This January, I had a bad job interview. I performed the best I could, but they’d kept me in a room, coming in groups of two or three at a time, grilling me on why I wanted and was qualified for an entry-level customer service job for two straight hours. I’ve been employed in some way or another for the last ten years, and I graduated with honors last year. I couldn’t just say, “I need a better job than I have now, and frankly this is going to be a cakewalk for me.” Some of them said I was underqualified; some of them said I was overqualified. No one really seemed to have a real sense of what they were doing; HR was out for the day, so it was all sales managers. I was so upset and confused afterward that I sat in Merchandise Mart crying for a half hour before working up the courage to get on the train. Keep reading »
Sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed at the thought of how much I want to accomplish in a given day or week, or how much growing stands between me and whatever distant, self-actualized ideal I hope to someday be. On days when I wake up cranky, thinking about stuff like this creates a snowball effect and suddenly I’m frustrated and calling myself a failure because I’m not living up to some nonexistent hypothetical that nobody else even sees but me — and then I miss out on enjoying all the great stuff that’s happening right in front of me. What I forget a lot is that every second is an opportunity to make a choice that aligns with becoming a calmer, kinder person, or at least could make me feel like more of a “together” person (I’m convinced people who 100 percent have it together don’t actually exist, but that’s another story).
I think one of the biggest reasons we get stuck in personal ruts or find ourselves feeling trapped in routines we absolutely hate is because the prospect of changing our lives sounds gigantic and intimidating. In actuality, epic changes don’t happen overnight. Whether you want to rebuild a relationship, rescue your finances, change the way you treat your body, or just improve your attitude, it will happen slowly as lots of tiny choices start to stack on top of one another. I find that to be a huge relief, because none of us can move a mountain in a day or do things perfectly all day long, but it’s so much easier to make a tiny positive choice in the right direction. Here are a few itsy bitsy changes that don’t always come easily but can make life a bit sweeter. Keep reading »
Spending time at home is way more stressful than spending time at work, according to a surprising new study by Penn State researchers. This comes as something of a surprise given the endless national dialogue about American working too much.
The study measured participants’ cortisol levels, which is one of our bodies’ major markers of stress, both at home and at work. The results show that for both men and women, spending time at home is not very relaxing. The study also learned that women often feel even better at work than men do. This pertains to people both with and without children, but especially for those who don’t have kids. Keep reading »
Try the test in this video by Richard Wiseman to see if you need to catch up on your catnaps (hint: you probably do). According to Wiseman, an easy way to tell if you’re sleep deprived is if you need the help of an alarm to wake up in the morning. Seriously? I have known maybe two people ever who could wake up for work without an alarm clock! Keep reading »
Have you been on the magic carpet ride this month? All the hectic Christmas and Hanukah rituals are over for this year, and in the wake of all the festivities I am reminded of what’s really important in my life—my cherished relationships. Sometimes as I race from one activity to the next, I can forget to how to breathe deeply. How about you? Are you so focused on your daily commitments and busy schedules that you forget to breathe out … fully? To let … go? Learn how to decrease stress on Your Tango…
I loooove the holidays. But that doesn’t make the lead-up any less of a bitch. The older I get, the more I find how unforgiving this season can be. When I was a little girl, I never understood why some of the grown-ups in my life seemed to dread it so much.
An English professor once told me that the biggest theme of my life is trying to resist disillusionment even though the world makes no effort to hide what an ugly, unfair place it can be. Call me melodramatic, but is there any better way to describe the typical struggle we face when it comes to getting through the holidays? On the surface, it’s a happy, cheerful time of year. We want to enjoy it, but on the other hand, it’s pretty damn treacherous. Spending time in close quarters with family members that you only see once a year is stressful. So is the pressure to pick out the perfect gifts, to be a great hostess, and to somehow make your bank account survive it all. Keep reading »
You’re sitting in your cubicle at work and you get an email from your boss asking you if you [insert task pertinent to your line of work here]. Your heart plummets into your stomach. Your worst fears are confirmed. You fucked up. You start to sweat. shake, hyperventilate. You briefly consider leaving everything you know behind and joining one of those alternative communities where you can live off the grid and hunt for your own food just so you don’t have to write back to your boss and admit, NO, you have not yet finished the [insert task pertinent to your line of work here]. There’s a part of your rational mind that recognizes, YES, your reaction is insane because this is a one-sentence email we’re talking about here. Maybe your boss’ tone wasn’t meant to be accusatory/condescending/condemning/shaming/the pre-cursor to getting fired. You know that your mother would tell you that you’re overreacting and need to pull yourself together. Still, in that moment you’re pretty sure that this email is the make-it-or-break-it moment of your entire life. And it’s only 10:30 a.m. on a Monday. It’s going to be a loooong week. Sound familiar? Keep reading »
Do weird things happen to you when you take NyQuil? Because they keep on happening to me and I am so over it. Last night, my boyfriend and I were watching the Ken Burns documentary on the Dust Bowl, helpfully titled “The Dust Bowl” (be glad you were not an Oklahoma farmer in the ’30s), when a cough crept up in my throat. Maybe it was sympathy coughing? There was a lot of coughing in the Dust Bowl documentary. I took some NyQuil to quell the cough, and like clockwork, woke up four hours later at 3 a.m., with wild, stressy, NyQuil-infused insomnia. Thoughts you have when you’re in your conscious, rational, waking life––stuff like “we are all going to die someday”––take on a distorted, desperate, urgent quality at night. We are all going to die someday and I will probably die tomorrow and oh my God who will water the plants?
And that’s just the tip of it. Here are some of the crazier thoughts I had last night, while on a Nyquil insomnia bender…
Keep reading »
This weekend, I went to a friend’s wedding in Los Angeles. The festivities took place at a resort by the beach. The best thing about the hotel I was staying at (other than the high thread-count sheets and the unlimited hot water) was that they had free bicycles for the guests. Something you should know about me: I’m obsessed with going on long bike rides on the beach. It’s sounds like a cliche from an online dating profile, only I’m completely serious. It’s my dream life activity. Imagine a dog sticking its head out the window while its owner drives down the freeway. That’s me when I ride bikes minus the wagging tongue. I have a friend who nicknamed me Wheels after going on vacation with me and experiencing my “ride or die” attitude. I’m really serious about it. I refuse to walk if there’s a bike and a beach in range. In my day-to-day life, I barely ever ride my bike, and when I do, I don’t enjoy it nearly as much. There’s something about riding along the beach, where there are no cars and plenty of fresh, sea air, that helps me figure things out. Four hours of peddling and one painful sunburn later, I think I got to the bottom of some important stuff and I thought I’d share before the daily grind makes me forget it all. I hate how that happens. Keep reading »
First there was the horrific attack at the Boston Marathon, followed closely by news of multiple poison-laced letters sent to Washington, DC. Yesterday, we saw the Senate ignore the pleas of 90 percent of the population and vote to protect the NRA, and last night, we all watched as a fertilizer plant in Texas erupted in a deadly fireball. Even if you were nowhere near the actual disasters, chances are you’ve felt a great deal of fear, sadness, and confusion in recent days. It’s been a rough week, to say the least. The rest of The Frisky staff and I wanted to put together a list of small ways to help us all get through this intense time. Please feel free to add your own tips in the comment section, and here’s to a calmer weekend… Keep reading »