When I looked in the mirror this morning, I didn’t recognize myself. Dark bags circle my eyes, my face is red and blotchy from the make-up I forgot to wash off and my hair is a tangled mop. There’s a paper cut on my stomach from falling asleep last night with my reporting notebook in my lap.
I looked downright haggard.
Now, I’m in the newsroom for my late GA shift and I can barely keep my eyes open and my mouth shut from yawning. I’m truly exhausted; do they have awake pills? I could use a few.
My to-do list for the week fills up an entire notebook page, but I don’t feel overwhelmed. I’m too tired to even comprehend how much I have to do. All I want is to take off this stiff professional jacket and slip into some cozy sweatpants and lay on my couch, listening to the rain pitter-patter on my living room window.
I feel like I don’t have time to take care of myself anymore. Sometimes I work all day just to realize at 10 o’clock at night that I haven’t eaten yet. They said this semester would be hard, but they didn’t say it would be draining. Draining like the water swirling down the sewer outside of Lee Hills Hall.
I’ve decided to take drastic measures. I’m clearing my entire Friday to rest – for the first time in a long time, I’m going to take a “mental health day.” The world, the Missourian, the after-school activities and everyday stress of life can wait. For just one day, I’m doing something for me.