Leaning Back…

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As I write this I am prepping to leave for a meeting in New York in the morning and coming off a long weekend trip to Texas to attend a conference, which capped off a week of lots of work, appointments, meetings, blogging and truly exhausting personal obligations. Oh yeah, and that whole “book” thing. I am bone tired; weary to the point of collapse and yet there is an voice in my head saying “You are not doing enough. Try harder.” Have you ever heard that voice? I bet you have.

As women I think we have it pretty tough.  I think we are fierce competitors, more-so then men in many ways, and we are easily and often overlooking our health in order to maintain crazy schedules, our families, friendships and bodies.  I feel there is this obtuse goal of becoming the impossibly perfect woman who has a demanding full time job, is a wonderfully engaged mother and wife, amazing cook (gluten/sugar/dairy free of course), attends five spin/barre/yoga/pilates classes a week, sleeps 8 hours, voluteers for the greater good  and is dressed to the nines and, while doing so, is perfectly relaxed. Namaste.

But no one can do all that (with out a team of full time personal assistants and nannies, at least).  In this Lean In era though, the pressure to do more and be more is everywhere.   I don’t even take time to draw in full breaths never mind meditate.  It’s not a sustainable pace of life and I am starting to feel like as a gender, we need to both lean in as well as know when to “lean back”.  I came across this article from the Washington Post about just this- the working woman (that includes you stay at home Moms) and her inability to stop and take in life’s true joys because we’re trying to do too much.  This quote in particular sums it up quite perfectly:

Americans work around the clock to be a success, wearing exhaustion like a badge of honor. In the process, they miss a lot of important stuff. Success is less about money and more about valuing wisdom and wonder, giving to others and well-being.

I’ve totally felt like there are other bloggers, writers and designers out there working until 1 a.m. and felt guilty when I turn in at 9:30 for bed.  I’ve berated myself for not more fiercely going after new, bigger business when I already have a wait list.  Just as I’m sure there are others who feel the need to stay in the office until 9pm and still get up for a 6 am run instead of sleeping in an extra hour, or moms who feel they need to produce some incredible Pinterest-sourced kids activities when really all they need is to put them in front of a Disney movie for a little and sit down with a magazine. There is this guilt associated with taking a break, this feeling that others aren’t and so you shouldn’t either. But in reality what we need to do is feel proud of what we’ve accomplished, keep working hard (of course) but also balance that work with more healthy behavior.  For example, I’ve stopped doing yoga in favor of working more.  I’m not taking that time to get myself off the grid anymore and it’s showing now. I feel out of shape,  sluggish and so much more stressed.  And while I know that my career and life are very blessed, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel broken from the pressure and pace sometimes.

So I’m asking you if you have felt this pressure and what you’ve done to try to get off the hamster wheel?  For those working busy jobs, how do you give yourself permission to check out? And of course when you’re a Mom there are no breaks until the kids are asleep or the babysitter shows up (this video perfectly explains that), but perhaps there’s a technique you’ve developed that helps you relax a little?  I’d love to hear what YOU do to give yourself a break and enjoy your life’s little details more and turn this comments section into a little tip list for all those reading.  Or perhaps a forum to vent, because sometimes a nice little venting session is the best gift you can give yourself. :)

 

90 Responses to “Leaning Back…”

  1. deb says:

    …….so andrew’s hard act to follow! a supportive & empathetic husband who worships you, erin, is one part of your life that is “there” & something you do not need to add to your”list”. that should take some of the heat off. being older than you with 2 beautiful, intelligent, athletic teenage girls, a full time design business, lovely supportive husband who has a demanding career, a sweet cuddly poodle, an old home that is continual personal design project– i HAVE to just “be” sometimes. what works for me and is absolutely uncompromisable is to get out in the fresh air & run (more a jog) and the fam knows that as well as my clients so i do not and never apologize for my time— otherwise, i am one craaazy! good luck. love to hear a follow up on what/how you found your peace. :)

  2. Off the Hamster Wheel says:

    This quote (from Bob Moawad) changed me: “The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”

    When I TRULY acknowledged that I was the one making myself crazy with too many expectations/obligations, etc., I just stopped. NO EXCUSES. For example, I said no to a high-pressure/long-hour job that everyone around me thought was an amazing/prestigious job in favor of a less demanding one I very much enjoy, because I knew I was doing what would lead to a more balanced life and therefore make me happier.

    Basically, I stopped blaming the pressures “society” places on us women for my (former) unhappiness; now, I take responsibility for doing what makes me happy vs. bowing to those pressures.

