Students often let themselves fall into the deep end with their mental health and don’t know the signs until they are completely overwhelmed and far too gone. Here are some things to consider as warnings from your body:
What Stress Looks like
You cannot sleep right. Your body and your mind seem to be on two different time schedules, one is ready to take on the world, while the other drags along. Often anxiety and stress can keep your mind occupied even when you should be asleep, making you feel unrested and uneasy in the morning.
You feel trapped. Stress can make you feel like your running in place constantly– like no progress is possible. This constant state of feeling behind feels like a hamster wheel that never goes anywhere regardless of how hard you work.
You can’t seem to find the time to eat or do not want to. Feeling the weight of a deadline (imagined or otherwise) makes time feel crucial so it’s common to skip out on things that matter. Heightened stress can make eating feel unneeded, you may not even realize that you have not eaten all day until it is too late. Dramatic and fast weight loss caused by not eating is not healthy and you should seek help from a therapist or family.
On the other hand maybe the only relief is in food, some people use food to cope with being overwhelmed. The concept of “comfort food” rings true for a lot of people. Overeating, just like undereating, can be really damaging for your body.
You are breaking out. Women have very volatile hormones, if they are slightly off, your body lets you know. If your chin, forehead, and general t-zone start showing pimples you should take some time to relax. You may need a good spa day or face mask in the future to get into a better headspace.
You keep getting sick. Stress weakens the immune system, leaving a big opening for sickness to take over. If your immune system is overworked with stress constantly, sickness is harder to get over and keeps coming back.
You may not have all these listed symptoms but it’s important to evaluate why your body is acting out of character, it is often the first and loudest tell. Recognizing these problems can better help you work through your stress before it worsens. The best course of action is to get the attention of someone like a counselor or contact your doctor if the symptoms interfere with your everyday life.