“Oh my God, I’m so stressed” is a phrase we’ve all uttered an exhausting number of times, whether it be caused by the impending doom of midterms or an overflow of backlogged homework assignments and essays. Stress Awareness Day on April 16 this year is meant to encourage taking a break from our productivity- and efficiency-obsessed lives and relax. We at the Clog, however, would like to politely —scratch that — irately disagree with this sentiment. While UC Berkeley students are known to be “perfectionists,” and this certainly lends itself to an antsy demeanor, we at the Clog believe we could all use a little less serenity and lot more anxiety in our lives. We’ve compiled a list of quick stress-inducing tasks to supplement your daily routine, which will add a healthy dose of psychological agitation to lives of even the most uptight and paranoid of people.
1. Volunteer to flyer as often as possible.
Feeling the icy stares of your fellow students as you try to accost them with the flyers for your least favorite club are just what you need to start out a perfectly tense morning. Every one of your eager smiles and colorful leaflets will be met with grunts of annoyance and displeasure. This is just what you need to make yourself drown in a sea of malaise for the rest of the day. Forsake that time spent sprawled out on Memorial Glade for the hustle and bustle of Sproul Plaza. Don’t bask in the warm spring sun. Instead, be jostled by the average exasperated students hurrying their way to class. With any luck, their irritation will rub off on you.
2. Browse WebMD frequently.
With WedMD, you’re just clicks and keystrokes way from finding out that you have an incurable and fatal disease. Fingers crossed that it’s caused by one of those antibiotic-resistant superbugs. One staff member of the Daily Clog wanted to figure out why she had been feeling nauseated and fatigued recently. WebMD’s symptom checker confirmed that these could be signs of either prostate cancer or pregnancy. When asked about the results, she replied, “It was really enlightening. Prostate cancer and pregnancy both list frequent urination as one of the top symptoms. You know, the more I thought about it, I realized I really do pee a lot — like once every four hours.” Oh boy, was she ever worried. Don’t forget to inform your physician of your findings on WebMD. He or she will applaud your resourcefulness.
3. Begin an intensive workout program.
Exercise is commonly cited as an excellent way to “destress,” but we think it can also be a lovely way to induce stress. Decide to partake in the P90X program. We like its association with the word “extreme.” Soon you’ll be sneering at all the Zen yogis as you huff and puff your way through an intense workout. The overstimulation and excitement that your body will experience will be exhilarating. The real key to making this the perfect stress-inducing mechanism is to systematically skip a couple of your planned workouts. This will inevitably lead to guilt and self-doubt. Perfect! Nothing’s more stressful than feeling like a lesser human being.
4. Adopt a street youth.
A parent-child relationship naturally has arguments built into it, making it the perfect source of some extra stress for your already hectic life. Being a parent is a 24-hour job with absolutely no monetary gain. You thought that summer internship was bad? Well, that won’t even compare with this. Just invite your local neighborhood ruffian to come under your wing as your adopted child. Mentions of free food should be sufficient means to entice him or her. If you’re lucky, he’ll have just begun puberty. His hormonal imbalances will cause him to always be on the edge of picking a fight. He’ll be sure to indignantly complain that “you’re not his real parent” and “you’re such a hypocrite.” These will only add to the insurmountable amount of insecurity you already have.
Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].