Take a break, take a walk

Nicole - Vista, California
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My senior year of high school kept me extremely busy. Between a full-honors course load, college applications, my position as Editor of my school newspaper, and my part-time job, my life often led to stress and, once in a while, breakdowns. Sometimes all I needed was a step outside, ten minutes to contemplate life and think, to recollect and calm myself.

I’m sure I speak for many when I say that school and work demand a lot of effort, energy, and time. I am a self-proclaimed caffeine addict. To get my extra boost I was drinking five cups of coffee a day and not sleeping at night to catch up on schoolwork. The stress piled on over the months and I couldn’t take much more. I began to become very irritable around my family and friends, which is not me. I knew that I had to figure out a way to help de-stress my life.

It may sound minuscule, but one day I just drove myself down to the beach and walked on the sand. The peace and quiet and beauty of nature instantly put me at ease. I began to put life in a larger perspective, and realize that I was stressing too much over the small things. Did I really need to work five days a week? Can I employ a few other journalism students to help with the workload, instead of trying to do it all myself? Couldn’t I ask for help once in a while? These questions seemed so simply answered at this time of peace. I instantly forgot about the huge project I had due the next day while I listened to the sound of the waves. It was the definition of tranquility.

I believe that everyone needs to find their own inner peace in some way. Whether it be walking outside, meditating, reading, or peacefully napping in the middle of the day, we all need time to calm down and forget about our troubles. In fact, we may learn to realize that what we view as immeasurable problems are really only small obstacles that we can easily overcome if we have the right amount of strength.

Now that I’m finished with school I look back not with a sigh of relief, but with a glimmer of pride that I was able to accomplish all that I did. If not for my tactics used to set my mind at ease, I may never have gotten to where I am today. I’m ready to go off to college and start a brand new life, and I know that no matter what obstacles are thrown my way, I will be able to overcome them. If you find the strength within yourself, you can do anything.