This is Me, Kicking Your Butt
Words by Kellie Nock
Stress is no friend of mine, and yet she always arrives uninvited. When I’m relaxing and enjoying my free time, she barges in and yells at me about a far-off deadline.
I ignore her.
A few days later she yells again. I ignore her again.
Finally, the night before the deadline, she’s tapping her foot at me, arms at her hips with the worst kind of I-told-you-so smirk on her face.
Oh, right — responsibility.
No one is unfamiliar with stress, especially people our age. It’s no wonder we feel burnt out with all of the obligations we pile on ourselves to pad those resumés and scrounge together enough experience to be ready for the “real world.” We are expected to strike a balance between school, work, friends, family, love life, personal health — the list goes on.
Per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs we need lots of things before we can reach self-actualization. Stress is a huge roadblock in the way of self-fulfillment, and no, stress is not healthy for you. It’s not healthy to be up late in the wee hours of the night cramming to study just so you have time to work on another project during the day. It’s not healthy to skip meals just so you’re not missing a class. Your physical and mental health are priorities. I know, I know, easier said than done. I still find myself skipping breakfast sometimes just so I can try to catch up on sleep missed from the night before.
It’s difficult to abandon this extreme work ethic that college life ingrains in you. I’m certainly not telling anybody how to live their life; I just want to give you more outlets so that the weight of the world isn’t bearing down on you so heavily.
I can’t even quantify the number of stress breakdowns I’ve had, the times I’ve been crying on the floor of my room surrounded by papers and syllabi, unsure of how to fit everything in the puzzle of life.
It didn’t feel good to cry, but it was important.
Bottling up and remaining straight-faced did nothing to quell my fears. Opening up and being honest with myself was the only way I was going to move forward and power through, and it’s how you will too. Sometimes we just need a kick in the butt.
This is me, kicking your butt.
Everyone deals with stress differently, and I thought it would be a good idea to highlight the different ways that we all unwind. Whether this is your first year of college or your fifth, anyone can benefit from learning how to really, truly relax. From yoga to knitting to dogs-on-campus events, I’m going to help you chill out, even if it’s just for an hour a day. If it helps even just a little bit, then I’ve done my job. Obviously, what works for some people won’t work for others, but I’m hoping that the variety of “de-stressers” I provide will help everybody. So if you’re interested in de-stressing, stick around for a while.
I’ve got just the thing.
For feedback, suggestions and general “stuff,” contact me on Twitter: @kellnock.