Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Brief Reprieve

Escaping the Tense Penn Bubble

Some Time to Relax, Rest, and Recuperate

The Penn Bubble is ready to burst !
After weeks spent on campus, which is currently a tense bubble that seems ready to pop, I decided to take a brief reprieve. Milly and I packed up and escaped yesterday, retreating to the safety of my home. I was able to spend the evening at my Aunt and Uncle's house and enjoyed some much need relaxation. We talked about things that had nothing to do with school or finals- Christmas decorations, upcoming vacation plans, my kitten, holiday festivities- and I was happy to be in the warmth and comfort of their home, surrounded by people who love me. After dinner I retreated to my own home, curled up in my parents massive bed (because they are away at the moment), and indulged in a long and peaceful sleep. Escaping the tense Penn bubble was exactly what I needed. The stress, anxiety, and exhaustion of everyone around me was too much to bear. It was starting to rub off on me and I need a brief reprieve in order to relax, rest, and recuperate. I awoke this morning feeling refreshed and ready to buckle down and finish this last assignment. It's nice to know that the safety and comfort of my own home is not far from me and always available when I need to make a quick escape. It is so peaceful in comparison to school and I am tempted to stay just one more night. Why not? I have some  time before I need to really focus on my final task and the extra relaxation will definitely serve me in the upcoming days. 
Enjoying my brief reprieve in the comforts of my home-

"Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort."

- Jane Austen

We all need a little escape from reality every once in a while. If you can afford to do it, give yourself a little break; you deserve it! Set aside the long list of holiday errands you need to run. Put home improvement needs and chores on the back burner. Stop thinking about all the work you need to complete. Just take a step away from your life- obligations, stressors, fears, burdens- and allow yourself some time do nothing at all. Or if you can't convince yourself to do nothing at least do something that brings you comfort and a sense of calm. I like to watch TV, take a warm bath, write my blog, journal, search for interesting or new quotes, but, of course you can choose to do anything!

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."

- A.A. Milne, Pooh's Little Instruction Book

Winnie-the-Pooh frequently offers me the best advice. In our society "Doing Nothing" is considered unproductive, even lazy. We fail to see that simply doing nothing at all can be one of the most productive and helpful things we can do. It allows us to take a breather from our busy and chaotic lives. Just sitting and giving ourselves time to unwind will enable us to be happier and healthier people. You may also find that after a bit of time dedicated to nothingness you return to your work with greater passion, dedication, and concentration. Escaping and taking some time to rest, relax, and recuperate is necessary in order to stay sane. We can't live our lives at a high intensity all the time. Doing so will most definitely result in burn out. Giving yourself a break now can help prevent an ultimate shut down. You may say that you don't have the luxury of taking a break right now. But where will you be when your body decides to get sick or go into panic mode because you denied it the rest it needed? Not to mention that when you return your work feeling refreshed you will be able to produce a better result. I am confident that when I return to the tense bubble, in order to continue working, I will be stronger. The stress of others won't be able to permeate my sense of calm. And I will be better equipped, mentally, emotionally, and physically, to write my final paper. 

"Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for respond to conflict."

- Dorothy Thompson

The conflict that is currently plaguing my life is finals period and the stress and anxiety that comes along with it. I needed to find a means of creating peace during this tumultuous time. My usual methods were not working. They were not strong enough to fight the high pressure of finals. So, I came up with a new alternative. I escaped the Penn bubble, removing myself from the conflict and/or situation, and found peace by retreating to the safety and comfort of my own home. I am pleased to have discovered that this brief reprieve was exactly what I needed in order to find a sense of peace. Now that I am off campus I can finally relax, recuperate, and get some much needed rest. The intense and stressful energy on campus was preventing me from getting a full night of peaceful sleep. I would shut my eyes thinking about work- potential thesis, reading to be completed, French verb conjugations- and woke up at ungodly hours with the same thoughts ruminating in my mind. It was time to get off of campus and enter a world filled with Christmas carols, candy canes, holiday lights, and cheer! 
"A world filed with candy canes..."
Whatever your current conflict is- finals, stress at work, holiday shopping, a fight with a friend- find an alternative that will allow you to create a sense of peace and calm in your life. There will always be something in your life that is unsettling. As I have said before life is filled with bad; but, at the same time is rich with goodness and blessings. Take advantage of life's goodness but engaging in an activity that enriches your soul and lets calmness wash over you. Read a book, call a friend, play with your pet, watch TV, do nothing at all. I hope that your break provides with you the same rest, relaxation, and recuperation that I have been able to find during my brief reprieve. When life hits you with an overwhelming amount of stressors it is your job to create your own peace. Take some time away from your hectic and anxiety provoking life. It will still be there when you're done with your break and you will find that you are better able to handle it. Don't think of your reprieve as useless; think of it as a requirement that will benefit your well-being, work, mental health, and happiness of course!

Go get busy doing nothing,

13 Days Til Christmas, 5th Night of Hannukah


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