  3. Patricia says:

    Erin, you’re a fabulous writer, designer, woman, fashionista, blogger in the middle of prepping a book to drop, designing and living thru a major home extension. You’ve got so many balls in the air that some of them have to drop before YOU drop.
    What’s important? Your relationships witht the people you love and who love you. Your health. Period.
    Now, what else is important RIGHT NOW? Make a list. Brainstorm ideas on how to ask for and accept help. Just on the stuff that’s important TODAY. Tomorrow, next week, next month, something else will be most important and you can handle it then.
    Hey, I’m okay if you re-run your favortie blog posts for week or two, “The Best of Elements of Style”. Maybe make it a quarterly feature. Or do a monthly recap of your blogs.
    And your brainstorming will help you come up with ways to shift other tasks. And learn to live with saying “No”.
    Go out there and find your joy again.

  4. Heather P. says:

    Thank you for this – it’s hitting my screen at the right time!

    I often feel like I’m not doing enough outside of my job – volunteering, exercising, resting, hanging out with friends, and reading. It’s probably because I’m in the middle of a two-week marathon of final exams (I teach at two colleges on different schedules), and lately all I seem to find time for is grading papers until I pass out in bed.

    Sometimes I have to force myself to put everything away and just relax. Like right now – I’m catching up on blogs while feeling incredibly guilty about not doing work, not working out, and debating whether or not I have time to take a shower (I do…and I will, I promise).

    The best thing we can do as women is continue to talk about this problem. It’s something we should keep out in the open, as a reminder that ALL of us go through this…and we don’t have to go through it alone. :-)

  5. Patricia says:

    And another point: every few months my hsuband and I take the grandkis (age 8 and easy and age 2 and has learned how to climb EVERYTHING). Sure, our blood pressure is thru the roof for three days but step som and daughter in law are at a spa. Spending time together. Reading a whole book! Getting a massage. Sleeping all night long. Walks on the beach. Did I mention sleeping in?

    They really need it. We know that because we know how excited we are when they come back to collect the grandkids. As they drive away, my husband opens a bottle of wine and I hit the dark chocolate.

    This break is scheduled every three months or so. It’s one way to handle this. Pretend you’ve got kids and take the dogs to mom’s house and go.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Erin, you have written yet another timely and relevant blog post. Seriously, your timing is impeccable!

    I recently took a promotion at a prominent firm in a predominately male industry. To say being a female manager in this business would be a gross understatement. I do feel like I need to work more and work harder to prove that I am worthy of the position I am in. I also feel like I Combine this with my unending quest for perfection and medium level OCD, I am surely on a path to burn out. And yes, I feel guilty and insecure about my home life. Am I a good wife? Do I need to work out more? Are my dogs sad that we don’t get to have a lot of play time? To be completely candid, it is more than overwhelming. There are days where I ask myself “how did I get here?” and “is this where I want to be?” The doubt and questioning only leads to more anxiety.

    Thank you for bringing this issue to light on your blog and opening a forum to discuss it. Though I am not happy that we are facing this issue per se, it is comforting to know that I am not alone.

  7. Amy says:

    I am so sorry to hear you’re feeling overwhelmed! I completely understand the feeling. I wanted to thank you for including stay at home moms in your post (which I am one! Have an almost 2 year old & another one on the way) I so often feel
    Overwhelmed and that I’m not doing enough. So much pressure to be the perfect mom and wife all
    While maintaining a sense of self and individuality. It’s hard! Women do have it tough these days! Sometimes I think the most important thing is to hear from other women that it’s OK to not do it all to not be it all. I’ll never forget hearing another mom tell me she had the same self doubt and insecurities I had and guess what?! It’s OK not to be perfect! Love your blog & wish you the
    Best

  8. annie says:

    This could not have been written at a better time! I was crying to my husband yesterday about not being able to do it all. His response, “you don’t have to” Which made me cry even more because he just didn’t get it. I work full time, have a 10 month old, a very neglected dog and a husband who works late most nights. So, I feel like I have to do it all. I then beat myself up for not enjoying every moment with my beautiful child, who we struggled to conceive for years.
    I have learned that in order to take time for myself I have to ask for help and say no (no excuse or apology needed, just “No, I can’t do that”)
    I used to love getting a manicure and now when my husband suggests I go, I hesitate, because there are other things I need to do and I know sitting under the dryer at the nail salon will just make me anxious thinking about all of the things I am not doing!
    My husband is right, I don’t have to do it all and I don’t have to do it all on my own. Yes, he may get our daughter dressed in the morning in an outfit that doesn’t match or fit, but she will survive and I will get to enjoy 5 minutes to myself. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
    Erin, I look forward to reading your blog each morning. Thank you so much for your honesty, humor and style!

