Thursday, May 29, 2014

The writing game.

I don't recommend being a writer if you're the anxious type. One day your career is glamorous and you're interviewing celebrities, and the next you're feeling defeated. You feel like a sham. Like there are no good opportunities. Like it's all crumbling.

I'm smart enough to know that's not true, but it feels like it. And I don't want to get swept away by my feelings.

I feel defeated. I wish more magazines would publish my articles--or at least respond to my queries. I wish opportunities wouldn't dry up just because an editor moves to another position. I wish longstanding clients wouldn't disappear. I wish a publisher would just publish my kids book. I wish I had the energy to write my other book idea. I wish I could take a break from it all, refocus, and then re-attack. I can't imagine having the energy to feel good enough to be go-getter Kristen.

I'm tired. Lots going on and it's left me burned out. At the same time, I'm eager to get back in the game and start pitching.

I just get deflated my rejection and silence so easily.

In the past, it made me doubt my abilities. Today, it just makes me exhausted from playing the game.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Your body on anxiety.

When I first started experiencing issues with anxiety in my late teens and early 20s, I was desperate for answers. I thought I was going crazy so I started looking for answers. I wanted to confirm it--that I was nuts.

Instead, I learned that I was experiencing anxiety. That helped, because then everything made sense. For me, it started with stomach issues, which the doctor thought was an ulcer. My stomach would be "on" even when I wasn't anxious. But really, I was so anxious and didn't really stop feeling that way, even when I thought all was good. It was like my mind was eating my stomach and I didn't even know it.

When I saw this infographic on anxiety at Huffinton Post, I figured I'd share. If you're not sure what you're going through, this may help you see that you're not crazy. Our bodies react to our minds. Once we know that, we can begin to learn how to deal with it all. 

How did your anxiety physically manifest? 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

B+ living.

I recently heard about this blog and I had to share it. It's a blog by a gal named Sarah Bagley, and she's kind of my hero. She's built this whole blog--updated daily, nothing you'll find here!--blog around the concept of letting go of perfection. That's gold for the anxious peeps like me. We need to be reminded constantly that it's okay to let go a little. Many of us are Type A overachievers. (Wrote about that recently here, too!)

Sarah's message isn't about being lazier. It's about living more simply. Giving ourselves permission. That's something my therapist has stressed, and it's worked wonders for me. Now when something challenging comes up, I give myself permission to face it however I see fit. I don't have to be on go-go-go mode. I can take a break, or cancel, or do whatever I want. It's not being selfish like it may be for some people. For an anxious person, that's called self-care. And we all deserve it!

Who needs an A+ life when B+ can be just as fabulous...and less taxing?

Monday, May 19, 2014


I have been such a busy girl.

Painted walls. Finished faux floor tonight. Tomorrow nothing on my day planner.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sending up my own self-care red flag.

Why do we never take care of ourselves until we’re on the verge of a breakdown? I know, I know. If I was practicing yoga and making time for “me” things, I may not have gotten this bad. But I’m feeling stressed. So stressed that I’m impatient and probably shouldn’t be driving. (Hey, there are some real asshats on the roads here in NJ…I can’t help it if I make gestures at them when they won't drive correctly!) In reality, though, that's not the person I want to be. I'm so stressed and I clearly see that I'm not the person I want to be when I'm like that.
I’ve been working for weeks on my basement. Making an unfinished basement a more finished-yet-unfinished space. I really want it to be a nice place for my husband, and I like painting and doing that kind of stuff. But compound it with other stressors such as piles of yardwork, a birthday party to coordinate, a mom to transport, family obligations, and a job (as well as a broken vacuum), and now I’m kind of a mess. Well, not a full mess, but I’m feeling my stress levels boil over.
Sometimes, I can’t tell the signals for when I need to slow down. I like renovating my house and taking care of my lawn. I’m pleased with the painstaking detail I’ve put into my husband’s 40th birthday invites. Yet these things stress me at the same time.
It’s easy to know you’re truly relaxing when you’re reading or doing yoga I suppose. When you’re doing something that you like, even though you like them, they’re still work. And too much of anything, no matter how much we like it (or too tight a deadline) spells disaster for an anxious, neurotic girl like me.
Breathe and reboot. I won’t do that by painting a concrete floor, but I will make some time to unwind. I swear.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mental Health Month.

It's Mental Health Month

More than 15 million American men and woman experience social anxiety disorder. Symptoms typically begin around age 13. Some 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report living with symptoms for 10 years or more before seeking help. Is this you or a loved one?

ADAA offers 5 new video shorts on social anxiety, including one on effective treatment.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Birthdays, aging, doctors, and chai.

It's weird that when May comes around, I sort of get depressed. My birthday is in May, and I hate the thought of getting older. I know that I have it pretty good now. 

But in recent years, I've been trying to shift my mindset around aging. I think of the couple of friends I've lost who were young. And how they never got the privilege of aging. All the good stuff in my life that has come as I've aged...especially the few years. I also think that birthdays are a badge of in, I made it another year. And in an odd way, I think I'm brave for aging, because some people just give up on their lives (and yes, take them). 

Aging has always seemed scary to me. In my early 20s, I was panicked at the thought of paying bills and taking care of my own health. I went through a lot of health anxiety fretting that I could not care for my body, which would inevitably get sick. Things have changed, thank God. I took proactive care of myself and went to great lengths to find doctors I'm comfortable around. They make it easy for me to want to be proactive. They make otherwise scary procedures less daunting. And while I may never "like" doctors, I can take care of myself. When I think about getting older, I'm so grateful for this ability. For so many years, I didn't have it. Maybe that's why I feared aging.

In a few weeks, I will be 36. And while I like the ring of 35 (and the fact that it undoubtedly puts me in my mid-thirties), I'm going to embrace the new age. But not without relishing all the fun things my 35-year-old self has done, and still will do. My 35-year-old self has written another book, made brave advancements in her career,  completed testing to start medication for hypothyroidism, went paddleboarding, was a maid of honor at her sister's wedding, went through the loss of her furbaby, swam in the ocean, spent time with her beloved cousins, adopted another child (cat), took her vitamins almost daily, spent quality time with her nieces and nephews, took care of her home, started eating chia seeds and flax seeds, got published in a major women's health magazine, continued practicing yoga, consumed and relished each Starbucks skim chai, lifted more weights, painted a basement, went on bike rides, cared for her mother, loved her husband, prayed and expressed gratitude...oh my list goes on.

Grateful. 35. 36. Whatever. Age is just a number.