3 ideas for de-stressing, detoxing and getting yourself together

September 9, 2013

As I mentioned on Friday, it’s always amusing to make my monthly video recaps because it paints such a perfect portrait of life. But we all know life is filled with just as much anxiety, trouble, frustration and tears as it is smiles, laughs, skips, hops and jumps. So to balance out the perfection I portrayed I Friday, I thought it was only fair to be totally honest about something that’s been bugging me lately.

There’s a whole lot of new in my life, and it overwhelms me to no end.

I’m in a new city. I’m working at home for the first time. I’m working for myself for the first time. I own a dog for the first time. I’m making friends from scratch for the first time. I care about the way my apartment looks for the first time. Money is an issue (more so than before) for the first time. That’s a lot of new for one person. Of course I decided to take that upon myself voluntarily after our RTW trip, but I think I’m finally feeling the effects of it. Usually we all have experience and tradition on our side to balance the new elements that come our way, but I feel like I have very little to ground me right now. It’s like I’m constantly learning along the way and at times, it swallows me whole. In between it all, there’s this pressure (self-inflicted, I’m sure) to constantly make, share, create and do that sometimes I feel guilty for just relaxing. I’m insane, I know.

I had a meltdown in the middle of the summer, where I just felt totally lost, unmotivated and gross. I’ve since boosted myself back up to pseudo-normalcy, but only because I realized I needed to make some changes. So I thought I’d share my plan of action for anyone going through a change or even just a slump.

Work out more. The hardest part is getting up and doing it. Let’s be real, I have a child in the form of a puppy and he needs to be taken to the dog park every day for at least 45 minutes. I also have work to do, meals to make, a blog to run and friends to make/keep up with. Working out was the first piece of me to go. (I used to do yoga and swim a few months ago.) I thought paying up front for a boot camp of some sort would be the push I needed, but then I realized that what I like about living here is that fitness is integrated into your lifestyle; it’s not about clocking hours in a gym (for me anyway).

So I’ve decided to blend dog time with exercise time, because hey, I do have a sporting breed. So every morning, instead of casually walking Teddy, I power walk with him up and down the hills to the dog park, run around with him there and hustle back. I see people jog with their dogs, but 1.) that’s not good for a puppy’s joints and 2.) I’m sorry, raising a puppy is exhausting and a walk is all I have energy for. Plus, we’ve got a puller and going for a walk is more like a full-contact sport. By the way, my right bicep is in fabulous shape because of it.

Meal planning. I thought this would be the complete antithesis to laid-back SoCal. I mean, scheduling your food?! But Erin of Reading My Tea Leaves and my friend Raluca of What Would Gwyneth Do? have totally convinced me that it’s practical, economical and actually pretty fun. Also, I was so sick and tired of seeing the clock hit 8pm, realizing my stomach was growling, wanting to make something tasty and instead eating cereal in the interest of time. It’s also particularly boring to work from home and eat at home so much. I needed to spice things up!

My goal is to schedule about 5 lunches and 5 dinners each week, leaving room for take-out, dinners out and the occasional event. But like Raluca, I’m going to be practical about it: Some nights will be frozen pizza or canned soup. I’m not trying to channel Julia Child with every meal here. I started my first “plan” yesterday and can’t wait to share my progress over the coming weeks.

Beauty upkeep. I don’t like makeup much and am a firm believer that less is more, but I do think there’s something really relaxing about face masks and giving yourself pedicures. I still need to work on this one because sometimes by 10pm, I’m passed out on the couch and can barely muster up the energy to brush my teeth. Truth.

Hopefully I’m not alone in this abyss of confusion, newness and lack of clarity. I’d love to hear how you get through it!

Photo via

10 thoughts on “3 ideas for de-stressing, detoxing and getting yourself together

  1. Sally Goodall

    Love your honesty…..crazy I know but I seriously felt as though I was reading about myself! Although I’m on the otherwise of the globe and coming out of a winter slump! I too work from home(photography studio downstairs), I have a four month old pup named Benji & I’ve recebtly just had to kick myself back into gear with the exercise routine and healthy meals. Life gets way too busy for my likings and the only way I can keep on top of things right now is with my bright pink highlighter and my hand written lists. and early nights!!! I have a master list online which helps too. Listening to podcast ‘up for a chat’ right now (the wellness couch)’…..which is super inspiring! Bali in 2 sleeps…..time for a breather;) LOVE YOUR WORK x

  2. Archana Post author

    Thanks for your note, Sally! It’s a huge comfort to me that others like yourself can relate, otherwise I’d think I was totally nuts! I love your ideas — I’ll have to look up that podcast. Thanks for the tips! And by the way, you live in my favorite city in the world! (I studied in Melb for 6 months during uni. It holds a special place in my heart!)

  3. Kristin

    Great post, I too love your honesty! You’re in no way crazy…or alone! I get extremely overwhelmed at times and have occasional meltdowns. Usually it’s because I’ve worked myself to death, deprived myself of sleep, or haven’t been social enough which leads me feeling down and lonely. I did the same thing earlier this year and came up with ideas that would help me ‘deal’ a little better. I started doing pilates, made time to read every night, and started frequenting coffee shops to do blog work. I needed a change in scenery! I also made a conscious effort to meet friends for drinks or dinner more often. Oh, and I allow myself to read magazines and watch bad tv sans the guilt!


    1. Archana Post author

      Isn’t it crazy that we can actually feel guilty for indulging in relaxation?? I love your ideas — especially working in coffee shops. Since I work from home, I’m all about change of scenery. Thanks, Kristin!

  4. Rashi

    Ah, great post! I was just telling Nick last night that sometimes figuring out what to eat for dinner is the most stressful part of the day… and having dinner everyday is about the most predictable thing in a day so why does it feel like it sneaks up on me everyday?? Meal planning is a fantastic idea and something I need to try. Looking forward to seeing what you plan!

    1. Archana Post author

      I’m telling you, a few days in and I’m hooked on meal planning. It’s not as regimented as some may think and it’s just nice to have everything you need right at home. Frozen pizza counts, too! Will definitely share my experience. Thanks, Rahsi!

  5. Eva

    Thanks Archana for this honest & positive post. I found your blogvia a link from a friend on fb and so found this post. Your story does ring through with us, as with the others above as well. Happy you brought it up, as it makes all of us feel less ‘lost’.
    We are just in the middle of a perfect storm of newness, in way to deep to feel any ground, nor even see the coast appear. We just came back to our home city Brussels after a stay abroad, have quite quickly bought a house that needs renovation ( way more than we anticipated), and are in the middle of a start-up; both of us working from the kitchen table, in the non-renovated house.
    I’ve felt that ever since we came to Brussels I’ve been out of shape, eating out too much, working too much and totally bypassing work-out and me-time.
    I have made about the same ‘good plans’ to stick too: more home cooking, more exercise (yoga & runnning), more fun times, more socialising.. and and and…Difficult to keep it up. But good to read we are not alone.
    Bon Courage!

    1. Archana Post author

      Hi Eva! All your newness is so similar to the changes I’m experiencing, right down to working at the kitchen table. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had multiple laptops, notebooks and pens alongside our dinner plates and glasses. I love your ideas for switching up the routine. As you said, the hardest part is sticking to the plan. Bon courage to us all :) Thanks for reading!


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