Tag: stress

Uncertain Times

Uncertain Times

Last week, a few unexpected things popped up that felt urgent and important (as things do) and sort of derailed an otherwise steady week. Things I originally had planned for the week:

  • Clothes shopping (again) because I really need to get some clothing that fits (see last year’s weight gain) and also I clean out my closet for donations like every other month but oops, forgot to get new stuff.
  • Do a big spring clean of the house.
  • Look into a list of fun things to do while family is visiting.
  • Order some small rugs for around the house.
  • Grocery store run + meal prep.
  • Set up some new pages in my Bullet Journal.
  • Stop avoiding shopping, obviously.

Of those things, I accomplished 0 items.

It happens. Or, doesn’t happen, as it were. I woke up toward the end of the week feeling very behind and out of sorts and wondering if I was capable of life at all, and then came across a Yoga with Adriene video that I felt was pretty timely:

Trying to stick with yoga (mostly) every day this year has really been like waking up to a supportive friend (who is also a stranger in a video) when I need it most. That (plus coffee) always gets me back on my feet. Onward we go…

Header photo from my desk. Art by Marc Johns.

The Light & Dark of It

The Light & Dark of It

It’s a new week. And I’m still here.

  • Yesterday morning I missed a crucial left turn driving to work, so I had to drive about 10 minutes out of my way to turn around. I’ve never missed that turn.
  • My eyes have been sort of twitching on and off for over a week now. At first I thought it was something with my contacts, but then I stopped wearing my contacts…
  • I’ve been going to bed about an hour later and waking up about 30-45 minutes earlier every day for the past couple of weeks.
  • Lately, I feel perpetually behind on tasks and over-booked for activities. Nothing feels easy.
  • I forgot my office keys at home today too. I’ve never forgotten my office keys.

It’s a new week. And I want to be here.

  • Despite feeling exhausted, I’ve been setting time aside each day to draw, read, or work on a project I enjoy.
  • I’ve also been making time to just sit and watch something that makes me laugh, like Tiffany Haddish telling a story, or 30 Rock episodes on Netflix.
  • I’ve also been making time daily for 10 minutes of mindful meditation. Overall, this is beneficial, but specifically it helps me check-in with my brain & make sure I’m not telling myself too many negative stories.
  • Yoga with Adriene – 7 minute stress relief, remains essential to my weeks.
  • I decided to start therapy again to work on myself more. I realized last week that I have told three people this month about how much therapy has helped me manage my anxiety, so I’m going to take my own advice, and reach out for another source of help. We’re not alone.
Urban Jungle (not as cool as it sounds)

Urban Jungle (not as cool as it sounds)

I live very close to a main freeway, so every morning I wake up to the collective rumbling of commuter engines. At night, I often hear our neighbors opening/closing car doors, and driving in and out of our street until around midnight. Twice a week, the garbage and recycling trucks clunk loudly past my bedroom window around 5AM. And the sirens and people riding loud motorcycles (why are they so purposefully loud?) are consistent.

Austin is notorious for crowds, traffic, and construction (There is currently a major project going on around the building where I work–  jackhammers, diggers, the whole thing.) These sounds have become an ubiquitous part of life, but increasingly harder to ignore. Lately I’ve noticed a constant sense of urgency in my brain, due to recent stress, that is heightened by all this urban buzzing. Frankly, I’m tired. Literally tired since I haven’t fully relaxed or gotten very good sleep in months. It’s all making me want to pack a few bags and retire to an isolated cabin someplace where I can calm down and recharge. (Until I am desperate for a better internet connection.)

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I was recently reminded of some time I spent in northern California a few years ago, visiting my brother outside of Santa Rosa. His house was very isolated on top of a hill surrounded by trees, so every morning I woke up to the sounds of absolutely nothing. The only exception was the occasional wild turkey gobbling around the backyard. It was jarring, surreal, and wonderful. I could really use some silent mornings.

Photo Credits: Alan Levine via Flickr (cool tilt-shift featured image of Austin) & Jace Cooke via Flickr (above cabin in the woods)