More stories

  • in

    Hangxiety Is No Joke—Here Are 5 Ways I Deal With It

    We’ve all been there: You wake up with a pounding headache, mascara smudged on your pillow, and a bad case of hangxiety, fully regretting that extra cocktail you ordered last night. For some, physical symptoms are the extent of a hangover, but for others (myself included), alcohol can have negative effects on your mind too. These effects often come in the form of rethinking everything you said or did the night before, worrying all your friends are mad at you, or just that general sinking feeling of dread over nothing in particular.
    Experts have recently coined the term “hangxiety” to explain these alcohol-induced feelings. According to SELF Magazine, hangxiety occurs when alcohol interrupts our neurotransmitters and the body is trying to regulate inhibitory and stimulatory systems. It’s also more likely to affect those with existing anxiety symptoms (*raises hand*). I know I’m definitely not alone in feeling this way when I indulge in a couple of glasses of Sauv Blanc, so I’m sharing a few tips I learned that help me cope with my hangxiety and will maybe help you. Read on for five ways I deal with a little bit of anxiety after drinking.  

    1. Journal
    As someone who deals with generalized anxiety on a daily basis, I often use journaling as a technique to organize my thoughts and calm my nervous mind. When I wake up feeling hangxious, my mind is usually racing with negative thoughts or worries. Rather than keeping those thoughts inside, I like to write them down as a form of self-therapy. That way, I can determine if my thoughts are grounded in reality or if it’s just my anxiety playing tricks on me. This is also helpful to look back on later if my hangxiety begins to flare up because I can remind myself that I’ve already worked through those worries and don’t need to dwell on them anymore. If you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts or worries regularly, consider speaking with a therapist. 

    2. Drink water
    This probably goes without saying, but hydration is key. During a night out, I tend to skimp on my water intake, so the next day, I’m typically not physically feeling my best either. It’s hard for me to get out of a negative headspace if I’m also dealing with a headache, so I focus on hydrating throughout the day. In addition to its health benefits, taking time to drink water is also a way of practicing self-care, which can help boost my mood when I’m feeling low. Another key tip: Try to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol instead of just the day after.  

    3. Move your body
    Working out isn’t high on my list of interests after a late night out, but making it part of my hangxiety routine has been a game-changer. Similar to drinking water, working out helps me establish a mind-body connection and assists the body’s natural detoxification process (which feels especially important the day after a couple spicy margaritas, you know?). I don’t always enjoy a hungover sweat sesh in the moment, but even something simple like a short walk leaves me feeling empowered and proud of myself for putting in the work. Exercise also releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. 

    4. Shower
    Maybe it’s the water sign in me (shoutout to all my fellow Pisces!), but I firmly believe there’s nothing a good shower can’t fix. It’s hard to feel good about yourself mentally when you’re not feeling great physically, so I find it helpful to remove any residual makeup off my face (looking at you, mascara smudges), wash the dry shampoo and hairspray out of my hair, and start the day fresh. Taking this time for myself serves as a gentle reminder that I am worthy of feeling good in my body. For bonus self-care points, click here to make your shower routine more luxurious. 

    5. Do something productive
    During hangovers past, I used to wallow in bed, eat Mcdonald’s breakfast, and feel sorry for myself (no judgment if this works for you!). But I’ve learned that getting up and doing something productive actually makes me feel better. Whether it’s something small like planning out the week ahead or a larger task like cleaning the house, I feel good about myself after I’ve accomplished something on my to-do list. It makes the worries about the night before seem a lot less important. While these tips work for me, it’s important to note that alcohol and anxiety affect everyone differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how to take care of your mental health, but doing what feels best for your body is a good place to start. 

    While this article is referring to common effects of short-term drinking, there’s a correlation between anxiety disorder and alcohol abuse, according to the American Addiction Center. If you are struggling with substance abuse, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for assistance. 

    95 Ways Our Readers Are Coping with Anxiety RN More

  • in

    14 Ways to Feel Better When You’re Stuck in a Rut

    What do weddings, vacations, and job promotions have in common? They all evoke celebration. There’s nothing like the thrill every time we have an exciting event or life update. But when exciting things aren’t happening, life can seem rather, well, dull. Maybe you already went on your big vacation for the year, don’t have any weddings this season, or are feeling pretty meh in your career. Every day is filled with errands to run, bills to pay, and chores to do, and it doesn’t feel like there’s much to celebrate besides making it to Friday every week. Even if you are working towards exciting goals, we all have those stuck-in-a-rut periods. Let’s face it: normal doesn’t exactly give you butterflies. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy life and make the most of even “normal” days. Read on for how to get out of a rut and get excited when you don’t have much going on.

    1. Do something different
    Is even your “off-time” or “fun days” spent in the same routine? Maybe you binge Netflix every evening or go to the same bar every Saturday. The truth is that nothing will feel different until you do something different. Switch up your routine by spending your off-time more intentionally. Read a new book in your evenings, take a walk on a route you’ve never been on, or try a new restaurant on your night out. When there’s nothing new going on in your life, make something new. 

    2. Channel your most fierce self
    Flip through any fashion magazine and you’ll likely find a celeb or two sashaying through the airport or grocery shopping while still looking fabulous. Besides the fact that wearing stilettos while traveling is utterly wild, we can take some inspo from being #extra. Even if you have nowhere to go, put in some extra effort to channel your most fierce self: throw on your best OOTD, do your favorite hairstyle, or perfect a killer cat-eye flick, even if it’s a casual lunch with your BFF or picking up dry cleaning. 

    3. Practice mindfulness
    When we feel “stuck in a rut,” we’re usually responding to what we thought would or should happen. We feel disappointed in the moment because we’re missing out on what we thought should be happening (like feeling bored in your career just because you thought you’d have a promotion by now). Use mindfulness to stay in the moment and accept the present, rather than thinking of the past or what could’ve been.

