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Rest and Reward

Christos Yiatrou C'22

mount st. mary's university campus

Welcome back Mounties! Today marks the halfway point of blogging for My View of MSMU. These blogs have been a great way for me to reflect on my time at the Mount and really appreciate all my trumps and triumphs. For today's blog, I want to talk about the value of rest and reward. This is a concept that has really shaped who I've become over the last few years, and I think we all practice it to a degree.  

In essence, rest and reward is a cycle that typically identifies the motivations that drive our daily life. One way or another we subconsciously make up a reward system to keep us on track throughout the day.  

As a college senior, I can't stress enough how important rest and reward is for our mental health. Being a full-time student comes with periods of high focus and high stress. Sometimes we may find it hard to make time for leisure because we are all too worried about upcoming assignments or life in general. As important as our assignments may be, our mental health should come first. It's inevitable that we will continue to deal with moments of distress, anxiety, and hardships; but the quicker we learn to cope and deal with it, the better we can handle it later.  

First, we must understand that we can't hold rest as a type of reward. We should all know by now how important it is to get a good night's sleep. Not only is this essential to our mental wellbeing but just as important to our physical wellbeing. Rest is something that is necessary: it is vital for retaining information and functioning, so it must be a priority.  

My first year at the Mount was a true test to my sleep schedule. I’m not alone when I say it was nearly impossible to fall asleep in Sheridan during late August and those who had the luxury of an AC unit, consider yourself lucky! Besides that, I did a poor job in having a consistent sleep schedule. My nights would consist of doing homework at my desk and wondering why I was dozing off so fast and not getting the grade I thought I deserved. Soon I realized that the thing I was lacking was efficient sleep. So, I made minor changes to help keep me mentally organized like set reminders, alarms, and even downloaded an app that tracks how much I sleep. 

In accordance with efficient rest comes reward, and this took me a long time to figure out because sometimes we may get carried away with the rewards we make for ourselves. What I mean by this is setting small and achievable objectives that encourage productivity. For example, it can be as simple as treating yourself to a new pair of shoes which is an external reward. An internal reward could be the mere satisfaction of finishing a final paper and that feeling of relief after submitting it. These “rewards” are simply ways to give you a mental break but also motivate you to achieve your goals.  

College students are often too hard on themselves and underestimate their potential because it's easy to get caught up in the madness of school. However, if you don’t reward yourself then what will you look forward too 

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out some of my other classmates blogs on My View of MSMU.

Christos Yiatrou C'22