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Emma Off The Record: Warp Speed Edition

Do you ever have one of those weeks when you feel like you don’t even have a millisecond of time to yourself? You’re just like go, go, go, move, move, move––wait, breathe, okay––go, go, go! I always think of it like going into hyperspeed Star Wars-style except I’m an anxious mess like C-3PO screaming at Han for giving me the chance to put my seatbelt on. Well, that took a turn for the nerd. My point being is that time-related stress is the most stressful kind of stress to me. 

I know in my head that whatever needs to be done will be done, and I will make it to the place I need to be at the time I need to be there, but I find it difficult to avoid the mini panic attacks in between. You must be thinking, whoah, this person needs to C-H-I-L-L. Guess what? You’re absolutely right. This hyper-active, stress-producing area of my brain will forever be a work in progress, but I’ve found that there are a few key phrases I always keep in mind to help me calm down. Not surprisingly, most of this wisdom comes from songs.

Photo Credit: VSCO

“Don’t Worry, Baby” (The Beach Boys)

For a while, I used to think this song was pretty condescending and my responses to most of the lyrics were cynical. Will everything really turn out alright? I mean, come on, you can never really know that for sure. Baby, nothing could go wrong with you. Umm, too late. Instead of reveling in the lovey-dovey simplicity of this Beach Boys classic, I let my most doubtful and worrisome thoughts crash the party. When I fall back into this pool of negativity, I try to remind myself to think more about the big picture and not focus on the long list of little things. I tend to take these smaller tasks and blow them out of proportion, but sometimes a quick reality check and a simple reminder that everything will work itself out are all I need to ease my racing brain. 

Photo Credit: @girlboss

“Are You Reelin’ in the Years?” (Steve Miller Band)

This lyric typically alludes to the “live in the moment” approach to life, but an alternative interpretation could be am I giving myself enough time to take care of me? We only have so many years on the planet (don’t worry, I’m not getting any more nihilistic than that), so we might as well give ourselves the time of day to just take a deep breath and check in with ourselves. 

Photo Credit: @elkieart

“It Gets Better with Time” (The Internet)

Now, this is a mantra I will always stand behind. In my lowest moments, I feel like I’m stuck in a pothole in the middle of nowhere without any hope that my cell signal will reach AAA. I feel completely depleted and I let the downward spiral slowly drag me down deeper and deeper. Then I remember that I have a whole future full of potential right ahead of me and this simple reminder makes all of the struggle and strife worth the effort. The best part about this hypothetical is that it usually holds up! I’ll be on that study grind for exams while juggling my extracurriculars, trying to do everything all at once, and by the time I reach the finish line I feel incredibly accomplished. Just keep your cool, and everything will get better.

Photo Credit: @subliming.jpg

“The Dog Days are Over” (Florence + The Machine)

When a hellish week finally comes to a close, it feels really good to exhale all that pent-up anxiety and revel the moment. You did it! You made it through to the very end and you’re still standing––that’s something worth celebrating. There was a whole lot of struggle and tears along the way, but none of that matters now. Even when I’m still in the thick of a tough week I try to remind myself that this accomplished moment is waiting out there just beyond the horizon. It helps me put things into perspective and take myself out of the stress microcosm where I let little issues combine into a monster problem. It’s definitely not a healthy habit, but fortunately, my positive thoughts usually manage to drown out the negativity.

This week’s playlist is a deep dive into my psyche when it goes on a stress-capade. Phase I starts with the usual freakout over how there’s no time left, and then I keep wondering where it all went. Phase II involves me pondering the thought of what would happen if I just dropped everything on my plate and ran away from all my responsibilities as a student, a friend, a daughter, an editor, an artist, and even a radio show host. Obviously, this irrational step doesn’t last very long, but I can’t help myself from considering the hypothetical. Then Phase III finally arrives and I can breathe a heavy sigh of relief. This is when I take a moment to remind myself of all the amazing work that I’ve been lucky enough to do and tell myself that everything really is going to be alright.

In moments of stress, it’s important to not lose yourself completely. It can be tempting to give up and let yourself sink into the pit of stress and despair, but why should you? You have accomplished so much and come so far. Why lose it all over a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad semester? You know deep inside that the best is yet to come, so keep on running until the finish line is way behind you.




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Emma is a senior at BU studying Journalism and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Communications. She's originally from sunny Los Angeles, California. She is an avid fan of local bakeries and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.
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