The question “How are you?” is asked by many fellow students as we pass by. Normally, I answer the natural reaction “Good.” Currently, I may still say that depending on the situation, but right now that is not completely true. To elaborate, I am stressed. Not just stressed, but STRESSED! I am a person that loves to stay busy and loves to get involved, but right now between my 4 jobs, school, and my numerous other extracurricular activities, I feel as though I am drowning. So how do I cope?. How do I get myself to face another day even though I am afraid of the work, lack of sleep, and anxiety that is to accompany it?
I do my de-stressors.
- Running. Oh baby do I love to run. When the anxiety is too high, even though I may not have time, I stop what I am doing and go on a run. Each time my foot makes contact with the ground, I feel some stress ease out of me. Especially now, the de-stressor run is even better with the beautiful fall weather and changing trees make it all the better.
- Dancing. Sometimes, when I am locked up in a room studying and not feeling anywhere close to the end, I just have to do a little jig. I can release some nervous energy through some free dancing. I am quickening my heart beat, yet slowing my anxiety.
- Friends. Some thing that most people say they love about Hope is the Community. PREACH. I know many people and even the people that I am only acquaintances with, I still feel like they would being willing to support me in some shape or form. I also have been able to find, with time, a good group of people that I know supports me and cares for me. Talking to them, and word vomiting my anxieties on them- knowing that they are listening and caring for what I say can also reduce some stress.
- Pray. This one is the biggest de-stressor of them all for me. A name for Jesus is the LORD OF PEACE as referenced in 2nd Thessalonians 3:16. That names rings so true for me. When I am feeling stressed, I know that time with the Lord can bring peace. It may be 2:00 in the morning, but I know I will be better off the next day (anxiety wise) if I go spend some time with Jesus. The outcome may be less sleep, but I find that the peace that I find in the Lord gives me more energy for the next day than another 45 minutes of sleep.
All in all, I am stressed. But guess what? Even when it seems to be too much, when I have gotten less than 5 hours of sleep each night, or when giving up seems like the most appealing option, I know I can handle the stress, ultimately because I have the Lord of PEACE.