"Oye, que paso?"
(If no one got it, it's an In The Heights reference. And I think no one got it.)
And when I looked at everything I had yet to finish this week with final IB exams in another eight...
I was suffering a burnout. Burnout from what, I'm not quite sure (to be very honest), but it was a burnout indeed; I couldn't concentrate in school for the entire day and had zero motivation to crack on with work. And when my mum reminded me that I had to get started with work, that was it - I went up to my room, flopped on the bed and started crying. Then I took a nice fat 2 hour-long nap (which thank God no one woke me up from) and woke up feeling much, much better.
And that's when I realised: we do deserve occasional breaks and do-nothing-days, even if deadlines are a few weeks away. It's funny - we always text phrases like these to our friends, telling them it's okay to just lie down and let time tick away, and yet we ourselves fail to heed our own advice. Or maybe we choose to block it out, perhaps out of the fear of being unproductive. But that's the thing - we can do that. We can not do anything. We are allowed to be unproductive, to bask in our own unproductive-ness, and to be at peace with being peacefully unproductive.
Humans were created human for a reason - we aren't robots, we don't comprise of machinery and mechanical gears, we were never geared to have a production yield of a hundred percent, 24/7. We are a grisly mess of guts, emotions, fears, yearnings, knowledge, conscience, thoughts, dilemmas - everything that makes us living, breathing, feeling creatures. And sometimes all this just gets too much. It catches up with us, and we forget that sometimes, it might be better to just succumb to it. I'm not saying we should completely immerse ourselves in our wallowing and sink down into the deep unknown (that would be dangerous and counterproductive), but sometimes we have to let ourselves be pulled along just beneath the waves, and allow them to embrace us, just for a moment.
Which brings me to...
The Pit of Wallowing
In here, we can cry, we can wail, we can rant, or we can just do nothing and float along (refer to illustration above). Like a little stray piece of seaweed, we are suspended near the surface of the water, close enough to the top to see the filtered rays of sun, but far enough at the bottom to mute the buzz of the ever-changing world above until the raucous hubbub becomes a gentle hum. And it is in here that we can find peace amidst the tumultuous, raging storm (otherwise known as life). We learn to listen to all our worries, fears and anxieties, and choose to let them go. Of course, there is a danger to this - being swept up by currents of despair and sinking into the blue hole at the endless bottom of the pit - which is why we can't stay in the pit for long and need others to hold ourselves accountable for re-finding our footing once we've gone under ('friends', 'family' - hope these words ring a bell!).
But when done right, having bathed in the water of the pit of wallowing, the negativity gradually sloughs itself off our skin and descends to the bottom, just like a piece of sediment. And when we're finally done, we lift ourselves up, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed, ready to continue our hike up the mountain of life.
Love, Ashley x
20 Scientifically Proven Ways to De-Stress Right Now, by Meredith Melnick
Top School Stress Relievers for Students, by Elizabeth Scott
Stressed? Tired? Burnt Out? Take A Pause, by Rodger Dean Duncan