Finding balance in a stressful situation

I always have a hard time coming up with ideas for my column, but this week was especially grueling. Someone brought up the idea of coffee versus tea to me and I thought to myself, why not both?
Oftentimes you can find me at Starbucks or any other local coffee shop sipping a soy latte just like you would expect. In the afternoon, I might have coffee, but I love a good iced tea for a pick-me-up, and before bed I’m guaranteed to be curled up with my cat and a mug of chamomile tea.
The argument has been made that tea has better health benefits and coffee is an indulgence, but nobody seems to talk about the balance between the two. I could go on about the antioxidants in tea or how a cup of coffee just seems perfect in the morning, but in all honesty, I’m not partial to either one. I think like everything in life, the two are meant to be enjoyed in different ways.
This week is hard for me because I’m stressed and have an insurmountable number of deadlines to meet, but I’d rather not talk about my emotional health like every other college student. I’m not special because I’m writing this and thinking about how ambitious it is for me to get up and make myself a good breakfast before going to the Wellness Fair. I’m stressed like every other student is, but that’s OK.
There’s a lot of stigma around mental health and stress relief, but I want to tell you that a little stress is OK. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me balanced. I think all college students need to be reminded that they have their whole lives to worry, but stress may never fade. It’s just meant to be handled in a different way.
Of course if you’re five shots of espresso into your homework right now, a break is much needed, but we all need to find that equilibrium that keeps us self-motivated.
I hope my mom doesn’t decide to read the paper this week because I’m going to go ahead and tell you I have a tattoo on my arm (sorry again mom). A lot of people ask me what it means. It depicts an olive branch and represents peace.
To me, peace is not a place with no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. Remember this week to stay grounded and gentle because everyone is at war, whether it’s with themselves, their work or some other turmoil.
Whatever you are feeling is OK and you don’t have to be worried about fitting a 15-minute meditation into the middle of your day if you don’t have the time. Embrace your stress and let it make you a better person because of it.

CHLOE FORBES
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