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BWW Blog: Balancing Your Breaking Point

Life can be stressful and it's ok to cry.

BWW Blog: Balancing Your Breaking Point

It's simple, when I get overwhelmed I cry and it's ok and that's what happened 2 days ago, Monday night at 9:30pm. It's normal and we've all been there. College is hard especially in the winter quarter and in the middle of a pandemic.

But before we go into my mental breakdown and how I do my best to manage my busy life, let me tell a little about myself. My name is Claire Desenberg and I am a senior at University of California Irvine graduating this June. I am a Dance Performance major with a Literary Journalism minor. I teach dance part time at the UCI gym, write for the entertainment section in the UCI New University, run a campus organization, perform, take an average of 22 units, manage a social life, and am trying my best. Juggling a very full schedule is not new to me, but like everyone else I too reach my breaking point.

Now let's go back to the beginning, I've already had a bit of a rough start to the quarter trying to keep 4 writing classes straight along with everything else. But after the rough start, I was convinced I had it all together. My google calendar was packed and color coded for each part of my life like a 64 pack of crayola crayons. Everything was scheduled to the T. I was doing better and then midterms happened.

It was just a quick downward spiral really. That day I had gotten notes back on papers that had to be re-written for my midterms. I had started looking through my google calendar and todo list for the week and learning the choreography for an audition a few days later still lingered in the back of my mind. I felt the tears beginning to well up in my eyes. I tried to hold it together so I could finish my two assignments and go to sleep, but I couldn't fight the pain trapped in my chest anymore. I then fell to the floor of my bathroom and just cried, only taking small breaks to type a few words of my homework.

When I could no longer handle my breakdown on my own, I called my mom. She's always there to get me through my tough times and she always proceeds to tell me the same thing; to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time.

For the next week I will be in breakdown recovery mode. I will be doing what I need to do to get back on the train and stabilize myself, so I can get through the rest of the quarter. Some of the things I do to get myself through the stressful times are:

1. Get outside

Get out of your room and go outside! Your body needs the sun and vitamin D. Take a walk, go to the park, you might even study outside! Every morning I do my best to take a one hour walk for myself. Sometimes it's a "hot girl walk" where I listen to hyped music and only think positive thoughts because I am a queen. Other times it's more meditative where I breathe and listen to slower music. Either way I am out and about!

2. Baby Steps

Take baby steps, your whole entire project does not need to be completed in one sitting, nor should it. I am so guilty of this where I will commit myself to writing a whole paper in one sitting and by doing that I usually cause a breakdown or an anxiety attack. Start bigger assignments early enough so there is time to work on it over multiple work sessions and you can most importantly take breaks for yourself and then come back to it.

3. Self Care

I cannot stress to you enough how important self care is. It is so important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health. Most of the time when we say we are mentally tired it's because we're not doing enough of the things we love. Self care looks different for everyone. For me it's singing and dancing to music, improving, bubble baths and facemasks, walks or hikes, socializing, coloring, or stretching. Find what gives you joy and resets your mind. Set aside time daily to engage in those activities, even if it's just for 10 minutes.

4. Cry

Crying is a good stress reliever because keeping all those feelings inside is only going to make you feel worse. Sometimes you need a good cry to wash away all of the anxiety built up. It also releases levels of oxytocin and can relieve tension. When I do cry, and that seems to be quite often, I only let myself cry and be sad until the sun comes up the next day. Then I go into recovery mode and work to change my mentality, so I can pick up the pieces and start over.

Life can be brutal and we are all going through it! You are in no way alone, so when you need to cry, cry. It's ok and more importantly it's normal! Remember to always priority you because you can't support others if you are unstable yourself. Treat yourself like the king or queen you are!

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From This Author Student Blogger: Claire Desenberg