Rockin’ Girl Award!!

September 14, 2007 at 6:00 pm (award, Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog., Rockin' Girl)

From the blogarific blogster Corey Irwin from Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog., I have been gifted this fabulous honor of Rockin’ Girl Award. This most auspicious honor is thrilling, mostly due to the fact that it was given by Corey. Her blog is fantastically well written and entertaining. I’d highly recommend checking out her other blog as well, See Corey Run. Once again, Ladybug Tea CoThank you! Thank you!

I’m also thrilled to pass this award on to the following fabulous blogging ladies:

Corey of Cook.Eat.Drink.Blog. and See Corey Run

Jamie of Suburban Queen Blog

Nessa of Mumblings

Barby of Meh

Lisa Seale Cruz of Shopalicious

Lady Banana of Lady Banana

Diane of Much of a Muchness

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Bodacious Blog Award!

September 13, 2007 at 11:19 pm (artist, award, blogs, friends, honor, just jOolian)

I am thrilled to be deemed/awarded the exciting BODACIOUS BLOG award by the fabulous JOolian of just jOolian!! He has kindly plugged my site on his AB FAB site, which is a MUST VISIT at: just JOolian. An artiste by day and a blogger by night, follow his amusing musings…

I’d like to pass the torch to the following delightful blogs! Feel free to keep the love flowin’ by passing this award onto other sites you adore.

Fish Without Bicycle Here

Julian at just jOolian ~ hippocampus hi-jinx

Tom Coffee at Spilling Coffee with Humorist Tom Coffee

Jenn at Mommy Needs Coffee

Corey (my sis) at See Corey Run and Cook.Eat.Drink.Blog.

Dawn & Ann at Twisted Sister…Totally Pissed Off!

Kiwipulse at Kiwipulse

ChristyZ at Christy’s Coffee Break

Fat Triathlete at The Fat Triathlete

Mark at ProBloggers Matrix

PabloPabla at Blogsreview.net

Jim at Tips for New Bloggers (So incredibly helpful when first started!)

AnEnglishMum at An English Mum

I highly recommend checking out ALL of these blogs!!

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Organizational Tip #3: Procrastination Nation

September 8, 2007 at 2:09 pm (dream, goal, Organizational Tips, perfectionism, procrastination, video games, wasting time)

Anyone with mostly human DNA and a beating heart has experienced the joys and woes of procrastination.


Why do we clean the entire bathroom ceiling to toilet when a paper is due? When you are dreading prep for a job interview? Suddenly, you have an emergent 5 course meal to plan. We’ve all been there. So, I will include the psychology lurking behind this, and a few steps to push on through.

1. Fear of failure/perfectionism: Especially if you have a reputation of success, the bar is set high. Your mother, your buddies, the tollbooth lady, whoever you know or have bored with your life story, know you can achieve amazing things. Disappointing these people is scary, so often instead of completing a task, you have an unfinished novel, a partially baked cake, or a half painted Monet look-a-like in your den aka scary junk room. By avoiding completion, you effectively don’t disappoint.

Solution: Your imagination or nightly dream world may run wild with potential conversations or scenarios with people you don’t want to disappoint. These play-acted scenes may include people screaming in horror. There are two things to understand. Most people are so wrapped up in their own lives (i.e., failures/successes/romances/digestive woes) that they barely notice what is going on in front of their little beaks. Little Chimichanga here certainly wouldn’t notice your foibles.


And second, by taking chances, you will gain respect and admiration, because most of those people you know also suffer from fear of failure as well. You will end up inspiring those around you with your strength. And aren’t you always curious to know what happens at the end of a story? Well, those that love you want to know what happens next in your life.

2. Pain avoidance can be fun: Spending hours blogging (lol), painting your fingernails, toenails, and walls, or playing X-Box until arthritis sets in, are all completely engaging, fun activities. That’s the point. They distract to such a degree, that you can forget all your plans, your problems, your hopes and dreams. Is that a good thing? No. Do you want on your gravestone “here lies Bob who achieved 5 billion points in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider?” No, I didn’t think so. Your nerd friends who also haven’t bathed or achieved much in the last 10 years might build a shrine for you, but no one else will.

