Grateful For The Journey

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I’m fortunate. I’m blessed with a good life - I’m healthy and loved by my friends and family. I have a stable roof over my head, a warm blanket to sleep under, and tasty food in my fridge. While I’m incredibly thankful for each of those, I’m most grateful for the journey.

From the time we’re born until the time we pass, we’re on a forward moving journey. It’s not a path on which we can backtrack, nor can we skip ahead. We have to climb the hills and hit the potholes. How we approach this journey paints the landscape around us and influences our experiences.

Unfortunately, many of us spend too much time wishing we could be something else - younger, smarter, prettier, thinner, etc. or that we could go back and fix our past mistakes. We waste our days and limit our ability to maximize the gift we receive each day - life.

The journey is our life. It presents us with an abundance of opportunities to learn and grow, but to reap the benefits, we have to be open to receive what the journey provides.

Recently, on a blustery Saturday afternoon, I attended a football game at the college I graduated from 20 years ago. Our seats were about ten rows up from the field, and the cheerleaders were directly in front of us; I couldn’t help but notice their beauty and youth.  

As I watched the cheerleaders dance and flip through the air, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little jealous. They have their entire lives ahead of them to mold into whatever they want it to be. Oh, to be that young and fresh-faced again! But, then a little voice whispered in my head - “They don’t know what you know. They haven’t had the chance to learn those lessons, yet.” With that in mind, my jealousy subsided as gratitude filled my heart.

As we celebrate birthdays or other milestones, it’s easy to feel resentful of what’s lost - youth, opportunities, love, etc. and it’s common to feel envious of those possessing those desires. If we allow ourselves to spend too long with those thoughts, we miss what’s happening on our journey.

When I think of those cheerleaders, I know their lives aren’t perfect simply because they’re young and beautiful. They have struggles, just like me. When I think back to being their age, my challenges were probably similar to some of theirs, but I overcame them years ago, and they paved the way to better equip me to handle the issues I encounter now.

This mindset allows me to respect the process of aging and the journey of life. When I look at older women, I’m in awe. What must they know that I haven’t had the chance to learn?

I’m grateful for all the twists and turns life throws my way because, with each one, I learn more about myself and my stories get richer.

I am who I am now because of the journey - not in spite of it. Every year, I welcome the additional candle on my cake because it represents another year of becoming more me. While I am continually amazed at how fast the years fly by, it has taught me to trust my instincts, believe in myself, and be open to what I don’t know.

We never stop learning. This journey allows us to be both the teacher and the student. We teach those on the path behind us, and we learn from those ahead of us - this is what makes life’s journey so beautiful.

I can’t wish to be the cuter, younger, fresher woman that’s half my age because to do so would devalue every hill I’ve climbed, every lesson I’ve learned, and every tear I’ve shed.

I can’t dread being the older, softer, slower woman because it would diminish the lessons I’ve yet to learn, the battles still to be fought and won, and the wisdom from a life of both, good and bad, experiences.

All I can do is be eternally grateful for the journey and my part in the process. Where I am right now may feel challenging, but it also feels right. There’s a turn ahead where I’ll discover a new path and a new version of me, but I can’t see it yet. I don’t know when I’ll stumble upon it, but I know it’s there because I’ve learned those turns are always ahead and I’m watching for it.

The beauty of trusting the journey is that I trust myself. I’ve stopped resisting life and instead, I’ve started embracing all the challenges and surprises life throws my way. By doing so, my roots have extended deeper into the soil, and I stand stronger and taller.

While I may be thankful for many things in my life, I will always be most grateful for the journey, because that’s where I find myself and my strength, time and time again.

Vicky Cook is a certified coach that helps high-achieving women feeling stuck to find what’s missing so they can rechart the course of their lives. She loves to write, travel, and spend time with her partner, family, and friends. She believes life isn’t meant to be endured, it’s meant to be embraced and loves encouraging other women to find their edge so they can feel alive and limit their regrets.

Gratitude And Looking Back On A Year Of Self-Care

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The idea of gratitude is pretty simple. Our thoughts are natural pathways to the brain. The more positive our thoughts, the happier we are. Easier said than done. If I’ve learned anything though, in my year-long journey to find peace with anxiety, gratitude is the most important act of self-care there is.