    4. Move your body
    When you’re feeling blah, a workout might just be what the doctor ordered (literally). Exercise can help boost your mood, but can also change the way you see about yourself. I love to run and listen to something inspirational while pushing myself. If I’m a little grumpy at the beginning of my run, I’ll almost always end get into a good mood by the end of it.

    5. Use self-talk
    When we don’t get what we want, it’s easy to reinforce negative thoughts and emotions. One bad day can easily spiral into bad weeks or bad months because the mind gets into habits. Many of us are flooded with negative thoughts before we even step out of bed, and don’t even recognize it because we are so used to thinking that way. Pay attention to the messages you’re telling yourself, and replace negative thoughts with something a little healthier and more optimistic. You may be surprised by how your mood improves.

    6. Give what you think you are lacking
    If you’re feeling particularly negative, try giving someone whatever it is that you think you need, whether it be advice, attention, or a kind gesture. When you feel lack of something, whether it’s excitement, joy, love, or time, giving it to someone else will show you how much of it you actually have. Spoiler alert: be prepared to feel wowed by the good vibes that come with spending your time and energy on someone else. 

    7. Search for (any) jobs
    The other day I was perusing the web and came across a few job openings that looked interesting but were nowhere near my current industry. I compared my skills to the job requirements and thought about what experience I would need to gain to get the jobs that excited me the most. It gave me renewed insight into what I really want to do the skills I need to do it. So if you’re feeling in a career rut, a job search may invigorate you with a new direction or excitement to land your dream job.

    8. Practice gratitude
    When you’re in a rut, it takes a bit of effort to move through bad moods with a healthy dose of self-encouragement. But when you focus on what you are grateful for, you show yourself that you don’t need special events in order to feel happy, and your ability to thrive isn’t dependent upon your circumstances.

    9. Read
    Reading is the next best thing to actually taking a vacation. Think about it: you can be transported to another world or time period in a matter of seconds and without spending a lot of money. Reading about a totally different world than your own reality will give you distance and an opportunity to gain a new perspective. You may also find some teachable moments you can use to manage your own stress. If you’re feeling bored, read a book that takes place in a totally different country or time zone, or if you’re feeling uninspired, read a book that will boost your mood. 

    10. Journal
    You probably already know that journaling can be therapeutic. When you journal, you allow yourself to get all disappointments, failures, regrets, or worries out of your head and onto paper. At the same time, you can also use journaling to focus on joys, accomplishments, wins, and goals. Journal depending on what you think you need. For example, if you feel like you have a lot of emotions and stressors built up, let it all out on paper. If you’re realizing that you’re being a little extra negative, journal about the things you have to be grateful for. You can also track changes and progress made by seeing how your journaling changes day-to-day. 

    11. Change up your home
    Our home environment can reflect our emotional state. If you’re feeling uninspired in your life, your home probably shows it. But on the other hand, changing your environment can affect your overall outlook on life. Small changes in your space like moving a chair to another corner, placing your couch in a different direction, or adding a new piece of art can make any room feel totally different. The change of environment can help you change perspective, find more motivation, or find a new routine. Rearranging a room or switching up your furniture placement will feel like a change in your environment (always good for getting out of a rut!) and might even help you see things differently. 

    12. Learn something new
    They say if you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. Sometimes, we get stuck in a rut because we don’t feel like we’re growing or that we’re getting any closer to achieving what we want out of life. So the easiest answer is to do something to get what you want out of life. Knowledge is power, and learning something new will not only make you feel more inspired, but might actually help you feel closer to your goals. Whether or not it’s directly related to your career, side hustle, or hobby, take a class that sounds interesting, dive into an educational book, or spend time looking up how-to videos on Youtube (there’s a lot you can learn!). 

    13. Clean out your closet
    Just like your home, your closet can be a great indicator of how you feel emotionally. Too many clothes, too few clothes, clothes we’ll never wear, clothes we can’t find because they’re burried in piles—you name it, it has meaning. You know the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” What we wear can change what we think about ourselves, and what we think about ourselves changes everything from our emotions to our actions. When we have an overcrowded closet or a wardrobe that does not support our best selves, it’s another example of holding ourselves back from the life we truly want. Give away the clothes that don’t bring out the best in you or that you don’t love, and make room for new clothes that will allow you to dress for the life you want. 

    14. Romanticize the mundane
    Getting out of a rut is easier said than done. But often, all it takes to feel like we’re in a period of time worth celebrating is to find things to celebrate. Even if don’t have any exciting events in the near future, feel stuck in your career, or are bored of the same old routine, you can find little wins to celebrate and little moments to appreciate. For example, make yourself your favorite meal for a random lunch, just because it’s Tuesday, or stop for ice cream on the way home from work, just because you want to. Celebrate folding an entire load of laundry by throwing yourself a dance party or have your best friend over for wine night to celebrate the compliment you got from your boss. The more you romanticize the mundane by finding the “special” in the ordinary, you’ll learn that you can create your own happiness while still striving to achieve goals. 

    Stuck in a Career Rut?
    Read these tips to help you stay motivated More

  • in

    How I Found My Passion as an Adult (And Why It’s So Important)

    As a kid, I had a pretty big imagination. Whether it was baking treats to give all my neighbors (there were only four houses on my street), using a yellow raincoat and a “detective kit” to pretend I was a spy, or making up dances in my living room, I was always up to something. Like all kids, I was so excited for each new idea and put my all into it. I got lost in these moments of make-believe, never thinking about what time it was, what was for dinner, or where a paycheck was coming from. Childhood was so easy, wasn’t it?
    This inadvertent pursuance of passion we have as children typically dwindles as we get older. By the time I was in college, that zest for activities, creation, and hobbies faded (unless you count a zest for beer pong), and my energy shifted to spending time with my friends and going out on weekends. But then I graduated and something shifted. I watched my friends get new jobs, promotions, experiences, and relationships. It felt like the world was moving around me, and I was standing still.
    I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have any desire or motivation to move forward; I just felt bored. Then I had a major ah-ha moment: I wasn’t doing anything exciting. I wasn’t passionate about my job and was still only focused on what my friends were doing on weekends. How could I expect to be excited when I wasn’t doing anything? Work, gym, dinner, sleep. Repeat. Many of us go through our days lacking passion, which, for a lack of a better word…sucks. We go through one day, three days, or entire weeks without doing something that lights our fire and lifts our energy. 

