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Keep grounded while you hit the ground running

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="440"][/caption] “The older I get the more and more I understand Britney’s 2007 breakdown,” was overheard at Walsh library. This was the year of when Britney Spears shaved her head, leaving many speechless. ABC News published an article which posed the question, “What Caused Britney’s Breakdown?” There was a lot of speculation, but most focused on one: stress. Meredith Grey said it best in Grey’s Anatomy, “Every pressurized system needs a relief valve. There has to be a way to reduce the stress, the tension, before it becomes too much to bear. There has to be a way to find relief because if the pressure doesn’t find a way out, it will make one. It will explode.” Spears may have exploded, but you don’t have to. Sam Hopkins, adjunct professor in the College of Communication and the Arts, said that stress is a pretty normal experience for him. He draws a line between stress that is healthy for him, and stress that is not, to manage it all. “Positive anxiety pushes me to be a better person,” Hopkins said. “Negative anxiety is when I worry about things I can’t change or influence.” He added that it’s about finding a balance and that it’s important to not be overwhelmed by anxiety, positive or negative. Here are some tips to help you stay grounded (and avoid shaving your head) this semester: Exercise Joseph Melillo, a senior biology major, said he stays grounded by going for runs. “It clears my mind and I can focus on what’s important in my life,” Melillo said. Whether it is running, dancing it out, shooting hoops, or playing tennis, Melillo said students should get active this semester to avoid stress. Write away the stress “I love writing and being creative,” Chloe Mullen Wilson, a senior history and Spanish major with minor in women’s studies and philosophy, said. “It helps with all of the stressors around me.” She said journaling and writing down what happened during a day is a key way for her to sort out any feelings she has whether it’s good or bad. Crafting Mikaela Scanlon, a junior finance and management major, said there is a crafty sorority girl hiding inside everyone, just waiting to come out. She added that whether it is DIY on Pinterest or just crafting something original for you, crafting can help a lot with stress. “It is so calming,” Scanlon said. “There’s a reason why they made us do it in preschool… it works.” Staying productive Hopkins advises in the end to stay productive to avoid drowning in your own stress. “This doesn’t just mean stay busy or work all the time,” Hopkins said. “Find something to do that is productive only in its ability to improve well-being. Happiness is a worthy achievement in itself. It requires no additional justification.” Whether it is a podcast, Netflix, exercise, journaling, or crafting, Hopkins said to find what will make you happy and that is what will help you stay grounded. Siobhan McGirl can be reached at


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