5 Strategies for When You’re Overwhelmed

5 Strategies for When You're Overwhelmed

Happy Wednesday, Latte drinkers! Today I branched out to treat myself to a cappuccino instead of my regular latte because my friend suggested I branch out and try something new. Fortunately for my taste buds, we’re at a staff retreat close to my favorite coffee shop. Unfortunately for my wallet, we’re at a staff retreat close to my favorite coffee shop. I’m sure I’ll update the world on how I feel about the cappuccino on my insta, so stay tuned, because I know you care.

We like to play this game at work called, “What did you lie about in your interview?” because we all probably creatively stretch the truth in an interview. It’s like saying “Microsoft Word? I excel at that!” when we don’t know the first thing about mail merge. Props to Pai for the hilarious Microsoft joke. I love that guy. Anyway, I’ve probably told this story before. If I have, excuse me. When the interviewer asked me “How do you handle stress?” I told him “I handle it well,” or something like that. (OK I’m sure I’ve told this before. I’m positive this is my opener for any blog post I ever write related to stress.)

In reality, I just break out in beautiful cystic acne on my cheeks and cry and drink more caffeine. The truth is, I perform well under pressure. Maybe it’s the creative side in me, maybe it’s the years of procrastinating in high school and college paying off.

Last night I walked in the door from work and spent a solid 20 minutes lying on the floor asking myself the basic questions every 20something woman asks herself often.

Why can’t I afford to pay someone to clean my apartment for me? 

How do I adult?

Why are lattes so expensive?

In today’s society where we just go go go, it is incredibly easy to get overwhelmed and end up crumpled in the floor questioning the way the world works. I have found a few things to help me get back on track, and I want to share the joy with you.

1 – Candles.

Candles candles candles. I love those things. Even if you don’t have a Pinterest clean house, lighting a refreshing candle is enough to make you think your house is cleaner than it is or it will inspire you to do a 10 second tidy.

2 – Take a Shower.

Why does this work? I don’t know, but sometimes you just need to stand under hot water and think for a long time. When you come out, your hair smells nice and coconutty and you have a fresh perspective on life.

3 – Introspect.

Sit out on the porch in the pouring rain and set your alarm on your phone for 5 minutes. Put your phone on “do not disturb” and just write (with an actual pen and paper) whatever comes to mind. Stream of consciousness! Yay!

4 – Lists are your best friend.

Yesterday I had an epiphany that I’m sure some organizational guru has written in some blog that makes 100,000 times more money than this one makes. Make a list of all the things you need to do. Put little boxes in front of said things. THEN – this is the most exciting part – number the things you need to do based on priority/ease/or which you want to do first. I like to start with the small things and work up to the bigger things.

5 – Hang said list on your fridge.

Smile at yourself every time you accomplish a task. Treat yourself with a bubble bath. Or going to bed at a decent time. Or 15 solid minutes of Pinteresting wedding bouquets.

PS why are flower options so stressful???

What are things you like to do to help yo’self out when you feel overwhelmed?

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Dating in Community

(To be fair, I stole the title from the Moral Revolution group’s series on “The Naked Truth about Sexuality.” It’s a great read/listen so I encourage you to check it out!)

Dating in Community

Last night Pai and I had grand introverted plans. We picked up a small pizza, our Dr. Enufs (my favorite splurge soda) and picked out the booksfor a book date. Pai called me out of the blue a few weeks ago to say that we should have “Book Dates” where we just sit next to each other, don’t talk, and read when we get married. I thought, why wait? So last night was Book Date Night.

*Note: Bibliophiles everywhere: Have you ever just wanted to sit next to a cute boy and read? I always felt bad about not wanting to go somewhere because I just want to read my book. One time, I legitimately asked Pai to come over later than he planned so that I could finish my book. My point is, if you love books, marry someone who also loves books and who likes book dates.

