The Pros and Cons of Being Stressed

Being stressed out is usually related to something completely negative. And obviously, being stressed all the time is not ideal. Lately, I’ve been trying to use my stress as a driver rather than an immense feeling holding me back from accomplishing my goals or daily tasks. So far, it’s going OK. There are certainly hurdles to over come, but trying to see your stress as a positive is a lot nicer than deciding you’re too strung out to get your work done.

Here are some pros and cons of being stressed:

CON: When your boss gives you another crazy deadline, you feel like you want to cry

PRO: With this added urgency, you are forced to make realistic decisions what is on your plate. You delegate some items to another team member or your negotiate the deadline with your boss. Time restraints are a reality, and the work needs to get done, so there is a compromise

CON: Your to-do list is literally three pages long

PRO: You’ve made the list, now time to get to work. When you see everything in one place, it’s actually much more manageable than trying to remember everything floating around in your mind. It also avoids those horrible 3am, wake-up screaming moments when you’ve realized you’ve forgotten about 10 things due Friday

CON: You are so exhausted from work, all you can do is watch Netflix

PRO: This is your body’s way of telling you the batteries need a recharge. I have completely given myself permission to cancel plans if I am feeling too stressed out, even if the plans were with myself. Some nights, all you want to do is nap, drink tea, watch Orange is the New Black, and then get back in bed. You’ll feel better in the morning.

CON: You are messing up because you are trying to get everything done and missing the details

PRO: This is one of the best lessons I ever learned as a junior staffer, and I’ve relearned it many times. To be successful in your day-to-day job, you need to be honest about how long tasks take you. It will help you prep much better in the future, and your workload will seem much more manageable

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Skill to Conquer: Transform Your Life in Simple Ways

The above definitely sounds daunting. I have always been one who wanted to “self improve.” As I get older, I’m slowly make the realization that it’s not necessarily about improving yourself – you are just who you are supposed to be. It’s more about letting your true self shine through. The best way to do that? Get out of your own way, take care of yourself, and be happy.

Easier said than done, right? It’s all about baby steps. That’s why I loved this article from Huffington Post last week. Many of these things I’m sure you do already, but it’s all about taking a moment to stop an appreciate the action and how it makes you happy. Here are a few of my favorite ways to simply transform your life

  • Cling to your moral compass. Believe in the values that compose who you are and never allow others the power to strip that from you.
  • Make pancakes whenever possible.
  • Don’t hold back your laughter in life. Smile at the silly antidotes that make life amusing. Laugh loud and genuinely. Give those bursts of joy all you have because you only have so many.
  • Play. Play with your friends. Play with your pets. Play with your family. Play.
  • Retain a hunger for knowledge. Let life teach you and understand at the core of your being that there will never be a day that you don’t need to continue to learn.
  • Exercise forgiveness. Let your heart release the evil that weighs it down.
  • Go outside.
  • Give yourself “me time” whenever life gets too overwhelming.
  • Be completely enthralled by the people you are with. Put away the phone and emails while you are trying to have a conversation with someone. Half-hearted interactions are disguised failures.
  • Indulge in a few Netflix marathons when you are feeling down.
  • Be healthy while still understanding that it is still OK to go for the extra cookie every once in awhile.
  • Cookies won’t kill you, I swear. I’m a firm believer that they may actually be saviors in some ways.
  • Make a difference. Make a difference with your work, with your smile, with your bare hands, or with your heart. You are alive; live each day understanding what an incredible opportunity that is. You are an opportunity for greatness, so seize it.

Be sure to follow Lexi Herrick, the author of the piece, here

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Pack Me Up

Lo & Sons Catalina Weekender Bag

Sharing the latest from one of our favorite blogs, Vanilla Extract (who recently got a killer makeover). Today, it’s all about packing for that weekend getaway…

I used to be the girl who waited until the very last second to pack, throwing absolutely anything (and everything) into my bag. Once I got to my destination and sorted through the mess, I was either missing a crucial article of clothing or putting outfits together that just weren’t me. 99 problems, I tell ya, and I was all of them. I finally decided to put a system into place so I could be stress free and enjoy my vacation.

