On the morning that I am writing this article, and I kid you not: I am half asleep sitting in the library. It’s an unusually cold Monday, and I have an oral presentation and a midterm. Tomorrow presents me with another exam at 8:15 a.m. Wait, did I forget to mention that I’m behind in my gym class ponderation hours? And the fact that I have 3 research papers all due in the next three weeks? It’s not a big deal right? I’ll let all this go and finish up my university application, which is due in just a few days. Actually, scratch that: I’d have to start first. And all of this is only scratching the surface of the impending work I’ve left untouched. It might even be a good idea to sleep it off, right? I should probably do that considering my R-Score already isn’t up to par and mostly likely will stay that way.
Welcome to the realm of stress.
The mentioned above is no doubt a similar situation faced by several of you, and please, don’t try to tell me you don’t experience the marvelous feeling that is stress. Everyone does, even if it is momentary. At this stage in our lives, most of us do our best to juggle several amounts and varieties of workloads resulting from our different statuses as individuals. If that wasn’t enough, most of us also compare ourselves to our peers, constantly trying to realize what others have achieved while beating ourselves up and denigrating our own achievements, no matter how great they might have been or may have felt. Right there lies the first two preambles that cause this overwhelming feeling mixed with sadness, fatigue, frustration, hopelessness, and much more. The overwhelming packaging of expectations and responsibilities, then the dangerous attempt at putting yourself ahead of others, most of whom do not affect your lives in any way. These are the types of issues that will most often tamper with your pathway to success. Indeed, by decreasing your workload along with your expectations, you’ve automatically cleansed yourself of any excess material and multiplied your chances of adequate performance.
My parents grew up in a traditional African town, where everyone was encouraged to be a unique individual no matter their circumstances, and where the realization of one’s own pertinence was a value much promoted. However, my father once told me that when they emigrated here, they found several individuals trying to fit in and become someone they simply aren’t for the sake of success. That process of constantly doing whatever it takes to portray a persona that doesn’t define who you truly are, is nothing short of a constant overwhelming responsibility that doesn’t necessarily help one grow in the long run. Additional factors that contribute to this hassle are what you may observe you peers engage in. “He’s in law school… Why shouldn’t I be in the same position?”. The issue with this is simply that thinking about success and exhausting yourself to get there makes it possible for the outcome to not feel as good as potentially anticipated.
Yes, one may say that our Canadian society possesses several programs and services that are put in place to help any Canadian seeking help and cure from the serious issue that can be stress. However, it is easier said than done. Several individuals going through issues related to mental illness do not enjoy being pointed out among the masses, and prefer to keep their problems to themselves. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that many consider their stress as an issue with their own behavior, and not as a mental illness, even in cases so serious that they should be considered as such. Thus, contribution from all sides has to be implemented. The individual feeling stress must always seek advice and consolation from someone who they know will listen to them, console them in the most productive and effective manner, and not possess a sense of alienation and judgment. With one party willing to enhance itself and the other willing to provide the tools for enhancing, this recurring issue among many can find its pathway to salvation.
Now that I’ve provided you with the major key to success, how about you stop whatever you’re doing. Put down your phone, and go to sleep. I think you need it.
So do I.
Written by MWR writer Bilal Gomdah, edited by the MWR team