In the world we live in, it’s all too easy to block out the details of every day, and forget about what we might be thankful for. You know you need to stop and take a moment for self-care and reflection, but in those moments, it’s even easier to find your mind spinning in negative thoughts, rather than practicing gratitude.

In the last year, I’ve tried a laundry list of things in the name of mental health and self-care, and my inner monologue hasn’t always been filled with gratitude, but I’m getting there…

The first 3 months…

Yoga

“Is it working out if I’m not sweating? Are everyone else’s eyes really closed during Savasana?”

Flotation Therapy

“Wait, what about my makeup? I should really have planned this on a hair wash day. An hour. I have to be in there an hour. I actually don’t know how to meditate (see below) or stop thinking entirely or think about really anything except my to-do list (no gratitude here) so this is just a challenge altogether.”

Bubble Baths

“I guess I can use this time to catch up on my professional development reading, that’s a good use of the time, right?”

Meditation

Yeah, I didn’t make it past the first 10 pages of the book about how to meditate

Massages

“Why am I not relaxing? I am literally paying to relax… a lot of money. I should be relaxing. When this is over I have a lot to do. What am I going to do first? Oh my god she wants me to flip over which means this is almost over which means oh my god I have NOT relaxed yet.”

Mani/Pedis

This is just another task on my to-do list now, isn’t it?

Cell Phone Free Runs

“I’ll just check in on work realllllly quick….”

“Technology Free Sundays”

Cue a mental breakdown on Mondays over unanswered texts, a full email inbox, and all of those social media notifications are really just too much. I’ll just hide my phone under my bed (seriously, I’ve hidden my phone under there more times than I wish to admit)

… Present Day

I won’t pretend I’ve got it all figured out. I won’t say that the entire 60 minutes of my latest float I was completely in tune with my own breathing and practicing mindfulness. I won’t say that the last time I got a massage I didn’t spend at least 10 minutes of the time thinking about an email I may or may not have sent at work. But I head into each experience thinking about gratitude first, last, and during…. And it helps!

The more you look for gratitude in your life, the more positive you will find in your life. And in the name of mental health and self care, that’s never a bad thing.

While it’s important to be mindful of your own needs and take a break every now and then, if your thoughts are toxic, none of it really matters, does it? So above all else, if I’ve learned anything in my year of “more me, less them” and “it’s OK to say no” it’s this: gratitude is the healthiest of human emotions. And when you start from the inside out with self care, it’s much easier.

Grateful For Change

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This year has been a year of change. It has been one year since my move to Philly. This year has brought up many emotions. Some have been: excitement, fear, doubt, joy, and hesitation, though the pertinent emotion I have felt, besides hope, has been gratitude. 

I didn’t move for school, for a job, or for a family engagement. I simply moved to experience something different, to experience change. Personally, change can be challenging. I am a fairly easy going person, but the road less traveled induced a just amount of anxiety.

It is not that I didn’t love Providence (where I was living), I did. I made much creative headway there and surrounded myself with a wonderful circle, but it began to feel small. The fact that I had no commitments keeping me there, helped me realize I could pick up and move anywhere. So I decided to take an adventurous leap and let change enter my life, I am grateful I was lucky enough to take on my venture. And lucky enough to have remarkable friends and family who helped me along the way!

Philly is an interesting place and has the perks of most large metropolises’. There is a lively arts scene, much academia, and a diverse culture. These things are immeasurable and they fuel me. The people I have met in the last year are extremely positive, forward-thinking, and kind.

Though, there is a lot of poverty in Philadelphia, which can be distressing. I put my best foot forward and do what I can to stay positive. I reach out to the community, talk with friends, and pay attention to self-care, to lift my blues.

As I reach 38 next year, it becomes clearer every day, how life’s only constant is change. It can become abrupt and scary, but it is a loving place.

Without gratitude, I would never survive.

Who knows if Philly will be my forever home, all I know right now, is my present.

And I am grateful for that.

Ashley Ernest (City Manager of PHL Lady Project, Jewelry Artist & Arts Educator, A Different Kind of Fine is her jewelry line, www.adifferentkindoffine.com.)

Grateful for Early Detection

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I didn't want to tell you guys this on the answering machine...

That's how it goes when you and your parents work opposite schedules. Your dad’s a cop working the midnight tour and your mom ends up on his sleep schedule as a result.

