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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Anna shares how she deals with life's stresses.

Written by Anna Wilhite | View this authors Twitter page and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

"What is best for different situations differs from person to person"

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One step forward, two steps back. I have to say that this often describes how my days go. At least that’s how I feel they go. I will check one thing off my to do list, such as reading for school, and there are already new assignments to do. I will clean my room and now my parents want me to help clean the kitchen. I will have finally purchased the newest shoes that I wanted and something better comes out. I could name off several more scenarios, but I think you get the point.

How is one to ever get anything done if new stuff keeps coming up faster than they can keep up? We live in a world that often expects us to perform 110%. “Keep going, keep going, keep going!” The numbers of times I have heard this said to me are infinite. For myself personally all this pressure stresses me out more than I need to be. I often perform worse than I want to because I feel so overwhelmed and I don’t have time to keep up with everything. I feel as if I need to be working more than I am and I rarely feel as if it’s acceptable to take a break.

I have always struggled with listening to what my body is saying. But I know how important it is to take the time to realise what my body is asking for. If I let myself get tied down with all the things I have to do I would be absolutely miserable. My mental wellbeing would be horrible if I only did what I needed to be done. 

For example; If I accept the fact my mind is tired and I give it what it needs (a nap) then when I come back to a task, like my homework, I perform much better than I originally would have. If I have an especially bad day I know that hanging out with my friends is the best thing for me. It’s important to also reward yourself when you get something accomplished. I noticed that I would finish a big task and instead of being happy with what I have done I would stress at how far I still had to go. The reward doesn’t have to be set in stone, “I will do this at this certain time!” It can be as simple as taking advantage of when a friend invites you to hang out.

What is best for different situations differs from person to person and also from time to time. It’s knowing that one person cannot possibly get everything done that the world gives them to do and knowing the most important thing to do is listen to what your mental wellbeing needs.

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Published Octo­ber 10th2013
Tags mental health wellbeing stress
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