What I’ve Learned Wednesday: An Honest Conversation About Stress & Anxiety

“I’m so busy I don’t even have time to think.”

“This new job is killing me.”

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead! There are too many things I have to focus on right now.”

“If I don’t get this done, I’m going to fall behind. Everyone else is working so hard, I’ve got to keep up.”

How many of us have ever said one of these things to a friend or colleague in passing? Stress. It’s in our culture. There’s an over-glorification of busyness in our world, a chronic case of overwork that has infiltrated our schools, workplaces, and society as a whole. In this day and age, if you’re not worked to the brink of exhaustion, you’re not as good as everyone else.

And then there’s all the negativity in the world. How many of us have avoided making eye contact with the television so we won’t see the updates about the presidential bloodbath or the literal one in Syria? How many of us are dealing with family issues, job woes, faith crises?

We live in a world that is hard. For all the technological and educational advancements we’ve made, we are the most overworked, fearful, and anxious generation. And no amount of Netflix, alcohol, carefully curated social media posts, or other attempts to self-medicate will cure it.photo-1455026733626-d2d31efe4976

Today, I want to talk about mental wellness. As someone who would put a checkmark next to all of the statements I made above, I’m surprisingly hush-hush about my own struggles with stress and anxiety. I would like to think that it’s because I don’t want to add to the overwhelming negativity out there, but in reality, it’s a mechanism of self-defense.

After all, nobody wants to admit that they’re struggling. That’s not condoned by our society. And yet, it exists. One in four U.S. adults struggles with a mental illness. I am and have been one of them. And I guarantee that each of us, regardless of whether or not we have a diagnosable illness, have found ourselves pushed to the brink of our emotional and mental capacity.

So for a moment today, I want to create a space to discuss my own struggles with stress and anxiety, and a few ways that I have found to live joyfully in spite of them. My hope is that we can come to understand that dealing with stress and anxiety are real facts of life, and that we are not weak in naming and identifying them. In fact, by being honest with ourselves, we can actually create space to share our burdens, and by doing so, make them a little lighter. Here are four ways that I’ve been able to find joy and peace in the midst of enormous stress—I hope they’ll be helpful to you as well. Continue reading “What I’ve Learned Wednesday: An Honest Conversation About Stress & Anxiety”

Meal Prep Monday: One-Day Juice Cleanse.

Hey y’all!

I’m here to tell you about a time (specifically last Friday) when I decided to do a juice cleanse in an attempt to apologize to my body for the inordinate amount of cupcakes I consumed the evening prior. You see, we had a party…for a county political party. A party’s party, so to speak. Obviously, I had to bring something to share, so I settled on Funfetti cupcakes, of which I promised myself to have only one. One thing turned into another, and by the end of the night I had consumed at least half a dozen cupcakes and a LOT of cheese. When in Wisconsin, right?

Anyways, I haven’t been as loyal to my healthy eating as I’ve wanted to, so I tried to double-down by going on a one-day juice cleanse. You might recall that my friend Danielle and I attempted a juice cleanse a while back, and barely made it through three days. I figured a one-day cleanse with store-bought juices would be a little easier, and set off to the nearest grocery store to find the healthiest juices out there.

A few label inspections later and these are the three I narrowed it down to. My goal was to drink these juices and a LOT of water and call it a day. Continue reading “Meal Prep Monday: One-Day Juice Cleanse.”

The Friday Five.

It’s Friday morning, and I want s’mores.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 2.26.44 PMDid anybody else just realize that summer is over in like, two weeks? The weather might not seem like it, but when that calendar hits September 1, my mind just gears itself for school, and organization…wait, I’m not going back to school. Weird.

Let’s just try to get through the rest of this list like normal, okay? Okay. Continue reading “The Friday Five.”

What I’ve Learned Wednesday: Building A Hire-Worthy Resume

Hey everybody!

Hope you’ve been having a stellar week. Since graduating, I’ve emerged into the struggle that millions of twenty-somethings like myself are going through: finding a job. More importantly, making yourself seem cool/smart/funny/amazing enough to get said job. We live in a world where we are judged in milliseconds, and when it comes to building a professional career, every impression matters.

Fortunately, I’ve had guidance from several good mentors, professors, and other life coaches in helping me tell my story in the best ways possible, even when it comes to something as seemingly unglamourous as a resume. Today, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tips to all of you fellow and future job-seekers out there!WHAT I'VE LEARNED (2)

Continue reading “What I’ve Learned Wednesday: Building A Hire-Worthy Resume”

Meal Prep Monday: Easy Summer Chicken Salad

Hey friends!

Do you ever have a tendency to over-complicate things? It seems these days I can make anything from to-do lists to free time much more involved than it needs to be. I mean, it’s summer. The only thing we need to be stressing about is making sure our ice cream cones don’t melt all over our hands or get eaten by our dogs (not like I’m speaking from experience or anything…)

Today I’m bringing you a simple summer recipe. Nothing complicated. Just a few fresh, good-for-you ingredients that make a wholesome lunch or dinner. Let’s make salad! Continue reading “Meal Prep Monday: Easy Summer Chicken Salad”

The Friday Five.

Good morning, everyone!

Maybe I’m weird, but I love rainy mornings in the summer. It’s such a nice break from all the heat, and an excuse to curl up into bed for just a few minutes longer, to take a little extra time making breakfast, to really come to a pause. I wish mornings like these went on forever. But we’ve got the weekend and exciting things at hand! Let’s discuss.photo-1417640712331-47f5ff77ce29.jpeg Continue reading “The Friday Five.”

What I’ve Learned Wednesday: How To Be a Master at Time Management

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? In college, I especially found this to be true. From chapter meetings to classes and everything in between, it was hard to find a spare spot of time on my agenda. Even in the “grown up” world, it’s hard to balance work, play, and sleep (???) with the ease that seems to be expected.

I’ve been really lucky to have lived such a full life at 21 years old. I love trying new things and growing, but without learning to manage my time, it just wouldn’t be possible. I’ve always told people that if I could come back as a college grad and teach a class to new students, it would be in time management. But since I haven’t found myself at a lectern this Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my top five tips with you! ;)WHAT I'VE LEARNED (1)Rule #1: Set your priorities. We all do so many things, without taking enough time to think about why we do them.

Why are we at our job? Why are we binge-watching House of Cards? Why are we up at 1 AM scrolling through Facebook?

This may require some real thinking and soul-searching, but really take a moment to figure out who you are and what you’re about. That should be the end-all-be-all of most of your activities. Each day, I set my top three priorities, whether they be personal or professional, and think back to how they tie into my main mantra, so to speak. Continue reading “What I’ve Learned Wednesday: How To Be a Master at Time Management”