Tag Archive: stress

I’ve fallen into the cycle again– somehow despite my (34!) New Year’s Resolutions to have more fun, do more yoga, be nicer to myself, and all those other things, I’ve ended up embracing my old habits only two weeks into the year. I think there are two extremes when it comes to resolution making: those of us who swear to do more and fall short, and those of us who swear to do less and fall into the pit of overachievement again.

New Year’s is a dangerous time for those of us who measure our self worth by external means (who we are to others and what we accomplish that’s tangible). In satisfied with being, we seek to define our value by doing as much as we can–and ignoring the signs that more is not in fact more.

It did not take many days of sleeping less and attempting to juggle five jobs for me to reach hysterical levels of exhaustion. I wish I could tell you I stopped what I was doing and played with my dog, or took a bubble bath, or read my favorite book. I did none of those things. I cried, and yelled, and I went to work anyway.

My biggest struggle this year will not be creating new habits or crossing goals off of my list. It will be treating myself as a priority and making sanity-boosting activities a non-negotiable. From here on out, that’s what I’d like to track and reward myself for: the things that I do for myself that no one else would do, that won’t be recognized, and that have no tangible bottom line benefit.

Are you too nice or too hard on yourself? What’s your intangible bottom line benefit this year?


Photo courtesy of DiscoveryHealth.com.

In a world that now has a pill for just about everything that you can think of, we pay surprisingly little attention to the effects of stress on the body. An overwhelming number of Americans suffer from anxiety and stress-related disorders, the presence of which being a contributing factor to the increasing rates of heart disease as well.

Of course, there is a multi-billion dollar market out there when it comes to helping people feel a little more at ease, whether it comes in the form of pills, alcohol, narcotics, massage, acupuncture, yoga, day spas, television or sex. Hell, the country is more than a few steps along the road to the complete nationwide legalization of marijuana, a drug that is prized for its ability to put people at ease.

The most valuable thing to do, however, is to look at your lifestyle, especially when it comes down to anxiety. Chances are, you’re guilty of one of these these sneaky stressors:

1. Comparing yourself to others.
2. Mismanaging your resources (money, time, relationships).
3. Not exercising (I know, but who has time?)

I limit this list to three because if you’re anything like me, you love to compare yourself to a list and find ways to pick your life apart. Stop it. Stop it now. These three things are the greatest source of unhappiness in life.

You are you and the sooner you stop hoping that you’ll wake up and be someone else, the happier you’ll be. Yes, you’re fucked up and lazy and have ass pimples. Someone will do you anyway.

While everything great in life comes from expanding yourself beyond your comfort zone, much of unhappiness comes from that as well. If your experiences are for the sake of looking good or avoiding looking bad, you will be extremely stressed and extremely unhappy.

And maintaining your physical well-being is crucial to your happiness. Self-improvement (not only physical) is a reminder that you believe in your potential enough to invest in it and make yourself a priority. The saying goes, “if Mama’s not happy, no one’s happy.” You can’t bless others with what you don’t have yourself.

Do one of these things make sense in your life? If not, what is the greatest stressor in your life, and how do you want to alleviate it?