Confession: I am a self-diagnosed workaholic. I continually find ways to overwork and overcommit in every area of my life. My mind and body are constantly overstressed.
This condition is extremely isolating, despite the fact that almost everyone around me—along with the majority of New Yorkers—suffers from the same ailment. Personally, mine is the result of twenty years of classical ballet and modern dance training, stacked on top of a perfectionist personality. I am eternally committed to the concept that free time is wasted time. But with two careers that I passionately enjoy, what's a girl to do when work is fun and fun is work?
One of these careers, and the very one that has me proliferating on the internet about my stress level, is my role as Lead Creative for Talos. We work out of “WeWork” offices in the financial district of Manhattan, and these offices rock my socks. The many joys include 18th floor views of the river, endless lemon lift black tea, and bathroom wallpaper that miraculously doesn't make me want to kill whoever invented it. This is a standout wallpaper case for me since it is not only well designed and clean in composition, but also brings a good amount of humor to my life at the office while reminding me to find the things that can be my “stressadone.” (See the picture preceding this post.)
After spending much of my time this past year commuting to New Jersey and upstate New York for my other career as a full-time professional dancer, I struggle to find the things that can calm me down and harness my focus in the tornado of my life. I believe this to be an important practice to identify and implement in order to survive the metropolis—any metropolis. After a trip to Montreal this year, where I spent my days dancing, designing, riding bikes, and eating poutine, I was determined to find that same sense of calm and rejuvenation in my home city, as well.
Easier said than done with the MTA, New York tourists, humidity, and stress greeting me every time I have to go anywhere (which is always.) For the struggle that it is, I've done surprisingly well, thanks to avoiding the subways and walking whenever possible, as well as making use of my new Citibike membership; surely helping are the endorphins from the thrill of almost dying every time I bike in Manhattan. I think the key to surviving and maybe even having some fun, can be the smallest of joys and moments: my podcasts to distract me from screaming babies, an almond milk decaf latte from my neighborhood coffee shop, and waking up to find that I haven't killed any of my plants (at least not yet.)
All of this helps me realize that free time is precious and doesn't always need to be spent with work. I am very lucky to be reminded of my stress combatants about 4-5 times daily at the office, thanks to my pea-sized bladder and, of course, the endless lemon tea. So I encourage you to remember this when the summer heat ruins your calm, cool, and collected lifestyle and work is just too much enjoyment to put down: identify your stressadone and don't be scared to take it in excess.
Some of my trusty stressadones include:
Running — It's my form of active meditation. Whether I'm in New York or not, I try to run at least four miles a day to clear my mind.
Making Lists — The more I can visualize what I need to get done, the less scary it is.
Walking — I'm sensing a theme! Any kind of movement really helps me relax.
For more stressadone inspiration, check this out.