Are you tired of everyone telling you to practice self-care? Do you feel guilty that you have no time to work on yourself even though your stress seems out-of-control?
Hi, I’m Michelle, and I know what it feels like to have stress take over my life.
And yes, there are things you try to be thankful for.
You love your family and couldn’t imagine your life without them. You have a decent life with a good home, good food, and maybe even a favorite fur baby. You’ve been brave and courageous, smiling through the anxiety you feel.
But it feels like such a struggle, doesn’t it?
You just want some validation that your life is stressful and hard, that you are burned out, and that you feel “off”. If someone could just step in and tell you exactly what to do, you’d feel better about the choices you have to make and how to deal with your stress level.
You might even dream about vacations and running away… from your job, your life, and your overwhelming problems.
Most days you wake up with a sense of dread. You feel like something is wrong with you and wonder why on earth you can’t be happy like everyone else. You wonder what is missing. If you could just feel good about life for one day, then maybe you could find some answers.
Battling the Stressful Routine
But it seems ridiculously hard to even begin. You have researched all the self-care tips, the ways to help anxiety, and the natural remedies, but you don’t even know where to start. There’s just too much to fix. And so many people who need you. You are tired of people telling you to prioritize yourself when you have so much on your plate.
You are running…
To appointments, classes, school, and work duties.
Getting kids to where they need to be and making sure they have all their stuff so you aren’t putting out another fire.
Making sure your spouse is happy because he’s supposed to be important in your life.
Getting all your work tasks done and trying not to annoy your co-workers when you look frazzled and sometimes forget what you are supposed to be doing.
And let’s not even talk about all the bills, household chores, and other expectations that are placed on you!
You don’t really like the person you’ve become and you wonder if there is any part of you that still exists under all the stress that has seemed to consume your life. It seems as if other people and outside forces are controlling your life, not you.
You spend hours looking for solutions online, you’ve visited therapists or at least considered it, and you’ve talked about your stressful life experiences to death, but you still don’t know how to fix the overwhelm. You know you need to pay attention to your health and wellbeing, but with so many solutions, where does one begin? And how do you carve out time for yourself when you have so little left over after all your other duties?
Your focus is in a million different places and you aren’t sure which one to focus on that will make you feel happy again.
You’re burned out, frazzled, and freaking tired!
Bottom line: You feel like you are losing at the game of life and you have no idea how to get back to feeling healthy, happy, and in harmony. You think if you just work harder, push through your negative feelings, and make a better commitment to change, you would unlock the secret to overcoming your stress and sadness.
Does this sound familiar?
If it does, you are in the right place. I want to help you move past the stress.
Hey, I’m Michelle.
I am a Type A, anxious, woman that grew up with abuse, poverty, and tragedy. I spent most of my adult life learning to deal with chronic and episodic stress. With the help of therapy and learning self-kindness, I embraced a more peaceful life.
But it wasn’t always like that.
For the last several years, my life consisted of running around trying to make everyone (but me) happy, people-pleasing, pursuing the corporate life, trying to be an advocate, as well as a super mom, super wife, and superhuman–and doing what I thought was expected. It resulted in me finding out it was a miserable, stressful life and all my attempts at making others happy weren’t working. I was sick of letting everyone dictate my life and disapproving of the things that brought me joy.
I ended up on anxiety medicine because I developed agoraphobia, a condition in which you have panic attacks and anxiety when out in public places. I developed hives and allergies to things I wasn’t allergic to before. I thought I was going crazy and that something was terribly wrong with me. I wondered why everyone else seemed to just go with the flow, but I was drowning and suffocating, unable to hold my head above the water.
I knew I had to let go of my job, of making others happy, and living up to unrealistic expectations, but it felt like I was giving up a lot to do that. Every time I thought about it, I would get sad, feel bad about myself, or wonder if it was a big mistake. But I’d continue on and would feel more sick and unhappy.
On top of it, I was still dealing with all the losses I experienced growing up. When I was 17, my brother died by suicide. By the time I was 32, both my parents were gone and it felt as if all my support systems had vanished. I was raising a daughter on the autism spectrum and my other kids had various mental health issues. I became depressed and wondered why I was even here. I knew I had to deal with my past losses and work on my present anxieties and feelings.
Slowly I started making changes. I started with my eating where I dropped 40 pounds by going on a keto diet. Although this felt wonderful and was a quick win, I still struggled with my health. I knew I had to do the hard thing and give up my stressful job, my security, and my people-pleasing tendencies.
And it was one of the scariest things I have ever done.
After all, I had people counting on me. I had built up a life that consisted of dreams that weren’t mine and I had to set boundaries and learn to assert my own voice.
I knew I had to let go of some things, ask for help with other things, and adapt to things I couldn’t change. I left the security of my job to focus on my health and my family and started implementing boundaries and asking for help so that I could experience peace. Through that, I knew I had a voice that could help other people who struggled just like I did.
There is a Simpler Way
Dismissing and making yourself small will lead to feeling like a failure. You were not created to be like everyone else.
Embracing who you are and loving that person is the only way to overcome the inner critic who says you aren’t enough. And trust me, I know that inner critic quite well.
It takes a lot of bravery to listen to yourself–to make the hard choices, to do the tough things, to grow as a person. It is brave to acknowledge your own feelings, your losses, and failures. I believe in you, brave one.
I bet you have some scary decisions to make too.
Do you find yourself adding things to fix your stress? Maybe it’s a new job, new responsibilities, or new habits? When you add these things, they don’t always work. And they make you feel even more stressed because it’s just another reminder of failure.
My mission isn’t to teach you new habits or to encourage you to add something to your life. My goals is to help you take things away so you can focus on what matters.
Why I Write About Stress
That’s why I write about self-care, healthy living, and creating a better life. You need a plan that will help you go from being completely frazzled to being at peace with yourself and your beautiful life. Instead of having a million things to work on, I focus on really simple steps that will bring big wins. The answer to your stress isn’t more stress. It’s simplicity. Sometimes removing things is the hardest part. It’s often more painful to say goodbye to something than to just add another thing to do. But I’m here to challenge that outlook.
Making intentional choices to love yourself, one day at a time is impactful.
Don’t know if stress is affecting you? Find out in 10 minutes! Get the free checklist and identify which areas of your life are being hurt by stress.