Girl with arms held open looking to the sky

How to handle stress and pressure in life

A little of everything is good for you, so the saying goes. This even applies to stress, but a lot is not good.

Stress has many faces. Its most common forms are feelings of being vaguely worried and anxious most of the time but not knowing why, constantly being grouchy and irritable, mulling over problems all the time and generally feeling unable to get on top of things. You need your own ways of coping with stress. Establish a routine that works and suits you. Here are some approaches:

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Rollerskates

I’m never going to be the best and that’s OK

The attitude of millenials seems to be a hot topic of conversation these days. I hear my friends and colleagues complaining about Generation Y’s lack of drive, constant need for approval, and entitlement mentality. It has me pondering the era in which I was raised and how it has affected my view of the world. As a child spending my formative and teenage years in the 1980’s, what was I taught about work ethic, motivation, and success? It was definitely an outlook that has shaped my life in ways I’m only just coming to understand.

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Baxter rain boots

Silence is truly golden

One of my cherished daily rituals (besides sleeping late!) is my morning walk with the dogs around our little 5-acre farm. I wear my favorite slip-on gardening shoes (Sloggers – look these up if you have never heard of them – super comfortable and adorably cute designs), bask in the early morning sunshine coming up over the trees, feel the cool breeze caress my face, and breathe in deeply the smells of fresh cut grass, honeysuckle, and magnolia that make spring in the South so wonderfully enchanting.

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drawing of a messy desk

Life-changing magic? But what about my stuff?

I recently finished reading Marie Kondo’s tiny phenomenon, the New York Times best-seller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” If you haven’t read it, it’s worth checking out. She’s a Japanese organizational consultant who gives advice on decluttering. Her theory, in a nutshell, is that unless an object sparks joy, then its time of service is completed and it should be released to its next chapter, whether that’s through selling, donating, recycling, or bidding a final farewell.

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flower doodles

Not hiding the tears

Two Sundays ago, I cried through church. I felt horrible about it, and desperately wanted to stop, but I just couldn’t. It seemed like almost the whole service was devoted to celebrating mothers. I guess, since it was Mother’s Day, that is fair enough, but it’s a weird thing when you read Bible stories about people who prayed for — and received — babies and then wonder what you must have done wrong or what is wrong with you that your prayers are unanswered.

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Smiling tennis ball

An easier way to make a small change

How many times have we been told to focus hard on making a big change? Break it down into small steps! Write out a plan! Focus on creating a habit every day for three months and it will stick with you!! Blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard it a million times, but how often has it “stuck” for you? For me, not too often. So, imagine my surprise yesterday in my tennis lesson when I realized I had made a change to something I had been wanting to improve without focusing directly on it. I had improved my attitude about a small thing by looking at the bigger picture, not the smaller steps.

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Dana and Bolshoi

Time flies …cherish every moment

Time really does fly! My dad used to always tell me that the older you get, the faster time goes. I dismissed this idea in my 20’s, but as I got into my 30’s I felt time speeding up and now in my 40’s a year seems to hurry by at light speed. Those older and much wiser than I am tell me it will continue to go quicker, but I can hardly imagine it going faster than it does now although I am wise enough to know they are right.

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Dana and Bolshoi

Because sometimes instant access to the world is soul crushing

I won’t lie to you. This past weekend was kind of rough. For the second time in a week, I was walking out to the pasture to help my 33 year old horse get up from where he had decided to take a snooze. Every time this happens my heart hurts a little more wondering when it will be the last time we will be able to get him back up. For those who don’t know me personally, my horse Bolshoi and I will be celebrating our 31 year anniversary on May 11.

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Drawing of Mason jar with flowers

Take Some Time to Take It Easy

It’s April. I don’t know about you, but in my world of work, that means it is The. Busiest. Time. Of. The. Year. Not even the holidays hold a candle to this time of year in a college PR office. There are end-of-the-year awards, winding down projects, last-minute deadlines, and just a bevy of activity as everyone emerges with the budding trees and blooming flowers. Last week, I was super busy, running from this assignment to that one and then to another. (Don’t feel too bad for me; I really do love being part of this environment.)

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illustration of umbrella and rain boots

Let’s Go Singing and Dancing in the Rain

I like pretty umbrellas. For years, I had one that was white and looked like flowers had rained down on it. My favorite one now has pretty red birds helping to shelter me from the rain. When I shop for a new umbrella, I try to find the cheeriest one out there. Often, my choice leaves my hubby saying “That’s okay. I’ll get wet.” should we find ourselves walking together in the rain. Driving Larry into the rain isn’t my point, but my umbrella choices are on purpose. They’re designed not simply to fight away the rain, but also to fight away the gloominess that descends with it.

