Learning to Stop

By Yamila García

After an intense and exhausting semester, comes the difficult task of stopping. When we move at a significant speed, whether in a vehicle or running, we do not come to a complete stop in a second… Inertia makes us keep going beyond the goal, for a few meters until we come to a complete stop. Keeping up with the intensity of the classes is not easy, but neither is stopping. When we cross the finish line after running a race, our body is still active, alert and so it feels weird to be still. The same thing happens when we finish all our tests and assignments. It takes a little time to get the body and mind comfortable in the calm. Some, like me, perhaps fill up with activities to keep their minds busy, or we could even say silent. And so, stopping becomes a threat. So what should be the best or easiest part, turns out to be the opposite.

However, stopping does not have to be synonymous with disorganization or improvisation. We can also have an agenda for our leisure time. Many times during the year I find myself wishing I had time to do this or that. “I wish I have time to paint”, “I wish I have time to watch a tv series”, “I wish I have time to get a few coding projects done” and so many other “I wish”, but when I finally have the time, I can’t find a way to enjoy it. Sometimes because I don’t have a plan and the days just go by, and other times because I try to fulfill other things that I couldn’t do during the semester such as appointments, paperwork, etc. Therefore, this year I have decided to plan what I want to do during the winter break. Not in such a structured way, but more like a wish list. I deeply believe in the importance of nourishing our minds with things that make us laugh, enjoy and relax. I believe that we should all take care of our mental health with the same responsibility we put on our jobs and other commitments. I’m learning how to do it, I’m seeing the benefits while doing it and I want everyone to be able to work for their own joy.

Work for your enjoyment, commit yourself to taking care of yourself, value and be grateful for each day of your life, because although sometimes it is hard, we have overcome more than we ever imagined we could do and we will marvel at what awaits us.