Tag Archives: emotion

Stress Relief

As I am writing this on September 11th, I am entering a couple very busy weeks. As an introvert, some of the most stressful times are those when I am spending every waking hour with people. Add to that a lack of routine, and I can be quite discombobulated.

So what can I do to combat this stress? Here are a few things that I have found to help me stay a little more sane.

1. Get proper rest. This can be hard, especially as my schedule changes. As I transitioned from evening work hours to day work hours, I had few nights in a row of sub-optimum sleep. I know that there are people who live on fewer hours of sleep than I do, but I know that if I am going to perform my best, sleep cannot be skimped on.

2. Remain on a good (little d) diet. This is not something I’ve ever really tried before. Previously when I entered stressful seasons of the year, I used it as an excuse to become even more excess in all the junk I craved. By keeping on my healthy diet, it has helped me not to feel entirely off kilter. Helps to stay regular in the bathroom, too.

3. Find the fun. Right now part of the stress is that I’m preparing to play a team game at work. While it can be easy to think of the game as fun (and it is!), the pressure to study as much as you can and perform well can be great, especially as this pressure is mostly internal. I’m continually reminding myself that this is fun and to enjoy it.

Even when my primary task is not preparing for a game, I want to do what I can to find the fun and the purpose in what I’m doing, and remind myself of it.

Ronnica at Fern Falls4. Find a vacation. This time last year I went on a 3-day weekend in Estes Park, and I loved it. I had hoped to do it again this year, but my budget (of time and money) doesn’t have that much room. However, I did take a full day to hike in Rocky Mountain National Park a hike that I have been wanting to do for over a year. That was just the “vacation” I needed before I dived back in to these busy weeks.

5. Give myself permission to let go. In order to focus my mental energy on the task at hand, I’ve had to stop some things temporarily, like extra reading. I can’t do it all, and I need  to constantly reevaluate what is important to me at this time and focus on those things.

6. Keep things in perspective. Ultimately, a game is just a game. While I am stressed, I have taken on this stress because I really love it. Others are in stressful situations due to circumstances outside of their control. This too is temporary, so I want to enjoy the good parts while I can.

Joint Book Review: You Can Buy Happiness by Tammy Strobel

download (2)Tammy Strobel’s book, You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap):  How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too, states the message of the book pretty succinctly in the title:  Strobel relays tips and stories of her own and those of others to demonstrate that simplifying one’s life is both doable and gratifying.

Amanda’s Take

Overall, I enjoyed You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap).  It is “more of the same” as far as books I choose to read–many of the themes found in other minimalist texts are also found in this book.

The only aspect of the text that I struggled with was the fact that, for me, as a wife and mother of two young children, the way that Strobel went about her own minimalist “transformation” is completely beyond my realm (at least for now).  I’d love to live in a tiny house, but for various reasons, this just isn’t feasible at the moment.  I found this aspect of the book to be less than relatable.  If anything, it was a bit extreme.

But perhaps Strobel anticipated this reaction from her readers, because she spends a surprising amount of time providing anecdotes of how others made “the transformation” (to debt-free life, downsizing, etc.).  I appreciated this, because it reminded me that normal folks like me can start and/or continue their stewardship journey without making completely radical changes.  The unspoken message was, “If you want to do this, here is a good place to start.”

Ronnica’s Take

I was very intrigued when I picked up this book. Of course, with a title like You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap), I’m going to be curious.

Ultimately, I found the subtitle, “How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too” misleading. Strobel’s story sounds interesting, but she didn’t really spend a lot of time on it. I had anticipated the decision to move into her 128-square-foot house on wheels would be the height of the story, but that decision was glossed over. Strobel seems much more comfortable telling other’s stories than her own (which is fine, just not what I expected).

If I set aside the promises of the title and subtitle, I struggled with the focus on “happiness.” I just don’t find happiness to be a decent motivator as it can be a hollow emotion and is ultimately fleeting. I’d rather focus on deeper things (purpose, contentment and the greater good, for example).

I think this book is decently motivating to live with less, but there are others that I’d recommend first.