Growing Up

    Taking care of yourself can be easy if you let it be

    Bridget Kelley

    More stories from Bridget Kelley

    This morning I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm. I rolled over to find the sun shining through the blinds onto my face and the sound of birds chirping at each other at 6:30 a.m.

    Usually, I would be beyond upset at this. I’m usually up pretty late due to being a college student, but today I woke up feeling rested.

    I climbed out of my lofted bed in my school-issued cinderblock room and made myself a cup of coffee. While I was waiting for it to brew, I went down the hall and filled up my water and washed my face. Then I had my breakfast and coffee and I got some work done. All before 7 a.m.

    I’m learning that there are so many hours in the day when you actually use them to your benefit. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to the “real” adults out there, but as someone who is still a firm subscriber to the snooze button, I was astounded by how much time I really had. I didn’t feel rushed to get ready like I usually do. It was freeing.

    I think this is something I’m going to really try to implement into my life. I like waking up early. I know there are benefits to waking up early, such as better grades and career success, according to an article by Forbes.

    However, one of the reasons that I don’t wake up that early every day is that I will sometimes get home closer to midnight and I still have homework. I can’t imagine that I will be waking up the next morning after only getting four hours of sleep and feeling refreshed and well-rested.

    Another thing that I think is adding to my good mood today is that I was actually able to get in a full workout yesterday. I tend to tell myself that I’m too busy to work out, but that’s just not true. I was able to go through my emails and even watch a documentary for class, all from the treadmill.

    After my workout, I didn’t even feel like eating the entire container of brownies my mom sent me home with. In fact, I was craving real food, so I went and got a real meal with protein and vegetables and fruit and all that jazz.

    I took the time to take care of myself, which is time that I previously thought I didn’t have. I realized that my version of self care wasn’t helping me in the slightest. Laying in bed watching Netflix and eating Cheerios from the box may feel rewarding after a long day of being on the grind, but it’s not actually self care.

    I’m learning how to take care of myself in the best way that I’m able. I don’t know if it’s the right way, but I’m learning.

    I like the way I feel after going to the gym. I appreciate the things my body can do. I like feeling strong.

    I like the way I feel when I wake up early. I like being able to drink my coffee and go through emails in my pajamas. I like not running out the door to get to class on time.

    I like the way I feel when I take care of myself the way I’m supposed to, so I’m going to keep doing that, and I’m going to keep learning along the way.

    Kelley can be reached at [email protected].