by Rachel

As I sit in my towel, after a hot shower, too tired to put on pajamas, after practicing yoga for 90 minutes in a 105 degree room with several of my coworkers at lululemon athletica, I realize one thing: I am exhausted. I still have reading to do for my assessment class tomorrow evening, which I will attend after a full day of being at field. I’ve decided that it will have to wait until the one-hour period between leaving field and starting class. Right now, my body, soul, and mind ache for rest.

This semester, I am enrolled in 12 credit hours, attending my field placement two full days a week, and also working at lululemon athletica (a fitness clothing store) in Highland Village between 2-4 days a week. All the while, I am trying to maintain my sanity as well as have some form of a social and spiritual life. Through my yoga practice, I have learned that not only is balance an important aspect of many asanas, or poses, but it is also an imperative part of life, especially one of a graduate student in social work. When one aspect of life is out of balance with the others, you might feel unsettled, stressed, anxious, worried, or any combination of these emotions.

Balance is an important part of my personal self-care plan. I will admit though, school can sometimes take up a greater amount of my time than my other commitments and activities. But that is to be expected. When this happens, I simply take notice and make adjustments accordingly, if possible.

For many of my colleagues, especially in the flex/part-time degree plan, juggling all these things and more is part of their every day life. Some of my colleagues have full time jobs, husbands or wives, and children. This blog entry is especially for you. My advice: take time to LISTEN to your body. As we often tell our clients, you are the expert of your unique situation or story. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself, which includes trying to balance your many life obligations. It will not be easy, but it is very important to do. Use a calendar or daily planner. Schedule in time for YOU. And as always, try to maintain boundaries. If you’ve set aside time to take care of yourself, then follow through and don’t feel bad for not taking on other tasks, chores, or obligations. Pay attention to your body and emotions. It is the best compass available to point you in the direction of where you need to be.

Namaste.

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