 

Right before we settled down to our books, Pai said, “Oh yeah! We were invited for chili at our friends house at 6!” I look at the clock, it’s almost 6. I have this fear when I’m invited to something where I think, What if they invited a bunch of other people and no one showed up and there is this pot full of chili and heart full of sadness because none of their friends pulled through?! So we got in the car and went. Thankfully, another couple friend of ours was already there, and they had all eaten chili because by the time we got ourselves together, it was 7 when we got there. #AfricanTime

We looked at old prom pictures and laughed at how young and silly we all looked. We talked about having babies (they all have children, we do not) and names for our children. I sat looking around the table of people whom Pai has called best friends since high school and prayed that none of us would ever move away.

Dating in community = accountability

When Pai and I first started dating, he introduced the concept of “dating in community” to me. At first it sounded like we all shared dating partners, so I found it questionable. He explained it as our relationship is not our own, and it isn’t just for us. When we date in community, we invite people who are also pursuing God alongside us into our relationship. It is accountability both physically and spiritually, and it is a source of vulnerability and encouragement whenever we are going through something. As an oversharing extrovert, I’m all about it. For the past 2 years, we have had couples older and wiser than us mentor us through some of our rough patches. We both separately confide with other accountability partners, and have people as sounding boards to make sure we aren’t crazy/are loving each other the best we can.

Dating in community prevents isolation

If Pai and I did not have a solid community around us, we would be a very different couple. I could be as dramatic and erratic as my emotions made me feel, we could decide after a fight that we were just done with each other. We wouldn’t have people supporting us to stay pure in our relationship. We could essentially do whatever we wanted to without worrying about the consequences because there is no one surrounding us.

Dating in community encourages us to love each other better

Because I have a solid group of ladies – mostly married, a few unmarried – to lean on, I have wonderful women to remind me of how to love my man. Do I really need to nit pick about the dishes? (Yes.) How have I encouraged him this week? Do I need to give up this one thing I’ve been harping on? (Probably. Yes.) And because I also have two younger sisters and three brothers on my side, I am encouraged to love Pai and pursue God and stay committed to our relationship because I want my siblings to grow up to also have healthy, loving relationships one day.

Plus, dating in community is just a great excuse to have lots of friends. Because we all need friends.

 

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the Purge (& Merge)

the Purge & Merge

Holy Guacamole. Hello, August. Where did July go?! Do I say this every month? Yes. Because it is astonishing at how fast time flies. (Unless, of course, you are engaged. Then the days feel like a tortoise crawl, unless you look at your to-do list and realize you have to throw a party for 350 people.) There’s a Leslie Knope/ OCD part of me that is pleased when the new month starts on a Sunday or  a Monday. All is right with the world because we are starting a new month on the new day of the week.

I wish I was one of those people who kept the new goals they made for themselves each month. I have such good intentions but it always falls through. This month I have to get my head on straight. I haven’t lived in the same space for more than a year since I graduated high school, but that should all be coming to an end by August 26th. No, we did not buy a house. But yes, we have found a charming 1940s house to rent for the next year until we get settled into the whole “married” life.

Stay tuned for udpates.

I like to call this month “Purge and Merge.” For such a little person, I take up a lot of space. You would think since I have moved so often since I was 17, I would be smart enough to not keep a lot. But I’m not. I am a sentimental clutter bug, so if any of you have suggestions, send help.

Seriously. I take up a whole 2-person wardrobe right now with just my clothes. Every space is filled. Then there are clothes in boxes, a dresser, and a trunk. It’s a little overkill. Rather than try to move all that stuff to my new house and then get rid of the clothes when Pai moves into the new house in December, I figured it would be simpler to get rid of a lot of my stuff that I don’t need right now.

I’m intrigued and frightened by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Is it possible for me? I hope. But what if I need this orange and white checkered shirt that I’ve had for 10 years but haven’t worn in the past 5 for a Halloween party? You never know. And the t-shirts. OH the t-shirts. I’ve had them safe and sound in a box because for the last two years I WILL make a t-shirt quilt during those cold winter days when only Grey’s Anatomy reruns are on the agenda. And yet they are still in the box. Uncut. Un-quilted.

