Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Reflection on Stress

My critique group is off for the summer, so now is a perfect time to reflect on some of the chapters I have already posted.

If you are considering applying to law school, you absolutely need an effective way to deal with stress. Some people hang out with friends and laugh all night. Some people play video games. Others go drinking and party all night. That never really worked for me, but in retrospect, if there is anything I have learned from my experiences in law school, it is that stress is an ongoing part of life, and I need a better way of dealing with it.

This morning I read a section of Mike Walden's e-book, "Acne No More" on how to deal with stress to reduce acne. One sentence really resounded with me when I read it: "To find the right balance between working and playing is almost critical to your mental health and overall well-being" (p. 202).

My sister told me the other day that I am no fun, and I don't know how to have fun. Sometimes it feels like that is true, but it really isn't. When I was in law school, I felt guilty for enjoying my down time with my friends. I didn't want to give myself permission to laugh and have fun. The weight of the material we were learning and the stress from the cases we read continually jarred at my inner peace. That is no way to live. My friends were able to joke about what was going on, and even make fun of the stupidity of the actions of the people in the cases we read. It sounds mean, but in a way, it was a healthy way of dealing with the stress of learning about those cases.

I took a walk yesterday in the Villagio, an affluent housing development up the hill from my house. As you make your way through the curves of the road, you almost feel like you are in a wind tunnel, but when you get to the top, there are mosaic-inlayed fountains, Italian-villa inspired gates, and beautiful landscaping. I sat under one of the pergolas and literally just smelled the roses, looked at the clouds, and took time to listen to the wind rustling through the leaves. It was absolutely beautiful, peaceful, and yes--fun. We are very lucky to be in this world God created. Sometimes I lose sight of that while I am working behind closed doors in over air-conditioned buildings and in artificial light.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your Forth of July! 


  1. Gina
    Very nice post!
    If you ever want to try something that is really good at relieving stress try the Sedona Method. Have you ever heard of it?
    I just listened to a cd on it. And would like to try it. Sounds like it would really be worth it!

  2. It's not bad to laugh at things. Life is funny, what else are we supposed to do?

    Good article.