So, get a game plan together so that you can take breaks, but spend most of your time working on your life goals.

3. Hard work is hard: Yes, it sounds dumb. But, that’s what it is. Not easy. In addition to pain avoidance, this point also includes the fact that completing a difficult task may require long hours of concentration. Your mind might wander, your rear may hurt, your head might explode, but sometimes this is what it takes to get hard work done.

Solution: Get a good chair, make sure your desk, monitor, keyboard are all at a healthy height/position, have energizing snacks available. Make your work environment friendly and comfortable. Maybe add a house plant or a nice photo too. Warn others in the house that you will need quiet for this time every night and also tell others what you are doing to keep yourself honest.

Next, take your goal and split it up into little bits on a list. Make your dream a reality by making it less dream and more practical reality by turning “get a graduate degree” goal into “make phone call to dean to get transcript, call Professor Schmuckinsky for a recommendation” and others. Then put a due date next to each of these. Be realistic. Set aside 30 minutes a night or morning, depending on your day job, to focus. The first night, set a timer for 10 minutes.

Work for 10 minutes on this task. Then you can blow off the next 20. The next night, add 5 more minutes, again keeping yourself on track with your trusty timer. Each night, add 5 minutes until you are at 30. If you want to push this longer, go right ahead. And make a big X over what you have accomplished and tack it up on a board in front of you so you can witness your progress. I’d recommend taking breaks every 30 minutes, of about 5 minutes to feed your brain with a snack, to do something mindless, to recharge your energies. Also, try to avoid an all or none attitude. If you mess up one night, you are not a failure. Do not just chuck the whole plan. Keep plugging away. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’d like to write in with comments regarding your goals and your progress, I’d love to hear them.

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Health Tip #2: A large melon and other overnight successes

September 5, 2007 at 10:31 am (Ferlanti Couture, jewelry, jogging, ladybug tea co, melon, See Corey Run blog, superglue, tea)


Recently, I was informed that my extremely precocious, bright and bossy little male cousin, all of age 4 (going on 40) had quite a discovery. He is fascinated with the world, which is so inspiring. He loves to watch and learn, and his latest interest is in gardening. And in this pursuit of the green, he is following around my multi-talented, hilarious aunt like a heat-seeking missile. To little Noah, she is the all-knowing Yoda. Again, kids are great. So, as he is quite persistent, to the point that his Dad and Mom (my 1st cousins) are now willing to hand over anything from a 300 pound chocolate bar to the keys to their car, they go to all lengths to find ways of satisfying his intellectual hunger…NOW. The latest story involves Noah and my aunt planting watermelon seeds. To the delight of Noah, a honeydew appeared just 3 weeks later on an anemic stalk in its glorious form. This ruse, aided and abetted by a late night supergluing stunt, would not work perhaps in a year or two, but at this stage, Noah was amazed and satisfied with the wonders of nature. He did wonder why the melon was not a watermelon, but he was so happy with the discovery, he failed to pursue this lead.

So, this story began to jog my mind and the following resulted. Literally, I began to think about jogging and a life turnaround of fast and amazing proportions. My sister, the glorious cyberpenguin, aka Corey Irwin, has a blog which I am not only plugging because I am impressed by her writing style, but by her amazing focus and conviction to turn around her life, one week at a time. She has made a clear promise to get in shape and be healthy, and has been following an interval training program religiously, increasing in energy and pride as the weeks wear on. I have not only seen a remarkable physical change in her appearance, even though she was always lovely in appearance to begin with, but in her happiness, and well-being, which is truly the longterm benefit of turnarounds. While this has not taken 3 weeks, it has taken only months. So, to all of those couch potatoes out there, witness and behold her blog and follow her amazing progress. I have also witnessed the great effects personally of interval training. It isn’t a long-standing frustrating unending run, but relatively short bursts of energy that not only is good for your waistline but is more effective in heart health as well.

See Corey Run

Also, accompanying this site is her cooking blog, Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog. which includes a healthy diet with humor to accompany the workouts. Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog.