And what is this so-called “Minimalism?” How does it work? Why is everything so white? Do I have to have a succulent plant to follow this trend? Please say yes, I want a succulent.

My fellow bloggers, if you have de-cluttering suggestions and are skilled in interior design, please send help. ASAP. I also would like to hire someone for free to just come over and say “Nina, you don’t need your participation ribbon for the 2nd grade poetry contest. You didn’t win. Give it up, you Millennial. Oh look, I threw it in the trash for you.”

Sincerely,

I’m-moving-and-I’ve-never-decorated-a-house-and-I-have-a-lot-of-stuff-and-I-have-to-get-rid-of-a-lot-of-it-because-I’m-going-to-live-with-a-boy.

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Celebrate the Little Things

You know your mom is coming into town when you say “No, thank you” to engagements in order to clean your apartment like a mad woman so that your mom isn’t worried about your future husband because you are, in fact, someone who isn’t home enough to clean. Y’all, I even washed the baseboards. *Only in the bathroom, though. Ain’t nobody have time to do the 250sq feet of base boards. Not when there were bubble baths and new books on the line.

 

I have been looking forward to this moment ALL. WEEK. #newbooks 😍📚🛁

A photo posted by [Nina] Hugs & Lattes (@ninamw01) on

Wednesday I talked about being burnt out and one way to recover was through mini-retreats. Every day I took a little mini-retreat this week and they were so helpful to boost my mood! I started off Monday feeling the grumps, but by today I am (for the most part) happy to be alive and looking forward to my work day.

Monday’s mini-retreat was a smoothie lunch outside with my journal and my Bible.

Tuesday I woke up at the crack of dawn (literally!) and had a very Mary Oliver type of day. If you don’t know who Mary Oliver is, just read this pin and you’ll fall in love.

 

Y’all, I HELD. A. BUTTERFLY. IN. MY. HAND. I was ecstatic that nature loved me. Even if babies cry when I hold them, I can hold a butterfly on my finger for 10 seconds.

Wednesday I just got to cuddle with my boo. Any day that is a cuddle day is a good day for me.

And Thursday night’s mini-retreat consisted of new books. New books make me incredibly happy and I might just have to escape back to this happy place after I have extroverted myself out today.

And we ordered our save the dates this week! I’m really excited about that. Soooo I’m just going to drop a few of these here because I’ve decided I’m just one of those annoying brides who is head over heels (and trying to contain it on the social media) and will wear white to any bridal related event. Whaaat is wrong with me. I have turned into everyone I made fun of.

Engagement Picture

Engagement Picture%2FDancing

Engagement Picture%2FField

Linking up with The New Wifestyle for Tell Me Something Good

Tell Me Something Good Friday!
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Finding Contentment When You’re Burnt Out

Finding Contentment When You're Burnt Out

I have a great job that I love, but right now I’m feeling a little tired. I go to work, either wedding plan or do something church related after work, see Pai and/or friends, then plop down in my  bed at 11:30 in the evening exhausted. I wake up late, go to work, either wedding plan or do something church related after work, see Pai and/or his family, then plop down in my bed at 11:30. I’ve been fighting the jealousy of everyone who has been posting beach or lake pictures. I’ve been struggling to stay content in my job because students keep backing out of the school I work for/hanging up on me and sometimes the monotony gets exhausting.

A co-worker calls it “Summer.”

I realized yesterday that I don’t have very good endurance. I start one thing, and then I’m ready to move on to the next when the honeymoon stage is over. Except for college, I could stay in college forever. I loved class. I loved learning. But once the honeymoon is over, I’m like “OK what is the next thing?” I’ve found myself nonchalantly searching MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing programs to read the requirements over and over again. I day dream about sitting in a classroom with a professor who likes to smoke E-Cigs, talking about writing styles and telling me, “You thought your work was magnificent in college? You’re in grad school now, and this is crap.” So maybe my day dreams are a little dramatic, or maybe they’re more accurate. I don’t know, I’ve never been to graduate school.

