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All About That Balance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Well, we’ve made it back to our good ole’ Ann Arbor campus and have already begun to settle into our social and academic routines. Still buzzing from the start of a new semester, the anxiety and stress of classes (and lofty future prospects for those of us seniors nearing graduation) is slowly creeping up as we move further into the fall. In the midst of all this, we’re joining clubs, sitting on executive boards for student organizations, and bumping to all the bass-y beats of the fall with our friends on the weekends…And grocery shopping, working, exercising (maybe), studying and sleeping somewhere in between. The bottom line is that a lot of us have full plates (or many of them), and not nearly enough hands to hold them all. While all of what we do is either necessary and/or very important to us, it can sometimes leave little room for devoting the necessary TLC to ourselves. 

This notion of whole body, health and care was brought to my full attention my sophomore year when high levels of anxiety and stress threatened and nearly jeopardized not only my college career, but even more specifically, my whole body health. I had spent my high school years and early college years over-involved (this can be a thing) in student groups and extra curriculars, in addition to rigorous course loads, and not mention a vibrant social life. Needless to say, I had begun to lose my bearing in the midst of it all. After experiencing two very acute and terrifying anxiety attacks, one of which landed me in an emergency room late one Tuesday night, I realized I needed to move my life in a far different direction.

Following these experiences I found alternative solutions to help manage my anxiety and stress and even spoke with someone at CAPS (Counseling and Physiological Services) on campus to help identify the source of my anxiety and triggers in order move forward with the tools necessary to lead me to a healthier self. I began investing more time in taking care of my whole self by doing yoga, practicing breathing exercises during moments of stress and anxiety, identifying triggers, drinking loads of delicious and highly beneficial teas, and finding homeopathic solutions at health food stores. I stopped drinking caffeine, which I discovered for me could induce anxiety during stressful periods and became very okay, satisfied and happy with the truth that I was not perfect or superhuman, and was not created to be. These experiences helped me learn more about myself and gain an agency and control rooted in the acceptance of my human imperfection.

I do not often talk very publically about these experiences, but I am finding it increasingly necessary to do so. There are numbers of people that have had or continue to have similar experiences, but because we are not always talking very openly about it, or in my case, do not even realize what it is that we are experiencing, it can feel incredibly isolating. It is important for us to be mindful of our own experiences but just as mindful of the experiences of those around us, taking to account all that we cannot see and all that ourselves and others might be carrying in efforts to support ourselves and those around us.

In my nearly four years of higher learning, I have learned that the college life, and maybe the adult life too, is all about finding equilibrium.  Anything, even those things that are seemingly good, in excess can be bad. In order to be fully functioning beings, we have to prioritize taking care of our whole selves, and that is physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and otherwise. It is impossible to give of our best selves if we are not healthy. I urge all to be committed to self- health, the health of those around us, and to, like myself, be all about that balance.



(Image Source: http://beyondearthseries.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/425_web-ere-seesaw-…)