Seek a healthy stress level

by Haley Williamson

What does your day look like today?  Did you go to a club meeting, turn in three extensive papers for different classes, study for your night class, go to work for a couple hours, attend an intramural game, work out, lead a small group and participate in a discussion group?I would not be surprised if you nodded your head to several of those.

In high school, culture and society told us that in order to be successful, feel accomplished, or get into a good university or college we needed to stay busy and active.  We needed to be involved in every club and sport possible while doing well academically and socially.
Studies have shown that the stress and pressure high school students face can lead to lack of sleep, anxiety and physical harm to their bodies in order to psychologically release pain.

We don’t realize these effects of stress, and I think it can become even harder to realize while we are in the moment and under the stress, because we think that this cycle is normal and that everyone is going through it.  We have been told that staying up late to study and waking up early for practice is how life is supposed to be, that every minute from sunrise to sunset needs to be filled.  We fail to recognize this cycle as we continue to grow up.

The worst part is that it does not even stop when you graduate high school.

We continue our education and go to a college or university and the same pressures are thrown our way.  We fill our schedules with everything college has to offer because that is what society says we are supposed to do.

However, just like high school, I do not think we recognize the stress we are under and how busy we truly are while we are in the midst of it, before it is too late.

I know I didn’t realize how unhealthy my schedule was until I read one of our textbooks in Youth Ministry a few weeks ago about those types of effects that come from being busy.

I finally stepped back and realized I need to change something before I take on more than I can handle and it starts to mentally and psychologically affect me, like it can others.

We should not feel that because culture and society says it is normal for us to take on everything and anything means that we have to.  We need to begin to learn to say no to things that we are doing just to do and say ‘yes’ to things we passionately love and enjoy in order to not burn out.

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