The Next Best Stress Reliever (after food and puppies)

As I stand here, on the cusp of the last week of classes, with a veritable pile of tests and assignments standing between me and winter break, it occurs to me that now is the perfect time for a pep talk. And, since I have a blog (Is it time to start referring to myself as a blogger now?), and know that I am not alone on this and many other campuses in feeling overwhelmed at this time of year, it’s only appropriate to share those words of encouragement with you.

But first, some background. Over the course of my freshman year here, I occasionally met with a counselor. Throughout my life I’ve been a very anxious person, and I was feeling particularly anxious at that point in my life in particular. It was the right move for me too talk to someone about it, and I would encourage others who feel similarly to do so as well (and if you’re feeling unsure, take my one of my best friend’s mom’s advice: in order to live a happy life, everyone should have a therapist and a masseuse).

As I was saying, it was about midway through my freshman fall, and things were piling up. I had exams, essays, projects, and those painfully temporary and confusing first friendships all freshman make weighing on my mind. I saw an incredible number of challenges to work through and couldn’t begin to imagine how I would get them all done. My counselor listened calmly as I rattled off my list of responsibilities and worries. Then he told me to pause and think back to other assignments I had gotten in the past, and other times when I had a million things to do and no time to do it. These past responsibilities, from essays to college applications to performances to job interviews to just getting to school every morning, all had something in common.

They were all done.

Everything, it turns out, ends at some point. The day of the performance or the deadline to the project looms, then it happens, and then it’s over. Whether the performance went well or I was late to the interview or I aced the exam or I missed the deadline, the things that had worried me were over, and I couldn’t remember what had gotten me so worked up in the first place. Most of the time, the horrible scenarios that I imagined and that I procrastinated to avoid never happened. Even when they did, once enough time had passed, they stopped bothering me.

It’s true for you, too. Look back at your own life. The essay due last week, the test you got back a month ago, the first date you went on, the doctor’s appointment you had to call and schedule – every difficult task you once stressed over has finished one way or another, and we’re all still here. We survived everything so far. And with a record like that, chances are, we’ll all survive these next few weeks as well.

As I’m going through this present, stressful moment, I’m not planning on letting my worries get me down. I’ve been in this place before, and I’ll be in it again, but I always come out of it just fine. I hope that after reading this, you’ll feel able to say the same. And if not, just wait – two weeks from now, when your only tasks are opening gifts and keeping your laptop fully charged for optimum Netflix viewing, finals will seem worlds away.

 

I hope this post was enlightening, helpful, or at least a decent break from studying. As a side note, if you’re interested in the kinds of tasks that don’t end, check out this video I recently watched on Vsauce which explains Supertasks. I swear this is not an ad; this is just a YouTube channel that I find fascinating and a video that is (at least tangentially) related to this post.

Enjoy.

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