I used to be absolutely horrible for stressing about deadlines. Whether it was getting reports done for school, getting presents done in time for Christmas, or making the most of a weekend, it was the kind of stress that would keep me up at night, cramming extra words on the page or lying in bed unable to stop thinking about all the things I still had to do. My muscles would get sore, I would get awful headaches, I was grumpy, and I had horrible cramps. I hated every second of it. But I also used to be a wicked procrastinator.
I say used to be because I truly have kicked the habit. Since the beginning of November, I’ve been procrastination-free. And I’ve also been stress-free.
I’m actually astonished with the level of relaxation I’ve been maintaining. Besides not waiting till the last minute to work on things, I haven’t been doing much differently. I still watch movies when I should be writing essays, leave studying for tests to a couple nights before, and browse pretty pictures on the internet when I should be researching sciencey things. I haven’t taken up meditative yoga or stopped caring about my grades.
I just kind of came to terms with the fact that I have to make sacrifices now and again that will benefit me in the long run. And even if I choose to do school work instead of writing, it doesn’t mean that my writing isn’t as important to me. It’s helped a whole heck of a lot.
But it wasn’t until a few days ago that I had a really great thought. Even though I was studying like mad for my exams (which are coming up faster than I realize), I was ridiculously happy. Buried in a textbook, I had the irresistible urge to smile. That made no sense to me. How could I be happy when I wasn’t doing anything fun?
Well, I rationalized with myself, studying isn’t exactly fun, but it’s not like it’s gonna kill me.
Which, obviously, is entirely true.
Sure, my exams might chew me up and spit me out, but the injury would all be metaphorical. And my grades might take a blow, but I’d be left unscathed. No matter how badly my exams might go, I’ll still come out okay.
I mean, it’s not like I’m fighting dragons, like the heroes I so admire.
I’m not fighting in a war, fending off wolves in the wilderness, or struggling against dehydration in the desert. All those things could easily kill me, but not exams. So why freak out about studying when there are more important things to stress about?
I’m going to study all I can for my exams, of course, but you certainly won’t see me losing sleep or aching with cramps. I intend to stress out only about the truly important things. Or preferably, not at all.
It’s nice, to have things put into perspective every once in a while.
And it’s always good to take a moment to be thankful that you don’t have to fight any dragons.
Do you have a way to handle stress?
May you always keep in perspective the things which deserve the most worry in your life.