Be Where Your Feet Are

No matter how stressful life gets, it’s important to be present in the moment and not lose sight of what matters. Photo from Pexels.

As college students, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment or swept away in stress. There’s an endless list of priorities and the weight of others’ expectations can easily be overwhelming. What does a person do to cope with all of that?

Be where your feet are.

What does that actually mean?

Be present. If your feet are there, your mind should be also.

While it may not be possible to leave the laptop in the backpack, shut the cell phone off, and relax for an hour or two, it can often be beneficial. Sonoma State University psychology professor Mary Gomes, Ph.D., has her students participate in a four-day media fast. She’s compiled a list of five reasons to take time away from electronics: present-moment awareness, improved sleep, deepened connections, increased productivity and learning, and breaking the cycle of constantly checking notifications. Notice the first point on that list.

It is easy, especially as college students, to have three Word documents, 17 Internet tabs, an Excel spreadsheet, and a photo collection all open at one time, and music playing in the background. That makes it difficult to focus, particularly if there’s human interaction going on at the same time. Set the phone down and the laptop aside, make eye contact, and remember what the conversation was really about. Sometimes all of that chaos is necessary.

Whatever needs to be done, focus on one thing at a time. If you’re not working on it in the current moment, don’t worry about it. Make note of it, if need be, but go back to what you were doing. Be fixated on that one thing until it’s completed, or the section of it that you started with the intention of finishing.

When it’s time to relax and hang out with friends, pay attention to what they have to say. Leave the schoolwork on the desk at home for a while.

If it’s time for practice or a game, be all in. Let the stress and anxiety of the other parts of the day in the parking lot.

Each individual has a different method of actively being in the moment. Figure out what works best for you, and be sure to take advantage of it. You’ll find your productivity increases, memory of conversations is stronger, and there’s less need for a written (stress-inducing) to-do list. Stay focused on your goals and what motivates you.

Be where your feet are.

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