Tag Archives: stress


I’m going through an extremely stressful period in my life right now. My little old lady cat died of old age, my dear husband and best friend asked for a separation, and my beloved father passed away on Monday. To say I have way too much on my plate right now is a grand understatement.

How to deal? One day at a time. One step at a time. One breath at a time.

I’ve been journaling, keeping in constant touch with friends and family back home, exercising, trying to continue to eat well and, oh, yes, meditating, every single night.

These wonderful guided audio meditations by K.R.S. Edstrom have been helping to empty my mind each night so that I can try to sleep. Edstrom has a very soothing voice and, what is unique about her technique is that, instead of pushing stress and tension away, she shows you how to train your mind to find it in your body, recognize it, acknowledge and accept it, and then let it go:


Conquer Stress: Meditations to Take You From Tension to Tranquility


Relax Mind and Body: Meditations to Soothe and Center: Two Guided Meditations


Sleep Through Insomnia: Meditations to Quiet the Mind and Still the Body

How about you? How do you you cope with stress? I welcome your suggestions.

-Maria A., striving for the mundane and peaceful


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Stress! And Some Books to Help You Cope.

Here is what happens as you get older: every year seems to bring more changes than the last.  Change can be a trigger for depression, frustration, stress or it can lead you to joy and growth.  You do have choices!  Lately I’ve been giving change-related stress the what-for by trying some new books (or diving back into some old favorites) to help me cope. If you are feeling like you could use a little kick in the pants when it comes to dealing with change and stress, then we have the book list for you.  It’s not the run of the mill self-help list, so don’t run away screaming just yet.

Sometimes, even Ryan Gosling loses it. (Photo courtesy of abreakfromcrazy tumblr)


If you can find happiness, stress will be no match for your positive attitude!  Get seven practical tips in The Happiness Advantage.  The author has been featured on NPR and also has a great TED talk on the subject.

This is How by Augusten Burroughs is the self-help book for people who don’t read self- help books. I adore this book. Listen to the audio book for some no-nonsense advice , straight from the author’s mouth.  Augusten says: “Do not wait for the healing to arrive. It will never come. The holes will never leave or be filled with anything at all. But holes are interesting things.”

The Art of Happiness  is one of those big, big, popular books, that has helped countless people. Can the one million + people who read this book be all wrong?  Try it for yourself and see.


Work with your brain to make it work for you!  The research-based techniques in Meditations to Change Your Brain can get you there. Meditation has been proven to be an effect stress-management tool, so check out this audiobook today.

If you want to deal with the stress that accompanies change, exercise and eating right are can’t-fail solutions.  The no-bones, science-based tome: Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? will help you start some healthy habits with surprising and interesting anecdotes.  For example, did you know that you can lift more if you swear, or imagine yourself committing an evil deed?  How fun is that?  Now get out there and fight back against stress!



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Winter Retreat

I set the professional achievement bar way too high for myself most of the time, and then I get extra-wacky during the holiday season trying to create the perfect Christmas while simultaneously trying to be the perfect librarian.  This is why I save a chunk of my vacation time for December and spend the greater portion of a week in my pajamas, selfishly ignoring everybody’s needs but my own.  At some point I’m considering experimenting with this “moderation” concept I’ve heard about, but today will not be that day.  Tomorrow’s not looking good either.

On the bright side, I took the suggestion many commenters offered on a previous post and ordered myself a copy of Shantaram. Reading this novel has been like falling into the deep blue sea; I find myself swimming around Lin’s world, agog with wonder at the sights and smells of India, rejoicing and sorrowing with the hero as he walks the fine line between sunshine and shadow. A man with a past, trying to forgive himself and build a future, is the perfect kind of hero for the darkest nights of the year; experiencing Lin’s journey makes my own seem easier, even though my own is decidedly plebeian, by comparison.

So I hope you’ll pardon me if, just this one time, I don’t answer your comments in a timely fashion.  I’m going to spend some time alone, absorbed in a good book, lowering my holiday expectations, and soaking up the lessons long nights of darkness can teach. May your own journey back to balance and wholeness be as quiet and calm.

–Leigh Anne

who wishes you the happiest of whatever holidays you celebrate


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