Y'all, I'm on the brink.
As the semester trudges on, my threshold for what stresses me out keeps growing. I know I'm not alone and I know this is not news to most people, but every day is overwhelming.
Contrary to what you may be thinking as you read this, I am not writing this Office DJ to add more stress to your plate. Rather, I'm trying to remind you to focus on any little bright spots that can bring you joy. That's what I've been doing, and honestly, it's all any of us can do.
The world overall sucks right now, to say the least. And in my own life, I don't remember the last time I was able to take a break. When the spring semester ended, I immediately transitioned to my summer internship (that I am grateful I still had, and enjoyed a lot!). Then, when that ended, I immediately took over daily operations as The Daily Tar Heel's editor-in-chief on top of a full course load.
This semester is a tsunami and I am barely doggy-paddling.
I'm not kidding. I went to the doctor before the semester started, and they told me my blood pressure was too high for someone my age. And that was one week before classes started and we were dealing with daily University breaking news.
But like I said earlier, not all hope is lost. When the rare opportunity to take a mental break arrives, I take it. Unfortunately, as a UNC senior and the DTH editor, those opportunities are few and far between and usually are on my 30-minute round trip to the Durham Aldi each Friday. Or the 10 minutes it takes me to fold my laundry. Or when I shower. Basically, whenever I don't have to check my emails.
When I get those moments, I truly savor them. I blast "Hamilton" and sing in the car with a reusable bag full of vegan ice cream, or I dance around my room to "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" while folding the Nike shorts I wear every day. I make it take longer than it needs to because I need this time to myself to feel pure, unadulterated joy.
I hope your life isn't as sad as mine, where doing chores is my only reprieve, and if it is, I'm so sorry. But we all need to remember to take time for ourselves, no matter what form it comes in. Your playlist will probably look different than mine, and that's OK because self care takes different forms.
If your break isn't grocery shopping or folding laundry, I hope it's going for a walk, calling your friends, journaling, cooking or whatever else brings a smile to your face.
We're all dealing with far more than anyone, especially anyone our age, should be. Take care of yourself.
Anna Pogarcic is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying journalism and history major.
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