Question of the Week: How do you de-stress?

We know everyone’s busy with exams and papers, so we feel like this question is pretty relevant:

How do you ‘de-stress’?

Nia, ’15: When things get really bad, I spend extra time with God, praying and reading my Bible. But it also never hurts to throw some SpongeBob episodes in there :).

Elizabeth, ’15: When ever I’m super stressed (especially in these past two days where I’ve had Physics and Biochem exams! ) I usually just stop whatever I’m doing and pray. I pray for trust in God and for peace and joy. And then I usually I make sure I pray for at least one other person who is also in the struggle. We’re all in this together guyssss!

Russyan, ’15: I just realized that I call text/my mom about what’s stressing me out, and always she would say “Be still and know that He is God.” She is my primary reminder of that.

Olugbenga, ’16: To de-stress, I lock myself in a room and sing His praises.

Lawrence, ’16: So I think I have an example related to academic stress.  One time I had a physics test on Monday, biology test on Tuesday, and organic chemistry test on Wednesday.  So on Thursday (week before tests) I thought ok I have lots of time so I will study from Friday to Sunday.  on Friday I got sick and on Saturday I lay in bed looking at the (ugly) ceiling thinking, “when should I do my lab report due Wednesday?”  But of course that wasn’t the only thought I was having.  I also thought:

“So much for a ‘fresh start’ this year”
“I wish someone could go buy me medicine or chicken noodle soup”
“This whole school works on a schedule like you can’t get sick”
“Is being sick like this supposed to turn into a demonstration that I will hold onto God even if my grades fail”
Maybe the last one is funny but actually it was kind of serious.  Just imagine: it’s freshman summer and you’re excited to go back to Brown and try out new things.  Second time around has got to be better, since you are starting to get the ropes, right?  Too bad, score 72 on chemistry and 74 on biology (I’m not telling you what I got in physics).  This indifferent part of me thought, “Oh that’s too bad.”  Then I started to realize that was actually kind of depressing, because those were my first three midterms (I hated logging onto Canvas for a few days).
I can’t remember what exactly I thought but I remember realizing that I have to be ready for unpleasant surprises in life.  More importantly, I have to know what to grab onto when those unexpected surprises come.  Am I going to sulk, get frustrated, start blaming others – what kind of reaction will I have?  What kind of reaction am I supposed to have?  I think Nia hit the nail on these questions – you can only hold onto God.  From the air you breathe to the neurons in your brain that allow you to retain any memory, God is in full control.  By “God is in control,” I mean two things – nothing (material or immaterial) rightfully belongs to me, and there is hope and strength to be found in the fact that God is sovereign and will protect those who trust him.  I think if you can accept those two ideas (proof: see Job and Proverbs), you can deal with stress quite well.  I just sort of moved on at the time but now this is how I would deal with stress.

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