{{{Stressed???}}} How to Raise Your Energy and Stay Centered in Crazy Times

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by Amanda Frances

“What do I mean by raise your vibration? Quite simply, to get yourself in a better, lighter mood. Do something that reminds you of how magical life is, and how lucky you are to be here. Something that makes you grateful, something that makes you appreciate yourself and your life. Something that gives you a little pep in your step. Something that makes you smile.” – Jenny Sansouci via healthycrush.com

I’m going to have to give it to you straight: Life Can Be Rough. 

I have been preach-preach-preaching about self-love to you for nearly two and a half years and have meant every word I’ve said! I even made a life, brand, business, and blog around it – that’s for real commitment. I thought I had the self-love thing down. Wake up, meditate, dance around my house and pick out pretty clothes, juice, see clients, go to yoga, eat healthy food, see friends, journal, go to bed, sleep eight hours, repeat. Doesn’t that sound delightful? Yes, it really was. I dedicated my life to creating a certain kind of life.

Then, I had a major lifestyle change. Enter: PhD program.

I know you are tired of hearing about it (and frankly, I am tired of thinking about it) but the entire thing has thrown my smooth-sailing lifestyle into a mini existential crisis of chaos. I am not even going to pretend that I have this completely figured out.

I know that all of you have had moments of, “I am so tired and stressed and I know I need to take care of myself, but there is no time to take care of myself and I don’t know what to do.” Then you are stressed that you are stressed and feel crazy for feeling so crazy and are super tired of being tired. And you don’t know how in the world you are going to incorporate more of what you need into your life… I am there with you, hunnie pie!

My goal is  to merge this hectic season of life with my desire to take care of myself and live from a positive place. 

Here’s how I intend to do it:

1. Run, run away. 

Sometimes, you have to bail. The other day Gabby Bernstein posted a vlog about leaving the kitchen in a room full of overeaters on a holiday weekend. She has experienced negative eating habits in the past and felt herself getting caught up in old ways. She left the kitchen, walked outside, and filmed a vlog about walking away instead of falling into the crazy. For me, in my new experience, there are moments when a million stressed people are telling me a million chaotic things I have to add to a day, week, or hour that has no empty moments. Now sometimes, I can let the flowing endorphins and cortisol move me into intense productivity. But sometimes, I can tell that if I don’t leave the room I will burst. So I leave the room. I find sunshine. I find five deep breaths. I find a sixty-second meditation. I bail and I do it for me. Because I love me. I have a strong personality and a shit ton of resilience, but sometimes the negative energy in a room will take over if you do not find the front door.

2. Stop Should-ing All Over Yourself

Guilt is a bitch. Now listen to me. There are no shoulds in life. You have to decide when to leave the office. You have to decide when to put the project down. You have to decide when to let your kids zone out in front of the TV  for an extra five minutes so you can take a deep breath. I know that you feel like you should stay longer and do more. And sometimes, you totally should. Sometimes it’s what the job requires and you can woman-up and do it. However, when you don’t have anything else to give and you are just staring at that blank screen or paper for two hours while you think about how much you have to do, but are only half doing it – stop. There is a point, where your work, life, and relationships will benefit from you removing that should and going home.

3. Say No.

I’m a therapist. “Boundaries” is a word I use probably every single day. “Set boundaries with your ex,” “Set boundaries with your parents,” “Set boundaries with crazy pathological lying third cousin,” etc. Lately, setting boundaries has been hard. I had a professor in undergrad tell me that at some point during her PhD program she decided that she had to set boundaries for herself. She made certain guidelines to help her keep it together, like eating dinner at seven with her family, cleaning on Sundays, and going to bed by midnight. She felt like she didn’t have time to eat, clean, or sleep. She set the boundaries anyway and miraculously completed every school requirement and still made straight A’s. There is time. You can create time. The things you have to do will fill up however much time you allow for them to be done in. I don’t know what this means for you, but for me it’s deciding how many clients I will and won’t fit into one day, what time I will allow my day to start and end, determining to take a day off no matter what, and saying no to certain ridiculous criteria that can not successfully be maintained in the long run. Not everyone will like your boundaries. That is okay – they are your boundaries. You have to live with your life and yourself. You have to be true to yourself. You are responsible for creating a life you can feel good about. Remember, you attract what you are back to yourself. For me this means, I have to keep my vibration positive and energy high as much as possible. I will not surrender my positive disposition to any low-level environment. It’s my life.

4. Recharge

If you are following me on facebook or instagram you know I am recharging machine right now. I have two weeks off school and though I’m working quite a bit, I am recharging at every given moment. It’s like pool, yoga, journal, read, music, run, gym, juice, laugh, sing, happy hour, dinner with friends, take a walk, staycation, go dancing, have brunch, dance at brunch, wear pretty outfits, take lots of pictures, blog, blog, blog, vacation, sleep. I am in recharge mode and I love it. My priority to do my favorite things and be really happy. I know that when I love life, life loves me back. (Read More…)

5. Disconnect. 

There have been about two million times that I have been tempted to stress about how much I am going to have to do when school starts, but I have chosen to disconnect and give the things I love in my life some much needed attention. When you go on vacay or to dinner or sit by the pool, girlfriend, truly disconnect.

Here’s a quick way to release your feelings and disconnect from your internal dialog around whatever chaos you may have: 1) think all your crazy thoughts. They need expression. 2) Feel how they make you feel. 3) Accept those feelings as valid. Make it okay to feel that way. 4) Show yourself empathy – I’m sorry self that you feel this way. 5) Deep breath. Release.

Meditation is also a way I regularly create quite mental space. 1) Sit up straight (or lay down). 2) Close your eyes. 3) Turn your palms up. 4) Breathe deeply – in through your nose and out through either your nose or mouth – whichever is more comfortable for you.

BONUS: I am learning more and more all the time, how much a sense of community contributes to my happiness. Listen, friend, I have you back. You can write, comment or post to me on any outlet at any time. If you crave some additional support and encouragement, please please participate this weekend in the Semi-Annual Self-Love Saturday World Wide Party. My good friend, Paige Sauer and I encourage you to do one act of self-love, self-acceptance or self-care on Saturday. Feel free to tag me on Instagram or Twitter to share your stuff! And be sure to use the hashtag #selflovesat with your post!


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It’s your life. Take care of you. Stand up for yourself. Set boundaries. Do what you love. Remember, that you are enough. Do not let anyone stand in your way of creating the happiest life you can imagine.


Amanda Frances