MACON, Ga. — In 2016, 71% of working age Americans reported at least one symptom of stress according to the CDC.
One of the big things that causes a lot of stress can be balancing too many responsibilities at once.
With work, school, and trying to pay for basic necessities, Mercer University student Emma Ellis feels the pressure from time to time.
"When we have big tests and stuff I have a breakdown because I have to go to work and I have to study and I just really don't have time for all of that right now," she said.
With so much to deal with it can impact what she does in the classroom.
"I see that I'm doing a little worse on tests and stuff now with all that I have to juggle," Ellis said.
Balancing too much on your plate can also trickle down into your mental health.
"It can cause higher stress levels. leaving you feeling overwhelmed which then can cause changes in your sleep," therapist at The Family Counseling Center of Central Georgia Wachovia Thornton said. "You may feel exhausted or feel like you're not getting the proper sleep you need. It can cause changes in appetite. maybe over eating or not eating healthy meals. or even a lack of an appetite."
Thornton says stress can even cause you to feel disconnected to different aspects of your life.
Stress management, boundary setting at work and self care can each play an important roll in improving your mental health.
"Whatever self care means to you, as long as it's positive, feasible, and not one extra thing you have to do on your to do list," Thornton said.
For Ellis, when she wants some self care, running helps her feel more at ease.
"I find that if I'm kind of struggling or stressing about a quiz or stuff I can just go for a run and come back and I feel way much better," she said.
Thornton also says none of this is done over night.
She says it takes time and consistency and knowing your limits so you know when its time to seek professional help.
If you your routine doesn't work, it's ok to switch it out for something else.
Setting those boundaries as a student is hard, but setting time frames, meal prepping, and having a support system in your time of need is crucial.