  9. Sophie Dufour says:

    Seems crazy but when I feel like you say you feel, I watch the movie Office Space (pretty 1990!). It always reminds me, in a ridicule way, that letting go of what people think and care less about every little thing, is the only way to feel relaxed and free, even in a busy life.

  10. Alison says:

    After having done the working mom thing for 4 years, we moved overseas and I am now the SAHM to two boys (4.5 and 2.5). They are both just as hard as each other.
    It’s just all a juggling/negotiating act.
    To be honest, my number one priority should be myself. I am a better wife, mother and person if I feel healthy, strong, well slept and well fed. It isn’t always reality, and the guilt factor often creeps in and I push through, exhausted, cranky and feeling terrible about myself.

    But last week, whilst my husband was traveling for work, I booked a babysitter. I went to a pilates class, changed my clothes and went and had dinner and a drink on my own. It was fabulous. I did feel guilty booking the babysitter, but after I had my night, I felt so good, it was money well spent.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    The timing of your post is amazing. I just put my son to sleep, told my husband that I forgot something and headed out to my car for yet another ugly cry. If you want suggestions for balance, I don’t have them. I work full time and am required to travel for hours every single day. I miss breakfast and dinner and bedtime with my 2 year old and husband, sometimes all at once. I don’t cook, I don’t work out, I don’t Pinterest anything. I can’t quit my job because I am the major contributor to our household finances. What I wish could happen? I wish I could find peace. I wish I could find purpose. I wish I could find a path. These are the things that I think can help alleviate the bone-crushing weight of feeling both overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

  12. Denetra says:

    I’m a single divorced parent and have been since my daughters were 7 weeks and 19 months old! They are now 12 and 14. I definitely know how you feel regarding exhaustion and feeling completely overwhelmed. Some days I feel the pressure and some days I just say forget it! If everyone is fed, the homework is done and clothes are clean for the next day. I go to bed with no apologies!! One thing that gets me by, I’m adamant about my time! After 9 pm I don’t talk to anyone under the age of 18!! That’s when I do me, whatever that is. Oh and did I mention I went back to school to get another degree?? You can’t have it all, all at once but you can definitely have it :)! Love the post and love the real comments.

  13. Kate G says:

    This is so timely, as I was just sitting at my desk wondering why I’m killing myself at work, scheduling 6am spin classes while my 16 month old is still sleeping, and penciling in rushed, two hour “day dates” thinking it makes my life full. We’re exhausting ourselves and I, for one, don’t feel present in any of those activites because I’m so outrageously tired. Which, almost cruely, you can’t publicly admit to for fear that the next time you see a Facebook post about the ridiculous cult of busyness you’ll be embarrased by how much of that you see in yourself and wonder if your friends are really whining about you. /rant. Hopefully we’ll get there – thanks for the reminder to not only relax, but relax in good company.

  14. Janet says:

    By nature I am very similar to you. As I have gotten older (I am 48) I have learnt to change my definition of success. It is now not about doing everything perfectly or even just doing everything or keeping up with everyone else, it is about doing some important things really well and letting the rest go. It’s hard to do but the pay back is worth it. I find that scheduling personal time is as important as scheduling meetings. For me if I don’t plan for it it doesn’t happen. Also identify a couple of activities or places you can go to that made you feel good. For me it’s sitting under a tree in my favourite park and taking a bath. You’ll get it sorted.

  15. Sarah says:

    2 years ago (almost to the day) I moved from the city to the country and with it I left my stress behind. I had a full-on job in Advertising which saw me become a stressed, neurotic, overwhelmed idiot! On a few occasions I did put my hand up and say how ridiculous it was to still be in the office post 9pm but I was told in no uncertain terms “it’s your job”…. Well, after many, many years of dreaming about a different life – one in which I would enjoy what I did for a living and actually feel happy and content doing it I can honestly say “i’ve found it”. It took many big and difficult life decisions (as well as some time), but I wasn’t willing to put up with a career that made me the big bucks but also made me miserable. I now have my own Graphic Design business. I work from home (which I love) and I feel so much more balanced with the whole work/life thing. My life is definately not perfect and I do still think at times I “should” be doing more but then I remember the job and life I used to have and I know that I’m doing exactly what I “should” be doing…. just “should” have done it years ago!

