I don’t tend to stress. I can count on one hand the times I’ve been actually properly stressed. One of those times was the night before my AS History exam, another was about two days before my A2 English exam. These two events were about four years ago. I wasn’t especially stressed about my dissertation because I knew it would be done on time, and well. And I can’t remember my year abroad, first or second year exams/work being too strenuous in a kind of stressful way. I had a bit of a wobble re: an essay last term but I got a first in that module in the end so… yeah. Not normally a stressed out gal.
Having said that, on Monday I had a bit of a mare. Or maybe that’s an understatement. I had a straight up mare. A literal nightmare. I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed in my life.
I’ve already mentioned that I’m exhausted. At the moment my tired days seem to come in cycles of three: two fine days and then a day that absolutely wipes me out. On those days you’ll find me pretending to revise, maybe asleep on the side somewhere in college, or probably just in bed. Even if I try to lie in on those days it does nothing. Even an early night the night before does nothing. I’m out for the whole day. Exhausted.
Monday was a nightmare. I had my first exam of final year looming (Wednesday) and I just didn’t think I knew anything. My Theology friends were chatting away on the group chat about all these things that I hadn’t even heard of, let alone revised, and it was all becoming a bit of a mare. I had a stress headache all day, frequently had to go sit outside for five minutes, and generally had a bit of a rubbish day.
Then, as if by magic, it all just went away.
I had a bath, a pal came over and went through some notes, and it all vanished. I actually felt pretty confident with very little actual effort. Just a good pal, a large Diet Coke and someone to tell me that actually I seem to know what I’m talking about.
The issue with having taken a year abroad is that everyone else on my course graduated and left without me, and now I’m the only one of my friends that does Theology at all, and part of a minority of humanities students. It means that I have to get on with my work and my degree pretty much by myself, and that’s fine. Most of the time.
This post was originally going to be about sharing a few techniques to beat stress but I have no idea what I’m talking about. I have no idea how to beat stress. The bath kinda helped my headache, but so did the water and paracetamol so, maybe it was just them… I honestly have no idea.
Either way, the stress went away.
And that was a good message for me. Things go away. The stress for one exam will go, as quick as it appeared. Things pass.
And boy is that sense of relief and joy amazing, when you realise you’re okay.
Maybe we all need a little bit of stress to figure out just what it is that keeps us grounded. For me, good friends, a good bath, and a little self reassurance.
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