To Stress or Not to Stress

Stress (Noun) /stres The Oxford Dictionary’s definition: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. My definition: A constant battle with oneself. A mental state that consumes one’s psyche for prolonged periods of time until the events causing these heightened tensions have elapsed. Call it stress, call it anxiety. For me, stress comes from a place of not feeling as though I can finish everything. Or worse, the possibility of forgetting a task and letting people down because of it.  It’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is wrong. Aren’t we always stressed as U of T students? I had a professor last night tell us that students at this school put too much pressure on themselves. But Is it bad to not feel overwhelmed? Does it mean you’re not doing enough? Obviously I don’t have all the answers (or maybe any), but throughout this semester I’ve tried to find a few ways to regulate these anxieties. 1.Understand that you can’t say yes to everything, but stick to your commitments. As soon as I skip a class to work on an assignment, I end up feeling more stressed. I realized that while taking on too much isn’t smart, staying true to my commitments can be more beneficial to my mental state in the long run. 2. Accomplish something small. I’m pretty sure I read this somewhere in a magazine a few years back, but if I have a long to-do list it works wonders. If I feel like I don’t know how to tackle these tasks, I pick something small on the list, like booking a doctor’s appointment or paying my credit card bill. Accomplishing something little either motivates me to do more, or at least puts me in a better head space. Check out Simrit's post about Minimizing stress through planning for more planning and scheduling tips! 3. Put things in perspective At the end of the day, I can only do so much. I take a step back and evaluate where I am and what I have to do to get where I want to be (wow that’s a mouthful). I find that sometimes I can get so wrapped up in my workload, that I forget my “big picture” goals. With finals around the corner, I hope some of this eases my stress. How do you deal with your stress? Until next week- R.

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