And her latest tea company as well. I will vouch for the tea…FABULOUS. CLICK

And one last bit, she is also the artiste behind Ferlanti Couture (Ferlanti Couture) and Wildfire Designs (Wildfire Designs). See: Blog. She has a showing at the Sirani gallery in Pittsburgh, PA, which also shows fine art of the calibre of Monet. Not to miss. If you can’t physically be there, check out her designs on the following sites. Here are a few of her beautiful designs. Wearing these, you will be noticed.

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Kitchen Tip #2: Be the Shiznit of the Hiznit (I have no idea what this means, but it sounds cool)

September 3, 2007 at 3:39 pm (BBQ, grill, healthy eating, Kitchen Tips, Reynolds Non-Stick Grill Foil)

To take a breather from the advice giving aka bossing everyone around, I will foray into the world of household recommendations. As today is Labor Day, many will be out grilling a variety of delicacies on their outdoor BBQ. For some, it will be Porky the Pig on a spit; other more health-conscious friends will be julienning some zucchini, eggplant and other veggies, slopping on some marinade and roasting to absolute culinary perfection. A most abhorrent task is scraping the grill post-BBQ. For those who forgo the task, or run from the room with a sudden urgent to-do when others are buzz sawing the grease from the rungs (you know who you are), this may lure you back to the task.

So, here goes… drum roll please….. The beautific creation is Reynolds Non-Stick Grill Foil. I am not recommending this product lightly. After grilling baked potato halves and salmon (marinaded in a ginger sesame concoction) atop these sheets, I can attest to their fabulousness. These nonstick sheets are sturdy, have holes to allow for uniform heat and blackening. And cleanup is nil. Into the bin they go.

Product: Reynolds Release Non-Stick Grill Foil

PROS: extra heavy duty preventing the much-feared tasty bit drop into the flames of hell, perforated for even cooking/blackening and fat drainage thus healthier cooking, non-stick so easy food removal and no need for chemically-overridden greasy non-stick cooking sprays, no grill clean-up

CONS: Won’t have excuse for post-grill-cleaning spousal/partner/friend guilt session, which has its enjoyments (i.e., prolonged guilting leading to unending expectation of gifts)

WHERE: any grocery store

Inspiration: A tune to grill by.

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Organizational Tip #2: 5 Ways to Disconnect and Refresh

September 2, 2007 at 8:05 pm (bulldogs, healthy eating, Netflix, Organizational Tips, relaxation, youtube)

Instant gratification has become a part of our world. The faster the better. I used to sit tapping my fingers aggressively, huffing and puffing waiting for my dial-up connection to load a page. Now, along with lightening speed internet speeds, comes an expectation for our brain waves to keep up the pace. And this means returning 100+ emails a day, keeping up with technology, participating in 20 internet communities. And I’m not even including the outside-of-the-internet life we all (hopefully) enjoy. This would involve cooking and eating, maintaining relationships, a career (unless blogging is yours), paying bills, etc etc etc. This pace somehow seems normal.

So, what I profess are 5 tips to decompress from this manic life we lead. The bonus is you will return to your work refreshed and energized and with a brain that actually works.

1. Stop and look and listen. When signs of exhaustion set in, it is often too late. Your brain is already fried and perhaps you are reading and re-reading the same email or find yourself missing entire sections of a friend’s story. There are multiple signs of overload. It may be a headache. For another, falling face first into your keyboard. Pay attention to yourself and the signs of exhaustion. Rushing to a finish line is only valuable if you remember the ride and you have a clue where you are rushing. So, just stop and evaluate how you are feeling.

Stop, Look and Listen by MC Lyte:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl-YR0JRnGY”>

2. Schedule breaks into your day. As nerdy as this might sound, set alarms for mini-siestas each hour you are working. Let’s say you sit down to write correspondences and/or to do work at 9am. Set the alarm for 20 minutes and stop when the buzzer sounds. Use a kitchen timer, preferably a digital one as the noise might drive you mad, defeating the purpose of this whole exercise. Another tool is a desktop widget that allows for different alarm settings. One such tool is the Simple Timer Gadget 1.0, downloaded for free at:
These are noiseless and can be used if you are in an office environment.

Get up from your desk and take a break. Set a buzzer for when the break should end, say 10 minutes later. So your day may look like this.

