PDA

View Full Version : Stress Overload



Llamaface23
04-03-2007, 02:47 AM
I am hoping that maybe some of the warmhearted intercotees can help me ease the ever-growing tension here.

I am finishing up a Masters program in psychology in NYC (taking 17 credits) and I work almost 30 hours a week. I have a loving boyfriend but the little time we have together impedes (sometimes) on my work time. More importantly, I'm just really unhappy and stressed out and it seems to get worse by the day. I am always worried about money, and grades and on top of it all, I miss my one true love: dance. I danced for my entire life but I haven't really danced in about 5 years. Now I realize that dancing is what truly made me happy.

How am I supposed to rectify this situation when I have all of this time, money, and energy invested in my education? How am I supposed to finish the rest of this semester when the amount of work keeps growing and my concentration is dwindling?

I'm sorry for ranting. I am really reaching for the last threads here :confused:

Thanks for all of your kind words and advice in advance

--A

Hopefully home to Disney in August.

DVC2004
04-03-2007, 09:11 AM
It certainly sounds like you have alot on your plate! Hang in there- you are almost done with your program. Maybe you could go out dancing one evening? Just so you can get the break you need but not impose on your time and finances? I am not sure what type of dancing you do, so maybe that won't work, but something to tide you over until you have more time? Sending pixie dust!

Jeri Lynn
04-03-2007, 10:08 AM
How much longer time-wise will it take for you to finish up your degree. If you have 17 credits left to take, could you take a little more time and take one less class to free up a little time for you to have some enjoyment?

SandmanGStefani24
04-03-2007, 11:50 AM
fortunately for me, I have the ability to mentally "turn off" for a little while when doing one of my hobbies. (PS2, aviation studies, music, intercot) What helped me the most during times of stress was to spend 30 minutes or so doing one of these, either at night before bed or between chores/tasks. I used to smoke, but when I quit that I substituted my smoke time for hobby time. Try setting up a mini-studio in a corner of your room to get yourself moving. (mirror, free weights, ect) If you can break for a few minutes for some exercises or simple routine steps to get the blood flowing it will do wonders. (good stress reliever too!) Hope this helps!

Ian
04-03-2007, 12:07 PM
I can't agree enough about the hobbies ...

Life for me has been pretty stressful this year, too. The mortgage business is in the tank, so we got no raises and no bonuses this year (i.e. financial stress). Then there's the uncertainty of layoffs, downsizing, etc.

Plus we have a new baby, which is (of course) always stressful to some degree.

I had to compensate somehow, so I started taking guitar lessons. I self-taught years ago, but I never was very good so I figured I'd pick it back up again. Let me tell you ... it's a great stress buster!

Exercise is, of course, the other great way to blow off steam. Plug in your iPod and go for a 30 minute walk. You'll be amazed how great you feel when you're done!

SBETigg
04-03-2007, 12:27 PM
Hang in there! I know it's hard and the stress is probably weighing on you, but just think ahead. Take a few minutes to envision your five year plan. It won't always be this hard. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will be glad you worked so hard once you're done with school and it all pays off.

Also, take mini-breaks in your head. Sounds weird, I know, but just close your eyes now and then, breathe deep, and imagine yourself somewhere else or doing what you love. And plan to add dance back into your schedule just as soon as you can. You will get through this!

Llamaface23
04-03-2007, 08:53 PM
thanks for your replies guys. I am trying to hard to take it one step at a time but there is never enough to finish anything. I feel like I will never be able to get out from underneath all of this work It is also confounded because I truly wish I was dancing (I took tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, etc. for as long as I could remember).

Have any of you guys made a commitment to one career and then backed out to pursue your passion? what was it like, and what can I expect?

ElenitaB
04-03-2007, 10:12 PM
Finishing up your degree is a stressful thing to do. There is a degree of uncertainty involved in leaving what you've always known (academia) and heading out to the "real world." I would truly recommend that you finish your degree as you're close to doing so. You can always decide to change careers after you give your previously chosen choice a trial. Once you're actually practicing you will have time for your dancing (I promise). Right now you're just in a real pressure cooker.

That said, when I was finishing my dissertation I made sure that I got up early every day to get in some "me" time. That usually involved a run or a long walk, preferably somewhere where I could see the horizon (I was in La Jolla so that was a pretty easy thing to accomplish... here in NYC it's a bit harder). Is there anyway you could get some studio time to dance?

