Hai. Just a friendly PSA: You are not doing yourself any favors by remaining in a constant state of "OMG IM SO STRESSED OUT."
This is a really stressful time of year. The students I work with are stressed about finals, my family is stressed about the holidays, my friends are stressed about their jobs...this is tough time of year. But when did we start glamorizing being stressed out? Being constantly stressed out might make people think you're getting a lot done--but it is AWFUL FOR YOU. Take it from someone who knows, stress destroys your body.
Story time: When I was 12, my parents told me they were getting divorced. Any kid who has experienced this can tell you how earth shattering it is. My little unit, everything I trusted and believed, was torn apart. You're supposed to feel love and supported by your parents, and I lost a huge piece of that feeling when I was 12. I picked myself up and I moved on, but I trended towards anxiety for the rest of my young adult life. Stability was something I really valued because I moved so much as a kid--and then the one stable thing I had -my family unit-was destroyed. I spent the rest of my childhood always worried and stressed out about what was going to happen next. I lost a family member to an aggressive form of cancer when I was 17, to the complete shock of our whole family, and that didn't help with this constant state of "waiting for the next shoe to drop," either. I thought I'd handle it in college. Then came exams, changing my major, trying to find a job with a History degree, many failed relationships, and entering the adult world. Throughout my experience, I didn't know that feeling this way wasn't "normal." I had no idea I needed help. I had NO idea that I should go see a therapist. Things didn't get better.
At this point I'd been living with CONSTANT stress and anxiety for 10 years. I'm not kidding. The undercurrent of my entire middle school/high school/college experience was anxiety and stress. I did a good job hiding it. But it was still there. My poor body couldn't deal with it any more, and handed me the biggest wake up call I could possibly ask for: Ulcerative freakin' Colitis. A chronic disease. Let me be clear: I don't look at this as something I "did to myself." I had literally no idea that this much stress could compound to immune problems and health struggles. I didn't know. So, I crusade for this because I DO know now, I don't want YOU to end up 10 years down the road with a similar diagnosis because you didn't prioritize managing stress early. It's so important.
It's easy to think that crippling stress and even anxiety is normal because of how it's portrayed on social media. "Omg I'm so stressed I could die LOLZ for real." Don't for one second think it's normal to feel crippling stress and anxiety. Get help.
Yes, finals are tough. Yes, work is hard. Yes, hosting family for the holidays can be difficult. Yes, we live in a stressful time right now. But for the love of God, take some time to BREATHE, and be thankful. You are alive, and that is a miracle. Please love yourself. Please stop focusing on how stressed you are. Do some yoga, try meditating, eat some yummy food, move your body, knit, stretch, do whatever you love to do. You only have one body. Don't kill it by stressing over finals, or a big project at work. And if you try these things and it doesn't get better; go talk to someone professionally. There are affordable options out there--let me know if you want me to point you in the right direction. My therapist has given me so much peace of mind and has been the missing puzzle piece for me.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes, give yourself some freedom to do things you love, and give thanks. It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. <3