The Exhaustion of Stress
August 28, 2012 by
Categories: Coping

Today’s thoughts are posted with the teachers, students, and parents beginning a new school year in mind. Allow yourself to take breaks. Take time to stretch. And most of all, remember to breathe. 


My body. Is tired. But from what?

I dove head first into my day with a to-do list.

Little bullet points have been nagging at me all day: write this paper, complete this assignment, submit this draft, finish this proposal, read these chapters, and on and on. I know the projects are there, whispering to me during even the most enjoyable moments.

But where do I feel it the most? Today, this jolt of anxiety is not a mental thing. Nor is it a heart thing. Today… it is all in my body.

My shoulder and back muscles hurt from holding the tension. My chest is tight from my heart racing. My head feels heavy on my neck. My arms and legs tingle of the bizarre exhaustion that comes from not physical exertion but the steady, seeping emission of stress. I know I have not taken one solid deep breath today.

Tonight, I’m going to gently put myself to bed and silently hum soft apologies to my body. And for tomorrow, with a to-do list just as long, I will make hopeful promises to treat myself better. I will stretch. I will take breaks. I will be sure to take strong inhales that open my chest and body, arming it for what comes next.

And I will silence those nasty, anxious whispers that take away the moments of joy throughout the day, because those are the ones I need the most.

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