    Source: @aspynovard

    By pursuing and practicing your passions, even on the smallest scale, you allow yourself to go deeper into something new. You awaken your senses, stimulate your brain, and make yourself happier. It’s true: passionate people are happy people, and people like to be around happy people. Think about someone you know who is passionate. Chances are you’re drawn to their energy and sometimes even wonder what it is about them that makes people love them. So once I realized that the missing link from my life was passion, I decided it was time to start practicing and reclaim my sense of wonder. Read on to find out what I did to find (and practice) it. 

    By pursuing and practicing your passions even on the smallest scale, you allow yourself to go deeper into something new.

    I asked myself questions
    If you’re not sure what you are passionate about, asking questions can help you identify. Ask yourself questions like: When do I forget to look at my phone? What were things I loved to do as a kid? What feels like active meditation? What lights me up? What would I do if money didn’t matter? Checking in with yourself can also help you steer away from moving towards what you think you “should” be passionate about. For example, I don’t love politics, can’t get into fashion, and don’t have a strong love for design. Don’t get me wrong: I want to be informed, look good, and have a beautiful home, but those aren’t the hobbies that make me excited or feel like time passes quickly. Looking at my answers, many came from those childhood memories, so I thought about how they could fit into my adult life.

    Source: @apairandaspare

    I took small actions based on these answers
    Once I realized I had some ideas that would “light me up,” I started to take small steps to do more of them. For example, I started cooking more meals at home, read food blogs, and went out to new restaurants (I always did love baking treats for my neighbors as a kid!). Beyond just hobbies, I got coffee with a woman who owned a cafe to learn what she does and what her career looks like. Looking into my other answers, I made some plans and took more actions as well, including planning my first European vacation since high school, working out more, volunteering, and going to museums (even if I was alone). 

    I let the passions evolve
    Life is always evolving, and so are our interests. While we can find a lot of parallels between what we were interested in as children and what we’re passionate now, that doesn’t mean that our passions won’t change. We might love things at certain times of our lives that we get tired of or don’t like as much years later. I don’t like baking treats for my entire NYC apartment building (for obvious reasons), and that’s OK: I’ve found new ways to pursue the same passion. If you look at the actual things you love to do as a guide to finding your passion “themes,” you’ll notice they can evolve into some pretty awesome moments, opportunities, or even a career you didn’t know existed.

    Source: @veggiekins

    I set a goal for at least one “passionate” activity a day
    Even in our adult lives where bills have to be paid and chores have to get done, you can (and should) still wake up feeling excited to get out of bed because you’re doing at least one thing every day that you look forward to. It can just be one thing (no matter how small) that makes you forget Instagram exists, or that fills you up so much you’re energized all day long. Taking action to discover, practice, and evolve your passions isn’t easy. It takes time, energy, and openness to new things, as well as a whole lotta love for yourself. It often required me to get really vulnerable and do things alone (P.S. now, I actually love doing things by myself). The most reassuring thing that I’ve discovered through prioritizing my passion is that the more I put it out there, the more amazing things, opportunity, and people come back to me.

    21 Hobbies You Can Start at Home—Today More

  • in

    7 Easy Hacks to De-Stress Throughout the Work Day

    With enduring packed work weeks, finding time to be social, caring for our bodies, and making room for rest, staying on top of it all can be a full-time job. Between the demands of careers and our lives outside of them, we’ll admit: We’re freakin’ stressed. While stress is an inevitable part of life, managing stress is key in keeping us healthy and ready to take on new challenges.
    Sure, taking a two-week vacation in the Cayman Islands to avoid all of our responsibilities sounds like a sufficient solution, but in reality, finding more practical options to deal with our day-to-day stressors is what will truly set us up for success. If “I’m stressed” has crossed your mind at all today or this week, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven easy hacks to de-stress throughout the workday so that you can show up as your best, most efficient self (no plane, train, or automobile required):

    1. Take a 10-minute class on a work break
    Exercise in any form can have a huge impact on stress levels, and thankfully, you don’t need an hour-long class or a fancy gym to make it happen. Even taking 10 minutes out of your day between tasks or meetings to get your body moving, blood flowing, and endorphins pumping can help you get away from your computer, de-stress, and refresh.
    Obé Fitness is one of our favorite hacks to getting a solid workout in at home, trying out new forms of exercise, and making time to prioritize our bodies. Obé has a ton of 10-minute classes that help us get moving when we’d otherwise be taking a sedentary “break” (read: being horizontal and scrolling social media). With cardio boxing, dance HIIT, barre, and pilates, Obé is the perfect solution to keeping movement fresh, fun, and at your fingertips on your busiest days.
    Use code TEG50 for a 7-day free trial + 50% off your first month of Obé!

    2. Make a plan
    Having a plan can be crucial when it comes to managing stress levels on a busy day. Take a step back from haphazardly jumping from task to task and look at the big picture of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, and this week. You might do better when you prioritize your easiest tasks first to warm up and gain confidence, or you might start with your hardest tasks first to align with your energy levels. Maybe you prefer to batch similar tasks so that you can avoid wasting the time involved with switching gears. Whatever the best plan is for you, having one can help you work more efficiently and better manage your time and energy.

    3. Meditate
    One of the best ways to recenter, refocus, and decrease stress levels is to meditate. If you’re not into meditating, it might not be on the top of your “ways to de-stress” list, but hear us out: Meditating is a game-changer when it comes to managing stress throughout your workday. Despite what may be popular belief, meditation is not about turning your brain off. It’s about tuning into your thoughts, feelings, and body to gain perspective. Practicing meditation can help you focus your attention, address stressors, and free your mind of the distractions that may bring you anxiety. If you’re a beginner (or a skeptic), consider adding meditation to your daily routine to help you de-stress throughout the day.

