Everyone knows what it feels like to be tired. Whether it’s been a day, a week, or a year, exhaustion feels awful in every sense. With finals season fast approaching and pressure slowly crawling its way back into our lives, it’s easy to dispose of your needs and wants and instead, nurture your grades. Although students subjecting themselves to weeks of absolute hell for an “outstanding” letter grade and a “diploma” has become normal, it’s rather unhealthy. The lack of sleep and the immense pressure extremely depletes our energy and our enthusiasm, which can not only affect your grades but also yourself. It’s harmful to let yourself go without worrying about the long-term consequences, which is why comfort days are important to have once in a while.
Just like everyone has experienced weariness, everyone has fixed it with rest. Comfort days often consist of some form of self-care. Now, as impossible as it sounds to find time to play spa during the most stressful weeks in your high school career, it’s completely possible to set time aside for yourself. It also doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy, it just has to be relaxing for you. Bubble baths and music; reading and tea; skincare and movies; scrolling on your phone; anything goes here. To have a successful rest day, you must also only think about your needs and wants. It isn’t a big secret that we tend to prioritize, and most often than not, we never put ourselves first. While resting, you shouldn’t think about all the things you have to do later. This only feeds the anxiety and the need to immerse yourself in mind-numbing work. The point of this little vacation is to get your mind off of everything just for a moment, before landing back in reality. It’s also not selfish to put you first this time. Actually, it exhibits healthy behavior to take time off and prioritize yourself and anyone who argues otherwise is just plain wrong. Comfort days are designed for you to reload and for you to enjoy so that it becomes easier to survive. Without them, we might never rest a day in our lives.
Students live with constant pressure. Burnout is widely common at our age, unfortunately, and sometimes it becomes inevitable when we’re buried in graves we dug for ourselves. When students leave themselves behind to focus on their arbitrary grades, it will always be in vain. There is nothing productive about pushing yourself to your limit and expecting perfection because it’s near impossible. Real productivity arises after a comfort day when you can approach problems with a fresh mind and an actual functioning brain. It’s also irrational to drive yourself to the point where you procrastinate on sleep and food. We tend to promise ourselves rest when everything we need to complete is done. When you’ve already spent weeks with an accumulated 5 hours of sleep and coffee for all three meals, it’s too late to say that you will make up for it later. No amount of caffeine will change the days of exhaustion you’ve been collecting, the only way to replenish is to have a true, full comfort day. All those hours of sleep won’t magically come back during the summer just because you promised yourself to rest then and work now. They’re lost and no matter how much time off you take, they will never come back to you. Rest is a rare yet valuable treasure.
I get that studying and good grades matter, but they shouldn’t completely take over your life. Comfort days are necessary to have a balanced life, even if they seem useless at first. In all honesty, they help improve your drive and mood, which in turn helps your life. So next time you feel unbelievable stress, take a day to recharge. Go on a walk, blast music, bake, watch a movie, go shopping, do something you like and for once forget about everything else. It’s the least you deserve.