When you’re stressed out and anxious sometimes you do things that are counter productive to making you feel less stressed out. When I feel overwhelmed I often give myself more things to do as a way to feel like I have some say in the amount of stuff to do.
I have two projects due this week and a 3000-word essay? Lets also volunteer at a school event and start a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, that’ll surely make me feel less stressed out, right? Totally!… Not. But I do it every time to cope with the anxiety: make myself so busy that I don’t have time to be anxious. I think I developed this as a way to deal with stress after being a camp counselor for a summer.
It was one of my favourite jobs because I love kids and I enjoy being around people. The only thing with that job is that it is so stressful and sometimes kids can be so awful that there isn’t much that you can do other than keep going. In that kind of job, you only exist in the moment and you have to think on your feet because there’s no time for anything else. There’s no opportunity to dwell on what you could’ve done better, and there’s no time to think about what could go wrong or what you need to do in the future: you can only worry about what is going on in front of you in that moment because of how much is happening. This kind of job isn’t fit for everyone, what with the awful camp food, weekly mental breakdowns from at least one counselor, and the children running amuck, but I loved it.
I need to relearn how to cope with my stress instead of trying to recreate that environment. But I guess that college isn’t that different: there’s just less children (although that’s debatable).
I guess the real issue I have is that, not only do I pile on the work (regular classes, student council, volunteering, running a student gallery, and being the Dungeon Master for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for my friends), but I also procrastinate. A lot.
I wish that I didn’t, but it seems like I want to do things on my own terms, even when I’m the one making all the rules. I sign myself up for a lot of things, but I don’t want to do them until I’m ready to. This past weekend I should’ve been organizing things for my student run gallery, working on some homework, sewing my Stress Eaters for a student market coming up, but what do I do? I decide to play Civilization V all weekend. I think my favourite pastime is really self-sabotage.
It’s just so fun to stress myself out, apparently. There are just so many things that I want to do, but not enough time to do them. I don’t feel too stressed out today though, so I guess my counter-productivity helped in some way. Maybe it was just allowing myself to have a weekend off that helped.