Step 1: Make a List and check it twice

About a week prior to a trip, I start making lists. I actually have an excel spreadsheet that I follow, which includes the usual suspects that I can forget (everything from socks to tylenol). Then, I begin listing out outfit ideas based on what we have planned. I always figure two outfits per day and typically break the list down as follows: Friday Day/Friday Night/Saturday Day/Saturday Night – you catch my drift.

Step 2: Plan all outfits

Some outfits seem so good in my head, but when I try them on they don’t always translate. This is when I try on everything I’ve written down and make adjustments. I literally plan the outfit out as if it’s the day I’m wearing it – shoes, accessories, hair, the whole bit. I snap a quick photo of each look so I can refer back to it, if necessary. That way, I’m spending next to no time in front of the mirror while I’m on vacation and soaking up every last bit of whatever city we’re visiting.

Lo & Sons Catalina Weekender Bag

Step 3: Pack it up, pack it in

I burrito roll everything. It’s a major space saver. Like, maaaajor. You’ll never pack folded clothes again. You’ll be able to pack so much more and avoid annoying fold lines in the process. When it comes to shoes, I always back them in dust bags. My Catalina bag from Lo & Sons has a bottom zipper pocket perfect for shoes. Beach towels and toiletries also work in this pocket. Then, once on vacay, I use the pocket at a place to store dirty clothes. No cross contamination up in here. I keep jewelry pretty low-key when traveling.  I prefer dainty pieces because they’re light and ty[ically work with any outfit.  All pieces get packed into cloth bags.

Step 4: Add in last minute items

All makeup and toiletries get packed last because I’m usually using them until we leave. I also check THE LIST again – chargers, cameras, computer, phones, and a good attitude to name a few.

Be sure to follow Nichole on Instagram

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Skill to Conquer: Learn to Gain Perspective

Note the tea cup placed upon the sky-high stack of books. A Day in the Life: Kali Ramey Martin | Bird is the Word

Sometimes, life is smooth sailing. You’re enjoying your job, your home life is free flowing… the biggest thing you have to worry about is whether or not you’ll be up in time to attend 9am yoga on Saturday.

Then there are times when life just decides it’s time to make some changes and throws everything your way. Your roommate decides it’s time to leave before the lease is up, your job has you stuck at a level you think you’ve surpassed and/or your love life is taking a nose dive. Naturally, I try to scramble to save the pieces and put together a plan of action as soon as possible (it’s potentially one of the reasons I’m good at my job). But I’ve learned it’s actually better some times to do what I’m not inclined to do – take a step back.

When my head is in a problem at full force, I usually think through every possible scenario. The problem with that is, I usually can’t come up with a full-blown game plan for every scenario, so it just turns into a worrying fest. And obviously every scenario can’t happen – so what is the use?

While problem solving is a fantastic trait, the first thing you need is an insight into your instincts. If you are feeling confused or unclear, that is a sign that you’re not listening to your gut. I have a horribly hard time stepping back to gain perspective, but it’s necessary in order to make a good decision. Here are some ways you can tap into your instincts and make the call you need to make:

Talk to outside sources you trust – Talk to people who are completely outside the situation and don’t have any emotions attached to the outcome, aside from your well-being. This could be your mom, a good friend outside your circle of friends, or a trusted peer

Cut off all communication entirely - Sometimes having too many people put in their opinion is just more confusing. Write out all of your thoughts in a notebook and reread them. Usually you’ll have a gut reaction to what is going on in your head

Get physically out of the situation - Whether that’s a day trip, an extended yoga class or a weekend away. Take yourself out of your home and your zone. You’d be amazed how quickly some answers will come to you

Stop thinking - This is the worst one for me. My brain zooms at 200 MPH and does not like to slow down. I’ve been trying to meditate, but I know I have some practice hours to log in. In the meantime, reading usually lets me take my brain out of the equation. When I put the book down, I’m a lot calmer and can think a little slower to resolve the issue


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