Yes, I know. It all sounds a bit hypocritical considering my last post is about academia not being the be all or end all. However, when you volunteer an awful lot and have a fair few assignments coming up…well yeah, the stress becomes inevitable and dealing with it becomes harder than usual. Cheery stuff, huh?
In all fairness, I knew last week was going to be a busy one. There was heaps of volunteering scheduled (and I could’ve taken even more if I wanted to, thankfully the hands of sanity protected me from overachieving a little too much), as well as confirmed deadlines and the toll of lectures entering it’s second week. The issue with anything past the first week of term is that, as nice as it is to get back into the swing of the semester, the level of work instantly increases from ‘gentle pushing back into a work ethic’ to ‘here’s lots of assignments and content that you must know ASAP’. As expected as this is, it can also be an awful steep hill of the level of note-taking and making sure all the content makes sense in your head.
So, with all this stress bundled up inside, what do you think I did to make myself feel better?
A) Slept on it. After all, getting longer hours of sleep helps you feel more relaxed in the morning.
B) Cried a little, ate copious amounts of chocolate, and hoped that things would improve like that.
C) Got drunk. VERY drunk.
If you guessed A, you obviously think very highly of me and I’m awfully flattered- hopefully I’ll try that next time! If you thought B, that would’ve been what I could have done if I hadn’t been invited to my LGBT+ social. So yes, it was the last one, and it was a bad (but equally as good) decision. As an undergraduate, I should’ve deciphered that solution A would have been more restful, less humiliating (alcohol + dance floor = serious embarrassment…good thing everyone there is lovely enough to let me forget about it) and far less expensive. But no, at the spur of the moment, my ‘student instincts’ kicked in and binge drinking was my friend for the night.
Fair to say, the drinking method doesn’t help. It gives you a bad hangover and sick stomach, and any stress was only somewhat ‘cured’ while I was drunk. I’d rather have stuffed my face with Dairy Milk and watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but that wouldn’t have helped either. Looking back, if anything, it would’ve allowed me to become more emotionally unstable and have a higher blood sugar level. So, sleeping it off is the final solution then? Probably not – because that could not have cured my overall stress throughout that entire week.
Stress is, in my opinion, something that can be limited, not cured. In order to limit this, the usual good health tips apply (see link below) to feel at least the slightest bit better in the long term. Although the bad stuff (alcohol, fast food and drugs) can be the best option for about 2 hours, the after-effects are never worth what you put in. What a surprise. However, you’d be delighted to know that over the weekend my partner and I took a lovely weekend away to Pembrokeshire, and that was just enough to relieve my stressors and really enjoy my time away! I am more ready for handling this week than ever now.
As for this week, I may even overcome my stressful demons, even if it is one step at a time. Isn’t it always nice to end on a high note?
Have a good week.x
(‘good health tips’ link: http://unh.edu/health-services/ohep/stress-management/10-stress-reduction-tips)