When Stress Becomes a Problem

By Maria Martinez
Blog Content Contributor

Last week, as I was going down my Facebook newsfeed, I stumbled upon an article about signs your stress could be turning into something more serious. I clicked on it, and as I scrolled down the signs, I noticed each one described me perfectly. I realized that I considered my stress levels to be normal for a college student, and because of this I pushed my worries under the rug. After researching a little more into my symptoms I found that my stress levels were much higher than I wanted them to be. 

People have always called me “perfectionist” because I stress about everything, even about things that have not happened yet. In fact, I’m known to get into arguments with my boyfriend because I stress about finding the perfect caption for my Instagram pictures. As I am writing that, I see how this sounds a little bit childish and crazy, but in instances such as that I couldn’t control my stress.

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Studying can be a huge source of stress for college students. Photo by Emily Castillo.

Stress can have really bad effects if we do not control it. It doesn’t only affect us in the social aspect, but also it is bad to our health. These are some of the most notorious signs that stress has become an issue:

Low Productivity

I have to-do lists for everything, but it seems that I can never accomplish anything on my list. The more stressed I am, the less I function. Stress literally drags you down. A healthy level of stress can give you some driving force for work, whereas being overstressed will not help you.

Chronic Negativity

It was literally the first week of school, “syllabus week” and I was already stressed writing everything I had to do in my planner. I was already thinking negatively about how my classes were really hard this semester, when they hadn’t even started. When you are stress, you truly are blinded about the positive things happening around you. You tend to focus only on the negative. So breathe and think that everything is going to work out.

Disruption of Sleep Pattern

Since I was a child I’ve always had trouble sleeping but right now it is out of control. The bags under my eyes are worse every single day. Not one concealer could cover them completely. Also I get sick more often, because not sleeping well affects my immune system to not be as strong as it should be. So I need to try to organize and manage better my time, to make a habit of sleeping early and create a healthy sleep pattern.

Withdrawal From Social Interaction

When I am having stress meltdowns I don’t want to see anyone. I just want to stay in my room watching TV. Being with friends is a good way to forget about your worries for a while and just have a good time. So it’s okay if some day you want to be all by yourself, but don’t isolate yourself from others.

One of the things which has helped me de-stress is coloring. I don’t know if it’s because it takes me back to my younger/ careless years when I didn’t have to worry about anything, but it works. Plus, it is kind of a trend right now. Every place I go; I always see coloring books being sold.

Find your way of de-stressing, either being Netflix, sleeping or having a hot bath. “Check in” with yourself constantly during the day to hear what your body has to say. Remember there are also counseling, where they can help you more if you think this is a problem out of your hands. Love and take care of yourself, don’t let stress get the best of you.

Featured illustration by Emily Castillo.

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