Stress Management – Without Involving Girl Scouts

Here’s a fun fact for you: I was a Girl Scout and proud of it. But you know those boxes of cookies we sold? I think they were designed to make us feel good which is awesome. Great business idea. However, we’re not supposed to eat the entire box of thin mints in one sitting even though it feels so right. For the second year in a row, I’m going to try to say “no thank you” (with the nicest smile ever) to the Girl Scouts in front of Kroger. Last year, I tried and failed when a little one with her two front teeth missing came up to me and I just snatched the form from her and bought four boxes. Failure. So I will try again and let you know how that goes.

Anyway! Sorry I have been completely MIA. The past two weeks have been absolutely insane. I wrapped up the swim season at the state championship in Austin on the 17th, and this past weekend I was in LA for the Create and Cultivate Conference. That was a blast and I will be sharing my recap of the conference later this week.

To update you, I am officially at the halfway point with Theo. I still have lots of work to do with him but I think I will actually be done with it by mid-March. I mean, I have to be done with it soon, cause um, I applied for graduation so your girl gotta be done. With the ultimate deadline ahead, my stress levels are constantly flux. Some days/weeks I am great – productive, eat right, get my workouts in, everything is good. Then there are times when I’m a complete slug and eat an entire bag of sour gummy worms. They are my ultimate indulgence. Sour gummy worms and Swedish fish. And gummy bears. Anyway, you get the point. I’ve been looking into ways to manage my stress that are not nearly as detrimental to my overall progress – fitness and work wise. Let’s be honest, four-hour Netflix sessions and Girl Scout cookies are just not productive – or healthy – by any means.

  1. Herbal Tea

I am quite possibly an old woman trapped in a 31-year old’s body. I’m literally in bed by 8:30 every night with a cup of tea. All of my teas are caffeine free and I also love a good Chai. When I’m out and about during the day, my go-to Starbucks order is a venti iced chai with coconut milk. If it’s night time, I get it hot. It’s basic but I love it. But pretty much daily before bed, I have a cup of tea with no sugar or honey. I just drink it plain. Whole Foods and Kroger/HEB (for my Texas peeps) have really good selections. I feel like you can never go wrong with Celestial Seasonings and their selection of teas. I’m finding out that tea really calms me down at the end of the night. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed and your mind just won’t. Stop. Going. Next thing you know you’re up until midnight…Not cool. You may have the whole next few days planned out, but you’re even more exhausted.

  1. Soul Cycle

So it’s no secret that I work out and throw all of my frustrations into a workout but once a week I go to Soul Cycle. I go on Sundays for Soul Survivor. Soul Cycle has become part of my Sunday routine. I get to start the week fresh this way. Enter the week with a clear mind and focus. I don’t know if it’s the combination of a dark room and breaking a sweat or just having a badass instructor. I think it’s both actually. Yeah, definitely both. Cat G is my homie. Seriously. Go see her at Memorial or River Oaks. If you’re in the Houston area (or anywhere, really. I first went at Bryant Park. That’s where I first fell in love.) and are interested in Soul Cycle, click here.

3. Turn OFF My Phone

Okay. So my phone is attached to me. It’s an extension of my right arm. So to turn off my phone is like cutting off my hand but honey – lemme tell you – it’s been allowing me to breathe. I turn my phone off for 45 minutes a day. It’s a break from the constant notifications, texts, emails, and calendar alerts reminding me of deadlines I have missed. Most importantly, it’s a relief from the anxiety I actually have when my phone is frequently buzzing and I’ve got so much to do. I have considered no longer using my calendar on my phone and only relying on my life planner, but I also need the alerts to remind me of meetings. Try it.

I realize I have a lot going on, and I don’t want anyone to feel bad for me. I took these things on, they are my projects. So many people are always like, “Well why don’t you just stop doing so much?” Here’s the thing: It’s easy to just drop one thing and make my life easier. However, I took on the things that make me busy for a reason. Grad School is almost over, and the finish line in right there (you see it?). I just have to buckle down and once summer comes and I can sit back and be proud of everything I’ve accomplished. I’ll be a Master – Master of Badassery.

Trust me when I say that I don’t aspire to be busy. I like to take on projects and have things that I focus on, but never just be busy for the sake of it. I like to go with the flow. I don’t like having to consult my multiple calendars and planners to see if I’m able to have lunch with a friend on the weekend. Believe me, I’m looking forward to when I don’t have all of this stuff – May 31st can you get here any sooner?!

So, let me ask you this. How do you manage stress and can you ignore the Girl Scouts outside your grocery store? Comment below!

Juggling it all

“Most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn’t is someone who I admire, but have never met.” – Barbara Walters

If I told you my goals for the year, I’d say them confidently and give some kind of cocky head tilt when I was done. However, in my head, there is a full three-ring circus going on. Oh, but I’m a professional, don’t worry. I’m on the unicycle juggling everything; full-time job, this blog, coaching, and three personal goals. When I tell you the struggle is real…y’all have no idea.

My life revolves around my phone. As a socially-connected person, I am always scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, replying to SnapChat stories, and checking my email. While most people unplug, I stay plugged in and here’s why. I’m in my final – I say final cause I’m mentally done – semester of grad school. I’m in the middle of my thesis and it’s a study on – yep – Instagram and fashion bloggers. Go figure. Two things I love, fashion and Instagram, and I’ve had two mental breakdowns in the process. Theodore (yes, my thesis has a name. I even lovingly call him Theo), is daunting and frustrating, and way behind schedule. I was supposed to be done with him in December, but coaching got in the way and I’ve pushed him to this semester, and of course, I’m running out of time again. Panic! But not going to drop the ball here. Oh no, I’m better than that. Let’s throw something else in the mix to make this more fun. How about my New Year’s Resolution?

Ah, so I’m supposed to do a fitness competition this year. 2018 was supposed to be the year I do it. I have everything in place and lined up. I’m supposed to be eating right and getting all of my workouts in, teaching, blogging, coaching, working on Theo, manage a social life and stay sane and look presentable. You mean I can’t go to work in head to toe Lululemon? I can make it look cute, I promise. With all things in the air, all I want to do is shove my entire face into a bag of Cheetos, aka Orange Gold, with a sweet tea and some Sour Patch Kids. While my head is saying let’s do all of this, right now. All of the outside voices are saying you can’t. Oh but baby, I can. Here’s to hoping I get through the end of this month a little ahead of schedule and my sanity still intact. Excuse me while I go update my three planners…

Leave it to Barbara Walters to remind me that juggling is not supposed to be easy. I will struggle and have a hard time, and it will be difficult. It will be all about how I manage the struggle.

PS: I’m so glad the Eagles won the Super Bowl, but that halftime show was nothing to be desired. I expected a whole lot more. But, now that football’s over…bring on baseball. Go Yankees.