I’m Good Because I Itemize My Time

By Zack Long

Why am I good? It is because I am able to handle adversity well. This may be due to the fact that my upbringing was anything but conventional. Yet, I found myself persevering every step of the way. Was it easy? Absolutely not. However, I was able to get through problems, learn from mistakes and move on. There are people out there that cannot. I sympathize with them because if they were able to, they would realize just how precious and valuable life is. What is great about the appreciation of life is that it crosses over humanity. What I mean by that is the appreciation of life encompasses culture, religion and moral values. Not many things can do that.

I am grateful that I have a great support system through tough times. The one person I can always rely on is my fiancée. She has been with me for ten years and in those ten years, I have grown as a person. She knows everything about me and I am more than comfortable going to her for anything life throws at me. I know it may be cliché but it is true. I am forever grateful for her being in my life.

Even though my fiancée helps me constantly and consistently, there are times where stress attempts to overtake my life. The way I combat stress is simple; I am aware of what my stressors are, anticipate them and deal with them before they affect me. I take pride in not stressing. This is an attribute that those close to me acknowledge. I am the type of person that says to himself, “Oh well.” I have a flat tire! “Oh well.” I am taking four classes and working two jobs! “Oh well.” The way I look at is that everything has a solution or an outcome that is never nearly as disastrous as we initially think. Like the old saying goes “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” I always say “when life hands you lemons, cut them up and put them in your beer.” Relax because all is good.

Having a positive mentality when it comes to stress is never enough. If that were the case, we would live in a perfect world. There are times where we need an outlet. Some fish, some exercise, some read. For me, my favorite wellness tool is simply itemizing my time. What I mean by this is I know that I have only “x” amount of hours a day to do “A, B, C” so I make sure I use my time as wisely as possible. For instance, unless there are circumstances beyond my control, I never study on Fridays. I feel that Fridays are my evening “off”. With this evening off, I engage in activities that I consider a respite from the busy workweek. This may include a movie or a dinner. Another way I cope with stress is by taking my week and breaking down the tasks that need to be done. Then, I take little Post-Its and stick one of them on everyday of the week (except, of course, Friday). Lastly, I take tasks and divvy them out acids the span if a week. This has always worked for me. You rarely do too much in one day and it is reinforcing to scratch off tasks as you complete them. It works for me to cope with stress and maintain a healthy mindset. The only negative thing is that Post-Its can be rather pricey.

All lightheartedness aside, mental health is a serious issue. I have known several friends who have diagnosed mental health issues and it is hard to see them cope with it. The key to ending the stigma of mental health is awareness. If more were aware of just how debilitating an emotional disorder can be, more would be able to understand what they are going through and know how to help. Our mental stability is crucial to your existence. Stress and anxiety can lead to severe health issues and, quite frankly, can kill you. That is why it is important to remain within yourself and know that with life’s struggles, there is a solution. Rely on loved ones. Develop a support system. Engage in an activity that can appropriately relieve your stress. Whatever you do, don’t allow the stress to win. That way, you can appreciate life and tell yourself, “I’m good!”

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Categories: Wellness Tools


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