  16. Stella says:

    Your font is too small

  17. franki says:

    Be wary what you wish for….being “retired” recently….I’m living vicariously through your blog. “We’ve made it this far”….something is going right. Breathe and blog on in moderation vs maniac!! franki

  18. Meghan S says:

    Work til weary is the American way, right!?#$% I am sitting contemplating what I’m going to with my still young children once preschool and kindergarten are out for the summer….I’m envious of the teachers/moms I know who will have the summer off….and here I am a business owner, the boss! I had an epiphany and said you know I”m in control of my schedule and if I don’t need to/want to work full time hours and enjoy my children for the summer I’m allowed to. Its sad that it just feels wrong for me to do that.

  19. Maureen Sullivan Stemberg says:

    Erin,

    This is why I love your blog… Your totally honesty!
    I do hope you can find a balance that is healthy and makes
    you happy. I so admire your courage to be so many difficult
    situations on your blog. I, totally agree you should be “lean back.”
    Find what is most important to you… Set limits for yourself.
    I don’t think there is one women among us today that can not
    relate to you and this timely gem of an article.

  20. erin says:

    This is so interesting to read and we have all felt it. I am single and always feel guilt when I feel this way – how could I when I don’t even have kids? I lived in Boston for 12 years and worked hard, worked out a lot, was involved in lots of charities, traveled every weekend and this past year I moved to Europe for work. The first four months were tough especially with three hours of commuting per day. But I can say this, the Europeans have taught me some things about how I view my life. One of the things I notice the first questions is never “what do you do” – they want to talk about life, your passions, where you travel, etc. And the six weeks of vacation… I believe in it, they really get a break. No work at all during those vacations – stepping away helps to re-inspire and energize you. And going on holiday for 2-3 weeks here is the norm! I am sure that is crazy hard with your own business, but I am now a true believe that we all need to take breaks for ourselves. Go somewhere you have always wanted to go, relax, explore but don’t work:)
    I love my job but my time here has really helped put life in perspective and I am grateful for that.

  21. Justine says:

    Erin, firstly I love your honesty. I can’t imagine how you get everything done…..
    Secondly, what I do daily to literally try and wash my worries away (as a mom with my own business and kids) is to hop in the shower the minute the kids are tucked and kissed in bed. It allows me to:
    a. ignore the faint requests for “mommy” that I hear, that typically disappear once I am out of the shower, who knew?
    b. feel cleansed from the inside out
    c. get a little burst of energy if I do still need to sit down and finish up some work in the evening, or I’m ready for bed and can catch up on a show
    Honestly, this is the best advice that I can give to amy stressed out women out there. It WORKS, on so many levels. Plus it gives you extra time to get the kids (if you have any) and yourself ready in the morning :-)

  22. Erin, your post is a strong reminder of one of the main reasons I moved from Los Angeles to Rome six years ago.

    I had no life. I worked all the time. My stress levels were out of control. My doctor actually told me to find a different line of work (I used to be a Hollywood film exec).

    I’ve learned a lot living here. People work very hard and the hours are long. However, there is a balance. There’s a great deal of vacation (around five weeks a year, not counting all the holidays)and people take it.

    Time spent with family and friends is important. Nobody asks you what you do when they first meet you because that’s considered rude and boring. Back in February people were already asking me what my plans were for Ferragosto (August, when the entire country basically heads to the beach, the mountains, or overseas).

    Most of my Italian female friends have children and work BUT they have a ton of family help. They also get six months PAID maternity leave and many took the option of a year maternity leave. That said, there’s a reason most only have one child. They know they can’t do it all, so they don’t.

    I still have some of my anal American Calvinistic traits. It will take a while for me to not completely stress out in August because I literally cannot work.

    I agree with the other commenters who suggested writing down a schedule and keeping to it. The downside of having your own company is that you feel like you could always be working (especially if you work from home).

    I find setting a time to get off the computer has helped a lot.

    I hope you will write a follow-up post. I think this is an issue so many of us struggle with. It’s crazy that often we are made to feel guilty for trying to have a life.

  23. Heidi Donohue says:

    Learn to Make YOUR OWN choices. Choose what matters and what feels worthy of YOUR time and passion. Then remember to LET IT GO if its not what matters to YOU. You will stay busy because that is who you are and how you roll but it won’t feel exhausting if it matters and you won’t question yourself.

