Your “Check Engine” Light

picjumbo.com_IMG_4635This semester by far has been my hardest semester of college: Two jobs, two sets of classes, new responsibilities, huge life decisions and more.  While I thank God for all of these opportunities to grow and develop, I’m pooped. On E.  My Check Engine light has been on for the longest. I believe that God speaks through the people we love; and today, He spoke through my mom.

My mom read me today.  I mean, she READ me.  I told her that despite the fact I’m taking on extra hours at work (yes, during exams), I was going to cover another person’s shift as an act of kindness.  Y’all, her iOS ellipsis was moving non-stop for at least five minutes.  Nonetheless, she made a point today that made me reflect.

“…there will be other opportunities to be nice, but you have to be fueled for them.” – Momma Bryson**

**She likes to be called Momma Bryson.

Self-care. For the first time, I tried this “self-care” thing and it was really, really hard. What’s interesting about self-care is that it is a lot more than buying a pizza, turning on Netflix and neglecting any sort of responsibility for a day.  Self-care really involves taking control of your physical, emotional and mental health. Here are the ways I exercised self-care these past few months.

  1. Sleep: Sleep is hard to come by, but I made a commitment to myself that no matter what, I would make my best effort to getting my minimum of functional sleep. Did I always follow through? No. But,whatever assignment that is due, will just have to wait.  Funny enough, my grades are even better. Go figure. 
  2. Shut the world up: From the hours of 4:00 am to 11:00 pm, I receive at least 60 emails. Alongside GroupMe messages, texts, calls, voice-mails and more.  Do not disturb and flat out saying “This can wait” have been my best friends.
  3. Eating: Almonds in the backpack, crackers in the gym bag, and cereal in my desk.  Sometimes I neglect to listen to my body.  These methods have helped me stay alert and not turn into The Incredible Hulk (you’re welcome).
  4. Cutting off draining relationships: Recently, I have cut off some relationships that I a) don’t feel motivated to give to and/or b) exhausts me to be in.  I have learned that while it is (perfectly) okay to be around people who are different from me, it is important that there is a mutual acceptance of each other’s traits, values and feelings.
  5. Walking with God: This semester, I have made some really hard life decisions. Although I’m not the most religious, I have truly learned the meaning of walking with God. He’s held my hand on some very dark days as well as those that are filled with joy and victory.  I’ve gotten closer to His word and feel that I’m growing with it. I’m still working on building my relationship with God, but this could not go without mentioning.

I’m a non-stop speed buggy; but, I’m learning to put on the brakes and actually pay attention to my Check Engine light.

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