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    4. Declutter your workspace
    We don’t know about you, but when our work area is a mess, we feel like a mess. A clean workspace can be beneficial to your mental health, while a cluttered workspace can have negative effects on your stress levels and ability to focus. Taking five minutes to tidy up your desk, declutter your work bag, and close the 48 open tabs on your computer can streamline your workflow and help you direct your attention where it’s most needed. 

    5. Listen to mood-boosting music
    Here at The Everygirl, we love a good mood-boosting playlist for more than just an unexpected solo performance or dance party (though we do encourage mid-day choreography sessions and/or breaking out into song whenever your heart desires). Music is a powerful tool that can have a profound effect on our ability to relax, concentrate, and even boost our mood. Whether you’re looking to zone in and increase focus or to improve your mood throughout the day, there’s a playlist out there with your name on it to help make your workday infinitely better.

    6. Go for a quick walk down the street
    When you’re feeling bogged down and overwhelmed by tasks, focus on getting your steps in. Not only does walking promote the release of endorphins to stimulate relaxation and improve mood, but it also gives you the opportunity to physically remove yourself from certain stressors. Walking has many benefits for the body and also the mind. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, you’ll be able to return to your work with mental sharpness and an improved mood. Sign us up!

    7. Connect with a friend or coworker
    Call it comedic relief, venting, or the beauty of human connection, but nothing helps us de-stress quite like taking a minute to talk with our work friends, best friends, significant others, or family members. Besides the fact that we enjoy the people we surround ourselves with, there’s science behind it: When we connect with people we love, the brain releases the hormone oxytocin, which can help reduce stress levels by affecting cortisol levels (the stress hormone). If that’s not a case for catching up with your bestie, we don’t know what is.

    6 Techniques to Reduce Stress That My Therapist Taught Me

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of obé, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

  • in

    Anxious about the Reopening? Same. I Asked Experts How to Cope

    In 2019, I considered myself to be a social person (pre-pandemic and pre-reopening): I’m a decent conversationalist, never had a Taco Tuesday that I didn’t like, and tended to gravitate toward the people I didn’t know at a party. When I got vaccinated and restaurants started opening back up at the beginning of the summer, I thought I was ready to dive all in, see people I hadn’t seen in over a year, and even make new friends. Spoiler alert: I was wrong. 
    Instead of the pre-2020 excitement I felt before going to a large social gathering or meeting someone new, dread set in. Questions like, “What do I do if the conversation lulls?”, “What if I’m awkward?”, and (the worst of them all) “What if I’m still not safe, even with the vaccine?” plagued the nights out where I used to only worry about what to wear or if my mascara would smudge. The truth is that we’ve been at home with only our quarantine crew and Uber Eats drivers to keep us company, and a lot of those “fun” things (like crowded bars or concerts) became situations that put us in danger. Of course, there’s going to be some adjusting. 

    “Feeling anxious about reopening is quite common,” explained Dr. Tyson Lippe, MD, a psychiatrist at Heading Health in Austin, Texas. “A lot of our fear in returning to pre-pandemic functions, like the office and engaging in social events, stems from uncertainty. It is unclear who is vaccinated, what precautions will be implemented, and what the new social norms are.” Basically, even the most social of butterflies are way out of practice. Add on stress about safety and dangerous new strains, and it’s no wonder so many of us are feeling stressed RN. So I did what any wellness editor would do and asked experts for their best tips to cope if reopening and getting back to “normal” isn’t as easy as we thought. 
    Just as a brief disclaimer: We always recommend seeking help. Whether that’s leaning on your best friend, finding a therapist near you, or joining a community for your mental health, it’s always important to prioritize how you feel, especially when going through a tough time. Find a therapist you love, come up with a game plan, prioritize self-care over anything else, and try out these seven tips from experts on how to cope with getting back to “normal.”

    Recognize how you feel
    It may sound basic, but the first step is identifying and acknowledging the way you feel. Maybe you haven’t historically been anxious in social settings or maybe you didn’t know our lack of normalcy throughout 2020 and 2021 affected you as much as it did. Once you recognize what you’re feeling, you can make a plan. “The first step is to recognize that you’re feeling anxious,” Dr. Lippe said. “Pay attention to your emotional state as well as any physical manifestations.” For example, does your stomach get queasy when thinking about going back to the office or does your heart start pounding when you enter a crowded restaurant?
    Keeping track of how and what you feel will help identify certain triggers. “Is it a particular place, group of friends, type of setting, etc., that’s making you feel anxious?” asked Merissa Goolsarran, LCSW, a licensed therapist who specializes in anxiety treatment. “Keeping a log of situations where you might experience anxiousness is helpful in determining if a pattern is present.” 

    Appreciate those feelings (yes, even the negative ones)
    I get it. Any negative emotion, whether it’s stress, worry, annoyance, frustration, or sadness, can feel so uncomfortable that we actually get mad at the feeling. But take it from someone who has been in a toxic relationship with anxiety for years: Thinking “why me?” or “I just need to get over this already!” makes it worse. “We have to give ourselves time to be programmed back in the other direction,” said Dr. Emily Stone, PhD, LMFT-S, a professor and licensed marriage and family therapist. “Of course we are going to experience anxiety returning to work and other pre-COVID activities: We have been telling ourselves that these situations are dangerous.” 
    Any extra worry or stress may be annoying, but it’s not irrational. In the big picture, “negative” feelings can actually keep us safe. Feelings of anxiousness and fear are biologically useful—the mind reacts to help us avoid danger so we survive (that’s where “fight-or-flight” comes from). After all, emotional reactions like fear, worry, or empathy are what drove us to make safe decisions during the pandemic in the first place. Appreciate the purpose of that extra stress and worry, and then remind yourself that you aren’t in any immediate danger like the fight-or-flight response tells us, and those feelings aren’t serving a purpose anymore.

