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I Had to Redeem Myself For Myself

Completing my graduate school thesis almost took me out mentally. Going through the coursework was a breeze. The courses were fun, exciting and gave me an opportunity to grow professionally. When I got to the point of having to complete my thesis, I did not know how to advocate for myself and request the help I needed to finish the work without crying each night. I found myself doing my regular routine of procrastinating until there was no time remaining. I knew this was a horrible idea because my stress levels were already at an all-time high due to working full-time, and I knew I was only a quarter of the way through the complete thesis. Two weeks before the end of the semester I kicked my writing into high gear. My advisor had given me all the feedback she was willing to, and I had to handle the rest.

To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. Taking the time to do the research was therapeutic for me but putting that information into a cohesive piece that I could submit was stressing me out to the point of hair loss. I was crying and shedding like there was no tomorrow and I needed to figure out a way to be successful and still maintain the mane. Unfortunately, I did not find those calming tools until after I finished graduate school, but I had them going to my certificate program.

That experience taught me many things, one of them being, we can be our own worst enemies. I knew how that level of procrastination would stress me out and I did it anyway. As people, we must take the time to listen to our bodies and take stock of what we do that is not beneficial. Going into my certificate program I vowed to space out my work and not push everything to the end of class. I made sure that I used my phone calendar and planned days to do my readings and assignments, but I also did not push myself on days I knew I had already done too much. I utilized learning tools such as the Pomodoro Method to keep my mind in check from distractions and I rewarded myself every two weeks by consistently sticking to my schedules. Not only did the rewards of gorgeously manicured nails, and a portable ice maker make me want to continue following my plan, but I was being extremely successful with the least amount of angst. Taking the time to make a self-care plan changed the way I looked at completing all my activities, not just schoolwork. This plan made me accountable to myself and my overall progression every day. This keeps me in a space of progress but also allows me the chance to not take myself so seriously all the time. Selfcare is necessary for taking life as it comes but having a plan to bounce back when and how we need to for ourselves.

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