August 27, 2013
How to Combat Stress.
I took a moment to breathe this morning.
Full disclosure. I've had insomnia since we moved to NYC. I just can't sleep. Lists keep running in my head like the opening, scrolling scene of Star Wars. Long long lists that appear to extend into the darkness of outer space... it's odd. "Long ago in a galaxy far, far away.... I dreamed of moving to New York!" And now here we are. It's an odd exhilaration, because I've also been on an extreme high, thrilled to walk down the street to the drycleaners JUST BECAUSE I AM IN NEW YORK. I feel like I'm hopped up on coffee all day long (even though it's only half), yet my frenzied heart can't rest when the nighttime comes and the lights get turned off. Frantic, flooded with to-do's, drowning with feeling like I'm ever-so-late to the game. What game? I don't really know. Isn't that the lie we all believe when we're trying to do something new? I am attempting to juggle several things and it's keeping me awake. It's sort of silly. But not, because the bloodshot eyes are starting to make me look like I'm on something. I know I'm not the only person in the world to experience this. But I've got to get it under control. Because sleep is necessary to accomplishing all those to-do's!
So, I decided to set all my lists and to-do's aside and just reflect. Just for a hot minute. 60 seconds, that's all.
Ha. It hit me all at once. The bevy of beautiful people who are WONDERFUL and love me so vastly. The smiles of my loved ones blur together into a sloppy, gleeful image in my mind, and wow. I am so grateful. My thoughtful sister who sent me a powerful book on art in the mail last week and my dearest friend who sent me a delightful Anthropologie housewarming present in the mail this week. The flowers my Aunt sent. My mom, who has called me and encouraged me everyday. My cousins, my sisters, my Dad, my friends. They care. Sheesh I am so blessed. I am overwhelmed with the unfathomable, infectious, present-infused love. And I am so incredibly thankful for these genuine pillars of strength in my life. These people quite literally create a firm foundation; I believe I can be big and strong because they tell me I can.
So I just want to encourage you today. Stress, anxiety, tension; they're all natural responses to transition. And if you're experiencing transition, whether severe or thrilling or somewhere in between, you don't have to experience an on-going bought of the painful stress. Take a moment, allow yourself to focus on the beautiful gifts around you, the joy of your relationships, even the lovely colors of summer. Whatever it takes. For your mind to quiet, your face to relax, your eyes to finally close. Your gratitude breeds peace. And once you have that peace, it's yours to keep.
If you need to do an exercise to pull you out of a funk, unearth some of that pretty stationary that I know is sitting somewhere in a side drawer. Take a moment to think about 3 people who have really impacted your personal journey in the past year. It might be your mom, it might be your husband, it might even be a co-worker that you're not that close with, but has recognized your contributions and verbalized it. Whoever comes to mind, take 5 minutes and write it down. Tell them why they are wonderful to you. I promise that you will feel. So good. And now... look what you've done! Not only did you quiet your mind and find your peace, but now you're giving it away to others! Mmm win/win. Stamp it. Mail it.
In case you haven't heard it yet, you are enough. All the to-do's, the busyness, the job stress, the family tensions and the responsibility you feel toward all of it. Of course you have your reasons to be stressed. Of course you are justified in all your emotions. And there is probably so much that "needs" to be done today. However, you just need to know. You are. Enough. Just you. So give yourself a slice of grace today. Because seriously, you are enough.
Love to you today.