By: Oluwapelumi King
The semester is gradually coming to an end. Therefore, classes have intensified, tests have started for many people, exams and assignments, and projects- for finalists- are here thick and fast. As a result, reading, particularly TDB reading- has intensified. It is however important to pay close attention to your health and stress to avoid a system breakdown.
It has almost become a tradition that the rate of patient admission and visitation increases as the semester draws to a close. This is- in most cases- attributed to a lack of proper care of the body and an increase in stress levels. Many students find it very hard to take a break or relieve stress as they think any attempt to do so will leave them behind schedule and make it difficult for them to catch up. This is wrong on so many levels.
Oxford dictionary defined stress as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. The World Health Organisation defined stress as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. They also tagged stress as your body’s response to anything that requires attention and action. Moving on to High-stress levels. High-stress levels are when your level of stress is too high that it begins to affect your body in different ways.
The symptoms or signs, show themselves in two forms; physical, mental, and emotional forms. The physical signs include; pain or tension in your head, chest, stomach, or muscles. Digestive problems include diarrhea and constipation, reproductive issues, and changes in heart rate and blood pressure. While the Mental and emotional signs include depression or anxiety, anger, irritability or restlessness, insomnia, short attention span, and problems with memory, anxiety, etc. Some of us are already experiencing these symptoms due to the rush class hours, reading patterns, religious activities, and extracurricular. Many of us struggle to find a balance and that lack of balance induces high-stress levels. Earlier stated in the article, high-stress levels show themselves in different forms either physical or mental. I would be stating similar experiences of two UITES.
Recently, Abigail* felt very weak on the day of her GES test. She however managed to get to the venue of the test. She couldn’t function well as she wished to during the test. It was later discovered, when she went to the hospital, that her stress level was high because of her back-to-back classes. Another experience is that of a Katangite who read steadfastly for an important test that he did not get enough sleep and rest. It increased his stress levels so much that he suddenly jolted up from sleep on a SUNDAY morning thinking it was already Monday. He thought he already missed the test because he woke up late.
These are true experiences that most of us can relate to. Sometimes, the stress levels come in form of headaches and chest pains. The headaches you feel sometimes, maybe even most times, are due to your stress level getting too high. Chest pains, general body weakness, exhaustion, and even mood swings are also indications of high-stress levels. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, especially consistently, find a way to relax and relieve some of the stress activities through relaxation activities like meditation.
Listening to music, taking a long stroll, or even having conversations with your friends. They all go a long way. Take good care of your body by having enough sleep and rest, eating right, and exercising well. Try to cut some extracurricular responsibilities if you are getting too busy or stressed, also say no to additional responsibilities if you feel they will add to your stress level. Rest is very important, especially in this stressful and strenuous academic environment. Take some time to rest and take good care of your body. Always remember that your health is of paramount importance. If anything happens due to your lack of rest and high-stress levels, the world will move on and the thing you overstressed yourself for will also go on. There are no breaks and pauses. Life goes on so endeavour to REST.