2018: The Stress Less Year


     A year’s end is neither an end or a beginning-but on going.  New Year’s Eve is there to help us carry over the wisdom that only experience is capable of instilling in us. As we prep our fridges with champagne and try arranging a sitter for the little biscuits in our lives, there is one tidbit that most of us tend to forget. We have so much exposure to carry over from the past 365 days that we really should be celebrating it, instead of gripping at a chance to clear the slate and begin again.

     If you have ears, I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “New Year, New Me” at some point.  While there is something to be said about creating goals to improve on yourself, in all reality, you will be the same person that you were on December 31st. And to top it off, for those who tend to get a little squirrely and indulge in adult beverages, you may be the same you- just with a wicked hangover on top.  

     Now that February is rounding the corner, one can only hope that your self-induced headache is alleviated and you are moving towards something more rewarding. As easy as it is to say that things are miraculously going perfectly in 2018, I think we can all admit that our goals tend to scurry away from us as our busy schedules and curve balls in our lives carry on. If you are one of the lucky few that tread steadily through life unscathed from stress as you pass, then I salute you and envy you some days.

     But what if stress is actually a good thing? You’re right I said it. What if this weight that we carry physically in tiny bouncy ball like knots down our backs, could be just what we need to get to that next level. For instance, when you have a test, meeting, what-have-you, and you have waited until the end of the deadline to prepare--Isn’t it that gnawing sense of urgency that probes our minds to think fast. It is that same urgency that allows us to tap into the greatness that has been marinating until called upon. It’s the panic button baked into each of us, which sets off an alarm when you come to a life or death situation. If those moments didn’t cause our bodies stress, we may not ever be desperate enough to come through or assist at the pace required.

     Of course, there is a point where stress can overload your system. It will take its toll on a person and consume the time where you should be relaxed and enjoying your life with ease. Many of us have been at that point for most of our lives and can be the cause of health issues as well as remaining detrimental to the relationships we have.

     I have found that there are ways to come back to the ground surface and reserve the stress for times of need. Meditation is something that works for me- and it just so happens to be part of the “New me” in 2018. I have also scheduled my first acupuncture session for this Friday to see if it can become another way for me to detox and unwind. 

     Whether yours is exercise, slapping a tambourine on your knee, or reading a romance novel (the list goes on,) make sure that you are keeping it a part of your new years resolution to maintain. Its physically impossible for us all to remain as Zen as a monk practicing yoga, but we can sure as hell try. Am I right?!

     It may not be the best year, but it can be the stress less-year!

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Written By: Hayley Sutherland

Posted on January 31, 2018 .

Memory Lane Is A Trip.

     I think we can all agree that the feeling of nostalgia is an intense twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. A certain smell, a melody or even a glimpse of a picture from your past can dig up even the deepest of caches. It really is quite remarkable how many emotions ensue after our recollections begin & more importantly- the things that trigger them.

     The other night when I was leaving my mother’s house, she asked me to meet her downstairs to pick up some of the bins from my childhood. She was elated to clear out the space in her storage, but I however, was not thrilled to take on the boxes of old trinkets. She reminded me that they were in fact my memories and she wasn’t going to be the one who decides which ones that I keep.

     As I started to dig through them, I slowly realized how important it is to retrace your steps as you move forward through life. That doesn’t mean that you need to stay in the past once you graze the memory. The importance lies within soaking up the pieces of ourselves that we have moved on from, in order to see how much we have grown.

     I found a letter to myself in one of the boxes from when I was 15 years young. It was an assignment that our high school required for every freshman and the intent was to receive it back when you graduated. As I started reading, I realized that I had never opened mine until that moment (Truly living up to my procrastination trademark). Although my teenage angst was utterly cringe-worthy, there were so many raw and delicate moments that I will now cherish forever. Between the sobbing into my sweatshirt and the laughter, I found myself calling my sisters to share with them what they had written to me over a decade ago. Amongst the letters, there were photos dating back to 1991- the year I was born (or as my father would tell you, the year that the Twins won the World Series.) As I scavenged through them, I found this one:

     The funny thing is, we were all laughing this hard as we went over the memories, in the same way that we did once in a land called childhood.  I think we are all guilty of trying to prep and reach for what lies ahead of us- when some of the best (& worst) times are back in our storyline. I would encourage everyone to go under the steps, in the cupboard or attic- wherever the forgotten photo albums and family videos have gone to create dust. You won’t be disappointed in the least bit & maybe you will find some details about yourself that you have misplaced while working towards your best adult self. We all had to start somewhere—so what better way to connect the lines for what made you who you are this very moment.

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Written By: Hayley Sutherland

Posted on November 30, 2017 .