Has the political climate in the United States got you down? Wondering what you can do to help? Want to hear from diverse voices who are knowledgeable about the issues at hand and who are living alongside the rest of us, trying to make it one day at a time?
Read this book.
“Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America,” edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, is a phenomenal read. I actually stumbled upon this book online a while back, and was excited for the chance to read it. My library didn’t have a copy on order yet, so I did what all good readers who don’t want to spend money at the bookstore do: I suggested it be added to the library’s collection!
Sure enough, it was. After ordering it back in October, I was able to pick it up about a month later and be the first to read this library copy. I am so glad I read this book. It made me feel, well… better. Less hopeless. Stronger. More fierce. More ready than ever to not give up and not back down.
I don’t know that I’ve ever written much about my anxiety on here, but I think now is the time to start. Honestly, living with anxiety is not easy. Sometimes it can manifest itself in ways that make it nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning or to finish a simple task.
Other times, like some of the things I wanted to write about today, it manifests itself in small ways that are *just* enough to inconvenience you or make your day more complicated. Sometimes you don’t even realize how ridiculous these things can be, and sometimes you do, but you have to do them anyways. Because if you don’t, who knows what could happen?
If you’re anything me, you’re inundated with news on a daily, sometimes even hourly, basis. Lately, it seems like it’s one tragedy after another. From the various hurricanes that have hit around the world, to horrific acts of terrorism like the gun violence we heard about in Las Vegas on October 1.
It’s easy to fall into a pit of despair when surrounded by this news; to feel like you’re helpless, and that there’s no way you can possibly help those affected. The good news is: you CAN help! Whether you’ve got money or time to donate, phone calls to make, or can physically help in person… you CAN make a difference.
(Side note: during times of crisis, many people will offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ to those affected. While I can respect these gestures, and understand why people do this, in the end — thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help victims of a flood regain their livelihood or find a place to get food RIGHT NOW, or lead to stricter gun control in the United States or worldwide. So, yes, if you feel the need, offer your thoughts and prayers — but then get on your feet, on your computer, in your bank account, wherever, and offer something else.)
Let me ask you a question. How often do you check your email?
If you’re like most people, you’ll probably say “every day.” Honestly, I can’t imagine going a day *without* checking my email. But upon further reflection, I… honestly think I check my email *TOO* much. I’ve been trying to take stock of my little habits, and lately, that’s the one I’ve noticed.
Wake up, get ready for work, check my email. Then maybe an hour later, check my email again. It can literally be ten minutes later and there I am, logging into Google again. And again. And again.
Does anyone else do that?
Okay, I don’t think I’m really obsessed. I think it’s just become a habit in this tech-crazy world, where we all feel inclined, or maybe even required, to be connected at all times. The phones in our pockets/purses ensure that we’re always dialed in, and make it a hell of a lot easier to keep checking – even if we’re not necessarily expecting any specific correspondence to fly our way.
If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re likely engaged, or at least heading toward a wedding. It will be the most incredible, beautiful day of your life. You’ll probably deal with at least some stress beforehand, but when all is said and done, you’ll get to spend a wonderful life with your partner.
That being said, here are a few things I learned along the way to help YOU relieve stress and enjoy your special day!
It’s your wedding, not anyone else’s. It’s easy to feel pressure from friends, parents, etc. They’re all likely well-meaning, but it’s your wedding day, not theirs. It’s up to you how much input you want to let others have on things like your wedding dress (Say Yes to the Dress, anyone?), food, etc. We’ve all seen that list circulating the Internet about “stupid wedding trends” or whatever, but my thought is this: DO WHAT YOU WANT. WHATEVER YOU WANT. Seriously. Whoever you want in your bridal party, invite them; and whoever you don’t, don’t. Whatever band you want to hire, go for it! Same goes for the food, the venue, the dress, and all that jazz.