Wining Wife®

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Tag: Mental Health

Relaxation After a Long Week

Relax

Relax (Photo credit: Orethorn)

 

When you’ve had a long week, nothing feels better than to relax. So often, our lives are hectic and we don’t allow ourselves time to just veg out in front of the television with a baseball game (or tv show, or movie) on. Instead, we begin filling our heads with the “shoulds” of life. “I should clean the kitchen,” “I should call this person,” “I should organize my penguin collection.” Whatever the “shoulds” of your life are, I want you to take a moment and give yourself permission to do nothing. Grab your favorite beverage and snack, put your feet up, and just be.

 

Why is it so hard to relax, especially when a week was particularly busy? Is it because we become so wound up with our own busy-ness that we forget how terrible stress is to our bodies? If we don’t listen to our bodies’ needs to relax, well then, we will become sick, overly fatigued, and cranky.

Why do we feel we *should* always be doing something? By being still, by taking that valuable moment to relax and have a glass of wine or a glass of water, by having a set winding down from the week routine, we can help care for ourselves. Wining Husband and I like to go to Creekside Cellars as part of our end-of-week routine, but I also enjoy watching silly TV shows in the quiet of the day as a way to relax before shooting into another activity (Project Runway is my guilty pleasure).

What do you do to relax after a long week? Post your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

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Life: Don’t go to bed angry

By remembering that Wining Husband is my best friend, it helps to resolve differences when they crop up. He and I promised one another to avoid going to bed angry when we got married.

In the vows my husband and I said to each other when we got married, we had our marriage deputy (my father-in-law) give a speech about what makes a good marriage. Including in the quote in our vows was a bit about not going to bed angry. We never go to bed angry – and believe me, like all married couples, we have our disagreements.

To me, not going to bed angry means that you don’t take a grudge with your spouse. Even if you don’t resolve the argument, you remember that you love this imperfect person next to you. You remember that you’ve promised this person a future. You remember all the wonderful things that sharing a life with this individual means for you. Sure, you might not see eye-to-eye, but at the same time, who wants to always agree with their spouse? It would be like being married to yourself, and if you’re like me, that would be booooooorrrrring!

Instead, it’s good that we challenge one another. What else will make us grow? I promised my husband to be his student and his teacher. Sure, we might not agree all the time, but we can definitely learn from one another. It’s hard to admit when I’m wrong, but when I realize that I am, I quickly apologize and we move on. Vice-versa is true of Wining Husband. If you’re going to bed angry, you’re holding onto resentment. Your spouse is only human. Many things that we argue about really don’t matter in the long run of things. I mean, I honestly cannot remember what little thing it was that sparked the last argument we have. What I do remember is my husband holding my hand the entire time I was in the ER having medical tests done. What does matter is having mutual respect and honesty in a relationship. Those are paramount to having a good life together.

Success in Life through Personality Engineering

Commitment doesn’t just mean commitment to your spouse when it’s working. It means looking at the person you’re arguing with, remembering that the person is fallible, and has his or her own flaws and strengths, and remembering that you love that person. It means choosing to take a deep breath and find a way to resolve differences rather than shout out angry words. It means saying “I need to take a break and have some space in the other room for a few minutes” when you feel flooded with emotion. It means that you look at the other person and you want no harm at all to ever come to that person – least of all from you. That’s why it’s so important that when you climb into bed next to your spouse, that you do not harbor feelings of anger. Anger breeds discontent and resentment which are killers for a marriage. In my book, Success in Life Through Personality Engineering (Co-authored with Murali Chemuturi), I talk about healthy relationships and sustaining a marriage. It is vital to keep resentment out of relationships, because it can lead to contempt. By resolving conflicts quickly – or agreeing to discuss an argument later, and going to bed together as a couple – contempt can be kept out of relationships.

 

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Life: Staying Healthy

Health Tips...Drink Responsibly....Eat Fruits ...

Health Tips…Drink Responsibly….Eat Fruits Liberally… (Photo credit: Sunciti _ Sundaram’s Images + Messages)

 

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to stay healthy. When you’re in the moment, it may seem like exercise, eating right, and being generally active are things no one has time for. After all, with longer work hours, more obligations, and fewer resources, it feels like we have less time than ever for the things that matter most. The thing is, no one can enjoy any of those things without their health. Here are a few general tips I’ve learned over the years.