  24. KC says:

    What a timely post. This month I turn 30, and that is scary. Because I am unmarried, I live in the tiniest of apartments in Beacon Hill, I’ve chosen a career in museums and don’t make much money and I am about 10 lbs over what I want to be. But I’ve had a reality check. I am the only child of a single mother and last weekend, I visited my mom for the first time since she was diagnosed with an agressive and advanced cancer on December 23rd. Her diagnosis made her slow down, lean on her friends, ask for help, relish in her community and enjoy every day. I have never seen her look so strong and beautiful as she did this weekend. Each month and each new year I set goals – wait loss, more time at the gym, big career steps, saving more money, spending more time volunteering, finally nailing down that husband thing. I’ve decided that this May I will focus on one goal and one goal only – I will make myself happy. Each day, I will choose the things that make me truly happy. It’s just a hunch, but I imagine all of those goals – like being happier with my body, and settling down with a man, and finding success with work and friends may fall into place more easily if I keep my eye on that simplest and truest of prizes: happiness.

  25. We all seem to work too much; especially this time of year in the greater Boston area after a brutal, limiting winter when work and activities were curtailed or rescheduled countless times.

    Being a single working woman in your 20s is often tiring; I’ve been that. Being a working married mom in your 30s is tiring for different reasons. And I’ve been that. Now as a single working mother in my 40s raising two fine young men (preteen and teenager) I can certainly tell you that life is more hectic than ever before… and you tend to let go of little things like missing a Pilates class. Good luck!

  26. Rebecca says:

    Being a woman is tough! We’ve decided that we need to be superwomen all the time, and as a result, we wear out ourselves. I find, like you, that I am harder on myself than anyone else ever is. I think we need to make more of an effort to give ourselves a break more often than we do. For the past two years, I’ve made a point to schedule a massage every month. I find that I feel a million times better afterwards. After reading this post, I’m motivated to up it to every two weeks. Thanks Erin! FYI, you’re my absolute favorite blogger. I love everything about this getaway place in space.

  27. Beth L says:

    2 things I have learned – and being very aware of them has helped me beyond words.

    1. We all live the life of our choosing. If it’s happy, busy, sad, lonely, exhausting, it is 99% based on decisions we have made for ourselves that makes it so.

    2. I started saying that my life is “full” instead of “busy”. If I am choosing good things for my life, it shouldn’t be “busy”, it should be “full”. I am happy with a full life. I am getting rid of the stuff that makes me “busy”.

    HTH!!! and smile more.

  28. lindsey says:

    I completely know how you feel. I am a corporate lawyer, and single, so sometimes I catch myself thinking that because other coworkers have family obligations to take care of, I am the one that has to cover for them since I have no children. Even if I’m not working late, my schedule is jam-packed with social activities, work events, and family activities (if I never go out, I’ll never meet anyone and be un-single, right??). And these are all fun things that I don’t want to miss out on, but it gets exhausting! I have pretended to my friends that I was sick on a Friday night before, bought a bottle of wine, and caught up on my relationship with my couch, tivo, books/magazines, and that is the one thing that feels truly restful to me. Apparently this only works for me on a weekend night. I hate to have to give up something socially, but sometimes, something has just got to give!

  29. Stephanie Dehner says:

    One thing I’ve learned over time as a full-time mom and advertising creative (lots of men married to the job, lots of hours, lots of reasons to stay late instead of go home) is that when I slow down and make some time for myself, it actually makes me better when I do turn my attention back to my work or family. Not only do I feel better, but I’m more engaged and I use the time I have more efficiently.

    For a while I struggled with this. Less doesn’t equal more. More equals more. But as someone in a creative field, it really doesn’t. To be creative, you need to be awake, taking in the world around you and finding joy in it, not just getting through one thing so you can get through the next thing. You can’t absorb anything and re-imagine it as something even lovelier if you’re frayed from multitasking, always feeling behind the eight-ball and fighting back tears because you’ve exceeded everybody’s expectations but your own.

    It’s hard and takes practice, but if you keep reminding yourself that your 75% kicks the ass out of most everybody else’s 150%, you WILL start to believe it. And you’ll be able to do more of the things you love because they’re the very things that make your 75% kick so much ass in the first place.

    Fake it till you make it, basically. It can’t feel any worse than feeling stressed and exhausted, right?

    Oh, ps, I read 10% Happier after you recommended it and loved it, so thanks!

  30. Wow! All great comments! I like Lisa Merrick’s advice about staying authentic…Want to take Elizabeth’s advice and read Margin..CC, saying not caring about what other people think of you….GP’s list…and an overwhelming, yes, to believing in yourself. Andrew…omg…we DO place too much importance on what everyone else is doing!

