Just Keep Breathing: What To Do When Everything Seems To Be Falling Apart

I don’t know about you, but personally, this past week was a doozy. The combination of my personal life along with my academic life was becoming unbearable. It didn’t help that everyone around me, especially my closest friends, seemed to be just as terrible as I was. But now it’s Friday. Now, I realize that for the most part, all I had to do was breathe. Technically, I also had to do a few more complicated things as well, things that were less autonomic in nature. But essentially, I should have just calmed down sooner.

Stress is something we all handle differently. It’s a complex feeling and emotion, and navigating through it is no small feat. Looking back on this week, I can’t help but to think of the many things I could have done differently to help myself.

From my experiences, the stress we have can become worse because of our own expectations from ourselves. We have a need to prove things, for the most part, to ourselves in order to feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. We are our own worst critics. Some weeks can be busier than others and that’s just how life is, but we are prone to be tougher on ourselves when we are experiencing tougher times. In retrospect, I realize that I did many things I simply thought I had to do. What I found most interesting though was that I knew I’d be fine once the week was over, but I was still miserable for the entire week. I knew that I would be okay. I simply refused to believe it in the moment.

Occasionally, while we’re experiencing high levels of stress, we should try take a step back to analyze our present situations. Are you absolutely positive that you have to work on something entirely alone? Are you sure you can’t even take a simple fifteen minute break once in a while? Do you really have to forego going to bed entirely? Most importantly, will you be okay a day from today? What about in week? Perhaps it may even be longer, I don’t know. What I do know and understand is how wanting for stressful moments to pass can motivate us to work all that much harder. However, you and your sanity matter much more. You won’t be able to accomplish anything if you burn yourself out. Moments are passing, stressful ones included. Sometimes, we should just take a few seconds to breathe in and breathe out, and remind ourselves that we will be okay, because we actually will be okay.