Make stress-reducing habits standard

First off, I would like to say that the Super Bowl was one to remember. Both the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers played a good game, and the win could have honestly gone either way. As a true blue Packers fan, I am excited that my team is on top and that Aaron Rodgers can finally cast away the shadow of Brett Favre. Other than the halftime show that I didn’t watch the only other thing that sucked was as soon as the game was over I had the overwhelming sensation of “Oh crap, I still need to get ‘x’ amount of things done before tomorrow evening.”
While it was great to enjoy the game and to celebrate with friends, the postgame feeling paralleled post-present feelings of Christmas morning, except without a sweet new electronic toy in my hand. This always happens during the second semester between Christmas and spring break. I get this overwhelming sensation that my life is three to six steps ahead of me. Instead of being able to catch up, it just seems to throw roadblocks in my way.
I know for a fact that many others feel the same way I do. I have overheard several people in the last week saying they have so many tests and quizzes coming up that finding time to eat or sleep is starting to become difficult, and the cold and flu season does not add well to the mix. The only solution is to step back and breathe. Take a look at your situation from a second or third party perspective.
Mother Teresa once said that God only gave her as much as he knew she could handle, and she just wished he didn’t trust her so much. I think that I can relate to that more than I would like to admit. I can only handle so much, and I am sure that others feel the same way. The things being thrown my way are mostly school-related. However, the occasional family thing or friend thing can get thrown into the mix and they usually do at the worst possible time.
However, we need to learn how to pick ourselves back up and learn to get on the horse again. Count our blessings and let them outweigh the bad. Life can throw some nasty curveballs; we just need to learn how to hit a home run with them.
How do we get out of a funk though? The answer to that is not one that can be found as easy as we hope. Yes, we can pray and ask God to walk with us. That takes zero time and can be done very easily, but then what to do next? Following through with stress reducing decisions is sometimes as time consuming as everything else going on in our lives.
My stress-reducing habits are also not as standard as they should be. I may eat less healthy if I am stressed and running out of time — something I need to work on. Others turn to alcohol, smoking or worse. We, as a society, need to learn how to reduce stress by finding healthy alternatives. My resolution to that is walking and jogging around at the gym when I can.
Another idea that I am working on is just having a weekend dedicated to myself — getting all my homework done on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and then taking a mental health weekend by just doing things I want to do. This might include, but not be restricted to: sleeping in, watching movies, going shopping and just relaxing. Being able to regroup with me is something I have been failing miserably at lately.
I think that we should all try it out. Take time for ourselves and do what we want to do, not what we need to do. Granted, it’s a luxury that we can only take once in a great while, but if there is a will, there is a way.
Kick the unhealthy habit, start treating yourself better and the stress will disappear. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, either. Don’t sign up for every little thing or volunteer when you do not have the time to do something. Don’t stretch yourself past your limit. The limit is there and can be utilized when absolutely needed. Just don’t overdo it.
Relax your body, and your mind will thank you kindly.

CAITIE RYAN
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