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Curtailing Stress

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2013) Permanent link   All Posts
 Alexa Ward February has proven to be a month of ups and downs for me. On one hand, I have begun English riding lessons off campus every week (a miracle I can even stay in the saddle; there’s no horn to hold me in!), which allows for some time to unwind and just be Alexa. Yet the other hand holds the extra stress from approaching midterms and making up snow days (four this year, a new record!).

Classes have been hectic, but we’re slowly recovering. What I really want to focus on in this blog is how I relax around here with all of the stressors surrounding me everyday.

First of all, sports. I don’t know how many of you have actually seen Legally Blonde, but there’s one part of the movie that just sticks out when I think of sports. “Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.” And that’s why I need those mandatory two sports credits – without them, I go absolutely bonkers from stress. There are times when I begin to get fussy, and my friends force me outside to go running. When I get back an hour or two later, everything is magically better.

Second, getting off campus. Often when people come to the Academy, they get stuck under the impression that liberty means you have to go into the New London area (since that’s where the liberty buses run) and spend money. Personally, I find that more stressful because I have to worry about my finances on top of thinking about the work I’m not doing. My approach is simple. Take the weekend and go somewhere – maybe walk around the Conn College Arboretum, or run across the bridge (endorphins!). Either way, it’s nice to see what else is available besides shopping.

Thirdly, find some activity during the week. This is one of the most important for me, not only because the stress builds up over the course of a week, but it also gives me something to look forward to. This is where the Equestrian Club comes in for me. Once a week, I get to go off campus and ride horses. I know that I’m doing something productive, so I don’t stress out about what else I could be doing, and it’s a simple way for me to relax. I know other people who set aside one night a week where they get their homework done in advance, then watch a movie or read a book. Others go for several mile runs. The most important thing is that it’s an activity you enjoy, something to look forward to. But (the downside) you can’t do this too often or it becomes yet another routine.

As always, feel free to contact me at Alexa.C.Ward@uscga.edu.

More about Alexa.