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

Are you the type of person who has personal projects, has to work, likes to be part of associations or academic projects, and is also studying? Then you must continue reading because maybe at some point in your life you probably felt this way.

When we are about to start a project (academic or personal), the energy of our bodies flows at extremely high levels, one that makes us think that we would not be able to hold this start-up adrenaline. That energy maintains us working throughout the project or assignment. We create a routine that adapts us to our daily activity, including academics and extracurricular activities. However, that energy starts to flow like a roller coaster when you are getting used to the schedule, which is normal if you do not feel a snowball downhill effect. 

Mostly, we expect to have things under control because that way we feel sure about what we are doing and the actions that we are taking. As everything in life, some things get out of hand and obstacles of any kind start to appear in our way, creating overwhelming and unexpected situations. Being in a constant decision-making and problem-solving position is natural in our daily routine. Nonetheless, these events appear when we most need a clear head to decide what are the next steps to take and when we least have a judicious thinking. The important thing is how we manage these situations, because if we do not act immediately when we acknowledge that something is wrong, it can get mentally and physically worse. 

There was a time when I was under a lot of pressure and now that I look back at how I felt, I can recognize each one of the symptoms that I had but decided, at the moment, to ignore them. As incredible as it may seem, when you are in this position it is unusual for you to notice what is really going on. Maybe it is because of the type of person that you are; for example, I am the one who helps other people, but when it comes to myself, I do not ask for help when I need it. In my mind, I think that I can handle it all by myself. As the time went by, I started to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and I was accumulating things that felt emotionally heavy. How did I deal with it? Well, I did not. At least not until the breakdowns were frequent and the academic damage was imminent. This is not an easy topic to talk about, but it feels like a huge relief when I do it. 

The healing process is one step at a time. First, I had to understand that something was wrong with me. Frequent breakdowns? Feeling anxious as if it was part of my daily routine? Constant tiredness? None of those situations were healthy. It is okay if one day you feel great and others you feel down, because life is a roller coaster. My advice is to stop yourself and reflect, so you are able to see the bigger picture of the situation. The body starts sending signs of burnout in different ways, waiting for you to notice them. With time, those signs will become more alarming and urgent, because our body is “programmed” to force yourself to see that something is wrong. If these things are not treated right away, they could get complicated, leading to anxiety or panic attacks, breakdowns, depression, physical exhaustion, or even sickness.

List your priorities:

1) You

2) You

3) You

It is healthy to make a stop and reorganize your priorities. Remind yourself that your priority must be you. Work, projects, assignments, and other academic stuff is important, but your health is the most important thing. Being mentally and physically healthy is vital for you to continue with your work and assignments. Seek professional help if you feel the need to. Do not be afraid to ask for it! Understand that not feeling your best is okay. Remembering that there are some things you can not control and allow yourself to focus on what you can. Managing these overwhelming and unexpected situations can cause a lot of stress and put you under a lot of pressure. Make time for yourself, talk to people close to you about how you are feeling, connect with nature or practice a hobby that you really enjoy. There are a lot of simple activities to help you manage stress and pressure. At first, it will be difficult, but trust me it will be a lot easier once everything (including you) is back on track.

Laura S Pierantoni Marrero is Sub-Secretary and writer for her campus. She likes to share some of her experiences as a tool for readers. Her most frequent topics are Sex + Relationships, Academics, Entertainment and Her 20's. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Project Management. She has participated within UPRM Aero Design as part of the Project Management department and as the Project Manager of the team. She was also a mentor at the Pharmaceutical Engineering Summer Camp (PESCa 2023) that takes place at the campus. She is a certified mosaic artisan from Puerto Rico and during her free time she likes to write stories, poems and short novels. https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-pierantoni-23974830/