Odds and Ends

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maxwanger

1. Wednesday’s post prompted some conversation at my Facebook page, and one of the funniest clips was posted in the comments. Since I’m a firm believer in occasionally laughing at your struggles, this video hit the nail on the head. Must watch, anxiety friends! (As well as coconut oil buffs.)

2. Two things I didn’t mention in the anxiety post that have been tremendously helpful are the Headspace app and meditating with Mala beads. Quiet that mind!

3. 15 things every woman should do by 40. I think I’ve done the majority.

4. A great post on the great things that can transpire from waking up just a little earlier.

5. What makes a deeply good person?

6. This is parenting in a nutshell. Hilarious.

7. I’ve always been a fan of Alice’s writing, and this recent post on getting back into the swing of regular exercise made me laugh so hard. And speaking of exercise, since I haven’t broken a sweat in, oh, about 2 years, I decided to join a gym and get myself in gear this past week. Yesterday, I did the elliptical for about 35 minutes – nothing insanely strenuous, but the heart was pumping. You guys, I felt great all day until it was time for bed, when I suddenly felt like I was hit by a Mack truck. Is this what happens when you start working out after a (very) prolonged break? Or is this a 40+ thing? Because YOWZA, PEOPLE.

8. I’ve sung the praises of Fabletics on my Facebook page many times, but have you guys tried it yet? I’m in love with the Salar leggings and capris, and find myself choosing them over my Lululemon and Athleta leggings when I’m donning my workout gear. You should definitely check them out.

9. I could eat this every day of my life. Crunchy salad lovers UNITE.

Happy Friday!

image credit: max wanger



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8 Things I’ve Learned About Anxiety

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8 tips for dealing with anxiety

Spring lip color and crossbody bags and…anxiety. The perfect progression, really. #whut

April has stirred mine up a bit (Spring does that to me for whatever reason – Heather has a great guest post on seasonal changes and anxiety), so I thought I would share some practices and thoughts that have kept me from going down the rabbit hole. For those of you who haven’t been around these parts for long, I’ve dealt with differing degrees of anxiety since my teen years – a few periods (once in my late twenties and once in my late thirties) were pretty terrifying, but pretty much peachy keen otherwise.

I get a lot of emails from readers about anxiety – many are experiencing it for the first time and are really frightened, so I thought I would put together some things I’ve learned that have been very helpful for me. I know it seems like nothing helps when you are feeling actual physical symptoms caused by anxiety (there’s been a 1,500-lb weight on my chest for about 4 weeks now), but the key is to NOT get wrapped up in the fear of it all. As good ol’ Matthew McConaughey would say, “just keep livin.” So let’s jump in.

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

1. Don’t fight it. You guys, anxiety is not something to “battle.” When you focus on something, you are calling that experience to the front of your consciousness. “Hey sensation! I feel you! But I don’t want to feel you! Go away, sensation! Now!” See how that works? Of course you are going to have that sensation when you are completely honed in on it.

Here’s a super annoying fact – the act of thinking of ways to get rid of your anxiety breeds more anxiety. Trust me. This is why so many Type-A problem solvers have anxiety. You can not solve it by thinking of ways to solve it. It’s like a vortex of doom. Try your best to stop thinking and get to doing. Get out of the house, enjoy your friends, breathe fresh air, be of service to someone, and stop ruminating about your anxiety. Focus outward.

Give your over-sensitized mind and body a rest. Because that’s what is really happening here – your mind and body are turned up to level 100 so everything seems so much louder/painful/scarier. As hard as it is, accept how you are right now as your new normal for the time being. It won’t be like this forever, I promise. When you let go, lean into the uncomfortable, and stop fighting, calm will find its way back to you. It can take some time too, and that’s okay. Don’t put a time limit on it.

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

2. Positive Thinking, Ahoy! So, your overstressed and overstimulated mind is causing all of this commotion. Either you can agree with the negative thought vortex of doom, or try your best to put a positive spin on it. Lots of people repeat positive affirmations to quiet the gloom-and-doom thoughts, but I’ve always been a fan of re-framing what my body is experiencing.

Anxiety can cause every physical symptom in the book. Even depersonalization. Don’t focus on each and every physical sensation – just know that it’s most likely anxiety and move on. When my heart seems to skip a beat or my chest feels tight, I remind myself that those physical sensations are the same ones that I have when I’m excited about something. Could there be something in your near future that you are excited about? Hmmm. It’s much better way to look at things, yes? Focus not on the fear of what lies ahead, but the great possibilities you might create.

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

3. Gratitude. In all honesty, I really thought this idea was a bunch of crap, but believe me when I say it works. Look around and state out loud what you are grateful for – okay, maybe don’t blurt it out loud in the middle of the library or the grocery store, but when you are hanging out at home, say it aloud. I am so grateful for my nutty kids who make me laugh all day, the fact that my Whole Foods now carries my favorite chips, etc. (Yes, they don’t need to be game-changer statements…just things that make you happy at the most random times.)

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

4. Breathe. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Anxiety totally screws up your breathing patterns. Personally, certain things trigger me to hold my breath. It’s a totally unconscious thing – I don’t even realize until I’m in the midst of it. Simple breathing exercises really help to regulate your stress response – you guys, study after study proves it. Deep, slow breathing makes a world of difference.

If you are new to this stuff, might I suggest this breathing exercise. Sometimes if you dive right into long inhales and exhales, it can make you feel even more anxious. Try this one: Inhale for 1, exhale for 2, inhale for 3, exhale for 4, inhale for 5, exhale for 6, inhale for 7, exhale for 8, inhale for 9, exhale for 10. Do this for 5 minutes at a time. It’s extremely calming.

Also, you NEED to exercise to burn off the extra stress hormones. 30min/day, 5 times a week is optimal, but just do what you can. A simple walk around the block will help.

