You know the feeling: Your phone keeps buzzing, every email in your inbox is marked “URGENT,” and you have to have a meeting on the way to a meeting because your calendar has less space than you did on the train ride to work. I don’t know how it happened, but at some point, we’ve accepted stress as a normal part of life. Over time, these everyday pressures can have adverse effects on how we relate to others, our productivity, and our health. Here are some of my quick fixes for stressful moments:
My BFF sent me this URL via Gchat and I have been sharing it widely ever since. Click if you dare to be calm, and enjoy relaxing scenes from nature and meditative sounds. You can choose to play the scenes on loop or select 2-, 5-, or up to 20-minute guided sessions. Put on your headphones and give yourself a moment of peace.
Take a Walk
Unless you work in a hospital, you can take a 15-minute break to take a walk away from your stressful environment and get some fresh air. Don’t forget to leave your cell phone and your iPad behind.
Make Yourself a Calendar Item
Had to eat lunch at your desk? Again? Make a date with yourself after work to indulge in something sweet. Happy hour can be fun, but the noise of it all can just add more stress to your day. Every once in a while, put some “me time” on your calendar and enjoy your own company. You’ll have something yummy to look forward to throughout the day.
There are a million quotes extolling the benefits of serving others, but after my experience this Saturday, it can be summed up as follows: It’s fun! The Bookettes, DC’s favorite bookclub, took their culinary talents to Samaritan Inns to fellowship with residents. Samaritan Inns is celebrating its 25th year of providing structured housing and recovery services in an environment of support and accountability that gives homeless and addicted men and women the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
We had a great time preparing dinner and getting to know the residents. Just the day before going to volunteer, I asked a colleague how he managed to stay calm during stressful moments. He replied, “I have access to hot water and a roof over my head.” His simple answer and my time at Samaritan Inns gave me perspective on my own life stresses. Being grateful for what I do have and volunteering makes it easier to focus on the important things — making memories, spending time with loved ones, and constantly learning.
If you’d like to volunteer at Samaritan Inns, send a message to Corey@SamaritanInns.org.
Sometimes, the universe conspires to bring you exactly what you need when you need it. That’s what happened to me yesterday when I lucked up on a ticket to the DC stop on Janelle Monae’s Electric Lady Tour. Wheeled out onstage in a straightjacket, Monae let the audience know they were in for a performance like none other. The audience were on their feet for an hour and a half dancing, jumping, and getting low on her cue. Her booming voice filled the theater, and her small frame seemed to glide across stage as she invoked James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Prince effortlessly.
Going to a Janelle Monae concert is akin to attending a Broadway show. The theatrics complement her message of individuality and personal truth. Her show is transformative and I don’t think any concert will ever compare.”You’ve got to love yourself,” she said to the crowd. I heard her loud and clear.
Thank you to everyone who attended our 3rd annual Clothing Exchange & Trunk Show. We are overwhelmed by your continued support and your commitment to giving back. Check out photos courtesy of Almenia J. Photography from the event and stay tuned for style updates!