"Please," the fear in his voice, "...call me as soon as they call you with the results of the biopsy." My grandfather would urge me when I spoke to him after I'd had the surgery to have skin cancer removed from my stomach.

I'd lose him to cancer a year later.

It was a routine skin exam. I was getting older. My "late 20s" approaching, I figured it was time for a regular dermatologist appointment for my "ginger skin." I love the sun, I have freckles and blond hair. But I take care of my skin. I always use SPF 50. Heck, my bathroom looks like a Sephora counter.

I called the doctor’s office, I told them I wanted to come in and have a skin exam. They weren’t surprised by it. They scheduled me pretty quickly. I moved on with my day.

I honestly didn't expect it. But I really should have.

The entire skin exam lasted about 15 minutes. The discussion around next steps for what looked like an abnormal freckle on my stomach, one I’d always thought I had, but now that you mention it, it does look discolored compared to normal, seemed to last forever.

We’d start with a biopsy to determine if it was cancerous, pre-cancerous. What type of cancer? …It could just be nothing at all.

More than a million people in the United States are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma every single year. These are non-melanoma skin cancers. “The kind of skin cancer you want to get, if you’re going to get it,” I’d tell my parents when explaining the basal cell carcinoma diagnosis the biopsy confirmed.

To be honest, looking back I have no idea why more people don’t “just chop things off.” The surgery was a breeze. Keeping my puppy away from the stitches was the hardest part.

The phone call to confirm that the margins were clear and I’d need no further treatment was the best part.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to detect most non-melanoma skin cancers early enough to cure them. Unfortunately, unless you are determined a “skin cancer risk” or have a family history of skin cancer, your doctor likely won’t ever recommend you get a routine skin cancer screening.

Mine never did.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends everyone performs monthly head-to-toe skin exams on themselves. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. You can even learn about the warning signs of skin cancer (your ABCDEs) and what to look for during a self-examination (if it looks or feels different, it is different) from their website.

Last month, I was back at the dermatologist because I noticed a “weird spot” on my neck. It was a few months following my annual skin exam, that came back clear for the year.

“I’m getting surgery on my collarbone,” was the text I sent to my boyfriend 10 minutes into the appointment.

Early detection saves lives. I’m grateful for it every time I walk through those dermatologist doors. This time, it was benign. “Just a cyst.” But of course, I still have not figured out how to keep the pup away from stitches…

Be Grateful, You Are The Sun!

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When Brittanny expressed that the theme for November was going to be Grateful, I automatically knew what my blog post was going to be about. Lately, and I use that term very loosely as it encompasses the last year and a half of my life, I have been in a career hell hole spiral. I have gone on interviews where the person was over 40 minutes late to our appointment, I've begun training for positions that were nothing as described in the job posting or through my conversations with the management, and I've experienced a very low interview to call back ratio. There has been some ups, a lot of downs and a heap of frustration and self-doubt. As I have continued my journey for a better-suited job, I recently began to self-reflect and had an epiphany that everything I have experienced has molded me into a slightly better version of myself.  

Now I have a better understanding of which fields and/or industries I would like to work within, the types of companies I do not want to work for, and how I can transfer my current skills and experiences to relate to positions within different industries from my own. I have learned that I am not a commuter (under 30 minutes or less please!), that work/life balance is essential because if I am miserable at work that negative energy will sit and resonate with me all day every day, and which questions are important for me to ask during an interview. For me, that correlates a lot with the company or the location culture if it is a part of a chain or franchise (because not all are created equally!!) in addition to why they are looking to hire for this position. I always ask about the turnover ratio for the position. If it is high that can be a red flag indicator, as well what growth opportunity within the company looks like.  

Within my epiphany, I also realized that some of the jobs that I had beforehand were not that bad! My commute was reasonable, there were various training sessions held throughout the quarter so I was constantly learning, I was able to meet and interact with new people both internally and externally, and I was able to travel! Sure the pay was not the best, sometimes I would be in the office until 8 or 9 pm and I had to work Sundays, but the company was a good place to work. Even though I could have stayed there and kept my head down until a position opened up at headquarters and would have lived a peachy life. I am glad I did not take that route and jumped into this hell hole inspired spiral because it taught me what qualities matter most to me in my career and in my place of work, which I feel like can only be learned through trials and tribulations. I am grateful for all of the non-dream jobs that helped me gain useful skills that I can put to work today. 