1pm Set timer for 20 minutes; FOCUS AND WORK
1:20pm Set timer for 10 minutes; BREAK
1:30pm Set timer for 20 minutes; FOCUS AND WORK
1:50pm Set timer for 10 minutes; BREAK

Continue as appropriate. You’ll be amazed how much your focus will improve, how much more you accomplish, and how much your morale and motivation improves.

This is somewhat like mental interval training. Your brain works for a spurt, you have a goal, thus improving motivation as an end is in sight. Ding, the alarm sounds and you are on break. Perhaps it is 10 minutes of talking on the phone, reading a fun article, or throwing in a load of laundry. The important detail is that you are removing yourself from the same focus and as a result, you are better conditioned to do work when you return.

3. Nosh regularly. The next piece of advice is to feed the engine that is your brain. Perhaps you feel that sitting and doing work does not require as much fuel as running a marathon. Well, you are right, except for the fact that your brain still burns calories. By eating healthy snacks throughout your day, especially during those solid work phases, you are maintaining your sugar levels and energy for that boulder on your shoulders. Vegetables, fruit, a wedge of low-fat cheese, a few crackers are some of the snack ideas I’d recommend. Do not indulge in high-fat, greasy foods as you are providing more bulk for your behind than your noggin.

If you wait too long, you might overeat and eat too fast:

Preferably, you’ll have a healthy snack like one of these two fellows:

4. Walk around the block. On one of your 10 minute breaks, get your rear in gear and out of a sitting position. Get your blood flowing. I’d especially recommend opening the front door and walking around the block. A change of scenery and some blood flow will improve your mood, your coloring and will freshen your perspective upon return to the desk.

5. Lastly, reward yourself for your hard work. Plan something fun for the evening. Have a scheduled manicure or massage. Have a Netflix DVD waiting. All work and no play makes for a dull life.

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Saving Money Tip #1: Ebay on Steroids

August 25, 2007 at 2:08 pm (Saving Money Tips)

I am no tightwad, however I am a firm believer in smart spending for your mental health.

Here’s the scenario:

You are in a massive hurry to the airport as you set your alarm for PM instead of AM. You are jetting off to the Seychelles for a much-needed weeklong decompression session. You wake up in a fright. Your hair is a wild mix of Roseanne Roseannadanna and Billy Idol and still deciding whether or not your vivid dream of eating everything in the fridge was a nightmare or a reality (also a nightmare). Just to refresh your memory:


Option one: Schlep your large bags like a hunchback hippo into the murky, sweaty subway for a hair-raising journey of scarcely populated cars and sidelong glances at your fabulous newly refurbished hair-do, perhaps? Yes, cheap…but worth your sanity? Also, you may or may not make your flight. Here’s the potential cast of characters sitting cheek-to-cheek with you on the underground:

Option two: Hail a cab and spend $40. Give a generous tip because you are going to ask him to drive on two wheels to get there. So, after arriving with time to spare, you have saved yourself a hernia, and have not been held at gunpoint in the dank unbelly of the city. Obviously, next time you should screw your head on right and set your alarm BEFORE you dab on the greasy eye makeup remover and are temporarily blinded, but what’s done is done and your sanity is worth more than a few extra dollars.

So, in the vein of quicker, easier ways to live your life, I have yet another discovery that came my way. I am an obsessed fan of Ebay and have purchased designer duds for nil, and beauty products galore. And books for school and presents for friends. It’s a wonderful place to get a deal and always fun to meet the UPS man with all of your brown boxes!

To take it up a notch, there’s a fabulous site, aptly named Fat Fingers (http://www.fatfingers.com/). I love it!! Think of it. How many misspellings have you seen on ebay?? A gadzillion? I work as a clinical editor, so I am constantly cringing. Whether you spot them or not, just know there are in the words of Fat Fingers:

“Thousands of items on eBay listed with descriptions containing spelling mistakes.
These items often expire with no bids on them as no-one can find them.
Type in a keyword below and click the Find button.
Then click the link and uncover those hidden gems…”

So, do as they have told, and click away. You will link directly to Ebay and the search now will include all the potential bad spellings too for a far better deal for you!! Have a blast!

