I sat down today to write a post I've had planned for a week now, but instead I'm writing this one. I'm writing this one because, today, I am burned out. And frustrated. And tired. And today, this whole thing feels impossible. Or maybe not impossible, but close to it. And today I tried really hard to study. And today I just couldn't. Today I am overwhelmed. And maybe you are too. Or maybe you aren't today, but you were yesterday. Or will be tomorrow. Anyway, it seems dishonest or disingenuous to me to write a post with study tips when I'm struggling so much.
So, I'm not going to write that post. Instead I'm writing this one.
I'm writing, in part, because writing is how I express myself. It's how the jumble of thoughts and feelings get out of my brain and I release myself from the burden of carrying them around with me.
That's my first tip for recovering from a bad day. Whether you're a write-it-down kind of person, like me, or whether you're a talk it out person--do that thing. Vent your fears, or frustrations in whatever (healthy) way appeals to you.
But I'm also writing it down because that's how I figure out whether this is just a bad day, or whether it's the culmination of many days of doing too much with too little rest.
I chose to share it on the blog because there's nothing worse than struggling with something and thinking you're the only one. Or thinking that because it's a struggle, it's a sign you've made a huge mistake and never should have pursued whatever the thing is that you're overwhelmed by at the moment.
So, if you're having a rough day or a rough week: I'm with you. This is hard. Learning all of this stuff is not easy. Becoming a real estate agent brings with it huge responsibilities, and it makes sense that studying to become one would be a huge responsibility too.
Social media, including blogs, often only show the parts of our lives we want other people to see. The pretty parts. The parts where it looks like we've got it all together. The parts where we make it all look easy. And effortless. But that's not life.
Sometimes life is pretty. And easy. And effortless. And sometimes we do have it all together. But sometimes we don't.
I don't. That doesn't mean this was all a big mistake. Or that I'm failing.
If this is more than just a bad day for you too, it's okay to re-structure how you're studying. I think I committed to too many hours, given the other things on my plate. I probably should have added in an extra week or two into my plans, to avoid burnout. I also didn't incorporate days off (despite advice to the contrary).
Where to Go From Here?
I'm at the tail end of my studying process, but I'm going to make some changes for these last days.
I'm taking days off each of my remaining weeks. I might look at some flash cards if I find myself with a few minutes of time waiting for a friend or for an appointment or something. But I'm going to have two days where I don't have any scheduled study time.
I'm rewarding myself with some of the things that bring me joy and/or relaxation. I loaded a non-real estate book onto my Kindle and I'm giving myself permission to read it a little bit each day. On one of my days off, I'm going to read a lot of it!
I scheduled a massage at a day spa. Sitting at my study desk all these hours is wreaking havoc on my back and shoulders. So, Monday I'm going to my favorite day spa for a massage.
I'm committing to taking a break when I first notice my attention start to wander during a study session. If my concentration is going, it's time for a 5-minute break.
I'm cleaning-up my sleep habits. Screen time stops at least an hour before bed. No caffeine in the evenings. No more pushing to stay awake long after my eyes are telling me they want to be closed.
And finally, I'm changing my plans for the day before the exam. I was going to have a big cram session that day, but I'm re-thinking that now. My current plan is to take the day before off from my other jobs and have a relaxing day at home. I'm going to get a workout in, eat well and get as much rest as I can get. Then the morning of the exam, I'll review those few concepts that continue to challenge me before heading off to the testing center.
Have you had any tough days as you go through this process? What are you doing to take care of yourself and make sure you get through it in a healthy way? Please share any tips you have below!