Life After Undergrad: How I managed to check my anxiety at work

With more knowledge comes more power, right? Well in my case more knowledge and more ability came with a larger office, more employees and more targets to hit. Naturally I was flattered my boss thought highly enough of me to promote me, but deep down I was panicked. Part of me even secretly hoped I wouldn’t have to do it and I could sit quietly in the shadows. When I looked at myself in the mirror though, I realized that I needed to look at myself in a better light. I needed to believe in myself and view myself with confidence and not doubt of what mistakes I may make.

When the season started I was jittery, but I tried to sound as confident and positive as I possibly could when I met my new team of employees. I found that they were a really great group of people who were relieved to get a new leader at the helm; this made easing into a new role easier. I’d heard once in a psychology class that there are two types of leaders; transactional and transitional. Transaction leaders are a hands off type of leader that only handles things that go wrong or need attention, but a transitional leader will lead by example– and that’s the kind of leader I wanted to be.

I started by making a list of exactly what I needed to do that day, down to the most minuscule of tasks because it made the whole day seem like less of a challenge. I checked off the must do stuff first– things that had time deadlines or needed to be done the same time every day. After those tasks I worked on the bigger projects and tasks that took more of my time and effort. Breaking up my tasks made my time seem like less of a long-winded spiral. I found that managing my time made me less anxious because it eased the feeling that I wouldn’t get to everything I needed to do. As I started to develop a routine I started to worry less about the day-to-day and just organize my days in a way that made the most sense– and I haven’t looked back since.


Tell me readers, how do you stay organized?

Virtues from Motherhood: Breathe it in

A couple of weekends ago I took a trip up to Cold Spring, NY to visit my cousins. Just about two hours north of NYC, the town is a hidden gem along the Hudson River. Neighboring Cold Spring is Beacon, NY which is an up and coming mini city with the cutest shops and cafes. 

I needed a weekend away to clear my head, get out of my usual environment to take a breather and my cousins were kind enough to invite me up. We walked Main Street, got some brunch and we even walked to Beacon falls, which is just a simple waterfall along some old railroad tracks. Regardless of its simplicity it was still calming and welcoming to admire. In the middle of Brooklyn such a sight would be rare and it struck me that removing yourself from the “norm” is a positive experience. 

As hard as it may be, taking even five minutes to just be somewhere you normally wouldn’t be is a way to relax your mind. Constantly being in your element and being tasked with day to day roles and responsibilities can be tiresome. I took an entire weekend to myself, but just taking 10 minutes, to sit outside my college, or walk a block out of my way on my walk home puts me in a space where I’m looking at what’s around me instead of just anticipating it. I’ve picked up some of these techniques after finding myself to be so anxious I couldn’t function at all, and despite my hesitation I’ve found it works. 

Even when you can’t just up and leave for two days you can take yourself on a mental vacation. Spend 10 minutes thinking of something you love to do, hiking, painting, dancing or whatever it is that you love because it takes your mind away from whatever is stressing you out. At the end of the day nobody is invincible and we all need a break, a day off and a few minutes to ourselves. Don’t feel bad for needing it and even more, don’t feel bad for taking it. 

Virtues from Motherhood: Let go and take yourself back

“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” ― Najwa Zebian

I read that quote and I immediately think of all the emotional and mental burdens I carry around with me daily. Burdens that I should have set down long ago, yet somehow, they’ve managed to hitch a ride for years in the corners of my mind. I think we’re all guilty of this at some point in our lives, after a breakup, after the passing of a loved one or after a particularly difficult time of our lives. Whatever the burden is, or was, we haven’t been very good about dealing with it and letting it go and over weeks, months or even years it takes something from us. It takes our ability to fully trust someone, to truly fall in love or to believe we are worth the effort. These burdens weigh us down and make us weary, and in turn, we might miss small opportunities that could lead to large successes in our lives.

I am by no means an expert on letting things go or even dealing with them properly. I can admit I haven’t had the best of coping mechanisms and I’ve lost huge parts of what made me, me while trying to help others collect the parts of themselves, or in wondering what I could have done differently, when I wasn’t the one who did wrong.  Instead of accepting that sometimes people do really crappy things to other people, and understanding that it wasn’t my fault and never will be, I pick apart every moment leading up to then. I over analyze how maybe on some random Tuesday I was too distant or I didn’t really give all of myself, knowing full well that I did.

Since asking for help, something I refused to do for years, I have found that those tiny voices that my mind shushed were not wrong, and I should have slowed down to listen to them. “You are enough.” “Your feelings matter.” “You deserve more than this”. All echoed in the faintest of voices in my mind but I never acknowledged them because I felt I could fix, or ignore, the problem. Before I knew it, the problem had gone from a pile of stones, to a monstrous mountain I now dragged everywhere with me.

That metaphoric mountain slowed down everything about me, things I never truly faced or dealt with now nagged on my every thought and move and it exaggerated my anxiety to levels I had never felt before. I felt like I was sick every single day, even though the doctor told me I was perfectly healthy. So, I had to make a choice; was I going to let myself wither away or was I going to let go of this mountain and take back who I was? Today, I am trying to do the latter, making sure I do one thing every day that’s for me, and only me. I am trying to remember that just because someone doesn’t see my worth that it doesn’t mean I am not worthy. I am reminding myself that although something I truly wanted didn’t go the way I’d hoped, there are other things for me on the horizon. Lastly, I am trying to remember that I have gone through harder and more challenging things and that I have always pulled myself up and I owe it to myself and most of all to my daughter, to keep doing so.