I live a life of running back and forth in my mind to figure out what I need to do, what I haven’t done, and what I can push off doing. It sucks. My stress rules my life in the best and worst ways, benefiting and destroying me. I love the rush and being productive and getting stuff done by a due date, but nothing is worse than crossing that deep end line and drowning slowly in work. So here is a recount of my stressful life as a social, awkward, 21-year-old girl at Miami University.
7:45 Alarm goes off
Wow, okay, so bad habit alert: I sleep in headphones. I wake up tangled every time. Stress is already at a high as everyone knows the ten-minute process to detangle Apple headphones. I try to run downstairs and make coffee, but luckily there’s already coffee in the pot, decreasing the stress. I like to journal around this time as well, write down what I’m going to do for the day, and breathe so that I am prepared to get it all done.
8:10 Gym time
Getting out of my mind and away from the mess my life always helps. I can always depend on a run and pilates workout to get me clear-minded, prepared to tackle the day. The rec can be stressful sometimes when all the machines are full, so I tend to go to the track and listen to a podcast to recenter.
Ah yes, I am fully stressed after my de-stress time. I took too long at the gym and now have to sprint to my class a mile and a half away from my house. Cool. Walk into my usual spot at precisely one minute after the lecture begins and just lose my cool. Take a minute to get my notes together and focus.
12:00 Clean up the weekend mess
I need another release after feeling like I cut my own head off the previous hour of my life. Cleaning gets the physical clarity of a room ready for your brain to picture mental clarity. Or at least I tell myself that. I pick up every disregarded can, pasta dish, and dirty dog toy off the floor and get to cleaning. I love this part of the day. Probably because I’m psychotic, but also definitely would clean your house for $20 if you need help.
2:45 King Time
Several hours spent deleting emails, rewriting assignments and catching up on piping hot tea served with friends is my post-weekend grind time. King is my haven for getting all the random bits of my life together. No major study sessions or huge papers will be done there, just the usual Overheard Oxford quotes and busy work.
5:00 Okay I have no food ever, so groceries maybe?
Being in college has taken a financial toll on me. If anyone would like to be my financial planner, my parents and I would be eternally grateful. I spend about $35 on groceries every two weeks because I’m nervous about spending too much money on things I won’t eat. I make a lot of bread and butter snacks, pasta, and avocado toast. Yeah, that’s my diet. Another thing on my list to stress me out is how garbage my digestion is.
So obviously I buy sourdough bread, pasta, arrabbiata sauce, butter, garlic, ramen, chocolate chips, green hair dye and La Croix. My insides are rotting.
8:00 Stress cry
I have hit that point. The point where the going has stopped, and I begin to drown in work, tears and the general mess I have made. This really real point of crying under the pressures of our lives is something that I feel like people love to make taboo. It doesn’t need to be hidden. A cry is a release similar to squeezing an orange for orange juice. You hurt the orange with a little squeeze, but you get two different, still perfectly good and complex products afterward. Stress is the orange squeeze. You cry a little and get some pretty good content out of it.
10:14 Oh my, I’m taking three Benedryl and going to bed.
Today has been a trip. Mildly not thinking, mildly overthinking, crying, living. Stress is very present and very overwhelming at times, especially in college. It gets to us in the worst ways, but if we learn how to channel this energy, we totally won’t mind stress from time to time. I feel that I would live a very different, shallow life without the things I throw myself into. So I reward myself with a little late night tea, cinnamon butter toast, and sleep.
All we have is our small moments in life and a whole lot of mess to clean up in between those moments. Take breaks to drink your tea, read a book, but don’t get lost in a life of relaxation. Put some stress on and realize that it’s just a little work for a whole lot of reward. You can breath if I can breathe. You can do it if I can do it. 21-year-old, messed up life, me believes in you.