Since the day Rihanna and her umbrella took over our iPods, RiRi has continued to put out killer albums, make buzz-worthy videos, and perform sold-out shows—all while clubbing it up with famous friends to stay in the spotlight. I’m exhausted even thinking about her schedule, which is why I wasn’t surprised at all when I read this morning that Rihanna suffered a meltdown before a recent show in Ireland and is essentially a giant stress case right now.
It’s inevitable that some jerkface gossip mongers will make fun of Rihanna for needing a break, but I think we need to go easy on her—and even encourage her to go easy on herself. I mean, gurlfriend has been working non-stop since she was 16! And even though going out clubbing might seem fun for some of us, it’s actually part of her job to keep her image out there at all the hottest spots—even when she might rather be at home in fuzzy slippers.
But it’s not just RiRi who’s about to crack under pressure. A UCLA study out this year shows American girls have the highest stress levels in 25 years—with nearly one in three college freshmen saying she often felt totally overwhelmed during her senior year in high school. Crazy, but it makes sense when you think about how girls are expected not only to go to school and get solid grades, but then to take advanced classes, get into the right colleges, and earn amazing scholarships—all while meeting the right people, going to fab parties, wearing the right clothes, and generally impressing the hell out of everybody.
Some girls make it look easy, juggling so many responsibilities and dealing with a boat-load of stress without ever even letting on that they’re overwhelmed—but that’s not good either. Stress isn’t just some abstract thing that weak people whine about, it’s actually super dangerous. Research shows people who live with extreme stress lose brain cells and memory function (hello dropping grades!), get sick more often, are more likely to gain weight (goodbye skinny jeans!), and in short, have a much harder time just enjoying the fun stuff in life.
It’s unrealistic to think that we can just ditch our responsibilities and our hectic schedules, but I do think it’s possible for us to deal with stress a little better. My advice to Rihanna (and all the rest of us, myself included!) is that we should actually build some super chill time into our schedules. Once or twice a week, just block off a little window and say it’s for Y-O-U only. Take a bath, go for a run, listen to RiRi and relate. Whatever you do, just make sure to take care of you. You’re too fabulous to burn out.
Do you feel overwhelmed by school stress, drama at home, or friends? How do you unwind when life takes a detour to crazytown? Let us know in comments.