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Most importantly I have learned this one true valuable lesson, which I will let my dear friend Cristina Yang tell you all as she says everything just so beautifully, “Don’t let what they want eclipse what you need, they are very dreamy but they are not the sun, you are”. Okay, I made some slight modifications but the message still stands. Do not ever let any manager or company take advantage of you in any way; they need you more than you need them. You are the one that keeps their business going; you are the one out on the front line. That paycheck and those benefits might be dreamy, but I can promise you that there is another position and company out there that will appreciative of you, after all, you are the sun. 

Grateful for My Struggles

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I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.
— Alex Elle

It’s November, the month of gratefulness, where most of us take the time to stop and think about all the things we have to be thankful for. Like many of us, I’m thankful for the countless blessings in my life: family, good friends, health, career, pets… the list of all the positive things in my life could go on and on. And I think for most of us that’s true. When we pause and reflect on our lives, most of the time, it’s easy to come up with at least a few solid things to be grateful for. But what about our struggles, our misfortunes, and our failures? Do we ever give thanks for them? I know that for me I rarely do.

I’d rather not think about my failures or things that have been difficult to deal with because of the complicated emotions that inevitably come: sadness, hurt, disappointment, anger. So often in our society, struggle and failure are things to be ashamed of. I think many of us, myself included, so desperately try to pretend that everything is fine all of the time, which is impossible. If we can’t pretend or hide our misfortunes, we spin them as something to be overcome and moved on from, never something to be glad happened, and even more rare is it something we say thank you for. But maybe we should?
 

Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger.
— Author Unknown

But without it could we really grow as people? Could we know the depth of our own strength? I think not. Which is why this month, I’m grateful for my struggles. Struggles with myself, struggles at work, struggles with other people, struggles with life. And here’s why:

Perspective

When you’re in a struggle sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, but often times struggles can give you an entirely new outlook on your life. As bad as something is, it could always be worse.

Finding yourself

A true test of someone’s character is how they deal with adversity. We’d know so little about ourselves if life were always perfect. We wouldn’t have anything challenging us to grow or change as people and we might not have empathy to help others who are also struggling. And believe me when I say, everyone is struggling at some point, so be kind, always.

The small things

Life is not so much about mind-blowing epic achievements as it is about all the small things, that when strung together add so much to our lives. A smile from a stranger, a morning chat with dad, feeling the breeze on your skin. Don’t take these for granted.

Resilience

Usually, it’s the things in life that we can’t control that are the hardest struggles to deal with. But the unplanned, out of our control misfortunes often teach us how resilient we are. I think this is one of the most beautiful things about being human, our resiliency. It takes a lot to knock most people down, and even if they are knocked completely on their backside, they get up, sometimes over and over again. In my book, that’s winning at life.

I challenge all of you to be grateful for your struggles and failures. What has been a defining struggle in your life? I’d love to hear from you!

Katie is a social media and blogging guru for a local software engineering company. She's passionate about the user experience and loves to write. She also has two awesome cats. 

Letter From The Editor // Grateful

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I used to hate receiving cards growing up. I thought they were a waste of paper. My mother used to (and still does) give me multiple cards no matter the occasion. It’s your birthday? Have five birthday cards. It’s Christmas? Have six. Easter? Have two while we’re at it. They all said the same thing inside, “Love, Mum”. Never an additional note. Just “Love, Mum”. It took me until my teens to realize that people actually wrote more than a signature inside of cards. So that year I wrote a note to my mother inside her Christmas card. I told her how I wanted us to have a better relationship. I nervously gave her the card and it sat on the mantle with the other cards. She never mentioned what I wrote. Practically 20 years later, I still don't know if she ever read it.

I started to hate cards even more. I rarely gave them and I threw away the ones I received. Then things took a turn when I hit my 30s and joined The Lady Project. There was no getting away from cards. I started receiving cards in the mail. Thank you notes. I never got those before. Quickly scribbled sentences letting me know that someone was thinking about me. I started putting them up on my fridge. Then I found myself buying blank note cards (that Target dollar spot gets you every time). I would give handwritten cards for every gift I gave. I would mail my friends surprise notes just because. I found joy in giving handwritten cards to friends. Little notes to say that I’m thinking of them and that I’m grateful they’re in my life.