But the real problem right now is that I need to practice endurance. I don’t want to always be flitting around, unable to establish my roots anywhere. It’s hard to be positive in enduring when you’re absolutely burnt out, though. This week I decided to take matters into my own hand and find a way to fight the burn out, and so far it’s working.

Change up Your Routine

If you’re like me and press snooze 5 times, don’t! Wake up early and treat yourself. Yesterday I got up at 6:30 to drive to Panera to drink a latte and eat a bagel on their outside patio with my sister and it was the best early morning treat I’ve had in a long time.

If you are not like me and wake up at the crack of dawn to be a Productive Patricia, then hit snooze! Enjoy a few extra minutes of Zzzz’s, just make sure you’re coffee is programmed to percolate at the right exact time, because no one wants to wake up without the aroma of coffee.*
*Except people who don’t like coffee. I don’t understand you.

Turn Your Phone Off

It’s like Apple has us on a little leash. We can’t go anywhere without our phones, and if your phone is an old model, you can’t go anywhere without a charger because it loses battery power so quickly. I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. I love that it keeps me connected. I love that I can send sweet encouraging texts to people. I hate that I feel like I have to carry it with me everywhere. I hate that Google and Apple probably know everything about my life via GPS and Google search terms. I hate that I feel like I can’t go on a run outside without my phone because I need the music & the GPS to encourage me along and track my mileage. (So far it’s only consistently been 1 or 2 miles. #thestrugglebus.)

Sometimes if I’m with Pai and we’re going on a short trip to the store, I’ll purposefully leave my phone at home. Sometimes at work I’ll turn it onto “Do not Disturb” and lay it face down so I can pretend it’s not there. The most helpful thing I’ve found this week is turning on my timer, the do not disturb feature, and not touching my phone during my lunch break. I get to enjoy 20-30 minutes of peace where I’m not tempted to aimlessly scroll through social media, or obsessively checking email. Instead I do something more relaxing for my brain, like read a book.

Do Nothing

Seriously. When was the last time you did nothing? I don’t mean being a couch potato and watching Netflix or scrolling through your phone. I mean absolutely do nothing. Take 5 minutes and just sit still. Stare at a wall. Or a painting. Sit outside on a bench and quietly observe the birds flying through the trees and talking with each other. We live in such a fast-paced, get it done world that we are exhausting ourselves! You can afford 5 minutes to do nothing.

Create a Sacred Space

When I get busy, my house turns into a F-5 disaster. Clothes are everywhere, the dishes remain untouched because I’m hardly home. But when I have a free afternoon on the weekend, I whirlwind clean so that throughout the week, I can come home to a clean and sacred space. My sacred space is usually my couch, surrounded by candles where I can read in the evening or just color in my adult coloring book. I also spend a lot of relaxing evenings in the bathtub, with bubbles and surrounded by candles as well.

Find your sacred space. Open a window, let in some natural light. Change your furniture around. It makes your living space feel fresh. :)

Go on Mini-Retreats

I’ve going on mini-retreats almost every lunch break (that I’m not running errands). I sit somewhere in natural light, I eat something healthy, get away from technology and just read, journal or breathe. I also find time throughout the day to go on a “mini-retreat.” Yesterdays was breakfast with my sister, enjoying a donut date with Pai after a run to the bank, and spending 5 minutes enraptured by this blue butterfly.

Mini-retreats can be as simple as taking 20 minutes to thoroughly enjoy a cup of coffee, or they can be as extravagant as going on an afternoon hike.

My final piece of advice: stay away from the Netflix binge. Netflix is not a great way to recover from burn out. It’s a great way to procrastinate, avoid your feelings, and go to bed later with a Netflix hangover. Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix. But I have seriously cut down on my Netflix viewing lately (mainly because my dad closed his account and I’m testing myself to see how long I can go without opening an account) and I have found that I am finding more time to read and actually do things around the apartment, which has made me mentally healthier.

Self-care is so important, especially when you’re going through burn out. What do you do take take care of yourself?

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