The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, April 19, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Walk your cat and take a nap

Alison Krug

Newsroom director Alison Krug

I am very tired.

I got jaw surgery one week ago and then slept for eight hours, which was a real feat for me.

I am on pain medicine that warns it causes “some drowsiness” and anti-nausea medicine that warns of “EXTREME DROWSINESS,” so I think my tiredness is a little warranted.

I spent this week treating my jaw like I would a newborn baby, doing everything short of swaddling it (I tried).

But my largest and most controversial gesture was getting enough sleep.

I have gone to bed before midnight and slept at least seven hours every day since my jaw surgery.

I would like to tell you I feel refreshed and anew, like a spring flower or a dryer sheet or those girls in tampon commercials, but I mostly just feel guilty.

And this happens every year. Surrounded by fellow sleep-deprived students, I convince myself that if I just stay up another hour (or five), I can keep up with my classmates. The hours asleep feel undeserved and like a waste. When the world is — well, you are reading a newspaper; you know what the world is like right now — it feels selfish to take some time out of the day to make sure you are not literally, physically falling apart.

All of that is maybe the silliest lie we as college students tell ourselves.

You cannot keep running on empty forever; sleeping or taking a quiet moment for yourself is a good thing. Repeat that. Write it down. Get it as a lower back tattoo — whatever you need to remind yourself every so often that you are a human person. You cannot help out your fellow human people to your fullest extent if you are a sleepless mess.

It is difficult to commit to a time-consuming goal like finishing a novel or getting the recommended amount of sleep, but here are a few little things I do to remind myself that I am a human woman who needs to make sure that she is not physically falling apart:

Watch subtitled TV with my roommates in a language none of us speak. We all have to focus on reading the subtitles and cannot have any distractions like homework or our phones, so it’s some pure bonding time.

Find a stress book. Whenever I’m stressed beyond repair, I flip through “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” If Becky Bloomwood can make it through the day, so can I.

Water my plants.

Walk my cat.

Walk my cat and my plants.

Explain to my neighbors why I’m walking my cat (and realize I have no good explanation for walking my plants).

A friend and his computer science cohort made a meme stock exchange, and it is beautiful. I invested in “Damn Daniel” too early and failed to anticipate the skyrocket of “thebeemovie,” so I’m not doing great, but it’s nice to flip to between classes.

So take a deep breath. And then take a nap. And then wake up and get stuff done.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.