Just Breathe: How to Keep the Weight of Life from Burdening your Spirit

Just Breathe: How to Keep the Weight of Life from Burdening your Spirit

laurawatkinsyogaheadshotMany thanks to Laura Watkins for today’s post! Laura Watkins is a marketing manager who moonlights as a yoga instructor. She has developed programs for individuals with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury and has taught individuals from a wide range of demographics. She is also the former editor for the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability and a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. Laura is passionate about helping others lead healthy, active and independent lifestyles. She is currently training for her first half-marathon since giving birth to her daughter Ava Grace.

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The other day I was listening to a friend share how her life has gotten so stressful that she’s had to increase her anxiety medication so that she can focus on her demanding job. Although she is going to therapy, has hired a maid and is exercising consistently, she’s completely overwhelmed. This woman is smart and successful. She has a darling family and a beautiful home in a nice part of town, and yet she can barely get through her day without having a stress-induced meltdown.

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Being Okay With A Life That’s “Lived In”

Being Okay With A Life That’s “Lived In”

You may (or may not) have noticed that I missed posting yesterday for the first time since we launched the Ink & Well blog. This should be a huge indicator of how things have been going in my personal life, which, you know, is also my work life, which is also my personal life, etc. etc. x infinity. Jimi, Maddy, and I just moved into a house and it’s the first time Jimi and I have ever owned a home. Maddy is as happy as can be, running in circles, chasing bugs, and generally just enjoying having more than one room and a patch of grass near a parking lot to play in. Jimi has been loving the house thing, getting to do manly stuff like buying a lawnmower and using one of those really big brooms I somehow have never managed to successfully use. Even the animals are happier. Harvey, our cat, naps in different sun spots all day long and spends nights chasing moths around the house. Rex, our digestively challenged dog has seemed less anxious and more in love with us. . .but still just as gassy. And yet, here I am, somehow caught in this purgatory between happiness and complete hysteria. Still, even after almost a week, I haven’t had that moment where I’ve really been able to sit down, relax, breathe, and just appreciate how fortunate we are.

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Stress Less, Live Better

Stress Less, Live Better

So, I know that I’ve posted in the past about dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression while working, but I have to admit something to you all. Lately, I have been terrible about managing stress and striking that work-life balance I was so proud to have achieved once upon a time. In the past few weeks I have been speeding from task to task, working late into the night, early in the morning, anytime my husband is home and can wrangle Maddy, using our nanny as much as I can, and whenever my phone is in my hands I’m totally sucked into my email, which is always. At the end of the week last week, I plopped down at a table with Jennifer and neither of us could really even say anything to one another. We had both worked ourselves to the bone and had arrived at our meeting place weary and exhausted. Then, when eating lunch I dropped an oily green bean on my new pants right before we were leaving to meet with a client. WTF, universe?! 

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The Value of Meditation In Your Work Life

The Value of Meditation In Your Work Life

The concept of meditation isn’t new to me. In fact, when I was growing up, my family belonged to a Buddhist temple—my parents were aging hippies and avid believers in the power of meditation. But for me, especially at a young age, going to an hour-long meditation at the temple was like willingly submitting myself to an hour of torture. Everyone would close their eyes and I’d do the same, only to open mine five minutes later. I’d stare at the monks’ shiny heads and then inspect all the gongs, one by one. I’d count people, count the statues in the temple, sing a few songs in my head, see if I could do a cartwheel without anyone noticing, then I’d sit back down, opening my eyes sleepily when everyone else did so they all noticed how good I was at meditating and how spiritually mature I was.

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Bipolar, Anxious, Depressed & Working

Bipolar, Anxious, Depressed & Working

When people hear the word “bipolar” they imagine someone with lipstick smeared all over their face, bangs haphazardly cut, yelling at cars or stray cats. I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder for many, many years, and in my experience, bipolar disorder hasn’t been dramatic like that. I don’t have lipstick all over my face, I only gave myself micro-bangs once (and it was in a moment fueled by Rosé), and I only yell at my own cat when he’s licking holes in my favorite family photos. Instead of this big, dramatic force causing me to do outlandish things, in me, bipolar disorder presented itself in the form of severe anxiety and depression, making it impossible to get through a workday without feeling like I was going to die.

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