We are inching into the busiest time of the year, I can feel myself teetering in and out of a total freak out sesh, and I am completely ok with it.

Over the last six or seven years, I have learned one of many very important lessons: You can't do everything all the time, but you can do the most important things some of the time.

I have accepted that there will be very few days that I actually finish everything on my to-do list, there will always be a trail of unfinished projects in my wake, and that if I am to ever maintain even the smallest measurement of sanity, I will even have to say “No” to a few people or opportunities along my way. Sure, I allow myself to get stressed about deadlines or challenges, but I reject the guilt or stress that creeps in when I feel frustrated about the impossible.

A little stress is good because it motivates me and holds me accountable with my time and choices (I miss you, Hulu), but a lot of stress  is bad (darn cortisol) and will make me cranky and counterproductive.

When I feel a freak out session coming on, I ask myself, “Is this stress helping me to focus and work smarter, or is it sabotaging my mood and my process?”

Typically, I try and talk myself out of a complete meltdown, but every now and then I just let the panic and anxiety run wild for a little bit. I don't know why, but letting it all gush out for a minute feels pretty good, probably because a girl can only contain so much for so long before she crashes and burns.

When my freak out is over, I acknowledge how fun it was, and then I move on. I make a little bargain with myself and promise myself to suck it up, be a big girl, and get stuff done IF I give myself permission to throw a fit first. In other words, I allow the freak out so I can decompress, and then I feel as cool as a cucumber again.

The key is to keep the tantrum short. You should always allow yourself to purge the ugly feelings, but you shouldn't wallow in them. There has definitely been an occasion or two where I have let my hysterics turn into a marathon pity party, and that, for sure, is something to feel guilty about.

So next time you're about to let stress get to you, just remember to keep your cool or, if you must, explode and then be cool.

Stress Should Motivate You

This is my “cool as a cucumber” look and a list of things I like to do when I just need a minute to be stingy and have some “me” time to recover from a stressful day, week, or eehem, LIFE!

  1. #eatallthefood: No, seriously, when I get insanely busy I almost always skip meals, so after a huge project or photo shoot, I will most definitely treat myself to a heaping plate of food (preferably made by a professional and not me).
  2. #retailtherapy: Believe it or not, I don't do a lot of personal shopping because I lack the time and the funds, but occasionally, when I just need some alone time with my thoughts, I like to think my thoughts while running my fingers along racks and racks of pretty apparel. On a side note, I think it's best for everyone that I don't get many opportunities to frequent the department stores because this girl is not so disciplined with her budget. #doyoutakecredit
  3. #thechurchistrue: My favorite (and most definitely the healthiest and most rewarding) thing to do is have a little heart-to-heart with Him. Without getting too churchy on you, I feel inclined to give credit where credit is due. I know for a fact that the only reason I am not wearing a straight jacket right now is because God is all-knowing and all-loving. He has inspired me on what to do, comforted me during my greatest struggles, and even humbles me when I neglect to do the important things like spending time with my family or serving others.  I know He loves me no matter what, and that is what fills my cup at the end of the day.

Cool as a Cucumber Advice on Stressing Outcool as a cucumber look Stress Should Motivate You

Sunglasses: The Skinny by TMBR
Shirt: Downeast Basics
Pants: TJ Maxx
Lipstick: Pure Red by NYX Cosmetics