I heard the saying, Pleasantly Frustrating, the other day in class in reference to the level students should learn. Research shows that students should be presented with tasks that are slightly outside of their comfort zone (zone of proximal development for you education people reading) for optimal learning to take place. Thus the task should feel challenging, but not impossible which will lead them to feel pleasantly frustrated by the learning process.
It all got me thinking of grad school and whether I’m pleasantly frustrated. If you asked me last week I would have chucked a book at your head and told you to go shove something incredibly painful up your ass. I was more cripplingly frustrated. Right now, I’m more comfortably frustrated. I’ve become complacent with the constant level of stress in my life. But throw a wrench in the mix and that’s when you get me ALL out of whack.
But I wasn’t always experiencing such a stressful life. Like for instance, in this photo I’m in Year 1 of grad school dancing away, loving life.
(Side note: this photo also makes me realize I need to make an appointment and get my highlights touched up, they look good here). But anyways I was happy, and the perpetual bags under my eyes haven’t made their way to my appearance yet.
Now fast forward to 3 years later and here is where you find me spending 80% of my time.
Hair in a ponytail, scarf, and a perfectly mismatched outfit (I think I even had striped pajama pants on too) probably running statistics and trying to find some obscure reference to cite in a paper. And sadly I wore part of this outfit combination to a doctor’s appointment that morning, which the doctor lovingly told me I need to “relax” and “breathe” and my physical symptoms will go away. Even better part of that appointment was when I told her what I was going to school for and she actually laughed out loud in my face, and said “Oh well you should know exactly why you’re feeling stressed!” Ha. ha. ha. Funny therapist joke, do they teach you those in med school?
I know the craziness will eventually die down and be replaced by stress that at least comes with a pay check. And for the time being I try to find other ways become pleasantly frustrated by doing things like spinning, cooking, drinking a good glass of wine, laughing so hard my eyes are watering, watching the Real Housewives of Wherever, and going out to dinner with a fabulous man 🙂
So I ask you lovely readers, help a girl out and share with me your best way to de-stress?