I work with a lot of anxious little kiddos in my practice. I’ve recently noticed that anxiety is on the up – for sure. You’ve probably noticed too.
“What caught him off guard though was that at some level he felt ‘programmed’ to bring conflict and drama into the relationship. Even where there was no evidence of cheating he suspected it. Even though he loved her free spirit he felt he should curtail it in case she ran off. Even though he admired her intelligence he found himself calling her stupid. When things were good he was waiting for something to go wrong – enjoying peace and fun felt alien and weird.So if it didn’t ‘go’ wrong, he’d make it go wrong.”
It’s 4am. You’re exhausted, but sleep won’t come. You’re replaying a conversation you had earlier and coming up with things you could’ve said, clever things, better things… and now you worry about the consequences. Then you move onto that crack in the ceiling – what IS that? Is it settlement? What if it’s a sign that you’re house is built on a sinkhole?
As long as the thoughts are bad enough to trigger anxiety they get a place in your private 4am terror fest. Been there? Yes…same. It feels awful.
Well, that flew didn’t it??!
So, the exams will be over in three days and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress? Nah – done, distant memory, ‘be grand now!”
And it is done for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has already kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume all students are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.
So you might feel a little less inclined to talk about it because at some level you believe you should be calm now. And thinking we should be OK is a great way to silence ourselves when we’re absolutely not OK.
But it’s fine, really. Post-exam stress is absolutely normal, albeit unpleasant.
Let’s look at how to deal with it with some ‘Do and Don’t’ suggestions: