After watching many Hollywood movies, I used to dream of a man in my life who would surprise me with a long vacation somewhere similar to paradise. Well . . . with the demanding graduate program I am in, I got no boyfriend, no free weekends and no . . . paradise. Ironically, I do not even have the luxury of time to watch any Hollywood movies either.
Because of stress, I cried as if something was dying inside of me for several days. As any other graduate student, I have deadlines and long to do lists. No, this overwhelming agenda is not a normal thing, at least not for my Mexican brain and body, much less for my spirit. Now I know that my freedom, motivation, and playfulness were terminally ill.
As my grandmother used to say, “to a big problem, big remedy.” Therefore, despite the pressure of having deadlines and classes, I invited me for a retreat at home (which can count as a personal paradise, why not?). I booked myself into a wonderful week to enjoy simple pleasures in life.
Still no boyfriend involved but that was ok because I only discussed with myself the itinerary’s details.
Anyway, I literally put on my calendar things that help me to remember who I am. I spent the week at home in pajama, slept a lot, ate chocolate, danced salsa, watched cartoons and movies, and told some stories by phone to my family and friends. I also went to San Francisco by train. Love it! I walked in the Union square for hours like a tourist. Of course, I stopped at the Macy’s marketplace to get my favorite sourdough bread and made myself a huge homemade sandwich. In addition, I spoke with my mother and sister for more than an hour, twice!
Yes, I did spent time in school assignments but after my meditation and yoga.
After this home-retreat, I can tell you now that I rediscover who I am. I AM a human being who is still choosing to get a PhD. I know stress will knock my door again soon, but I count on me to take care of myself.
How do you deal with stress . . . if you do? Share some other tips please. You can post your response here or share only with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you have a relaxed weekend!