PROS: larger array of deals shown, you find the deals others don’t find, less bidding on these items, so lower buy price, save money!!, may find hard-to-find items, options to install search box on blog/website, Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers

CONS: small amount of time to install search bar on browser

WEBSITE: http://www.fatfingers.com

Blast from the past:

Permalink 8 Comments

Saving Money Tip #1: Ebay on Steroids

August 25, 2007 at 1:08 pm (deals, ebay, fat fingers, Saving Money Tips)

I am no tightwad, however I am a firm believer in smart spending for your mental health.

Here’s the scenario:

You are in a massive hurry to the airport as you set your alarm for PM instead of AM. You are jetting off to the Seychelles for a much-needed weeklong decompression session. You wake up in a fright. Your hair is a wild mix of Roseanne Roseannadanna and Billy Idol and still deciding whether or not your vivid dream of eating everything in the fridge was a nightmare or a reality (also a nightmare). Just to refresh your memory:


Option one: Schlep your large bags like a hunchback hippo into the murky, sweaty subway for a hair-raising journey of scarcely populated cars and sidelong glances at your fabulous newly refurbished hair-do, perhaps? Yes, cheap…but worth your sanity? Also, you may or may not make your flight. Here’s the potential cast of characters sitting cheek-to-cheek with you on the underground:

Option two: Hail a cab and spend $40. Give a generous tip because you are going to ask him to drive on two wheels to get there. So, after arriving with time to spare, you have saved yourself a hernia, and have not been held at gunpoint in the dank unbelly of the city. Obviously, next time you should screw your head on right and set your alarm BEFORE you dab on the greasy eye makeup remover and are temporarily blinded, but what’s done is done and your sanity is worth more than a few extra dollars.

So, in the vein of quicker, easier ways to live your life, I have yet another discovery that came my way. I am an obsessed fan of Ebay and have purchased designer duds for nil, and beauty products galore. And books for school and presents for friends. It’s a wonderful place to get a deal and always fun to meet the UPS man with all of your brown boxes!

To take it up a notch, there’s a fabulous site, aptly named Fat Fingers (http://www.fatfingers.com/). I love it!! Think of it. How many misspellings have you seen on ebay?? A gadzillion? I work as a clinical editor, so I am constantly cringing. Whether you spot them or not, just know there are in the words of Fat Fingers:

“Thousands of items on eBay listed with descriptions containing spelling mistakes.
These items often expire with no bids on them as no-one can find them.
Type in a keyword below and click the Find button.
Then click the link and uncover those hidden gems…”

So, do as they have told, and click away. You will link directly to Ebay and the search now will include all the potential bad spellings too for a far better deal for you!! Have a blast!

PROS: larger array of deals shown, you find the deals others don’t find, less bidding on these items, so lower buy price, save money!!, may find hard-to-find items, options to install search box on blog/website, Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers

CONS: small amount of time to install search bar on browser

WEBSITE: http://www.fatfingers.com

Blast from the past:

Permalink 8 Comments

Health Tip #1: Seven Tips to Maintain Your Sanity in Times of Stress

August 16, 2007 at 1:09 am (Health Tips)

When it rains, it pours. I’m not a big supporter of cliches, like the “pot calling the kettle black” and such. Seriously, what the heck does that mean? But, sometimes these little annoying words can really just fit. I like to piece together sound bites to enrich and simplify your life, but also to bring laughter. Today’s piece is a bit more serious as stress from difficult life events is no giddy matter. And as hardship is often oddly twinned with other difficulties, coping skills must be bolstered. So, here are my top 7 tips for getting through it all.

1. Look for joy in little things: It may seem silly to enjoy the warmth of a cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning or the smell of fresh sheets, but happiness isn’t about large chunks of money or the largest house on the block. It is simply a string of moments and simple joys. If you don’t appreciate and notice these tiny bits of fun, they will pass you by. And if you are a cranky monkey, or unimpressed unless huge successes happen, life will be dull. Especially in times of stress and difficulty, these itty bitty things will gather weight and all together can outweigh the nastiness.

