Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stress Is A Fact Of Life
By Cara Schweikert

My Life. From the minute I open my eyes in the morning until I close them again at night, stress has become a part of my daily routine. I am a twenty-three year old college student, living in New York City, solely depending on myself to pay the bills, get good grades, keep a job and maintain a social life. Not easy and extremely, stressful. Sadly, I have become accustomed to getting “stressed out” on a daily basis, not only about my current lifestyle, but also what lies ahead in my future.

Moving here from Cleveland four years ago I came to succeed, failure is not an option, nor is the possibility of contracting the AIDS virus. Not only do I have to worry about the pressures of succeeding, I also am trapped in a world where casual sex is not an option, unless you want to roll the dice. My Life -- these are the facts.

However there are ways to go about balancing the stressful days and nights. As an individual we must understand the role we play in why our lives are stressful. This can include our schedules, life-style, and priorities. For example, I work as a bartender at night. My job requires me to drink with the customers,(this is one of the perks) because of this I choose only to work on the weekends, otherwise I know I will never make it to class during the week. Also, if I choose to spend Monday thru Thursday partying and hanging out with my friends, I will have no time to do my homework. So, I must force myself to maintain a schedule of My Life.

According to the University of Florida Counseling Center physical symptoms of stress can include some of the following: Muscular tension, repeated colds or other illnesses (also one of the symptoms of HIV), high blood pressure, indigestion, ulcers, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, depression, anger, anxiety, forgetfulness, and repetitive thoughts. Personally, I experience more than one of these symptoms daily which makes me feel as if I need to get help!

Luckily, the University of Florida Counseling Center provides information that various college campuses offer stress management groups to students. The management groups will offer students techniques such as developing a balanced lifestyle, gaining perspective by discussing problems and relaxation techniques. The challenge ahead is actually making time to learn and use these beneficial techniques.

Something that the Florida Counseling Center also stated that I could relate to, was that spirituality could also play a major role when dealing with stress. I have found that prayer above anything else has gotten me through the most stressful periods of My Life.

Food for thought.

No comments: