Don’t let stress get you down

Story by Amelia Kimball, Staff Writer

You’re done with school for the day. In exactly one hour work will call your name, and once again, you’ll be there until close. As you bag up groceries, you smile on the outside, but inside it feels like your body has been pummeled by a train. Too tired to do any homework, you collapse on your bed, your uniform still on.

At 6 a.m. you awake to the sound of blaring church bells on your alarm clock. Exhausted, you pull yourself out of bed, tackle homework all day before going to work again, eat during cram times, and doze when you can’t keep your eyes from crossing any more. Then you do it all over again. And again. And again.

Feeling stressed yet? Maybe you are, but you shouldn’t be.

School and work are both very important, but so is health. One of my least favorite things to do is say no to people. I hate that. It’s fun for me to do work worth doing and challenging myself, but caring for me comes first.

I came into this school year working three jobs on a 17-credit schedule when I had originally wanted to work even more. A few weeks into my routine, I realized I had to give something up. It was so hard, harder than I ever imagined, but it was necessary. Don’t work further than what you’re capable of. It doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you a fool.

Hard work is admirable, working one’s self to death isn’t. And what else is added to this? Stress.
Have you had a chance to notice the changing color of the leaves and the cool smell of fall? What about the sound of crackling bark from a fire in the clear midnight air? Have you watched a football game, pigged out on sweets, made a pie, watched the sunset, or held someone’s hand?

If not, I’d encourage you to do so, and if none of these appeal to you, find an activity you love and do that for a little while. Take 15 minutes out of your day to do something for you. It’s worth it. And while you’re taking this time, don’t think about anything you need to do. Don’t think about that huge test or 10-page paper. Focus on nothing. Breathe. Sigh. Look around.

No matter what anyone says, I believe this will help overall. Think of how much more productive you’d be if you took at least 15 minutes a day for “you” time. Some of you may be thinking that’s easier said than done, and that’s true. But let me ask you this: Why worry about it? What good will that do?

Today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow. If you’re living in today, don’t stress about tomorrow. Tomorrow will bring its own problems. If your schedule is too hefty, let something go. There may not be an easy process of elimination, but I can guarantee you’ll feel better.

Stress is inevitable, but it is preventable. If you let it win, it will. It’ll consume you the way sand covers a desert. Don’t let this happen. Instead, take a deep breath and let it all go. Pray for peace, pray for guidance, pray for help. You can make it through. In the meantime, enjoy life. Take that rustic hike, make a casserole, read for pleasure, write a song, see a movie, hug that special someone, and most of all, don’t stress. Things will work out if you believe they will.