    Have a mini escape plan
    If you anticipate that your first day back at the office or a larger social gathering might garner some overall overwhelm, have a game plan to help ease discomfort during each situation. “There are several useful techniques to keep you calm when faced with anxiety-provoking situations,” suggested Dr. Mimi Winsberg, a board-certified psychiatrist and the chief medical officer at Brightside. “Try self-talk, breathing exercises, or even rehearsing worst-case scenarios to realize they are not that bad.” Planning ahead is crucial when easing into uncomfortable situations you’re not used to. For example, mentally repeat an affirmation when you start feeling a little overwhelmed at the office, make a list of topics in your head for when there’s a lull in a conversation, or have a back up plan if the restaurant feels a little too crowded for your comfort level (takeout and wine nights are still fun!). 

    Say “no”
    Just because everything is opening back up does not mean you have to totally open back up. In other words, just because you’re happy that concerts, office happy hours, dinner parties, and restaurants are coming back in full swing does not mean you have to do it all. “Go at your own pace,” advised Jenny Okolo, an occupational therapist from London. “While it may be tempting to say yes to everything, do so at your own pace until you feel more comfortable as your confidence returns.” Also, it’s OK if your comfort level looks different from your friends, significant other, or coworkers. “You’ll probably have different standards or a different ‘normal’ than others,” Goolsarran agreed. “It’s helpful to communicate what you’re comfortable with so that you don’t get stuck in an uncomfortable situation.” Let friends know that you’re sticking to small groups or invite your work friend to meet up at a coffee shop with outdoor seating.

    Get into your body
    Whether it’s a day at the office or a night out, if you anticipate any uncomfortable feelings coming on, try a ritual that will help you calm down before heading out the door. “Think of something simple that leaves you feeling more confident, like exercise or meditation,” suggested Teri Schroeder, a licensed clinical social worker and co-founder of Just Mind Counseling. “For many people, focusing on the body before a challenging event can help reduce stress and clear the mind.” Dr. Winsberg agreed, explaining that she often recommends her clients try jumping jacks or even singing out loud prior to social situations to loosen up and let out anxious feelings. Sometimes the secret to calming the mind is as simple as putting energy into the body. 

    Start small 
    Even if you frequented clubs, concerts, and crowds all the time pre-2020, there are many “muscles” you haven’t worked in over a year. That’s right: Feeling social can be like a muscle and requires work to keep it healthy. “Too much too soon may feel overwhelming right now: start small and try to exercise that social muscle again. Resume social life with your inner circle, and gradually expand outward,” Dr. Winsberg suggested. “It may feel most comfortable to first interact with one or two other people who are vaccinated in an outdoor setting,” Dr. Lippe agreed. “As you begin to acclimate [and the CDC guidelines say so], you can move toward larger groups or indoor environments.” Just like biceps or glutes, it may take some time to warm up that social muscle and to identify what will make it fatigue too quickly. Identify what feels doable and enjoyable, and then limit what might be too much, knowing you’ll work your way there.

    Adjust your routines
    So you’re still in the habit of sleeping in until two minutes before the workday starts, staying in pajamas, and then eating Postmates for dinner in front of the TV? No shame in your quarantine game, but we can all agree that our routines are very different from the days working out at 7 a.m. or putting on a full OOTD before commuting, and then running errands or heading to happy hour after 5 p.m. (how did we do it all?). If your routines are the same when you were staying at home, of course, any difference will feel overwhelming. Even if you’re not ready to go back to the office or fill up your social calendar, start adjusting your routines.
    Roxanne Francis, MSW, RSW, a psychotherapist and owner of Francis Psychotherapy & Consulting Services, recommended structuring your day as if you were going into the office (even if you’re still working from your couch): get up earlier, get dressed as if you were going to work, and treat your WFH space as if it was your actual office (no more empty candy wrappers or dirty dishes). Also, if you’re Zooming with friends after work, put on jeans (pause for shock), take a walk around the block beforehand, or just do a quick makeup routine to start feeling that normalcy come back.
     
    *These tips are meant to be used as inspiration for coping with stress or anxious feelings, not as a treatment for anxiety. Anxiety can feel isolating, but you shouldn’t have to feel as though you’re going through it alone. Please reach out to your doctor, a therapist, or another trusted professional for support.
    If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, please get help immediately. 
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    Crisis Textline: text CONNECT to 741741

    Hitting a Pandemic Wall? These Are the Best Ways to Cope
    according to experts. More

  • in

    Feeling Down? Here Are 20 Products That Can Help Boost Your Mood Instantly

    We talk a lot about ways to boost your mood because having a random bad day here and there or feeling a little extra stressed is a part of being human. But just because we all get bad days sometimes doesn’t mean we shouldn’t always be working on happiness. There are many ways to get yourself out of a funk or just feel overall happier, like going for a walk, taking a bath, talking to your therapist, or eating your favorite meal. If you’re like me, a not-so-great mood can also push you into a little retail therapy. Money can’t buy happiness (unless it’s one of these ways), but sometimes, spending a few dollars on something that instantly brings you joy, helps get rid of stress, or squeezes a little self-care into your day can do the trick. Shop on for 20 products that could instantly boost your mood (now that’s some retail therapy I can get behind!).

    Blue Apron
    Home Meal Kits
    We all have a lot on our plate right now (pun intended), and meal prepping, grocery shopping, and cooking can often be more stress on a long to-do list. Blue Apron wants to help you find more “me-time” to boost your mood and stress less, starting with new low-maintenance recipes that require less prep, less cleanup, and less time spent at the store. Because what’s going to boost your mood more than a nutritious, delicious, and convenient meal delivery kit delivered straight to your door? It will save you time, energy, and (most importantly) stress.
    Plus, new customers can get 8 free meals and free shipping!

