Stress Is Normal, But Too Much Stress Is Not
Denise WebbYES! for Equity Senior Youth Staff Member
We all get overwhelmed sometimes and that’s okay! However, being overly stressed and overworked can lead to some serious health problems. The American Psychological Association states that stress can cause a higher risk of, “depression, digestive issues, headaches, muscle tension and pain, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and memory loss.” However, stress is apart of life…. but how do we know when we are TOO stressed out?
Look for these signs:
Thoughts are racing
Unable to enjoy yourself
Anxious or nervous
Not indulging in hobbies (ie.listening to music)
No longer laughing
For more information and resources about National Stress Awareness Month, please visit: https://hr.nih.gov/working-nih/civil/national-stress-awareness-month
April is a time for wrapping things up! Finals, project deadlines, graduation, and other important things are right around the corner BUT Keep this story in mind…
Denise Webb’s Story
All my life, like many, education and hard work has come before most things in my life. It came before prom, before senior pictures, before college parties, before outing with friends, and even before self-care dates.
When I came to college in August of 2022 I was determined to make sure all of my hard work did not go to waste. I was stressed all Fall semester but I brushed it off as freshmen jitters. When I found myself in social settings I never smiled and I was more so worried about my next assignment, meeting, and volunteer shift.
I was successful in my first semester and I was on the dean’s list. So of course, if a method isn’t broken, then why stop to fix it? Going into my first Spring Semester of college, I realized the monotony of my life. It was school, work, volunteer, study, repeat. I was stressed out with my school work, stressed out with my routine, and just stressed out with life.
Right smack dab in the middle of Midterms for the Spring Semester, I went to the doctor and discovered I had a tumor in my ovaries, while the doctors ran tests to figure out if it was benign or cancerous I realized that I spent my life working and never enjoying those little moments. I lived my life stressed out and in a constant state of worry. And I realized none of it was worth it in that moment.
After 5 days of tests being run, I missed my midterms, and the results came back with the tumor being benign. After all that stress, I decided I needed to live life while I still could. I emailed my professors, asked to reschedule the exams, and then I went out and finally left campus (I had never left campus and explored the town around me since I never had a reason to.) I went to ice cream shops, cat shelters, movie theaters, and restaurants. I fully experienced the world around me. I no longer felt guilty for not feeling stressed when deadlines crept closer.
Don’t wait for life to kick you for you to remember to love living and to stress a little less!
You can read and download Denise’s full story and tips below: