” only emphasizes this point further. There are many on the frontlines still scrambling to make sure we are still safe and healthy; we should all have respect for the hard work of these healthcare workers.

There are so many that are putting themselves at risk everyday so that the rest of us maintain good health, safety, and food. It is important to appreciate the work that healthcare workers, grocery store employees, protective service workers, janitors and maintenance works, agricultural workers, and truck drivers do. These individuals deserve so much appreciation in this uncertain time.

Collectively I would emphasize that we should not lose that sense of being grounded and centred with a clear mind. That quiet moment that I had reminded me of just how important meditation truly is. Remember that you are the only constant and consistent thing in your own life. Despite all the chaos that is yet to come with a new school semester, this time for meditation can be and should be nurtured.

Remember to take time for yourself this semester. It is important. A 13th century Persian poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, powerfully said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Eileen Luders, Nicolas Cherbuin and Florian Kurth for the open science technology platform scientific journal Frontiers have even found a correlation in taking time for meditation is actually linked to living a longer life. Stress itself is not going to go away, especially with all the things going on in our society right now. School will be stressful as well despite all our efforts, stress will never really go away either. It is, however, manageable.

Remember that you have more control than you think, remember to practice a sense of discipline in taking that time off. For many it is easy to point to extremes in either relaxing forever or studying like a madman, but remember to maintain a sense of balance in your approach. It is important to not be overwhelmed, it is important to consider a strategy to maintain a stronger sense of control over your own mental health.

Colonel Walter Elliot, a British Politician of Scotland’s Unionist Party said: “Perseverance is not a long race; It is many short races one after the other.”

Please remember when considering your strategy and schedule for the upcoming semester, to set some time aside to de-stress.