5. Nourish your body. Eat your vegetables, peeps. Eat good fats, proteins, and stay away from junk. Anxiety has a tendency to keep you from eating enough – be sure you are giving your body what it needs. When you are dialed up to 100, your body burns energy like crazy.

Also, HYDRATE. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. (120 lbs = 60 ounces of water) The signs of dehydration are eerily similar to physical anxiety symptoms, so be sure you are drinking enough water every day.

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

6. You are just just fine, I promise. I know it’s so tempting to read all the books and take all the supplements and Google to the end of the internet and back, but remember that focusing on getting rid of anxiety breeds anxiety. I love this quote by Anne Lamott, “there is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you are waiting for an organ. You can’t buy, achieve, or date it. This is the most horrible truth.”

The first time I read that quote, I was flabbergasted. I mean, nothing helps?! That is terrible news. However, I totally understand what Anne is trying to say – certain things might help you head in the right direction, but ultimately, it’s the mind shift that gets you from point A to point B. That’s why there’s no “cure” for anxiety – everyone has their own journey to embark on.

This is not to say that you should sit in a corner and wait for results. Seek the resources you need to embark on your path to wellness.

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

7. Get support. Guess what? 1/3 of the population has anxiety. Look around, you are much more similar to others than you think. You are not alone. Not in the least! Talk to your friends. (But don’t talk to the ones that make you feel less than or shameful.) Find a therapist that resonates with you, and please don’t continue to see ones that don’t make you feel safe and okay about yourself. There are some really shitty therapists out there, so ask around and take your time finding the right one.

In the meantime, the best resource I can tell you about is the Anxiety Coaches Podcast. I recently found this podcast and it has been absolutely wonderful. I listen to Kevin and Kelly once in awhile, and they really put things into perspective. (Plus, they have both dealt with PTSD and anxiety personally, so they know exactly how you feel.) There are 80+ podcasts covering everything under the sun, and they average about 20 minutes so you aren’t overwhelmed with information. I recommend these podcasts 100%.

(Small caveat – In the earlier podcasts, a little too much time is spent talking about the weather and irrelevant info upfront, which is annoying, but they do get their act together. Also, because I just have to get it off my chest, the newish intro to the show drives me a little batty. “The anxiety coaches podcast” is repeated over and over and over, and it totally reminds me of this. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!)

8 tips for dealing with anxiety

8. Life happens. Some of us are more sensitive to situations than others, but that is okay. You are more than okay. You are amazing, and in my humble opinion, the people I know who have anxiety are the brightest, most creative humans I’ve ever met. In fact, maybe you should consider anxiety as the slight downside to being such a f#$%ing bad ass. #fistbump

Anxiety can be so scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Reframe the way you look at yourself and your anxiety symptoms. (A therapist can really help you with this.) Anxiety will not kill you, although it might feel that way at times. (Fear is a real pain in the arse, isn’t it?)

Life has so many ups and downs, and who knows why anxiety rears its head in some instances, but it’s all okay. There is no shame in experiencing anxiety! Everyone’s experience is unique, but I hope some of these tips help. Take good care of yourself.



COMMENTS (34)

Crossbody Bags

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crossbodybags

It hasn’t escaped my attention that I’ve been posting quite a bit about clothing and accessories lately, which seems a bit incongruous considering I’m personally living a capsule wardrobe, no-purchasing lifestyle. But, hey, I know most of you aren’t doing the capsule thing, and, let’s face it, I was born to enable shoppers around the world. I can’t help it, y’all. It’s a gift. Maybe not the gift I had hoped for (global peacemaker, making discoveries worthy of a Nobel Prize), but my own teeny, tiny, precious gift. A style sourcing wunderkind, if you will.

Although I’m obviously not pulling the trigger on any of these bags, I simply must convey my love of the Crossbody bag to you. I wear a crossbody almost every single day – although my daily bag is a no-frills tote, the reason I bought it was the additional longer strap that I always use. Why? Well, for starters, it’s way more comfortable, it leaves me totally hands-free, doesn’t fall off my shoulder like many traditional totes, and I just like ’em, capiche? Let’s face it, if you’re walking around town with a heavy bag slipping off your shoulder, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. Plus, spring is the perfect time to wear a crossbody, in my opinion. (It was a bit more difficult getting my bag on and off during the coldest part of winter, when I was bundled in 59 layers. Also, Crossbody Bag + Coat Hood = Frustrating. #themoreyouknow)

But I digress. Occasionally, when I feel like torturing myself, I peruse some of my favorite online retailers, and boy, I’ve noticed some cute bags o’crossbody. So, so many. Please to enjoy.

left to right:

tan :: yellow :: stone

blue embroidered (don’t look at the price, just admire and move on) :: nude

tan :: black :: red

black :: mint :: black

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COMMENTS (6)

Odds and Ends

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start

1. Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared. God, I love Anne Lamott so much, and every single thing she wrote in this piece is perfection.

2. A 5-year-old with autism painted these.

3. This family grows 6,000 pounds of food on just 1/10th of an acre. Gee, I was thinking of planting a few vegetables.

4. Great apps and such for managing life. (I just started using the Balanced app.)

5. Man, Gwyneth Paltrow CAN NOT catch a break.

6. Cool photos by Jeff Bridges on all of his movie sets.

7. This guy won a trip to Puerto Rico, and wanted to make sure his wife knew he wasn’t having ANY fun. Cute.

8. These moms are totally on fleek.  “Mmmm, I’d swipe right for that.” HA.

9. I love Jennifer Hudson so much. (James Corden too.)

10. 100 mascaras tested on one eye. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.

Happy Friday!

image credit: clementine daily



COMMENTS (9)