I have always been an avid learner, but I have realized that it is okay to take a few moments to reflect on currents or advice you have currently received. If we are constantly learning, but not absorbing and reflecting, are we actively learning? That is a rhetorical question, but I think it’s a valid question we should continuously ask ourselves.
1.) Becoming an expert on a topic doesn’t mean you are done learning
Accepting that new information and perspectives will cross your path is a good step towards becoming more open-minded. This summer, I was presented with new information that allowed me to become more socially aware and present, however, hearing new information caused me to realize that learning never ends. There are many topics and subjects that are developing and changing over time, so when you are presented with new information, use it to build your awareness and comprehension.
2.) Remember to take time for yourself
Setting boundaries is necessary and not wrong. For a long time, I always thought being available at every moment was the right choice, but I did not understand how that took a toll on my well-being. Of course, being accessible and reliable is an admirable trait, but your well-being should be a priority. Therefore, when you are not up for a task or feel overwhelmed, passing over opportunities does not make you a bad person. We are all humans and we are not expected to be perfect superhumans available at all times.
3.) You do not have to commit to everything
I’m sure we all have committed to something even though we were unsure if we would have time to give 100% effort. Therefore, saying you have other commitments or obligations should not be stigmatized. I understand that being involved is a positive experience. However, when your involvement is spreading you too thin, you will not be able to give 100% effort to various time-consuming obligations.
4.) Obstacles are not forever roadblocks
I know that during moments of difficulty it can feel like a current situation will last forever, but I can assure you that your present obstacles will not last forever. There are so many aspects of our daily lives changing with added barriers, however, I think learning that asking for help and developing healthy coping mechanisms can help ease the challenge of overcoming big or small obstacles.
5.) Reflection can be therapeutic
I know that journaling is the first form of reflection that may come to your mind, but you can practice mindfulness and reflection through your preferred form of expression. For example, listening to your favorite album can allow you to reflect or process emotions you are currently feeling. It’s important not to let emotions build up, so I think reflection can help individuals process and connect to reality. As always, reach out to the UK Counseling Center (https://www.uky.edu/counselingcenter/) if you feel like you need professional guidance or resources.