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By Patrick Hanson

When someone says, “What do you think, the world revolves around you?” or “It’s not all about you!” it’s usually not a compliment. I am here to tell you, “It should be.”

This last weekend I left town to spend the night in Sedona, Ariz., leaving responsibilities behind.  I had a free night’s stay at a hotel, and I needed to relieve stress, especially knowing I have so much on my shoulders for the next three weeks:

Personal Stuff

  1. The holidays are approaching, and my parents are coming in for four days to stay for a week.
  2. I have not started gift shopping for my loved ones.
  3. Finances are always tight, but this year my spouse is not working full-time, so now they are extra tight.
  4. The house needs to be cleaned before the parents arrive.
  5. There’s added stress with a recent loss of a family member, and this will be the first year without her.

Work Stuff

  1. We have four programs starting next week, which means we have to “step-it-up” and be ready to offer extra support to meet students’ needs.
  2. I still have to make all the other student calls this time of year.
  3. We are preparing videos for training court-reporting students on a new learning management system.
  4. I’m interviewing and hiring a new staff member.
  5. We have to finalize our budget planning for 2014.
  6. I have to make time to train a new team member

With everything due in the next three weeks and people relying on me to get this stuff done, the pressure on me is getting intense.  So walking away from it all for a day may not sound like the best idea, and going off the grid without my cell phone or laptop–well I must be crazy. Right?

Actually, it was the best thing I could have done for myself.  Why?  Because taking care of me is sometimes more important than doing for others.  I’m not trying to sound conceited or mean, but the truth is I can’t help others and be on top of my game if I am stressed and tired—-just like students can’t do their best if they’re exhausted.

With the holidays approaching, remember to take time for you.  This doesn’t mean you need to take off a whole weekend, or spend money you don’t have.  It could mean just moments in the day or week that you do something that makes you feel grounded, whether it’s taking a hot bath, reading a great book, walking the dog in the park, or doing whatever you find to fill your soul.

School is important, but you can’t do your best when you are stressed out.  So, just stop for a minute and give back to you.  You will thank yourself later.

Happy Holidays!

As the Associate Director of Student and Alumni Outreach at Bryan University, Patrick Hanson has served hundreds of students on their paths to professional success. He can be contacted via email at

Bryan University offers degrees in personal training and exercise science, court reporting, healthcare informatics and the legal e-discovery process. More information is available

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