    Motivational Water Bottle
    If you’re feeling lethargic, unmotivated, or lackluster about your health/life goals, consider switching to this water bottle that will not only help keep you hydrated, but will offer time-stamped reminders throughout the day that you deserve, like “Well done!” and “You’ve got it!” 10+ colors available.

    Gretchen Rubin
    The Happiness Project
    If you have five minutes to read, this is one of the most helpful and life-changing works of positive psychology because it teaches us how to actually be happy. “The Happiness Project” combines personal anecdotes, scientific research, and wisdom from the past to help us not only achieve happiness, but re-examine what we all want out of life. Talk about a mood boost.

    Spoken Flames
    Light It Into Existence
    Never underestimate the power of aromatherapy and the effect it can have on your mood. This candle uses notes like lavender, rose, and patchouli to engage your senses and help you feel more grounded, inspired, and connected to yourself. If you’re looking for a little more positive energy and a little less stress, this is the candle for you.

    Yoga Bolster Pillow
    Another one of our favorite methods to feel better instantly: meditation. Try meditating in one of the suggested positions with this yoga pillow to also stretch out the body for bonus points. Plus, having this pillow in the corner will remind you to get to your meditation practice, even during the busiest of days. 5 colors available

    Wellness Journal
    If journaling is more your style, make time for yourself to record your thoughts, feelings, and intentions. Whether it’s first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day or a five-minute break whenever you need to, this journal is designed to boost your overall wellness. 3 colors available.

    Charlotte Tilbury
    Matte Revolution Lipstick
    Sometimes all it takes for an instant mood boost is adding a final touch to your #OOTD that makes you feel extra special, whether that’s a piece of jewelry, a hairdo, or a makeup look. Try a swipe of red lipstick before your next Zoom meeting for an instant oomph of badass confidence (or whatever makeup look or clothing item makes you feel your best). 15 shades available.

    Compendium
    Motto of the Day Card Set
    So you only have 30 seconds? Pick a card (any card!) to get a one-sentence affirmation for the day. Not only will reading the card to yourself instantly make you feel good, but you can repeat the affirmation throughout the day for a happy reminder any time you need one. 2 colors available and 12% off!

    HappyLight Therapy Lamp
    Sunlight is nature’s mood booster, but sun isn’t always readily available, thanks to long office days, cloudy weather, and the fact that SPF is a necessary step in our skincare routines (I repeat: necessary). Get the happiness effects of sunlight thanks to this affordable and easy-to-use light therapy lamp. It mimics the sun using full spectrum light to improve mood, energy, sleep, and focus, without the harmful UV rays. 25% off!

    3 Pack Face Masks
    Even if the world is starting to feel normal, it’s still crucial to wear your face masks. Might as well be one with happy colors and an important reminder, right? Wear these masks to the grocery store, while traveling, or running errands to get an instant mood boost whenever you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. 15% off!

    Love Wellness
    #Mood Pills
    Thanks to all-natural and mood-enhancing ingredients like vitamin B6, organic St. John’s Wort, and chasteberry, this nifty little supplement promises to deal with occasional stress or irritability, fight fatigue, and assist with mood changes associated with PMS (because sometimes a “bad day” just comes from a bad period).

    Intelligent Change Store
    The Five Minute Journal
    Gratitude is not just a cheesy method your mom preaches or a polite “thank you” when someone does something for you. It’s actually a key factor of happiness and an effective way to improve your mood. If making a mental list of what you’re grateful for is not your thing, try this Five Minute Journal with prompts that will help you feel more confident, calm, and grateful. 2 colors available.

    Etsy | Empow Her Prints
    Affirmation Yoga Mat
    If you struggle with reminding yourself that you are “talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular…” (cue the Lady Gaga meme), let a yoga mat do it for you. Whether you’re going through flows, working out, or just have it laying out on your living room floor for later, you’ll be served some important reminders about how awesome you really are.

    Cryo Skin Icing Dual-Ended Roller
    If a busy workday or stressful to-do list is ruining your mood, try squeezing in a little pampering throughout the day to give yourself a break and serve as a check-in. I love a good facial massage to make myself feel pampered and cared for, but a cold facial massage? Extra luxurious.

    Lalah Delia
    Vibrate Higher Daily
    Instagram superstar, Lalah Deliah, put her self-help wisdom into this comprehensive book that teaches we have control over our emotions (yes, including that bummer of a mood). “Vibrating Higher Daily” helps you make intentional day-to-day choices that lift you out of mindsets, habits, and lifestyles that don’t serve you, and into ones that do.

    Abercrombie & Fitch
    Sweater Lounge Shorts
    Never thought a piece of clothing could impact your mood? Well you probably haven’t felt these sweater shorts yet. Hop out of your uncomfortable jeans or form-fitting dress and into clothing that will feel like a warm hug. These shorts are perfect for warmer weather, but still feel just as cozy and comforting as your favorite sweats. 4 colors available and 60% off!

    ANTIK LAKAY
    Serenity Candle
    Picture this: you’ve been working for hours, have barely gotten up from your desk, and you can feel your stress levels rising. So you take a break from your laptop, get up from your desk, check-in with your body, and light a candle that’s called “Serenity” (and for good reason). How much better do you feel already? This mix of pomegranate, sage, patchouli, and cinnamon is the perfect way to soothe your senses into relaxation mode. More importantly, lighting a candle serves as a reminder to take breaks (no matter how short).

    Painted Floral Doormat
    Get an instant mood boost every time you enter or exit your door with this gorgeous, happy, and colorful doormat. Not only will you get a ton of compliments (and compliments make you feel good!), but replacing basic items with extra special pieces can brighten up your day.

    Equilibria
    Dynamic Roller Duo
    Whether you need stress-relief or an energy boost, these rollers have got you covered. With 75mg of CBD per roller, they work on a topical level to relieve pressure points, regulate mood, and ease topical discomfort. Use code “theeverygirl” for 20% off the first order!

