The first semester of my Ph.D. started off and ended well. However, I couldn’t say the same about my second semester. On January 15, 2017, a close family friend passed away, and the next morning, on the 16th, I woke up to find that my grandmother had also passed away. Many people, besides my closest friends, don’t know that prior to losing these two individuals, I had never experienced the lost of a loved one before. So imagine the shock that I felt losing two people within 24 hours.
This feeling established the tone for my entire spring semester. I became less engaged and all I wanted to do was sleep, cry, and be home with my family. It took a toll on my productivity, but by the grace of God I finished off my semester on a good note!
Fast forward to the third week of May, I was off to Mexico to spend my birthday weekend with two of my close friends, Monica and Sasha. It was the vacation and girls weekend that I NEEDED. We were lucky to be upgraded into a beautiful master suite along with our all inclusive meals.
We went swimming, well more like drifting away and slightly drowning for me since I can’t swim lol. We went zip lining in the jungle, zip lining in a cave to crash into the water beneath, snorkeling, and of course Monica’s favorite activity: riding an ATV. It was the mental break that I needed to help with the emotional overload that I had been carrying from the spring semester.
Many who will read this will say, why not go to therapy? Trust me, I’m no stranger to therapy. I lived at the counseling and wellness center while I was at the University of Florida. And I strongly support and encourage people to seek mental health services even to just test out how you feel about it. Speaking from experience, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Trust me.
I just knew that this time around what I needed was something fun to do. Sometimes we just work and work without realizing that we need to slow down and engage in a slight turn up lol
Mental health is essential to your over health. If we don’t take the time to address our traumatic and stressful experiences we could slowly be “dying” on the inside and not even know it. We start to let stress and pain take over till we don’t even acknowledge that we are losing a bit of our well-being with each day that goes by.
May I also add, if you can throw in a hour massage into your monthly regimen, DO IT. We tend to carry a lot of our stress in our back, neck, and shoulders. And that surely was the case for me this past Spring semester. After struggling for months with this terrible tension in my back, I scheduled a massage session at the local spa. My experience was…well, I think my friend Sasha said it best:
“I feel like I’ve been reborn. Like I just crawled out of my mothers womb. My whole body feels brand new. This massage I got was EVERYTHING”. -Sasha
If you need a break, stroll on over to groupon.com and find an affordable getaway vacation. Every so often we need to pencil in a vacation or a self care activity on our calendar, it’s always nice to have something to look forward to, sometimes it’s the only thing we have to look forward to.
And if you start a new membership at Massage Envy, tell them I sent you! 🙂