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COLUMN: Coping with stress

Do you have something in your life consuming you? You wake up every day and you know what you have to get done and maybe you  do, maybe you don’t. There is nothing physically stopping you from going about your day, but you feel it. Mentally, a fog is clouding your judgment, a simple shower is somehow exhausting just to think about.

Sometimes what you think is a day was actually a couple, maybe a week. Maybe you forgot it was December and don’t know how it’s somehow almost 2022, how somehow you’re feeling this life coming in slow motion but everyone else is going full speed ahead. You contemplate, but it’s too tiring. You may try to focus on a task and end up on TikTok for three hours. Girl, you are not alone!

Stress weighs on the brain. It weighs on your mind, body, your spirit, and before you know it, the stress you’re dealing with somehow weighs on the ones closest to you too. Stress can affect every aspect of our lives, but there are ways you can help reduce your stress and maybe even change your mood.

It wasn’t until I started living on my own that I noticed the tendencies I have when I feel stressed. Some of them were quite funny, and others a little concerning. I think knowing now when I am stressed out has helped me deal with these situations — not saying I am a therapist or life coach, definitely not saying I make the best decisions either. But sometimes it’s nice to talk to others, and it’s also nice to listen to someone who might be going through the same thing you are.

So, here it goes.

I am a natural-born ball of energy. I wake up with energy and power through the entire day without coffee, Red Bull or any other energy enhancer because I naturally bounce off the walls. But when I am stressed, I have days where leaving my bedroom seems impossible. I find myself bum-rushing all my work as fast as possible, and then going a day or two doing absolutely nothing. This happens when I am stressed. I get so overwhelmed by feeling the need to do everything all at once, I can’t function if I have nothing to do or am waiting for the next task.

The thing is, on these days I found myself doing nothing I would spiral with all the things coming up that I needed to be prepared for. So even though I was always finishing all my work, I was met with a paralyzing feeling that I would be falling behind from doing nothing after everything was done. Does this still happen? Yes. Have I tried to balance it better? Yes!

Being stressed is totally normal, but not letting yourself acknowledge it is problematic for your health and well being. So on these days when I can’t leave my bedroom, I try not to think about everything coming up and instead think about everything I’ve accomplished. And instead of giving myself a hard time for not being productive or very active, I am grateful for how much I do to be able to give myself and my body the time it needs to rest.

Stress is real. Stress sucks. But being stressed means you care. And if you care that much, you should be grateful to yourself that you have goals, ambition, standards and a higher expectation for yourself. You’re doing the dang thang.

Christelle Temple is an WVU honors sophomore. She contributes a weekly column on health, fitness and motivation. Follow her on Instagram @ellesbells2. Contact her at