 

  • Do something active for at least an hour every day. It doesn’t matter if you take a long walk, hike somewhere, stroll through a mall, play basketball or tag with your kids, or go to a gym. Move your body!
  • Take Doctor Michelle May’s advice: Eat what you love, eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full, and really enjoy your meals. If you’re eating standing up or while walking from one place to another, your brain won’t register that you’re taking in nutrients. You’ll be hungry again soon!
  • Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, go talk to your doctor. Know how your body reacts to different foods.
  • Don’t drink too much! Alcoholic beverages are meant to be enjoyed slowly, not gulped down! Know your limits. Don’t drink to get drunk. (Also, remember that alcohol has calories in it!)
  • Do the things you love on a regular basis. If you like to write, write. If you like to read, read.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no.” If you overbook yourself, you’ll feel stressed, and stress is a killer.

 

What are some things you do to keep healthy? Feel free to share your tips here in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

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My Happy List

Happy Tomatos

Happy Tomatoes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a lot of talk about happiness and happiness projects. I like to keep a list of things I can do that make me happy/will lighten a dark or anxious mood when I find myself in one. Here’s a sample of items on my list:

  • Listen to cheesy 80s music – the cheesier the better
  • Watch stupid comedies – Zoolander, Billy Madison, and the likes
  • Watch a few episodes of Friends or Big Bang Theory
  • Read a book or a short story
  • Go for a walk
  • Go to a cafe and get some coffee
  • Call a friend
  • Send a message to a friend on FB
  • Make a list of things I’m grateful for
  • Go for a run
  • Do something crafty
  • Draw something
  • Write
  • Listen to spiritual music
  • Listen to classical music
  • Read about other people’s success stories
  • Read a motivational blog post
  • Hug my son
  • Hug a cat
  • Go to a pet store
  • Hug a friend
  • Send a note to a friend appreciating them
  • Help someone else
  • Volunteer for a cause
  • Find something funny about the distressing situation
  • Make up a song about what’s causing me anxiety, worry, stress, or strife – bonus points for making it funny
  • Get outdoors

You get the idea. It’s nice sometimes to have a list of things that you can do if you’re feeling a case of the blahs. What does your list look like?

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On Feeling Like an Impostor

 

English: A Beijing opera mask

English: A Beijing opera mask (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So many times, very intelligent and bright people in graduate school and academia are said to suffer from “impostor syndrome.” This is the feeling that no matter how successful one appears to the outside world, no matter how many accomplishments one has on his or her resume, that he or she is going to be “found out” to be an impostor. According to Clamse and Imes (1978), “The term impostor syndrome is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women.”  (Though, since this study, it’s been found that many men also suffer from impostor syndrome.)

 

I don’t really know where impostor syndrome comes from, but I’m willing to gander that there  are many successful people who suffer from it.  There are two points to be made here. True impostor syndrome involves people saying that it was only luck that got them in a particular position or achievement.

 

I actually began writing this a while back, thinking that perhaps I was one of the many who suffered from this, but really, when I reflect upon it, I realize that I’ve worked very, very hard for everything I’ve accomplished. It’s not easy to go out on your own and run your own business – especially when the economy is lackluster. Not many people would take that risk. But, I’ve done it, fairly successfully, for the past nearly four years now.

 

I’d like to take a moment here to define what it is I mean by “success.” For some people, “success” means something like making lots of money and having some sort of expensive items. To me, “success” means setting out what you meant to do. Each year I do better than the last. I get to write and edit for a living. With a new adventure around the corner, that’s still important to me. I want to do what I love for a living. I want to spend time with the people I love. Life really is a grand adventure.

 

For those who are feeling the effects of impostor syndrome, I give the following advice. Stop. Make a list of the things that you have accomplished. I have my own list. If you look at my resume, CV, or list of publications (the latter of which needs to be updated), you’ll see some of the items on that list. Ask yourself if you really could have gotten through your trials if you were an impostor. My guess is that your answer will be a resounding “no.” In times when there’s a lot of self-doubt going on, it’s important to realize just how far you’ve come. I’m amazed at all I’ve accomplished in the nearly four years since leaving my Ph.D. program behind. It’s amazing to know how much can be accomplished in a couple of weeks if someone fully focuses on their goals.

 

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