In answer to your question, I did graduate and decided to change careers altogether. Although I don't regret the decision, I think I would have regretted not finishing my degree when I was so close to finishing. Now, several years later, I do wish I had pursued a different course of study that presented itself in my second year of grad school... but that's a whole other thread. ;)

Good luck with your decision, and remember that you're only a few months away from finishing. (And don't be afraid to be creative once you do start practicing... movement is an important part of physical, emotional and mental well-being. You can be a trail blazer.)

MsMin
04-03-2007, 11:03 PM
Dance is such a great stress reliever. Great thing is you can move some furniture aside and indugle @ home. It's always great to have a dance class while you're in grad school.
I agree, don't give up on grad school. I know there are times that you feel that you'll never get to sleep. It gets easier when you finish your coursework (or majority of) and concentrate on your thesis.
Have you committed to a thesis yet? or do you have a program that doesn't require one?
Hang in there. You may find a way to combine your two loves into one career. My thesis was in ED (eating disorders) if I worked in that I would see many dancers. An example of how you can combine the two. You don't have to give up one for the other.
I know a relationship is like another courseload at times with more demands. Sometimes a partner has to be able to sacrafice time with you to help you accomplish your dreams.
Hang in there.

mickeys_princess_mom
04-03-2007, 11:47 PM
I can't agree enough about the hobbies ...

Life for me has been pretty stressful this year, too. The mortgage business is in the tank, so we got no raises and no bonuses this year (i.e. financial stress). Then there's the uncertainty of layoffs, downsizing, etc.

Plus we have a new baby, which is (of course) always stressful to some degree.

I had to compensate somehow, so I started taking guitar lessons. I self-taught years ago, but I never was very good so I figured I'd pick it back up again. Let me tell you ... it's a great stress buster!

Exercise is, of course, the other great way to blow off steam. Plug in your iPod and go for a 30 minute walk. You'll be amazed how great you feel when you're done!
Good advice,here! Spent the afternoon in the doctor's office due to stress-related cardio symptoms. Not fun. Listen to your head, or your body will start talking to you soon. Maybe you have a classmate that could also use a dance workout with you once a week. Rx: Laugh and move it! :hug:

SBETigg
04-04-2007, 12:25 PM
I didn't get that far in my education and completely change course, but I knew that I wanted to do something that involved a lot of risk, rejection, and luck to get in and I followed my heart. There are times when I have regretted not going further with the education to have something more solid to "fall back on." I have a bachelors in English Lit, and stopped there. Now I'm doing well with my writing career but...

To be honest, if not for my husband, I could not have survived with my current career choice-- and that is not a position any woman wants to be in. I love my husband and I have been very blessed and very lucky. But it doesn't always work out that way, and who wants to rely on someone else to pay the bills? I took big chances, and not just with me, but with a family to consider. Your options are definitely more solid and more potentially secure with the completion of your education, and you are SO close!

You're overwhelmed. It happens. It does not last. If you're looking at your long range plans and thinking you will honestly never be happy in your chosen field, that's something to consider- but you haven't really been there yet. If you're thinking you would be that much happier in dance, reason it through. Is it a decision based on your current unhappiness with your situation or a realistic plan for something you could achieve and regret not following? Really give it thought before you leave something you have already worked so hard for and devoted a lot of yourself to achieve.

Disney Doll
04-04-2007, 05:05 PM
17 grad hours in one semester and you work! No wonder you are feeling overwhelmed. Can you withdraw from some of those classes and plan for a later graduation? I know that you probably don't want to do that, but sometimes it is best to slow down and get all you can out of each course. As it is, you probably aren't able to give each course your best effort. This may sound harsh, but if you really want an education instead of a credential, slow down and take the time to really absorb and process all the new knowledge you should be gaining. If you cannot withdraw or are totally opposed to it, at least give yourself a mental health day. It may seem like you don't have time, but take the time anyway. You are bound to be more productive once you are less stressed.

Llamaface23
04-04-2007, 09:41 PM
I seriously agree with all of you. Yes. I am completely overworked. Yes. I am so close and I need to finish. Yes. I haven't been able to dedicate the appropriate effort into my classes because there are so many.

I am trying my best to just keep working through it all but more importantly I am trying to envision myself doing psychology for the rest of my life when there is still a part of me (most of me?) that identifies as a dancer. Its convoluted. I know I am taking time off before I even consider applying to doctoral programs. I most likely will work part time in the mental health field come September but I think that I need to give dance a shot. If I dont, I will regret it. This has always been at the back of my mind, even when the stress and anxiety wasn't this bad! It is sad that I have to now realize that dance has been and always will be my passion--it is even sadder to realize this now after 5 years of not taking care of my body and myself. I need to do this, I just need to get through school first =( And then maybe later on down the road I will be able to return to psychology with a better appreciation for it--maybe I won't resent it anymore.

-A