we should ensure that as we work towards our goals, along the way we acquire other little ones that are a token of fun amongst the ‘big’ things in life.
Being an A level student, I have quite a thorough understanding of how much work, essays, coursework and studying can consume your life and take priority over other things, such as having an outlet. This is something that allows you to escape from the stresses of everyday activity – and it is something just as important as these ordinary activities mentioned, because to work non-stop, with no form of pressure release, would eventually lead to dysfunction. To me, an outlet is essentially a fun or relaxing hobby, something that demands little hard thinking and activity. Its purpose is to occupy your mind with something that is fun and easy to think about – just as when you exercise you ensure you give your body a break, your mind needs a change of activity too.
In the past year, I have found it a struggle to slot in this recreational time between deadlines, events and study. I’d go weeks on end without realizing that I’d somewhat let ‘slip away’ my hobbies and interests, my creative skills and fun, as I threw all my time and energy into meeting the demands of school life. And when I did come to the realization that this had occurred, I was disheartened: I had always prided myself on being someone good at the work-life balance. Now, I was like a train on a one-way track, with a tunnel vision that meant my only destination was the ‘future’ – I was never letting myself stop at stations to appreciate what life had to offer me at that present moment.
Finding your outlet (or in my case, rediscovering it) is a must for the majority of people who are a part of this fast-paced and demanding world. It’s good to have a skill, interest or passion outside of working life, as this is a core part of who you are as a person, and your wellbeing. For me, artistic creation is my escapism; whatever my mood, it is a way of channeling my emotional energy into a physical thing beyond myself. These emotional outlets are recommended, by experts, to find for people suffering from mental health issues such as depression. For example, artistic expression is used by many therapists as a way to facilitate therapy. Thus, it is good for us all to dedicate just a snippet of our days, a detour from the tracks, to this outlet, in order to maintain a necessary and healthy balance.
It’s not always easy to find time for an outlet, whilst it’s easy to be discouraged if we feel as though we don’t have the skill to do what we enjoy. But skill is not the point: satisfaction is. Everyday life should not be a one-way journey – we should ensure that as we work towards our goals, along the way we acquire other little ones that are a token of fun amongst the ‘big’ things in life. Expression of emotion and thought is an integral part of human nature: allow it time to flourish in your own unique way!
Thank you for reading,