7 Reasons Ohioans Are Stressed

7 Reasons Ohioans Are Stressed

Ohio has some of most stressed cities in America, but why?


According to Psychology Today, stress is both "a killer and a life force" with some stress needed for stimulation to keep us engaged in the world but chronic and repeated stress causing physical distress. The World Health Organization has even called stress "the health epidemic of the 21st Century."

More than 100 million Americans are affected by stress. Recently, Ohio was ranked 7 out of 15 for 'stressed-out states' by CBS, with a 41.9% of citizens reporting stress. While you wouldn't expect Ohioans to be so high up on the list, Ohioans clearly have something to be stressed about.

In a ranking of "Most & Least Stressed Cities in America" by WalletHub, Ohio had many top ranking cities including Cleveland at #3, Toledo at #5, Cincinnati at #16, Akron at #22, and Columbus at #73. In terms of financial stress, Cleveland was ranked #2, Toledo was #7, and Akron was #11. For family stress, Cleveland was ranked #6 and Toledo was #14. For 'health & safety stress', Toledo was ranked #5, Cleveland was #7, and Cincinnati was #8.

As a native Toledoan, I can attest to the fact that we, Ohioans, have many things to be stressed about. Even Twenty Øne Piløts, alternative duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun from Columbus, are known for their hit "Stressed Out" (the music video was even filmed at Dun's childhood home in Columbus)!

So here are just some reasons why Ohioans are stressed in addition to financial, family, as well as health and safety:

1. The Weather

Ohio weather is known for being unpredictable and dramatic. Nothing describes Ohio weather than snow on the first day of spring. We often experience all 4 seasons in the same week, with us wearing shorts one day and our coat the next.

2. The Roads & Construction

In Ohio, we don't have traditional seasons. We have orange barrel season and no orange barrel season. Our roads are in desperate need of repair, but road construction is slow and never seems to be done. In "Tear In My Heart", you can tell that Twenty Øne Piløts are from Ohio because they understand the struggle "to avoid the holes so you sleep fine" and "cursing my government / for not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement."

3. Lebron James

Ohioans don't know how to feel anymore about Akron, Ohio native basketball player Lebron. He was a hero on the Cleveland Cavs, then a traitor when he left, then he returned to the Cavs as a hero, and now has left us again for Los Angeles Lakers. Not as many fans are as angry with Lebron leaving the Cavs this second time, especially since he has established his roots in Ohio. Lebron has recently created the I Promise School to serve low-income and at-risk students in Akron, whose school system is behind.

4. Failing School Systems

Ohio is rated by WalletHub as #27 out of 50 for the best schools in America, but Ohio still has school systems that are failing. Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo area schools are notorious for being ranked very poorly for their school performance and often receiving Fs on the state report cards. (At least Lebron took notice and is working to bring about change…)

5. Drug Addictions & Overdoses

While Ohio is not in the top 10 states, WalletHub has ranked them as #3 for 'drug use & addiction'. Ohio was also ranked 2nd in 2016 by the CDC for deaths due to drug overdose, with 39.1 per 100,000. In 2017, Dayton was also known as having the highest opioid abuse deaths and is considered to be the heart of America's opioid epidemic.

6. Sex Trafficking

According to Attorney General Mike DeWine, the opioid addiction crisis and human trafficking go together because

"Drugs are used to control. Because opioids are so addictive, it makes it easier for a pimp, makes it easier for a human-trafficker to control a victim. They control a victim's income, money, but they also control the drugs."

In 2018, Toledo ranked fourth in the nation as a human trafficking hub. So why Toledo and why Ohio?

"We have a lot of, five major highways, connected to Ohio. We also have a high demand for services her in Ohio, unfortunately."

7. Brock Turner is an Ohioan

Just when America thought we were finally seeing justice, Brock Turner is making news again with the announcement that he and his lawyer are seeking a new trial before a three-judge panel in California on July 24, 2018. Turner's lawyer filed back in December 2017 for a new trial claiming that Turner did not get a fair trial back in March 2016 when he was convicted for the sexual assault of Emily Doe. Turner sexually assaulted Emily back in 2015 after attending a frat party at Stanford University.

Although the jury saw through his excuses and 100% convicted him, the judge gave him a lenient sentence of only 6 months. After serving 3 months of his sentence, he was released for good behavior and returned to live with his parents back in Dayton, Ohio. At least he was required to register as a sex offender in Ohio.

If Turner wins this new trial with his argument of only wanting outercourse, he would no longer be considered a rapist and not have to register as a sex offender. I am uncomfortable knowing a rapist like him lives in Ohio, let alone could soon not have to register as a sex offender.

While this is not a comprehensive list, this is just some of the reasons Ohioans have to be stressed. What else about Ohio makes you stressed?

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26.2 Signs You're A Distance Runner

You know you're a distance runner when...

If you're a distance runner, chances are it's become a way of life for you. You've become less afraid of feet, get excited over finding new running routes, have to do laundry 3x more than normal, and you've been permantently marked with the word crazy on your forehead. You know you're a distance runner when...

