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April 17, 2012

On worrying.


True story: I'm a worrier. And, as one of my best friends would likely add, a stewer. I worry, I stew, I repeat. And I hate it. I wish I was one of those people who never worried about anything. But I am far from carefree -- I've always been like this. I like to have a plan, and I like to try and stick to it. Deviating from the plan -- or having a plan that goes awry -- tends to give me major anxiety. The other night I had a bit of a breaking point because I've been suppressing so much. Work and my personal life are proving to be a little insane lately, but I've been pushing pesky worries and anxieties associated with both of them away. And of course, keeping things under the surface for so long is never a good idea. They just end up being way worse when they finally bubble over. Cue this face.

I think a lot of these feelings stem from me being a bit of a perfectionist. I find myself asking questions like, "Is this photo Instagramable?" "Is this project pinable?" "Is this artwork worth selling in the shop?" and I won't even go into the other questions I ask myself about myself, because I know they're probably a little crazy. Boy, I'm tough on myself sometimes. But I have all of these plans and dreams, and well, I want them to all happen now. Like, 5 minutes ago. It's definitely a work in progress, but I'm trying to train myself to let go of these feelings. Sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for, right?

And thank goodness for James. He is the yin to my crazy a** yang. A big hug from him and a long talk later after this, I felt like a major weight was lifted from my shoulders. He reminded me that the "what if's" are uncontrollable, and the best we can do is take everything one day at a time. So, I'm really going to try to make a conscious effort to remember this simple fact moving forward. Getting all my worries out in the open made me feel so much better, and while some of them are still with me, just knowing I'm not alone gave me just what I needed -- a gentle push forward. Everyone needs a person they can lean on when times get tough. I'm lucky I'm married to mine. (And, I'm bringing a little more of this into my daily routine, because it truly helps.)

So, who else is a worry wart like me? How do you handle stress?

Artwork by Ludvig Nevland.

6 comments:

  1. I used to worry alot when I was younger. I don't know if it was a shift in hormones or greater confidence as I became older, but one day I just gave it all up. I quit worrying about the things I couldn't control and as a result they ceased to bother me.
    Meditation is a wonderful exercise to bring tranquility to your life. If you find you can get over the initial bumps I would say stick with it. It can create space for a new way of perceiving in addition to an overall sense of peace.
    You mentioned being too plugged in. Try to limit all media for a day. Sounds impossible, I know, but it could help ease some of the stress. Can you spend a bit of time out in Nature to simply relax your mind and replenish your spirit?
    Husbands are wonderful too. When things become overwhelming and you're on the verge of a meltdown, it's such a comfort to have someone there to confide in and lend you loving support. (He's a keeper.) And everyone needs someone to lean on.
    I wouldn't call the following mantras, just simple truths I remind myself of periodically: Things aren't always perfect. Things will go wrong. The universe is seemingly ordered, but also full of chaos. It's a part of life that teaches us to become stronger. Tie another knot and hang on. Ease up on the caffeine. Breathe.

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much your wonderful insight -- I definitely need to take the Unplug Challenge (ha!) Also, I absolutely love your mantra, and I'm writing it down so I can look at it often to remind myself that the bumps in the road are there to build my character and make me a stronger person. You are the best! XO

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  2. Oh yes.....I understand this for sure. I love how you put it......worry, stew, repeat...haha.....and that is exactly how it works for me. And by stew I mean create EVERY possible scenario in my head. Two things have helped with this----yoga (and meditation like Elizabeth mentioned) and my faith in God. Once I really committed myself to Him and learned that He wants the best for us, pressure was off of me.
    It is so great that you have your husband to lean on, confide in and trust--sounds like he was so great in the midst of your mini-meltdown.

    Love this picture above though---so funny and so so true.

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    1. Faith is certainly helpful in getting through the tougher times. It's true -- once you give up your worries to someone else, especially a higher being, you feel like a weight is lifted. I'm taking it one day at a time. Thank you for commenting -- it makes me feel so much better when others share they've gone through the same struggles!

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  3. I try things that will keep my mind occupied enough so I don't focus on things I really can't do anything about. Here are a few things I like to do to get me through (you already did the best one: talking it out when your husband/BFF):

    1. Go to an amusement park. Better yet, take a friend or a youngun’ with you.
    2. Favorite person, favorite food, favorite movie that makes you happy… all together.
    3. Have a friend who knows your taste recommend a page turner you can finish in a day. Have some healthy (and a few not-so-healthy) munchies close at hand and cuddle up in your favorite spot until you’re done.
    4. Grab your camera and make a photo journal of your neighborhood or your favorite places in your city. But don’t do this for work. Do it for yourself and find inspiration in little details you’ve missed in the past.
    5. Make a fun music mix. And take your time doing it! When you’re done, play it while making your favorite recipe.
    6. Make a photo book on a site like Blurb.com of #4's photo journal, a family album, your blog, a special trip, etc., etc., etc.

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    1. Pam, I love these ideas! Sometimes getting rid of the stress means putting energy into something you love to do.

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