The importance of you-time


By Chandler Walter, Editor-in-Chief


I like to think that I’m able to handle stress somewhat decently, at the very least.

Having gone through four years of post-secondary—yes, I’m counting the two spent in General Studies at Douglas, even if I don’t have any credentials to show for it—I’m no stranger to the horror stories of relentless workloads, sleepless nights, and that impending sense of utter doom.

The young people who are navigating between high school graduation and actual, established careers are probably some of the most stressed-out Canadians imaginable. The constant balancing act of work and social life and school and family and that second job because seriously have you seen these rental prices—it can all be utterly exhausting, and could very well be a factor in deteriorating mental health.

With all that nonsense going on in the lives of these students, people who are still wrestling with the idea of what they want to be when they grow up, it’s no wonder that so many of us crumble under the immense pressure—I sure as hell have.

I’ve been lucky; I’ve made it out of school, am now working two solid jobs, and I’m enjoying a stable relationship, yet I still have days where it seems like the responsibilities could topple over and crush me at any moment, and it’s not a good feeling.

Which is why, nearly every Sunday afternoon, I pour a glass of wine, draw a bath in my somewhat-too-small tub, and spend hours just reading or writing or watching dumb YouTube videos. There’s still some work I need to get to, naturally, but for those few hours I just don’t worry about it.

This mental rest-stop might be different for different people—it could be going for a hike, playing some video games, hanging out with friends, cleaning the house, or getting a really good workout in. Whatever it is, we’ve all got that something that allows us to relax our minds to ease the tensions in life, and we should be treating these hours as a valuable tool, rather than a waste of time.

It’s toxic to think that you’re doing something wrong by not spending every moment working towards your dream job or that perfect GPA. There should be no guilt associated with allotting a few hours to spend doing exactly what you want to be doing, because in the long-run that time is just as valuable as time spent working if it means giving your stressed-out mind a breather.

I’m not saying to hell with that paper, or to call in sick just to spend a day out on the town… but be sure to take that you-time when you can get it, and don’t feel so damn guilty about it when you do.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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