Live Well: Stress Less

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Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday. I know it's lame to kick off the week with silence, but...

I arranged this past weekend to allow for maximum laziness, which ruled out the possibility of putting together a blog post. Other than going grocery shopping, I literally did not a single productive thing - and I'm totally okay with that.

Here's the thing - I went into this past weekend feeling completely burdened by stress. I can't point to one thing in particular, but by last Friday night I felt so weighed down by various things at work that I practically staggered out the door.

I'll admit it - I think I let stress get to me far more than the average person. Some people are great at putting the stressful things in their lives out of their minds. I let even the smallest things weigh me down, keep me awake, and make me feel nauseous. I worry about failing, about not meeting expectations even in the smallest things, about people being irritated, angry, or even just indifferent about me. And all of that can add up.

The end result is often me sitting around, feeling sorry for myself that I feel so stressed all the time. And looking around at other people's lives and envying their carefree ways.

But you know what's wrong with that attitude? Just about everything. Besides the fact that feeling sorry for myself accomplishes exactly NOTHING, I am absolutely disgusted any time I catch myself thinking that I'm somehow worse off than others. Because you know what? I have almost nothing in my life that should cause real stress. I have no children to worry about. All of my family members are healthy. I'm in an incredibly happy marriage. I can pay all my bills. I have plenty of food. And my life's on a pretty sweet trajectory.

I think there are so many times in this country, in this culture, where we find perverse pride in how stressed we are. And rather than trying to cut that stress down, we brag about it to everyone we can. For some reason, so many of us (myself very much included) feel like we HAVE to tell everyone we know about how many hours we work and how stressed we are as a result. Because, you know, otherwise how will they know how awesome we are? How messed up is that? Not only does that kind of attitude make us unhappy, it makes us boring. We need to stop.

So, this past weekend, I decided that my stress level gave me the right to spoil myself, but not to bore others with tales of worry. On Friday we met up with our lovely friend who was visiting from Texas (hi Jillian!!) and her sister. On Saturday I fit in a workout, lazed around, and went to Flour + Water for dinner. And on Sunday we turned our apartment into a cave and watched nine episodes of House of Cards. It was amazing. And far more interesting than talking about work.

Also, I need to take this opportunity to give a huge shout-out to the amazing staff at Flour + Water - not only did they NOT give us an attitude for running late (long story) but they crafted a personalized menu for our friend with a milk allergy so that we could all enjoy the tasting menu. It was an expensive dinner, but they made it feel like every penny was worth it. If you're ever in SF (or live here already!) you have to go - they haven't failed me yet.

Have a wonderful, enjoyable, stress-free, complaining-free day. I know I will.

 

Live Well: First Weekend of 2013 Recap

I couldn't have asked for a better first weekend of 2013. It felt like it included a little bit of everything - dinner with friends to quality time with my husband, breathtaking views of the city to the tiny touches at home that make me love where I live. Some of the highlights were:

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Dinner and walking around in Japantown. I found Japanese Mickey (Minnie?) Mouse. I think I like him/her. And yes, I did rob a bank after this. I'm glad you like my (husband's) hat.

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Hopping over to the Sundance theater to see the best movie I've seen in quite a long time. Go see it!

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Powering up for my first Pure Barre class with a delicious combination of oatmeal, peanut butter, strawberries, and blueberries. (My thoughts on Pure Barre coming after I finish the rest of the classes in my starter pack!)

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Finally taking down our Christmas tree. This picture was taken during the brief period where we considered lowering the tree out of our window and onto the street. Yes, that was idea #1 generated by the resident Stanford and Rice grads. Don't judge.

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Rediscovering the beauty of our bedroom due to my husband's New Year's Resolution to make the bed every day. Needless to say, I have been very supportive of that resolution!

DSC_9852Going on a gorgeous walk in a gorgeous park in my gorgeous city. Could I be any luckier?

I would also like to take a minute to say that my love for J. Crew has grown after this weekend (who knew that was possible?). I wore a J. Crew silk blouse I got for Christmas for the first time on Saturday night, and at some point in the evening two threads on the front snagged and essentially ruined the entire shirt. I took it into the store on Sunday (seeing as that level of quality is pretty unacceptable) and they gave me a refund immediately, no questions asked, and were very apologetic and accommodating. I was so grateful!

I think life will finally be returning to its normal pace this week - are you ready for it? I'm not sure I am. I guess I'll have to keep my mind on the next weekend, which always seems to be better than the last. Have a great week!