    I know by now, alot of people have seen the video clip of Pharrell Williams crying on during his interview with Oprah, but has anyone else besides me watched the ENTIRE interview (on Oprah’s OWN)? It gave me a new perspective on my path in life…and following my dream..trusting in finding each of our purpose. In the interview he mentions the book, The Alchemist, and how it changed his life. So I read the book again with more intention. It’s a great way to reset your mind.

    Besides that, I know that I need yoga to get centered (and haven’t gone to a class since before Easter! which explains why I feel backwards this week), and recently I started to find time in the day to meditate and focus on gratitude and saying what I’m grateful for that moment and that day.

  31. […] Preach. And don’t get me started on the book Lean In. […]

  32. Awesome post! Thanks for putting this out there-we all can’t hear it enough.

    I am pregnant with our first child and have been committed to loving my body and treating it well from day 1 with pre-natal Pilates, twice a week. It has been the best thing for me-it’s gotten me out of work on time (when most days I let my office hours extend unpredictably long depending on the demands on my desk). So many days I have caught myself en route to Pilates being so aware of the simplest things, like my breathing in and out. This turns into an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this time that I have made for myself. By the time I get to the studio, change clothes and lay down on the reformer, I feel like a new person.

    It’s amazing what the mind can do for us, if we only let it take a break from the grind!

    You have a beautiful blog-thanks for sharing your time and talents.

    -mc-

  33. Jeanine says:

    Take an hour for yourself and rent (it’s also on Netflix) the Oscar-winning documentary, “The Lady in No. 6: Music Saved My Life”. Watch through to the end, and note the concentration camp survivor who said, paraphrasing – “When you have been to the bottom of hell, you understand what really matters. (Having) Life and human relationships. That is all.” When I’m feeling overwhelmed, this will get me back on track. Nurture yourself and your loved ones. That is all.

  34. Laura says:

    I have to say that not being afraid to say “no” has made a big difference. I’ve actually made an effort to make sure that I have at least two nights and two mornings a week that are not filled with plans, just so that I can either take that time to myself to sleep in, cook a healthful meal, work out, or catch up on some DVR/Netflix time. Every other morning/night will inevitably be filled-in with late nights at the office, running to the dry cleaner before it closes, planning events, paying the bills, etc…, but if you make sure to have a few slots “booked” for yourself, then it’s a lot easier to say no when you’re asked to do ONE MORE THING, even if that thing is something good like dinner with a friend. It’s so easy to put ourselves on the back-burner, and women are generally much more guilty of it.

    I know it’s always all about the power of yes, but I find that actually saying no to something (and not really needing to explain yourself) and choosing to spend even a little bit of free time on yourself, whether it’s going to the gym or vegging out for an hour, can actually be super empowering and MAJORLY stress relieving!

  35. […] love this post from Elements of Style about Leaning Back. Read it! This part is my favorite: “I feel there […]

  36. adesigndiary says:

    Erin this post really hit home for me…I am beyond exhausted at the moment with three projects running , a marketing proposal which has to be finished for our printers, a range of fabrics half-way through being photographed for my website and I am doing all the necessary paperwork every night until after 1 am because I have not sat down in my office for longer than half an hour for the past two weeks!! I know exactly how you feel and my exercise and eating have suffered as a result making me feel like crap and look even worse! Why do we do it to ourselves?
    I am taking myself in hand and making a serious effort to relax more and switch off more to allow me to do more…its a weird dichotomy ,but relaxing and cutting back seems to allow one be able to perhaps not actually do more, but to certainly work better and I appear to accomplish more.
    Thanks once again for sharing and making me take a hard look at what I am doing.

  37. I HIGHLY recommend “Overwhelmed: work love and play when no one has the time” by Brigid Schulte. It’s a real eye opener in some cases, but also jsut feels good to know it’s a problem that people everywhere face in some degree.

  38. EGreen says:

    I’ve been following some of the suggestions in this TED talk {http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work} on the habits of happiness, and finding my overall outlook a lot cheerier and more peaceful. And then when I’m cheerier and more peaceful I find it easier to make better/more nourishing decisions, etc. All the suggestions in the talk are good, but the ones that I’m doing most regularly are saying things I’m grateful for each morning and journaling for 5 min. each evening about something good that happened that day. I don’t always go into the exercise feeling like doing it, but each takes very little time, and I’m finding myself doing a whole lot more “wow, that truck is a really pretty color” and less “if that truck doesn’t move out of my way I will kill someone.”

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