Stephanie Marinelli ‘25, Managing Editor

We all know that feeling. Waking up at least two hours before your alarm goes off,
expecting nothing but the worst. Whether it’s a massive test you feel ill-prepared for, thinking
about spending time with that “special someone” this evening, or just excessive worry with little
to no explanation, I want you to know that it is human, and normal. I’ve struggled with anxiety
my entire life and may continue to for the rest of it. Now, I say this not to be discouraging, but to
prove a point: keeping yourself in check and constantly managing your emotions is crucial to
mental health success. Thus, when you approach a bout of anxiety far down the line, you will not
let it overtake you or become riddled with it, rather, you will approach it head on and understand
it’s significance (to make you stronger).

Coming out of the womb a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I am constantly setting
standards reaching higher than the Empire State Building. “If it’s not A+ work, it’s not valid!”
This seems to be my constant state of mind, even though I fully know it’s wrong. But for some
reason, this delusion has such a grip on me, that I just can’t seem to break away from it. Thus, I
will wake up 2 hours before my alarm, thinking about all the tasks that are to be completed. I
will stare at my computer in fear, knowing that I must put forth my absolute best effort for the
assignment, even if I’m dead tired. When you think like this, there is no middle ground. If you’re
taking a much-needed break, you’d never even consider calling it that. Why? Because you can’t
stop thinking about that next thing you need to do. “What is being asked of me? What are their
expectations? What are my expectations?”

And with fingers trembling, underarms moist and brows furrowed, you open that laptop
and continue typing.

Okay, that last sentence was a bit dramatic, but what can I say, I am. I also understand
that not everyone’s anxiety comes from the same source, therefore, what can we do to approach
the general issue here?

Step #1- Mindfulness
Stopping to take a look at your surroundings and gain a greater sense of appreciation for
the world around you. Go for a walk and clear your mind. Understand that while your thoughts
are an extension of your being, so is the beauty that one can see.

Step #2- Meditation
How often do you stop to break down the worrisome thoughts that you have? Or do you
let them fester and intermix to create an issue you didn’t even know you had? Listen to calming
music or turn on a podcast directed towards this type of issue. Focus on your breathing and
release those concerns out into the universe.

Step #3- Speak Up
Some of us tend to keep our issues to ourselves, for fear of judgement or becoming too
much of a “burden.” And to this I say, if someone calls you a “burden,” drop them. You don’t
need that negativity in your life. I found that when I finally spoke about my issues to others, it
felt like less of an “individualized” problem, and truly convinced me that I was not alone.

In following these simple steps, you may find it much easier to manage your emotions
and gain clarity of thought. Remember, you are more than your anxiety. It does not define who
you are and struggling is human.

Source: Everyday Health

Source: Calm Clinic