I’m taking a class called Professional Issues right now, and in that class we talk about…well, professional issues…certification, licensure, burnout, stress. This past week, or maybe it was two weeks ago, the professor talked about stress in terms of resource allocation, which made a lot of sense to me.
She described stress as an imbalance between the demands you feel and the resources you have. I previously had a notion that stress was an accumulation, or something heavy, and always progressing or regressing, but I didn’t see it in a sort of give and take, back and forth mode. But this makes far more sense to me experientially.
There are times when you have heavy things on you, and it’s fine. You have the support, the internal resources, etc. to deal with it. There are other times when your resources are extremely limited, maybe you’re sick or hurting, and there’s nothing to balance the stress and someone’s tone of voice can lead to tears.
I’m so there. Not tears, but overwhelmed. The demands right now are overwhelming the resources I have to deal with them. It’s temporary, yes. But a very ugly feeling. I’m still trying to take care of myself, but finding that recently the things that should help mange the demands are becoming demands themselves…exercise, eating well, church, devotions, etc.
And, at the end of it all, this too shall pass. The next few weeks will be over soon, as will the semester. With the cholera epidemic raging in Haiti, I am reminded that it’s a luxury to be stressed out about school work and obligations instead of food and shelter.