    Mini Wand Massager
    Because there is nothing (and I mean nothing) more mood-boosting than an orgasm, right? Besides the fact that pleasure should be a key piece of a regular self-care routine, orgasms release happy hormones and allow us the important opportunity to care for our bodies.

    Products I Go To When I Need an Immediate Mood Boost

    10 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Mood

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

  • in

    10 Products I Go To When I Need an Immediate Mood Boost

    Let’s be honest: We all have terrible, no good, very bad days every now and then. Even Beyoncé can feel stressed, unmotivated, or just plain bleh (not every Bey song is as upbeat as ***Flawless). We talk a lot about ways to get yourself out of a funk or just feel happier overall, like going for a walk, taking a bath, talking to your therapist, or eating your favorite meal. If you’re like me, a not-so-great mood can push you into a little retail therapy. No, money can’t buy happiness (unless it’s one of these ways), but a few key products help me de-stress, pamper myself, and squeeze self-care into my day whenever I need more energy, confidence, or positivity. IDK what helps Beyoncé get back to 7/11 energy, but read on for 10 mood-boosting products that have actually helped me care for myself and boost my mood instantly. 

    Equilibria
    Dynamic Roller Duo
    These genius little rollers are my secret weapon for a quick mood boost throughout the day. If I need a little more energy (like right before a big meeting or if I’m feeling an afternoon slump), I pull out the Energy Roller from my desk drawer for an instant boost. I keep the Calming Roller by my bed to use before I sleep or whenever I’m feeling anxious or stressed. Massaging it into my temples or on pulse points can make a huge difference in my mood thanks to 75mg of CBD per roller and essential oils. Both of these rollers work on a topical level to relieve pressure points, regulate mood, and ease topical discomfort. Trust me: You’re going to want both.
    Use code “theeverygirl” for 20% off your first order!

    Intelligent Change
    The Five Minute Journal
    PSA: Gratitude is not just a cheesy practice your mom preaches or a polite “thank you” when someone does something for you. It’s one of the easiest things I do that makes a drastic difference in my mood and overall happiness. Mentally reminding myself to be more grateful doesn’t always work, which is why I love this Five Minute Journal because it has prompts that make me feel more confident, calm, and grateful. I write in it for five minutes in the morning or turn to it when I’m feeling down. Works like a charm!

    Leaf Yoga Mat
    Good news for yogis and gym rats: Exercise is truly one of the best mood-boosters. Many people forego workouts on busy days because they don’t have time, but the busiest days are when I know I need exercise the most. Even a five-minute flow or a 30-minute at-home barre class transforms my entire day. I use this yoga mat for every at-home workout, and the banana leaf print makes me happy every time I look at it (because mood-boosters can come in even the smallest forms)!

    The Essentials Kit
    Another practice that has made a huge difference in preventing energy slumps and improving overall mood is diffusing essential oils. During my work day, I diffuse oils like peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus to keep me focused and ease stress. At night, my go-to is lavender to help my body relax. Bonus: No matter what essential oil I’m diffusing, doing this always reminds me to take deep breaths and stay in the moment.

    Himalayan Salt Lamp
    I’m an anxious person, so fitting in relaxing practices throughout the day (instead of making it just a morning or night routine) has made a huge difference in my overall mood. One of my favorite practices to do when I’m feeling stressed, worried, or overwhelmed is to take a shower with the lights off and my Himalayan salt lamp on. Sounds weird, but I swear it calms me down and makes me happy. Try it for yourself and I guarantee you’ll never need a glass of wine to wind down again.

    Spoken Flames
    Light It Into Existence Candle
    Never underestimate the power of aromatherapy and the effect it can have on your mood. This candle uses notes like lavender, rose, and patchouli to engage your senses and help you feel more grounded, inspired, and connected to yourself. Whenever I need a little more positivity, I take a break, light this candle, and set an intention. Not only does the scent help, but the quick reminder also helps me reframe my mindset.

    Click & Grow
    Ultimate Smart Indoor Garden
    Call me an Ina Garten wannabe, but the kitchen will always be my happy place. Cooking makes me feel so good because I’m truly present during this time—instead of thinking about my to-do list, I’m focused on chopping veggies or mixing ingredients. To keep it feeling like a hobby rather than a chore, I make my time in the kitchen feel special by lighting candles, playing music, and using herbs I grow at home to add flavor and health benefits. Cooking can be one of the most frequent ways we care for ourselves and our loved ones. How could it not make you happy?

    Curling Tool
    Sometimes, a mood boost comes from external actions that affect how you feel more than changing mindset alone. We all have that one change in our appearance that helps us feel like our best selves. Maybe it’s a swipe of red lipstick or a power blazer for you, but for me, it’s a little wave in my hair. A good hair day makes me feel like I can take on the world, and I know that curling my hair can transform my mood for the rest of the day. When you take the time to do what makes you feel your best, you’re subconsciously proving to yourself that you deserve the best—instant mood boost!

    Sonia Kashuk
    Dry Brush
    We’ve already established that extra pampering throughout the day reminds me to focus on myself and totally transforms my mood. Dry brushing is another essential pampering practice, but there’s more to it than just that. I’ve heard that dry brushing can biologically boost mood because it stimulates the nervous system. Call it placebo, but I really do feel an immediate calmness afterward. I love this small brush to keep at my desk for a little stress-relieving pampering throughout the day.

    Oprah Winfrey
    The Wisdom of Sundays
    If I’m feeling stressed, anxious, bored, or just a little down, I know that I’ve been focusing too much on to-do lists or spending too much time on social media. In other words, I’m stuck in the mundane day-to-day routine instead of remembering that the point of life is to enjoy it. When I need a perspective shift, I read. This collection of interviews by Oprah is my favorite because it’s basically the best words of wisdom from her favorite interviews. For an inspiring read that will transform your perspective and give you a long-term mood shift, grab this.