I remember my theater teacher in high school telling us in the theater if someone says Thank You to you, you respond with Thank You. Showing gratitude both ways. Now I have no idea if that is an actual practice in the theater world but it stuck with me. I usually respond to someone’s gratitude by giving it right back to them, even if the situation didn’t call for it. To me, I lose nothing by responding with gratitude. I only gain. Showing gratitude is a daily practice, not just to other people but showing it to the world. Letting the universe know I am thankful for everything it sends my way. 

This month on The Lady Project Blog we will be talking about how we live a more grateful life. I hope you find some inspiration throughout these posts. If you are interested in sharing yourself, send me an email at brittanny@ladyproject.org.

Warmly,
Brittanny Taylor
Editor-in-chief

A Quick Wrap Up Of Health

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I wanted this month to focus on all forms of health but (un)surprisingly the majority of the submissions were about mental health. I believe that mental health is the basis of a good life. There is nothing wrong or shameful about finding the help needed to get yourself in a better state of mind. Some of the most progressive people I know struggle with finding the mental health care that they need. Let us all work together to end the stigma around mental health and please be there for the people in your life who needs your support. 

I want to thank my writers this month for sharing their insight and stories. I found it incredibly helpful and I hope you did as well.

Warmly,
Brittanny Taylor
Editor-in-chief

Holistic Healing // How To Properly Address An Injury

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That dreaded feeling: you’re in yoga and your shoulder tweaks. You’re running and your knee suddenly says, “oh, no thank you.” You misjudge the distance between the curb and the street, effectively assassinating your ankle. In this busy world where we work, play, live and love, we have ample opportunity to injure ourselves. The overarching mentality is to just work through it. “I don’t have time for this,” or “it doesn’t hurt that bad,” are our mantras. 

The unfortunate reality is that the more we ignore these maladies, the more likely we are to set ourselves up for additional problems down the line. These can look like recurrent injuries of the same variety such as rolling the same ankle over and over again because of pre-existing instability; “compensation injuries” that result from other anatomical structures trying to handle the load of the muscle, joint or bone that’s not working at full capacity; or misalignments that result in the development of arthritis or chronic pain.

The good news is that if we approach these injuries from a place of self-care and patience, they can heal more quickly and fully. The number one thing you can do is to pay attention to what your body is telling you and NOT ignore the pain. Our bodies have evolved whole systems to heal us with minimal work on our part. Since we don’t want to be sidelined for days/weeks/months at a time, here are five things you can do to help expedite healing.

1. Go to the doctor

Seriously. If the pain is bad enough that you’re unable to properly move the area or bear weight, don’t be a hero. The most important thing is to rule out a break, dislocation or soft tissue tear. Assuming that everything is intact and doesn’t require serious medical intervention, you can continue self-care with the following tips at home.

2. DO NOT apply ice

Ever: Recent research indicates that while ice does, in fact, reduce swelling by “shrinking” blood vessels to keep additional fluid from reaching the area, there is a host of other problems that arise from this (1). Oxygen, nutrients, and helpful cells that are necessary for the healing process can’t get to the injury, and inflammatory chemicals that cause pain can’t get out. What you can do to help reduce the swelling is to immediately and gently massage the area, as well as the areas above and below the injury. This will encourage the swelling to disperse and will bring new blood to the area to speed healing. Continue massaging a few times a day until the swelling is reduced. If the skin is intact, topical applications like Biofreeze, Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, or a host of Chinese medicine liniments can help relieve pain.

3. Adjust your diet

Believe it or not, what you eat matters big time. Eating excessively spicy, cold or raw foods requires your body to expend additional energy to digest that food. That’s energy that could be directed at healing your injury. Avoiding things like salads and sushi and focus instead on cooked, nutrient-dense food such as bone broth, root vegetables, and hearty soups. They can go along way to helping an injury heal fully. Also, cut out processed sugar as it can trigger an additional inflammatory response in the body that should be avoided when healing (2).

4. Consider some kind of alternative or holistic medical treatment

Your primary care doctor and the hospital aren’t the only options for healing. Massage therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture all offer fantastic opportunities to give your body the attention it needs and speed up the healing process. They’re also wonderfully effective at helping to relieve pain almost immediately. 