2. Surround yourself with people who love you: Unless you are a leper or have banished all people from your life due to extreme rudeness or bad behavior, you most likely have at least one person in this world who cares about you. This would be the person(s) who would call you after 48 hours of non-communication, suspecting you have fallen in the bathtub and can’t get up. These people who love you get great joy when you share your woes, not because they are sick but because giving provides more than receiving. You are providing them with a special gift: the joy of feeling useful and close to you. Reach out. Trust me you will be glad. If you have burned bridges due to some stupid misunderstanding, suck up your pride and wave the white flag of surrender.

3. Distract yourself: As much as it is important to deal with the raw pain of adjusting to a loss or change, it is also important NOT to continuously steep yourself in misery. You need a break from obsessing and complaining and talking about what is bothering you. Not only do your friends need a break, but talking about seemingly unsolvable situations can often fan frustration. And a break can result in a different kind of release. There is more than one way to solve problems or get through adversity, so going to a movie, exercising, playing music, cooking a meal, blogging your brains out…all help you cope. This break will allow you to see that the sky is not falling (gaining perspective), and as your brain is an amazing organ, it may generate fresh ideas when on a proverbial vacation.

4. Laugh: While laughter may seem callous in a serious time, it is important not to forget this pleasure. You must remember that dealing with the issue at hand is necessary and sadness might be all around you, however watching a funny movie, reading a Far Side cartoon, or watching Elaine dance for the 101th time, will help you feel up, even if it is momentary. If you lost someone dear to death or separation, or have a tough boss who just fired you, or you have taken ill, laughter is the best medicine. Again with the cliches. But again, this holds true. The following is an example of what you need to be watching. This young fellow has a penchant for Olivia Newton John.

5. Talk about the problem: While I suggest having momentary lapses of avoidance (if you can), dealing with the problem at hand is absolutely essential. Some like to write in journals, pouring out their heart to a fictitious reader. Others prefer to bend the ear of a loved one. Whatever is most comfortable. Try to get out your feelings without much order at first. Eventually you may get to the point where you feel you are going in circles. Where the venting stage seems almost depressing in itself, you should move to thoughts and ideas about action. Bounce your ideas off of good friends and family, but it is supremely important to ensure you are making your very OWN decision. Analyze your moves and your motivation. Are you trying to seek approval by making a decision? Does this friend truly have your best interest at heart? Hand in hand with this solution is also reading about your specific problem. This may involve a self-help site on the web or chatting online or in support groups in person or reading a poignant book. You will find your way.

6. Avoid substances to “dull the pain”: While drinking 10 cosmopolitans may seem like a good idea at the time, doing so to get over pain is not only damaging to all your internal organs and your belt buckle, but it does nothing to solve your problem. Differing from watching a movie and other distractions, this will dull your senses AND your judgement and you may end up making choices that will only complicate your life further. Perhaps you decide to “hook up” with that good-looking office mate who actually looks like Quasimodo in reality. Now you have an awkward work situation, a gossip train started and potentially VD. Perhaps you decide to get in a car and drive and you hurt someone. Now you complicate not only your life, but you have caused irreparable pain to another person, which is far greater than your problem. And, to boot, alcohol (specifically) is actually a depressant, so you will be digging yourself out of an emotional dungeon the next day or so. Just don’t.

7. Finally, forgive yourself: You are invariably carrying around a laundry list of should-have’s, could-have’s and would-have’s. Regrets are only useful if you learn from your mistakes. Accept what you have done or not done, forgive yourself, and move on by making a concerted effort to do things differently next time. You can start today by fixing a problem that is actually fixable, by allowing yourself to move on, and to accept certain details that are actually out of your control. Take a reality check and focus on the good you have done, and then, where you are going starting this very moment.

Permalink 13 Comments

Health Tip #1: Seven Tips to Maintain Your Sanity in Times of Stress

August 16, 2007 at 12:09 am (advice, alcohol, forgiveness, happiness, Health Tips, humor, joy, simple, talk)

When it rains, it pours. I’m not a big supporter of cliches, like the “pot calling the kettle black” and such. Seriously, what the heck does that mean? But, sometimes these little annoying words can really just fit. I like to piece together sound bites to enrich and simplify your life, but also to bring laughter. Today’s piece is a bit more serious as stress from difficult life events is no giddy matter. And as hardship is often oddly twinned with other difficulties, coping skills must be bolstered. So, here are my top 7 tips for getting through it all.

