So far this year, my position has brought me amazing things: a new start in life, new coworkers/friends, a department that I feel truly values me, and a position that is certainly molding me into a great professional. Self Care is extremely important and I’m grateful that this position has finally shown me that!
I’ve always been someone who becomes so dedicated towards a position that I often forget to take care of myself. It wasn’t until I reached my breaking point this month where I realized the importance of self care. I needed to get away and get away fast. So, a few days ago, I took some time off and hopped on the first plane I could to Chicago! I was happy with how supportive my RA staff and my department was with me taking this time off. But, me reaching my breaking point helped me realize a few things:
1. Work is not everything.
Sure, it pays the bills and puts food on the table for my dog, but it doesn’t have to engross every aspect of my life. When you live-in and are always at work, it’s easier said than done. But taking time for yourself is important so you don’t reach your breaking point.
2. On-call systems in Residence Life/Housing exist for a reason!
Use the them to your ability. Last week, one of my colleagues was on duty, yet somehow I kept getting calls from my RAs. I would find myself responding to a situation. It’s okay to say, “Call the person on call.”
3. Find something to do outside of campus.
I find myself spending every second on campus. I live there. I work there. I eat there. I’m always there. I’ve been working to find things to do outside of campus and find friends outside of campus as well! I’ve started running again and also exploring Greenville a little more, and it has definitely helped with this! Maybe I’m only interacting with my new doctor or dentist, but it’s still getting me away from campus, even for just an hour.
4. Don’t let these students stress you out!
Easier said than done, especially in this profession. But, I’ve been walking around for the past few weeks worrying about everything and letting their problems become my problems. Seeing a counselor is something I have done my entire life because it helped me to talk to someone and cope with things happening. Now that I have that void in my life, I’ve realized how important I need to get it back!
5. Take time for yourself.
Don’t be like me and realize the importance of taking time off when you’ve reach the point where you begin questioning your career choices. Over the past few weeks, I’ve definitely questioned what in the world I am doing with my life. All I needed was some time away – some time to be Aracelis Figueroa, the 24 year old who just graduated from grad school. Not Aracelis Figueroa, the Residence Hall Coordinator for Fletcher Hall.
Work/Life Balance and Self Care is important. Don’t wait until it’s too late to realize it! I’m excited to be going back to work next week refreshed and ready to take on the world again!