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…
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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 »
The holidays are good times — everything is sparkly and Mariah Carey is blasting wherever you go. But they also create the perfect storm of getting-to-the-airport, gift-giving, bring-on-the-crazy stress. The good news: Your body has your back. “The way the body responds to stress is the same during the holidays as during any other time of year,” says Ari Novick, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and founder of the AJ Novick Group for Anger and Stress Management, in Laguna Beach, California.
First, your heart rate and blood pressure go up a notch (or two) spurting out chemicals to amp your fight or flight response just in case things get out of hand; then, having this happen on a daily basis may lead to feelings of anxiety or depression and the next thing you know, you’re snapping at the Starbucks barista for no apparent reason. But, why do you need to chill out right now more than ever? “The holidays bring up additional stressors that may be don’t exist in our day-to-day lives,” says Novick. That means extra anxiety on top of your already-stressful life, which could cause a full-blown meltdown. Here’s how to nip those holiday WTH moments in the bud. Read more…
Do you go to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada? No? Well, get your but there on December 4, 5 and 6th, because the school is creating a goddamned puppy room for stressed out students. The pups won’t be permanently on campus; they’re graciously volunteering their time and soft, floppy ears with volunteers from Therapeutic Paws Of Canada, which is an organization that brings cats and dogs to schools, senior centers and other people in need. Keep reading »
Between Hurricane Sandy and the election, I would classify the last two weeks as a time of extreme stress. Nothing I won’t be able to bounce back from, but I’ve had a few sleepless nights and a perma-knot in my stomach. Some of you have voiced your opinions in the comments, wondering how TheFrisky can write about Channing Tatum being the sexiest man alive or whatever, when there are things with so much more gravitas to going on.
I really thought about the answer to that question and I would like to respond. As a blogger here at The Frisky, and in my personal life, my goal every day is to carve out as many little pockets of meaning as I can. That may include tackling the existential crisis that arose when I was trapped in my apartment for days, or more WTF stuff, like that toddler who sucked a used condom on a playground, or the silly stuff, like the things on the Food Network that Winona and I find arousing. Ganache! Keep reading »
We all feel a little crazy sometimes (for me, “sometimes” means at least three times a day), and while we’re big proponents of therapy and other structured forms of mental health support here at The Frisky, there are times when limited funds or busy schedules make it tough to get professional help. In honor of How To Deal Week, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite simple, effective, and — best of all — totally free ways to feel better when the going gets rough. Check ‘em out after the jump, and please feel free to add your own tips and techniques in the comments! Keep reading »