1. You're always hungry

2. You know exactly what the distance is around your neighborhood - even if you were to take a different route

3. You know your resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, and exactly what your heart rate is at all parts of your run

4. You pack more running clothes than regular clothes when going on vacation

5. And then you spend more time planning out running routes and potential races than looking up other things to do while on vacation

6. You have at least one drawer dedicated to just running clothes

7. And probably a whole cabinet dedicated to running gear and fuel

8. You have a line in your budget for “race entry fees/race travel"

9. Your friends know that if they call or text your after 9 PM, they won't get an answer until morning

10. They also know not to question your inability to go out if you have a long run in the morning

11. You check the weather probably more than meteorologists, especially the week leading up to a big race

12. You use the words “8 miles” and “Easy” in the same sentence

13. You no longer hate porta pottys. In fact, there have been times when you’ve been very happy to see one

14. You have a routine of preparation the night before a long run or race

15. You don’t blink an eye at $100 for running shoes, but you have to think about $100 for any other shoes

16. Kinesio Tape is frequently all over your body

17. You’ve woken up at 5 AM or earlier to beat the heat and humidity in the summer

18. Your holiday wish list can be fulfilled at any running or sporting goods store

19. Your laundry basket is 90% active gear 10% everything else

20. There's something to be said about the excitement when you finish running a distance you've never reached before

21. You know every runner in your community

22. You hear a song that used to be on your running playlist and immediately flashback to a time it motivated you on a run

23. You're more upset that an injury prevents you from running rather than what it does to your body

24. You don't mind running in the rain

25. Running has become a family affair

26. Getting a new PR is more exciting than your birthday

26.2. When someone tells you that running a marathon is crazy, you’re just kind of like, well, yeah, that’s the point.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap.io

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Please Know That Being Diagnosed With PCOS Is Not The Same As Living With It

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2018, but it wasn't until months later that I realized what it’s actually like living with it everyday.


In October 2017, tired of counting calories and never seeing the scale move, I decided to try the latest fad diet: Keto.

It worked.

I lost almost 40 pounds in half the time it had taken to lose 20. I had lost nearly 10 inches from waist and hips. I went from a size 18 to a size 12.

Getting into ketosis was hard, but once I was there, I felt incredible: better mental clarity and focus, astronomical amounts of energy, regular body functions. Don't get me wrong, this diet is hard. No carbs, no colorful vegetables, no pasta. The struggle was real. But what it was doing for my body was worth it.

Except for one little thing: my periods had lost their minds. I'm talking bleeding for three weeks straight, no break. Coming and going in particular pattern, sometimes twice a month. Side note: this is not normal. In the world of Keto, it's supposed to help exponentially with fertility and hormone balances; people use this diet as a way to reverse hormone imbalances, PCOS, and infertility. This was virtually unheard of in all of my support groups.

Months and months go by with no relief. My doctor can't figure out why everything is so wonky. She takes me off the pill and things get better - slightly. Any improvement at this point was a victory.

She finally gets my ultrasounds back and she says "Well that's a surprise!" Cue my questioning look of confusion. "Umm care to share?" "Your ovaries have the characteristic look of PCOS. But you don't have any of the usual symptoms. I'm guessing the Keto diet was helping in it's own way. I recommend staying on the diet, let nature re-regulate your natural hormones, and we will re-evaluate in a few months."

I was frustrated, but this was totally do-able. I had been living this lifestyle for months, so I didn't foresee it as an issue. But then my kidneys starting reacting to the diet, and that doctor recommended I come off it. Obviously I wasn't going to jeopardize my health, so I started a low carb version of the Mediterranean diet.

I went in fully expecting to gain some weight back, because I was reintroducing carbs when I had gone largely without them for over a year. I knew that this would happen, and I didn't let myself get discouraged when the scale started going forward.

What I did not expect was to have my PCOS start running lose with my entire life and sanity.

Don't get me wrong — my periods were normal again, but everything else went AWOL. My hormones were going up and down of their own volition, we are talking sobbing hysterically over a butterfly commercial one minute and then fuming with anger over a car ad the next.

I started experiencing pelvic pain that feels like cramps only not all the time and without rhyme or reason.

My hair became uncontrollably oily to the point where I had to wash it everyday like clockwork; it started to thin and fall out.

I also started getting darker hair everywhere. I'm naturally an incredibly fair-skinned person so having black hair anywhere stands out like a sore thumb.

I felt like I wasn't in control of anything going on with my body. I felt like a hairy, unattractive monster. Everything that made me feel attractive and desirable was slowly being taken away from me piece by piece.

I had been living with PCOS for nearly six months, but I hadn't realized what it was like to actually live with it. I thought it was just irregular periods, but it is so much more than just a weird period.

I went back to the doctor, and she explained to me again how PCOS works, and how she didn't think traditional treatment options were the best thing for me. "Go back on the Keto diet. You were having incredible success with managing your symptoms. Go back to that."

Going back has not been easy. When I first started Keto, it wasn't easy, but I got into it quickly. I've been trying since January 12th to get back into it, and it hasn't worked.

I'm now in a place where I need to do it — for my health, for my sanity, for my self-esteem — and I physically can't. I do exactly everything the same as before, and it's not working. I'm trying to move away from the mentality of doing it for weight loss, and move toward positive thinking about how it's what's best for my body and my health.

My PCOS has forced me to have militant control over everything I eat. I can't simply enjoy food anymore. Everything that I chose to eat directly relates back to my PCOS and what that particular food can do for me. I think about everything that I put into my body, and the potential it has for either healing my body or harming it.

I see a piece of cake and I smell it, and picture in my mind what it tastes like. But I know that if I eat that piece of cake, I will bloat, get a stomach ache, and have to start back from square one the next day.

I cut out the carbs. I say no to cake. No potatoes. No pasta. I eat only green vegetables. I drink coffee that has nothing but heavy cream. I try to do intermittent fasting for 15 hours a day.

And I hope that it works. I hope that today will be the day I can get my life back on track. That today will be the day Keto works its magic.

I hope.

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