Posts Tagged stress

Year in Review: Resolutions 5

Today was a pretty incredible day, even though it feels like I didn’t actually accomplish very much.  I went to pick up a new awesome beanbag chair – a huge one! – through a series of sunny snowshowers, which was surreal.  I also managed to get my new Dance Pad set up with StepMania (the open source version of DDR, thanks Nate and Sam!) along with the old DDR song mixes from the PS2 that Todd and I used to work out to… so the circle is complete!

Onward, to finish up these resolutions!

9. Travel to one of {mainland Asia, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa}.

Hrm.  Well, if I had indeed done any sort of planning on this one beyond simple thought, I might give myself some credit, but the sad truth is that I didn’t.  I got a little wrapped up in other travel this year – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida/Grand Cayman/Jamaica, San Juan, Amsterdam, Minneapolis, Madison – that I didn’t really ever have the presence of mind to plan out a trip to Asia/Australia/Africa.  This is still a long-term goal of mine, as I love traveling to new places, so I may see what I can do planning-wise next year.  Overall, major failure. :(

10. Stress less.

This one is super difficult to evaluate – am I less stressed now than I was in past years?  In my work, yes, I think so.  Even though I am often busier in my new role as game designer, I am happier and managing it better.  In my social life, it’s kind of a push – I have a lot of great folk I see, but I stress sometimes because of awkwardness among friend groups or because I just don’t have enough energy or time to see them all.  I stressed quite a bit about women this year, but I wouldn’t say that’s particularly different than other years. 😀  Overall, I’ll give this the barest of minor successes.  I have a ways to go, but I have started along the path to more stress-free living.

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Control Thyself

One of the lessons it has taken me the longest to internalize (and I’m still not quite there) is that I should focus on the things I have control over, and not let the things I don’t have control over control me.  I carry the Serenity Prayer around in my head, but how often do I actually listen / live by its principles?  I tend to stress out about and feel pressure from sources I definitely can’t control – a classic example being how other people spend their time.  I guess my big mistake is that I mistake some influence for potential control, so I’m always bummed out when I’m bashing my head against a wall trying to control other people’s schedules.

I know, seems obvious now that I am writing it down, but the simple stuff can trip even the best of us up!

One thing I’ve resolved to do recently, at Michelle’s urging, is to say “yes” more often, just to whatever requests come at me.  By mentally putting myself into the “default yes” state, I am forcing myself to be aware of all these stressful thoughts (I’ll never have time to do all that!  What if I’m tired!  There’s too much other stuff going on!) and live with them.  One thing I’ve definitely learned about feeling overwhelmed is that it’s so so easy to get wrapped up in how overwhelming it is, without actually doing anything about it.  Extracting oneself, just to go outside, or relax a little longer during lunch / coffee, or even to go out on a night where you normally wouldn’t, ends up being the healthiest way to destress.

That being said, the logical brain still has useful input even when overstressed – and I do try to balance its input with this new “yes” philosophy and not actually just kill myself.  A happy medium!

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