1. Look for joy in little things: It may seem silly to enjoy the warmth of a cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning or the smell of fresh sheets, but happiness isn’t about large chunks of money or the largest house on the block. It is simply a string of moments and simple joys. If you don’t appreciate and notice these tiny bits of fun, they will pass you by. And if you are a cranky monkey, or unimpressed unless huge successes happen, life will be dull. Especially in times of stress and difficulty, these itty bitty things will gather weight and all together can outweigh the nastiness.

2. Surround yourself with people who love you: Unless you are a leper or have banished all people from your life due to extreme rudeness or bad behavior, you most likely have at least one person in this world who cares about you. This would be the person(s) who would call you after 48 hours of non-communication, suspecting you have fallen in the bathtub and can’t get up. These people who love you get great joy when you share your woes, not because they are sick but because giving provides more than receiving. You are providing them with a special gift: the joy of feeling useful and close to you. Reach out. Trust me you will be glad. If you have burned bridges due to some stupid misunderstanding, suck up your pride and wave the white flag of surrender.

3. Distract yourself: As much as it is important to deal with the raw pain of adjusting to a loss or change, it is also important NOT to continuously steep yourself in misery. You need a break from obsessing and complaining and talking about what is bothering you. Not only do your friends need a break, but talking about seemingly unsolvable situations can often fan frustration. And a break can result in a different kind of release. There is more than one way to solve problems or get through adversity, so going to a movie, exercising, playing music, cooking a meal, blogging your brains out…all help you cope. This break will allow you to see that the sky is not falling (gaining perspective), and as your brain is an amazing organ, it may generate fresh ideas when on a proverbial vacation.

4. Laugh: While laughter may seem callous in a serious time, it is important not to forget this pleasure. You must remember that dealing with the issue at hand is necessary and sadness might be all around you, however watching a funny movie, reading a Far Side cartoon, or watching Elaine dance for the 101th time, will help you feel up, even if it is momentary. If you lost someone dear to death or separation, or have a tough boss who just fired you, or you have taken ill, laughter is the best medicine. Again with the cliches. But again, this holds true. The following is an example of what you need to be watching. This young fellow has a penchant for Olivia Newton John.

5. Talk about the problem: While I suggest having momentary lapses of avoidance (if you can), dealing with the problem at hand is absolutely essential. Some like to write in journals, pouring out their heart to a fictitious reader. Others prefer to bend the ear of a loved one. Whatever is most comfortable. Try to get out your feelings without much order at first. Eventually you may get to the point where you feel you are going in circles. Where the venting stage seems almost depressing in itself, you should move to thoughts and ideas about action. Bounce your ideas off of good friends and family, but it is supremely important to ensure you are making your very OWN decision. Analyze your moves and your motivation. Are you trying to seek approval by making a decision? Does this friend truly have your best interest at heart? Hand in hand with this solution is also reading about your specific problem. This may involve a self-help site on the web or chatting online or in support groups in person or reading a poignant book. You will find your way.

6. Avoid substances to “dull the pain”: While drinking 10 cosmopolitans may seem like a good idea at the time, doing so to get over pain is not only damaging to all your internal organs and your belt buckle, but it does nothing to solve your problem. Differing from watching a movie and other distractions, this will dull your senses AND your judgement and you may end up making choices that will only complicate your life further. Perhaps you decide to “hook up” with that good-looking office mate who actually looks like Quasimodo in reality. Now you have an awkward work situation, a gossip train started and potentially VD. Perhaps you decide to get in a car and drive and you hurt someone. Now you complicate not only your life, but you have caused irreparable pain to another person, which is far greater than your problem. And, to boot, alcohol (specifically) is actually a depressant, so you will be digging yourself out of an emotional dungeon the next day or so. Just don’t.

7. Finally, forgive yourself: You are invariably carrying around a laundry list of should-have’s, could-have’s and would-have’s. Regrets are only useful if you learn from your mistakes. Accept what you have done or not done, forgive yourself, and move on by making a concerted effort to do things differently next time. You can start today by fixing a problem that is actually fixable, by allowing yourself to move on, and to accept certain details that are actually out of your control. Take a reality check and focus on the good you have done, and then, where you are going starting this very moment.

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