Tag Archives: stress

Finding My Way

Morning Walk.

Operation: Stress Relief is going swimmingly so far. It’s not quite a full fledged operation yet, and surely it will be a work in progress for a long time, but you know I always love a good project and what’s more fun than making your mental health a project? (HA. SO MANY THINGS! SO MANY THINGS ARE MORE FUN!)

I’ve been trying to be a little bit easier on myself. I’ve started and ended my days this week with some walks and it is amazing what 60 minutes of alone time (well, alone-with-dog-time) and nature can do to calm my hamster wheel of a brain.

Clouds in the water!

Sometimes just removing yourself from all of this Life Stuff that feels so important and being quiet with yourself makes you realize that your day job, or the demands of blogging, or your skirt size, or the amount of money in your bank account aren’t the ONLY things worth thinking about.

I’ve been trying to balance work with self-care. Impromptu haircuts, dog snuggles, afternoon naps, ordering salads to-go even though I have all the ingredients in my fridge just so I can have a little bit of free time — all of these things have felt like little presents to myself in the past week.
Snuggly Work Buddy.

I’ve also been doing lots of reading about stress and hormones, because that’s what I do. I like information. It calms me. And when I’m looking to learn something new — about the world or about myself — there is no place I like to turn more than inside the pages of a brand new book. I’m completely in love with everything about this book and want to buy it for everyone I know. But then I would be that weird friend who hands out hormone books, and I’m not quite ready to be that friend just yet.

I’ve been making an effort, little by little, to reach out to those friends I love too. Weeks of being behind in email were taking it’s toll and I’m committed to getting out of that cycle, because good friends are so, so SO important.

The path to stress relief #eveningwalk

Mostly I’m just kind of meandering. And despite that fact that my Inner Control Freak usually hates that feeling, I’m trying my hardest to just get comfortable in my discomfort. Just holding steady and trying to find my way.


Rejecting The Cult of Busy

I’m not apologizing, but the fact is I haven’t updated here too much in the past couple of weeks. (I have been updating the ol’ Facebook page a few times a day though, so I’m not totally MIA. Come over! Hear my daily drivel!  Wow, I’m really selling it, aren’t I?) You see, the weather has been getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and as such, I’ve just felt compelled to do a little bit less. And what do you know? I’m actually listening instead of pressuring myself.

A year ago I was struggling with the idea of doing less. It was hard for me to determine when it felt right to scale back and when it felt lazy. Being a Busy Person Who Accomplished A Lot defined me. I was scared of what would happen if I tried to do less. But I was more scared of what would happen if I didn’t stop trying to keep up that pace.  For my health.  For my relationship.


Today, I’m in an entirely different place with how I feel about doing ALL! THE! THINGS! and just being busy in general. And I’m kind of shocked to say that it feels really good. From the outside my life doesn’t appear to involve a lot of chandelier swinging or hip eatery visiting or fantastic weekend trips. And I’m sure to some this is a real travesty.  But what it does have a whole lot more of  is balance, and for me that is a GIANT victory.  I have taken my priorities (improving my health, preparing to plan a wedding/have a baby, prioritizing stress management) and crafted a life that actually reflects those goals. LIGHT BULB!!!! It’s funny how sometimes the simplest concepts take years to actually make sense in practice.

I’ve always thought one of these days I would sit down and write about my experience with this Busyness As My Identity Disease, because I think many people suffer from it.  In fact, our country actually lauds it — especially for women…don’t even get me started on this cult of She Can Do It All.  She can’t.  And if she knows what is good for her, she doesn’t want to.  But this morning as I was clicking through my Google Reader (do I need to be panicking about my reader? Somebody tell me.  I am slow.) I read something that I could have written.  And so instead of writing my own manifesto, I’m just going to point you in the direction of the one I read this morning.  Uh…WINNING!

The Silliness of Busyness. (A super worthwhile read, IMO.)

Some of the finer (and more relatable to me) points:

You may be lost in the silliness of busyness if…

* Your usual response to “how are you?” is “so busy”, “crazy busy” or “busy but good”
* Your busy life keeps you up at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done
* You spend time complaining about how busy you are
* You make list after list to make sure you don’t forget anything during your busy day
* You use a phone in the car because “it’s the only time you have to talk”

Honestly, you all. I would have answered yes to all of this a year and a half a ago. I still find it sort of shocking that there is another way to live. I mean yes, we are all going to have periods of time where there is too much on our plate, many things to juggle, or a super busy day here and there. But for me, the key has been acknowledging that there is a difference between those things I just mentioned and being all consumed with the cult of busy and letting that hamster wheel be your identity.  That has been a process.  Well, truth be told it still is a process.

When you decide that it is ok to live life your way, you can stop being busy and start doing things that matter. You can talk about your meaningful day instead of ranting about your busy schedule.

It’s just that:

A decision.
A commitment.
A re-prioritization.

And it can be done.

What’s important to you?
What do you wish your life looked like?
Is what you are doing getting you to that goal? 

If not, make a change.  There are some interesting links and food for thought over there to evaluate where you are and what you can do to get yourself off the busy train.

So anyway, that was my long way of saying,  hello!  Don’t you look nice!  I’ll be back here shortly posting on the regular: talking about what I’m cooking, discussing some recent fitness progress and perhaps showing you a few of my latest creative endeavors. But for now I’m just relaxing because that is what feels right. And I have to say, Damn it feels good to be a (Couch Ass Dent Causing) gangsta!

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