5. Stay gently active but don’t push it

Injuries need time to heal, so not overexerting them is imperative even if things “feel better.” However, light and gentle range of motion exercises - something as simple as wiggling fingers or toes - can be started almost immediately so that you recover normal function and continue to encourage blood flow. As the healing progresses, the exercises can become more comprehensive, but trying to do too much too soon will just cause additional injury and put you out of commission for even longer.

Injuries are an unfortunate reality of life. The best thing you can do if you sustain one is to be gentle with it and help your body heal itself. For further information, references and articles are listed below.

References:

(1) Tseng, C-Y, Lee, J-P, Tsai, Y-S, Lee, S-D, Kao, C-L, Liu, T-C, Lai, C-S, Harris, MB, and Kuo, C-H. (2013) Topical Cooling (Icing) Delays Recovery From Eccentric Exercise–Induced Muscle Damage. J Strength Cond Res 27(5): 1354–1361
(2) O’Connor, L, Imamura, F, Brage, S, Griffin, S, Wareham, N, Forouhi, N (2017) Intakes and sources of dietary sugars and their association with metabolic and inflammatory markers. Clinical Nutrition, Online June 2017
http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-end-of-the-ice-age/

Dr. Elizabeth Collins has a Bachelor's in Chemistry and a Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and owns Balance Acupuncture in Providence, Rhode Island. She’s trained in multiple systems of acupuncture and bodywork and specializes in orthopedics, sports medicine, and working with performance artists, with a focus on acute trauma medicine and chronic pain. She also owns and operates Infinity Apothecary, where she manufactures and sells products for health, wellness and injury healing.

How To Protect Your Mental Health At Work

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One of the aspects of our work that we often overlook is our mental health. Considering how much time we spend at work, it’s not surprising our work environments play such a huge role on our mental health, especially as working women.

According to this 2016 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), one in three employees report being stressed out at work. Less than half of those surveyed felt their well-being was supported by their organizations.

However, being mentally healthy at work is not only important, it’s crucial to our well-being and success. Here are a few ways you can protect your mental health at work:

1. Start your day with a smile!

When your day starts with you snoozing the alarm clock and rolling out of bed exhausted, chances are the rest of your day may actually get worse. Which risks affecting your mental health in return. Instead, consider waking up a bit earlier, sipping on a cup of coffee or tea, having some time to yourself, before jumping into your day. It will help you be more relaxed at work and avoid the negative mental consequences of rushing into your day, every day

2. Surround yourself with things that calm you!

You already know how much your environment influences your mental well-being. You can actually reduce the amount of stress you experience by placing soothing objects around you. You can do this in your immediate work area as well. How about placing pictures of your loved ones around you? Or investing in plants or motivational quotes if these help you feel more balanced?

3. Reward yourself!

A large part of the stress we face is due to our feeling constantly challenged. Instead of always feeling short of our goals and objectives, choose instead to reward yourself every time you accomplish something. Plan a reward for each significant task you accomplish and watch your stress melt away!

4. Exercise!

While you may be motivated to hit the gym to get rid of those last five pounds, exercise is also a powerful way to keep mentally healthy. Make room in your calendar for exercise at least three times a week. Commit to moving more so you can feel (and look) better!

5. Take a mental health day

Those vacation days shouldn’t just be reserved for that long-awaited trip to the Florida Keys. Instead, consider using some of your vacation days as mental health days as well. Take a break, relax, read a book, go to a spa. Whatever you decide to do, alleviate the stress you may be under and take care of you!

6. Be grateful

Gratitude is not just for good karma. Seeing the positive in your life and career is a great way of keeping stress at bay. The more gratitude you practice, the more you learn to feel grateful daily. Being grateful for where you are on the way to where you’re going goes a long way towards keeping you balanced, fulfilled and mentally healthy.

7.  Give back!

There’s power in giving back! Not only does it help others, but it also fills you with a sense of purpose and happiness! Seeing other people happy makes us happy as well. Help that co-worker with that challenging project. Volunteer at a soup kitchen for the evening. Do something for someone else.

Solange Lopes is an author, CPA and founder of the women’s career, business and lifestyle website The Corporate Sister.