Student Dialog - Stress Issues
Sage: Hey Brian, what's up? How are your classes going?
Brian: They're not. No matter how much I try, I just can't seem to get anything done.
Sage: Sounds like you have some stuff happening. Do you have any idea what's up?
Brian: No. I'm just really confused about what I need to know for class and I can't seem to get going. I can't stay focused. I'm really tired and sometimes I even fall asleep in class.
Sage: Why don't you take a break now and I'll try to calm you down a little. I know some stress relief methods.
Brian: That sounds great, if you don't mind helping me out.
Sage: No problem. Let's start with a few questions. Do you think you get enough sleep at night?
Brian: Not really. I have to work and study, so I probably only get about four or five hours if I'm lucky.
Sage: What about exercise? You should try to exercise at least three days a week.
Brian: The only exercise I get is walking back and forth to class.
Sage: Hmmmm... I bet you're eating a lot of junk food, too, right?
Brian: Yeah, I am, but I don't have the time to sit down and eat regular food.
Sage: I know what you mean. I can't tell you how many times I've ordered pizza this month just because I didn't have the time to make myself a real meal. What about your friends? I know it helps me out a lot, when I'm feeling lousy, to talk to my friends. It really cheers me up.
Brian: Well, I used to talk to my friends all the time, but ever since I got into this slump I've sort of lost touch with them. Sometimes someone will call and see if I want to go out.
Sage: Well? Do you go?
Brian: Yeah, sometimes, but not as often as I used to.
Sage: Whoa! When I first met you, you used to party till, well, the cows came home.
Brian: Yeah, now I find myself hanging out in my room a lot just watching TV.
Sage: Is something worrying you? Something making it hard to concentrate?
Brian: I guess I'm worried about grades, work, and especially letting my parents down. The more I think about this stuff, the worse it gets and the less I get done.
Sage: It really sounds like a vicious cycle, and what we need to work on is breaking that cycle so you can start focusing on your work again.
Brian: That sounds great Sage, but how do I get started?
Sage: Actually, you've already started. You see, what you just did is called an awareness check. You found out that you're not getting enough sleep and your eating habits need to change. You need more exercise to stop your body from tiring out, and you need to keep in touch with your friends who support you and keep you in a positive frame of mind. You have something to work with there.
Brian: Wow, I didn't realize that all those things could be connected to how I feel.
Sage: So, how do you usually cope when you feel uptight and stressed out?
Brian: Well, in high school I used to run whenever I felt stressed, but now I think that I really like listening to music and zoning out.
Sage: How do you feel after you're done listening to music?
Brian: I feel a little more relaxed. Sometimes it puts me to sleep.
Sage: Maybe you should run AND listen to music!