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Cute girl in glasses reading to her dog

What if your idea could change the world?

Sometimes I feel like the creative universe throws ideas at us like darts on a dart board just to see what sticks. How many times have you thought of a great idea only to dismiss it and then seen it on an infommercial a few years later? I remember my Dad always talking about a corner in Kissimee, Florida within Old Town that he thought would be perfect for a Checker’s fast food joint. Sure enough, one popped up in that very spot. When the universe sees a passion in you, I think it goes to its long list of creative ideas, finds one that fits, and flings it right at you. It’s up to you to catch it and do something with it. I was hit with one of these ideas this weekend and it slapped me so hard I had to text Dawn right away and say “What if we did THIS?!”

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ideas springing from a book

How I Gave My Happiness a Boost by Volunteering

Dana and I are big believers in the fact that we become happier as we take the focus off of ourselves and get involved in projects that are close to our heart. An active volunteer, Dana has been busy lately volunteering with Claws for Paws and recently made a connection with an equine rescue group. I’m active in my church and am a member of the Rotary Club of Rome, but lately I’ve felt a pull to get involved in a way to improve educational attainment in the town where I grew up and still live

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Sunset on the beach

One simple way to help your body deal with stress

In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, April 1-30, 2016, I wanted to share my personal story of how stress has drastically affected my health my entire life and the one thing I’ve found that makes the biggest difference in how my body deals with that stress. Hint: It’s not yoga or meditation.

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Plan to be happy! / pink heart on white mug of steaming tea with notebook

How a happiness plan can change your life in just 3 weeks

Do you ever feel like you are just drifting through life? You get up, go to work, go to the gym (maybe?), eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. You know something is missing, a sense of purpose, but you tell yourself you don’t have time for anything else, so you just live for the weekends when you might get a chance to do something you enjoy. The rest of the week is just a grind to be endured to get to the next weekend. I totally get it. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

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mac_flowers_coffee

Take that, Fear!!

Fear is a sneaky thing. Just when I’ve conquered one hurdle, I round the next corner and find it there, crouching in the shadows, just waiting to derail me. Take my journey of writing my novel for example. But I’ve learned something important: Fear works hard to keep me cowering. It’s up to me whether I cower or not.

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thoreau_printable_quote01

Is fear robbing you of your dreams?

Along with big dreams comes a ginormous amount of fear. Dawn and I shared with each other our fears and I bet they look a lot like yours. I have all of these fears and many, many more swirling around in my head constantly. As we were talking about our big dreams together we could actually see the fear crossing the face of the other person as we dared to dream big. “How dare you?” it screamed. “Who do you think YOU are?!” It was scary, really scary, because we were looking at fear head on and wondering who will blink first. So far, I have always, always, my entire life, blinked first. I’m not going to be the one to back down this time. This is too important.

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photo bombers at our photo shoot

Spring is Springing @ The Pink Typewriter Project

Hey, everyone! Dana and I are back from our Spring Break and are hard at work on a redo of The Pink Typewriter Project website. We can’t wait for you to see the new look, which we plan to unveil in the next few weeks. Hopefully, the new site will do a better job of showcasing the Pink Typewriter community and sharing what we’re all about. Speaking of which, Dana and I got a great reminder this weekend while taking care of the first item on our to-do list: getting some fun pictures of us to use in the redesign. We had some photo bombers!

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River rushing over rocks

The Power of Passionate, Patient Persistence

I’m GREAT at starting new things. One day, it’s a new plan to walk every day or go to the gym. The next, I’m making a commitment to count my carbs. Then, I’m focusing on learning an awesome new craft. Yet, like so many, I find myself bemoaning the fact that you have to exercise or eat right more than once to be healthy or that it takes hours of practice to learn a new skill. I want to see improvement, and I WANT IT NOW. I am learning the importance of what I call the Power of Passionate, Patient Persistence.

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meadow with daisies

Are you missing your acre of diamonds?

I think many of us struggle with identifying the need for an actual change. We are not outwardly unhappy, but we feel like we are drifting and that something is missing in our lives. We are searching for something and we believe we must make a big change to find it. But do we need to go looking for our acre of diamonds somewhere else or is it already staring us in the face? Does our pursuit of happiness necessitate a big change or does it just require us to be mindful of how we can look at our current situation in a different way?

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