So many of us, whether it be on our phones, tablets or laptops, feel an overwhelming sense of panic when our screens alert us that only a few precious percentage points of battery are remaining. I don’t know about you, but when I get the message that my phone is about to die I stop what I’m doing, scramble for a charger and immediately plug in my device until it’s back to its healthy color of green – out of the “danger zone.” Anything below 20% makes me start to sweat just a little bit.
Why is it then when our bodies tell us to recharge, that they are almost out of power, we are so prone to ignore them? Very few of us stop what we are doing and make it our priority to rejuvenate ourselves. Somehow it’s so easy to give up the sleep we need, ignore diet or exercise plans or fail to practice daily mental relief activities that can make us feel healthy, energized, motivated, balanced – and out of the danger zone.
For many students, the summer can be an excellent time to recharge. It can be a break from school work, a shift in your normal pace of life and you may be surrounded by family and friends you don’t see during the school year. All of that can be refreshing. But in so many instances, we forget to take advantage of the summer while there is time. After thinking about this a bit, I started to create a list of summer “best practices” that focused on healthy habits, but, in turn, found that our Director, Pat Rose, has already done it for me in her (still very relevant) 2012 post ‘Summer Checklist’. Pat advises to incorporate healthy living activities like reading a book for fun, catching up on sleep, having positive interactions with people and broadening your career network through casual, low stress conversations, to name a few. I encourage you to read her post to see how you may incorporate some of her recommendations into your own summer schedule.
We have a solid 7 weeks left of the summer before classes begin again. Try to focus on using that time wisely. Don’t constantly operate at a charge below 20%. Do what is good for you so you can feel your best and, therefore, hopefully do your best. By prioritizing your physical and mental health, you have the best chance to enjoy your summer, and ultimately come back to Penn fully recharged for the 2017-2018 school year!