When to Look in the Mirror: Stress Management

I consider myself someone who could be filed under “easy-going”, “laid back” or whatever description you would choose to suggest that it takes a lot to stress me out. More often than not I’m a positive-thinker, and I log some miles to make sure my brain has time to return to normal levels of sanity throughout the week.

Now, I’m not saying I don’t get stressed – oh man, I do. The blood rushes to my face when somebody cuts me off in traffic, or I miss a turn and instantly feel SO LOST (D would argue that I’m directionally challenged; I like to think I can get myself around), or I sleep in past my alarm and I’m rushing around in the morning (…well, I kind of rush around either way) and feel like I need just five more minutes. I also get stressed when I don’t have at least one night per week to relax at home, or I can’t get that stupid column to fill up in the Sudoku puzzle.

But, my stressors are short lived. They come, give the fight-or-flight energy, and then leave. I don’t dwell on anything, and my inner-yogi has developed a strong “breathe, relax, breathe” system.

That means that I experience “acute” stress; adrenaline is released and I deal with the issue and my brain moves on. Done! What’s next?

This morning I woke up {ahem, after pressing snooze twice}, and went out for an easy 5 mile run around 7 a.m. Then, I got ready to give a seminar for work. It was based around Stress management – something I’ve got under control, right?

Well, as of 9 a.m.: I haven’t finished packing for our weekend get-away (typical), I have two things left to check-off the Christmas-shopping list (so close!), my car needs an oil change (what? Doesn’t that stuff last forever?), I’m desperate for a yoga class (that I’ve only been to once this week – what happened?!), I’m still bookmarking things for the holiday menu that I’m suddenly thinking might actually be a challenge (Me? No, I’ve never been responsible for a holiday meal…), and I’m realizing the drive to said seminar is much longer than I had originally anticipated (which is okay, because it’s 9 a.m. and I have time. Whew.).

Cue: stress-ball. How ironic.

I tend to do well with presentations {yup, it’s okay – we can pat ourselves on the back sometimes!}, and I felt ready for this one. But I still get nervous; I still assume that I’ll talk too fast, sweat, feel my heart beating quickly, and maybe get a question or two that I might not anticipate.

As I drove, I thought of the to-do list, the traveling, the holiday coming SO quickly and the fact that I forgot my wallet at home. Add to all the above and I think you’re getting where this is going…

Stress unpacked and set up camp.

Stress Management Tips? Those are sitting on my jump-drive and in my mental notes and in the words that are about to ebb and flow out of my mouth for the next hour.

The presentation went really well (love that feeling), my car greeted me with Christmas music and a smooth drive home, and my bags are now packed.

Look in the mirror, Heather – calm down. None of these problems are unsolvable; nothing about this day is bad – in fact, so many things about it are good! – and all of the items will get a checked box by the end of the day, week, or month. You’re fine.


I hope you’re all getting through these typically-busy weeks, and actually taking moments to breathe, relax, and take it all in. We love the holidays, right? It’s fun to stare at a flashy tree in my living room, think about family visitors that are coming, and listen to the Tchaikovsky Pandora station nonstop.

Remember, and do, the things you love – think positively, schedule time for yourself, exercise, keep the healthy eats in there with the holiday treats, and check those boxes when you can .

Enjoy the weekend! And feel free leave some tips to add to that list if you have them!



Filed under about me, advice, balance, doin things My way, learning, running

7 responses to “When to Look in the Mirror: Stress Management

  1. you are so right, sometimes all we need is a little self talk and motivation to calm down. Thrilled that the presentation went well. But i knew it would.

  2. Perfect timing! This is my first day of holiday break from my dietetic internship and I’ve turned off my phone, resolved not to check email, and plan to SLEEP in past 5 am for once.

  3. Such a great reminder! I am rather type-A and have to make an effort EVERY SINGLE DAY to calm the heck down.

  4. I love this post – and as a new reader can I also say that I love the way you write too – so natural, as if you’re writing what you are thinking, seamlessly, and yet it is so articulate and interesting! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on stress management, they rock! I am an anxious and highly strung (ahem!) person by nature, and I can sweat the small stuff, so I really appreciate your wise words of wisdom (oxymoron?!) Anyway…thank you! And congratulations on your presentation that’s awesome! Happy holidays, and happy weekend! xyx

  5. This is an inspiringly positive and sweet post! Thanks Heather.

  6. Pingback: You Can’t Beat Home Sweet Home | Dietitian on the Run

  7. Lauren

    I have been so stressed out lately! I have learned the hard way that working in a restaurant attached to the busiest mall in ABQ during the holidays = STRESS. People are grumpy, hungry, cold and for lack of a better word stupid during this time of year. Let’s just say I really miss taking my one month ‘Christmas Vacation’ from reality and going home for the holidays.

    However, you make some good points and I just have to keep my head up! 🙂 Miss you sister.

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