Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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It’s Okay to ‘Press Pause’

Victoria+Ware+%28left%29%2C+opinion+and+cultures+editor%2C+and+Sarah+Davis+%28right%29+at+the+Womens+Leadership+Summit.+
Courtesy of Sarah Davis
Victoria Ware (left), opinion and cultures editor, and Sarah Davis (right) at the Women’s Leadership Summit.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Summit on behalf of The Parthenon and Marshall University.

The annual conference, which takes place at The Greenbrier resort, features an array of speakers who focus on empowering women in their chosen careers. This year’s gathering featured Jeannette Walls, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Glass Castle,” a memoir about Walls’
childhood living in poverty, as well as other successful women running businesses, embracing motherhood and striving for their very best.

I enjoyed every speaker, and I took away something from each woman on the stage. There was one topic, however, that hit me particularly close to home. Licensed counselor Joelle Mo- ray talked about how we continuously put our bodies under a lot of stress, causing us to be overwhelmed and burnt out in our careers, which can ultimately lead to underperformance at work. This is why it’s increasingly important, she said, to “press pause.”

I had never really thought about taking a step back until she spoke about it. At first, I thought to myself, “How is that efficient?” What about the tasks at work?” I felt as if “pressing pause” would mean I became less valuable to my trade.

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I quickly understood, though, I was flawed in my thinking. Instead of allowing stress to consume me, I saw a need to take a deep breath and remember who I am and what I want my life to be.

Moray’s words of encouragement stuck with me because I am notorious for overworking myself. As a working college student, juggling classes, work, extracurriculars and myself can be hard and overwhelming. Unfortunately, the responsibility overload has often led me to put everything else over myself and my physical/mental wellbeing. However, Moray’s method of “pressing pause” gave me a deep understanding of how to balance work and life while still performing your best at work. As she said, “We perform as well as we rest.”

Whether it’s leaving my laptop at home when I go on vacation or simply devoting time each day to calm down, taking those few moments is important to leading a successful life, both personally and in my career field.

The Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Summit taught me many things over the course of three days: the importance of understanding your strengths, what it takes to run your own business and even the science behind brain surgery. But, my most important takeaway was one that intends to go beyond how many stories I write, what interviews I conduct and how many reporters I manage.

I learned it’s okay to take the mental health day, and it’s okay to step out of the stress, even for a few seconds. I learned it’s okay to “press pause.”

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