Through my Stresses, I've Realized...

Last Tuesday, I experienced a wave of anxiety pouring over me. I wasn’t even sure what triggered it, but all at once, I felt anxious about multiple exams, meetings, and expectations, ranging from within the next month, to events that were years away. After a warm shower, some prayer, and reflection, I realized a few things that I feel are valuable for everyone to remember.

I try to be optimistic and exude happiness at every point in my day. Through my stress, I realized that I felt guilty when I wasn’t 100% “okay.” No one was pressuring me to feel guilty, but I had placed myself in a position with mental expectations that caused me to feel as though I needed an extra dose of positivity when I had a bad day. But the truth is, in life you need the highs and the lows. Without the low points in life, the splendid, out of the ordinary, awesome days wouldn’t feel so special. Every day is a gift from God, even if it’s not the best day of your life. Taking the highs and lows, all together, is part of the journey. It’s okay to not be okay.

Secondly, in my reflection I realized that I felt guilty taking time for myself. People in my life were causing me to feel guilty, and I was further pressuring myself to live up to a certain image. This revealed to me the realness and depth in which comparison holds onto us, and us to it. I felt surrounded by bragging and success that was different than my own. It occurred to me that my success is different than others and my happiness is something that should not be sacrificed for an image or expectation.

Why is there so much in this world crushing us down?  I want to take a stand. I heard recently that we cannot pour into others what we do not have. What I mean by this is that you should take time for yourself. Pray and reflect. Go to God in times of need, and even in moments of weakness, fear, and struggle, He will provide. You will overflow and be able to pour goodness into others around you. Even in times of physical exhaustion, mental strain, and heart-brokenness, you will be spiritually abundant. We all are hurt in one way or another, and that’s okay. In moments of hurt, I’ve learned to turn to the One who can heal all.

If you’re feeling the heat of the semester and commitments stacking up, I am here to remind you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Take time for yourself and understand that you are strong, even at moments when you feel weak. And if you need to cry, vent to someone, or take a nap, go for it! I guarantee it will feel amazing. Treat yourself!