Question: I don’t know why I am writing right now. I should have done a thousand other things instead. I have so much to do at school and at home that I feel like dropping it all and just watching TV. If I start watching TV I can’t stop. Last Sunday, I spent eight hours on a couch watching stupid reruns and MTV, and I haven’t done a thing for school. My room is a mess. My parents nag me about cleaning my room every day. I know I should clean it, and I have no time to do it. I started an art class and dropped it. I had no time to do art. I sleep only four or five hours at night, and I still can’t finish everything I have to. I feel I can easily fail my midterm. It never happened to me before. I don’t know what to do.
Answer: Are you trying to tell me that you are overwhelmed and stressed out? Who isn’t? Here’s what you should do: drop everything and take a walk. When was the last time you just walked down the street without your iPod or your iPhone glued to your ear? Try it this once. Put on your keds and walk around the block as many times as you need to get tired. While walking, think about what is it you really want? Do you want to finish school with good grades? Then, perhaps, your school assignments have to be taken care of first. Do you want to clean your room? After your homework is done, organize your books and school supplies in one place. Then sort your clothes, put dirty stuff in a laundry box, and fold and shelve or hang everything clean. By the time you will be done, you’ll want to hit the pillow badly, and your sleep will be long and restful. When you wake up, congratulate yourself on your finished homework and your clean (or almost clean) room. After school, repeat from step one. There is no magic pill to cure self-neglect, but if you want to help yourself, there is no one else who would do it for you. Define your priorities, and act. Do one step at a time and continue with your daily tasks even if your progress seems small and slow. It’ll bring results eventually—just don’t give up. Once again: think about what is it you really want. Then at the expense of everything else, do it.
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