Take Care of the Number One Priority: You!

Posted September 12, 2013 by Cassandra Ehrhart in Life After Five
Recently I’ve been overwhelmed. My attempt to juggle a full-time course load, 15-hour internship, a campus ambassador position, and an executive board position for a student organization has forced me to prioritize like crazy. The past couple weeks I mentally list out all of the tasks that need to be accomplished, but the real issue is once I’ve done all of that, my social life starts to bombard the bubble of tasks.

Friends, family, and peers wanting to grab dinner, workout, or simply seeking out conversation, start to push into everything else that I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve found myself becoming distracted, lacking attention to detail, and missing little things that are important (like doing homework correctly).

The other day my reaction to five text messages, a Snapchat, and several emails waiting for me after class, was to cry. Just to sit down and cry. This was the red flag for me. It felt like I was being pulled in all of these different directions to fulfill everyone’s needs on top of my own (this probably sounds crazy coming from a single, childless, 21-year-old) but that sums up my reality.

Do I want to return my friend’s text who is about to launch into a full-fledged conversation right before I go to bed?  Absolutely not. Do I feel like I need to? Yes. Why? Because I feel guilty about neglecting the people I care about.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you’ve accomplished tasks, give yourself a break from everything. Listen to your body and to your emotions. No matter what, the most important priority should always be you. If you want to go to sleep with your phone in the other room, that’s ok. If you want to ignore your chatty friend’s phone call and lay down to watch an episode of 30 Rock, that’s definitely ok. The truth is most of those amazing people in your life probably don’t even expect so much from you.

Women often forget to put themselves first, and we typically hold ourselves to an unreasonably high standard. If I put everyone else before myself, I’m not going to survive. I’ve accepted this and made some changes.

So next time you’re feeling guilty about not responding to a friend’s invitation because you’d rather snuggle up to watch some 30 Rock, stop and remember there’s no harm in fulfilling what YOU want.

And, there’s nothing Tina Fey can’t make better! 

About the Author

Cassandra Ehrhart

Cassandra Ehrhart is a results driven, public relations professional. She's currently a senior at Indiana University, Bloomington. This semester she's working for Coca-Cola as a Brand Ambassador, Author Solutions, Inc. as a Marketing Intern, and serving as the 2013-2014 Director of Communications for IU's Public Relations Student Society of America. She’s a bona fide dog lover from a small town in Indiana. There's not much that makes her happier than her niece and red wine. Cassandra is passionate about the mission of CGN and is proud to contribute her knowledge as a rising career girl.