Opinion

Too much busyness hurts health: Stay alert for harmful stress

Everyone knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed with life. Too many commitments leave us exhausted. All we want to do after a busy week of classes, meetings, emails and assignments is relax in bed with Netflix or spend a day at the Buffalo River.

Sometimes our busy life is caused by more extreme events than everyday tasks and jobs. Maybe we have experienced a death in our family, have received a failing grade in a class for our major or have had to deal with a chronic disease. These stressors can push us to the brink of sanity.

We are often stretched to our limits doing what we have to do. The to-do list never ends, it seems, and when a friend asks for help on an assignment, or wants to get coffee, you give the all-too-common answer of, “I’m too busy.”

We The Threefold Advocate urge you to stop being so busy and be aware of “hurry sickness” and stress. It’s hard, we know, but constant stress and exhaustion is not worth it. We don’t want to burn out while we are still in college or in entry-level jobs.

This constant state of going isn’t healthy. Fortune.com wrote last month about “hurry sickness.” Symptoms include checking your email while eating lunch, multitasking often and trying to squeeze more tasks into your day—things most, if not all, of us are guilty of doing. According to Fortune.com, “Eventually, hurry sickness really can make you sick, since it increases the body’s output of the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses the immune system and has been linked with heart disease.”

Constant busyness is not only bad for your physical and mental health, but it also affects your relationships with other people. Stress can strain relationships with friends, spouses, family members, coworkers and teammates. Have you ever been around someone who was constantly stressed out, and all you wanted to do was go somewhere else and relax? You don’t want to be that person.

Sometimes the solution is to eliminate a stressor. Cut back on your hours at work. Stop participating in your CAUSE ministry. Drop a class. Or maybe the solution is to improve your efficiency or organization. Make more to-do lists and spend less time watching “How I Met Your Mother.”

If this does not help, we encourage you to ask for help. Talk to a friend or professor, or make an appointment with the counseling center. If your stress is causing a serious problem, it is important to find the source and address it sooner rather than later.