    6 Techniques to Reduce Stress That My Therapist Taught Me

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

  • in

    How to Admit You’re Overwhelmed at Work

    Feeling stressed at work is the worst, but it happens to the best of us. Though you may worry about looking incompetent in front of your boss or disappointing your colleagues, it’s better for your sanity — and your career — to fess up in order to get some help. Here are eight ways to actually let someone know you’re overwhelmed at work, instead of pretending to be “fine,” so you can bounce back like the productive, confident person you already are.

    1. Don’t play the “I’m so busy!” game.
    Admit it: there’s a weird sense of satisfaction in claiming to be “sooooo busy.” It makes you feel important and needed; however, it’s completely unsustainable. Falling into the busy trap will not only make you sick, tired, irritable, and less productive, but also doesn’t allow you to figure out a solution to feeling overwhelmed at work.
    Instead, think through your daily to-dos and fess up some honest answers to important questions: are your priorities straight?  What never seems to get checked off your list (and do you even need to accomplish it)? What should be delegated to a team member? Taking an assessment of how you’re truly spending your time is a helpful first step is deciphering what actions will affect change.

    2. Admit what you don’t know.
    In my first job out of college, I remember spending hours on a project, filled with dread. Why? I had said yes to the assignment, but wasn’t entirely sure how to do the work itself. I wanted to be the type of employee who could breezily problem-solve on my own, and I also hoped to appear more than proficient (aka, impress my team).
    Don’t do this. It’s okay to admit what you don’t know! I mean, there’s a huge difference between shrugging at your manager in a “not my problem, man” kind of way and saying, “I’ve never done this before, but I’m excited to try! Can you help me get started?” Asking for more knowledge is a good thing, and owning up to where you could benefit from reinforcements saves you time and energy in the long run.

    3. Vent to a trusted colleague.
    When you’re freaking out at work, sometimes it helps to just get it out of your system with someone you trust, and then move on. In fact, almost every time I pause from a panic session to grab a coworker and say, “I need five minutes to vent!” I end up feeling better, and more clear-minded afterwards.
    It’s also nice to ground yourself in reality. Talking through a problem, even if you’re not looking for a solution, can allow you to stop jumping from task to task. If anything, literally show your schedule to someone and say, “I’m stressed and need to spend less time in meetings to meet that deadline. Is there anything I could pass on this week?”

    4. Get feedback from someone you don’t normally work with.
    Whenever I get stuck on a project, I ask somebody outside of my team (or industry, or even company, if possible) for input. It is easy to spend SO much time on a creative endeavor, and then realize you can’t even see where you’re trying to go anymore.
    Besides, there’s no reason to try to be an isolated genius. All the best work usually involves multiple rounds of edits and full team insights before going to print or production. So cut yourself some slack, and stop assuming you have to be the hero at work and solve every single dilemma or master every single assignment.

    5. Stop saying yes to more.
    Once, a boss of mine told me, “It’s great that you can turnaround work so quickly when people ask. But make sure you’re doing the right work first.” Yikes. He wasn’t wrong, though. I used to think it was optimal to be the go-to person, always willing to help or step in. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing, but can easily set you up for failure, because if you’re the person who can be relied on “to help” all the time… you’ll be the person relied on to help all the time.
    More isn’t better — it’s just more, and that can easily be the source of your stress at work. If you’re overwhelmed, you need to refine, not add on. So for every well-meaning coworker who is like, “Hey, do you have 5 minutes to…” give yourself permission to politely decline. Say, “I’d love to help, but I need to focus on XYZ. Did you ask so-and-so?” Ask yourself if somebody else can do that same work, or if you’re the right person to help at that given moment. Or just flat-out learn how to say no: “That’s not going to line up with my priorities this month, but let’s talk about how we can get the work done.”

    6. Figure out what’s temporary and what’s not.
    A friend of mine is a news anchor, and a few times a year, she knows her schedule will be absolutely bananas due to ratings months. Because she can anticipate the overload, she can mentally prep, and since it’s that way for her entire team, it feels much more doable to survive. She also knows it’s just the industry, and not her fault, which helps her keep a cool head.
    If you’re in that boat, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone; in fact, you may be relieved to know you’re not the only person feeling overwhelmed. But if you ask around, and that’s not the case, it might be time to have a conversation with your supervisor.

    7. Take real breaks — and explain why.
    I know you want to look cool as a cucumber no matter what, but this  attitude can be to your detriment. For example, if your coworkers know you as someone who responds to email in 0.1 seconds flat, tell them you’re now batch-checking email at set times. If you can’t seem to make progress on a singular project, devote a day to it and go one hundred percent (okay, 95%) off the grid: shut off your phone, put on a cheery out of office response, and get in the zone. If you’re always waking up early, or staying late, or working weekends, see if you can cut back just a little bit.
    When people see you practicing self-care, they’ll (hopefully!) recognize what a good work-life balance looks like. When you’re intentional and outspoken about your own boundaries and need for breaks, you will be less likely to burn out, and you’ll manage your own energy much better.

    8. Propose a solution to your boss.
    If you can’t find a way to ease up on your own, you’ll eventually need to talk to your boss — which can be terrifying, because you want him or her to see you as a valuable asset who can consistently deliver and add value. The good news is that you can be all of those things and still need clarity or guidance.
    Instead of showing up unannounced and saying, “Hi, I’m drowning in work, help,” take a moment to think through some potential solutions with an attitude of fixing the problem. Look at your job description and consider where you’re outperforming versus falling behind. Ask yourself what seems daunting, where you struggle, what feels completely unmanageable — and the type of help that would make a difference, like more education, less responsibility, or better support. If it is clear you’ve thought through what needs to happen, with tangible examples, it’s likely the conversation will go more smoothly.
    Finally, keep a calm, positive, professional tone. You’re not weak to ask for help, and your boss may not have even realized you needed it. Focus on the fact that you care about your career growth, and remain committed to finding a solution that works for both of you. More