Manage Your Stress Successfully

I deal with my stress in many ways.  I run, I read, I sleep, I cry, I do yoga, I eat Talenti, I tweet, I blog, and I call my friends or my family.  Sometimes when I am extremely overwhelmed I scream so loud that my throat itches afterwards.  That always makes me feel better but I don’t use that method too often.  Some of these methods are great means of managing stress, while others are not so great.  The most content people in life are those who are able to manage their stress successfully.

I am a high-strung, Type A, Virgo.  All of this makes dealing with stress important because I find stress in very minor things.  For example, I hate that my husband does not put away his clothes that I have sorted, washed, folded and placed in his room.  This brings me so much anxiety because I want everything in the right place all of the time.  I understand that may not happen with kids around and I have dealt with that by putting all of the kids toys in the basement.  My husband does not see the big deal in clothes being in a basket for weeks at a time and no matter how many times I explain my feelings on it, he still does not see the big deal.    I had to come to grips with our different outlooks, close the door to that room, and put that at the bottom of the list of things to worry about.

I always stress about not being a perfect parent.  Some things that helps me to be a better parent is to count down before reacting.  This allows me the time to assess if it’s really worth getting worked up about.  Many times I have to remind myself that children will be children and they don’t mean any harm by throwing your iPad on the floor when they are upset.  They really think it is fun to just jump off the last two steps onto a wooden floor and they don’t know that they could crack their skull.   There are plenty of books but not enough time to read so you live, learn and call your friends who have older kids and can help you through these rough patches.

The only way I can properly work through my daily stressors and the others that life may bring is by digging deeper into each situation and finding appropriate solutions to each problem.  The simpler issues I can resolve quickly but others take a lot of thought and time.  I can easily (took a few years) not worry about the basket of clothes but I have to actively work on being more patient with everyone around me.  The stress of life can show up in your health and in your lack of success.  Stress kills physically and will kill your dreams if you let it.

Life is full of stress and we have to be prepared to deal with it in order to get the most out of each day and every moment.  The time we spend stressing could be used in developing ideas and plans to get you through the current phase or to get to the next level.  The stress we allow to build up inside of us can cause digestive problems, fertility problems, urinary problems or a weakened immune system.  Finding a healthy way to manage stress will enhance your life and your positive perception will create better outcomes to situations that could have ended disastrously.

I am actively working on managing my stress and making the best of every situation.  We are all a work in progress but learning how to address certain aspects of our lives will help us in the long run.  This is an individualized journey, so how you best deal with your stress may be completely different than mine but having readily available methods will ensure your progressive success.

Find your inner peace and work hard to stay there.  Rid yourself of negative energy, people or situations.  Be positive.  Stay encouraged.  Encourage others.  Be kind to others.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

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When I Want to Give Up, I Remember the Why

Over the past 9 1/2 weeks, I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions.  It all started with the excitement of beginning the first steps to completing the final hurdle to complete freedom.  This soon glided into the endless feeling of being overwhelmed with the amount of information that I needed to consume daily, which then lead to mental exhaustion that made me fly back to feeling overwhelmed.  Then a sudden breath-taking drop came with the death of my grandfather, followed by the slow progression back to a level of focus that I needed to be productive and progressing towards being polished.

During many of the unproductive, completely overwhelmed and paralyzed due to exhaustion days, I wanted to throw in the towel, close the books, stop writing essays and stop practicing multiple choice questions, because I clearly was not going to make it to the end of this process better prepared than when I started.  I did not see the progress.  I felt that I was getting the same types of questions wrong and missing the same issues on the essays.  I decided that I would just go back to my old life, my old career, because I was never going to be ready for this daunting exam.  I kept telling myself everyday, “You are behind. You will never catch up.”  When I needed to rest all I could think was, “I am behind. I can sleep when I pass!”  I was angry at myself, at my lack of progress and at the idea of having to tell people that I quit.

Then after going months without seeing my son and days where he wouldn’t talk to me on the phone, we were able to connect with him on the iPad and I saw his precious face.  “Hi mommy. Hi daddy. Mommy. Daddy. Daddy. Mommy.”  In that moment, all of my stress, anxiety and fear melted away.  The only thing that was important was our special gift.  His smile, his laugh, his kisses…all of the things that I missed and the exact thing I needed to see to get my mind back in order.  After speaking with him and seeing his face, I realized that I cannot quit because I have someone watching my every step; basking in my successes and pushing me through my failures.

My son is my WHY.  For some people it is a car, a job or a vacation spot. For others it may be their mother telling them that she is so proud of them or standing next to their father who was sworn in as an attorney at the same place 30 years ago.  What your WHY is does not matter, knowing what your WHY is does.  If you do not have a WHY, you will give up during a breakdown MOMENT, instead of waiting a MOMENT longer and reaching your breakthrough.

After refocusing on my WHY.  I stopped telling myself that I was behind, and instead I told myself that I was where I needed to be.  Suddenly a burden lifted from my shoulders and I had renewed energy to make my WHY proud and complete the mission I set off to accomplish.  When you reach that moment where you cannot go on anymore, stop focusing on the negative, pessimistic or potentially disastrous outcomes and focus your energy on the positive, optimistic, and successful outcomes that you have worked hard to reach.  Focus on your WHY.  Keep pushing for your WHY.  Never give up because your WHY is waiting for you on the other side.

Your WHY won’t ever let you give up, so don’t give up on your WHY.  Why you do this.  Why this matters.  Why failure is not an option.  Why you can.  Why.  Stay the course.  Persevere.  Push through the pain.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Cutting Family Ties: Hard but Necessary

I have pushed through some extremely tough moments alone.  I have cut my grieving short to gather my self and present myself to the world as a woman wounded but not defeated.  Many times this hurt has come at the hand of those I couldn’t choose… I have held onto dead familial relationships because I loved them for what they used to be.  I have revived familial relationships because I wanted my life to be like that of my friends.   I have renewed familial relationships with the hope that this time things would be different.  But a few days ago I hit that turning point.  The point you get to where you either remain loaded down and get off course or you release the excess baggage and stay on track.

Some people have willingly removed themselves from my life and I have accepted their egress happily.  I cherish the memories and wish them nothing but the best.  Others have needed to be forcefully removed.  In my maturation I have learned my own personal limits.  I know when to put my hand up to end conversations that I know will end in more than hurt feelings.  But it is not as easy as it sounds.

These relationships have been the ones that should have been forever.  The people who should be standing by my side during the triumphs and the tragedies.  Time has taught me that everyone’s story is not the same.  That my forever family may not hold the official titles but they have earned the right.  They show up when it matters, they give just as much as they take, they grow as I grow.

Although my hands are constantly moving, juggling the good and the bad of life, people see the superwoman in me.  I thrive off of the love and support but when I hurt, I remind myself that superwomen hurt too.  I won’t drown in shoulda coulda wouldas or wish for things to be any way than what they are.

As I travel this journey, I am kindly letting people off at their exit without stopping the car.  I won’t cry anymore over those who chose to leave and those who I had to escort out of the whip.  I only want to prosper with those who want to be present.

Bury the dead. Cut the ties. Embrace your forever family.  Regardless of their official title. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story.  On your own terms.