Sunday, December 30, 2007


Hello and welcome to Sit, Sip, Stretch, and Stitch!

About two years ago, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It was mild enough that it had gone undiagnosed for the first twenty three years of my life, but sever enough that I ended up needing medication to cope with it at first. In my mind medication is like scaffolding. You need it keep the building steady while your working on it, but hopeful you’ll be able to take it down when construction is done. I did some great work with a nutritionist in New York City, started working to develop a more solid meditation practice, and developed a couple of coping skills. I’ve been off the medication for a little over a year now.

During most of that year, I was living a pretty low stress life. It wasn’t particularly satisfying in the long run, but working as a temp and living with your parents doesn’t leave you all that much to worry about. It is also not something you can do forever and I’ve known for a number of years that in order for me to be happy, I needed to have a job that I felt made a positive difference on the world.

And I got it. I now have a new job I love and it highly rewarding. I really feel like I’m able to make a difference in the lives of families that need it most. But also comes with a great deal of stress. My job requires high levels of organization (which I’m not sure I always have), high levels of cultural competency (which I’m almost positive I don’t have), and high levels of managerial skills (which I know I don’t have). Having worked at it for four months, the holidays came along and I just collapsed. I wasn’t good for much more than crying, sleeping, knitting, and watching Law and Order for almost a week. I was a mess.

But I love my work and I don’t want to give it up. If I want to continue with my work now and with other jobs like this in the future, I have to some other support structures in place so that when the though times come (which they do on an almost daily basis) I’ll be able to deal with them.

That is why I started this blog. Part of it is to keep my accountable to my goal of finding more ways to work with my anxiety. The other part is to share with others who might be having stress and anxiety problems in their lives. Please note that very little of this information is going to come from me. I don’t feel like I have the ability to tell anyone what to do. However, I can do a lot of searching and pool resources together in one place.

The blog is named after the four main things I try to do in order to keep my stress/anxiety levels down

This names comes from my attempts to have a meditation practice to gain better control of the mind. It’s really about taking the time that you need to sit down and do what you need to do in order to be happy. This is where I’ll be sharing meditation tips, relaxation techniques, and things that are specifically for stress management.

I am grateful for the existence of anti anxiety drugs. However, I wasn’t too keen on some of the side effects, the amount of money I was spending to be on them, or the amount of time it took for all of the doctors’ appointments. I’m also interested in herbal medication for a number of reasons. I’ll be talking about herbs, teas, and supplements in this section.

I really believe that your mood and feelings are affected by what you eat. But it is really hard to follow with everything else I’m trying to do. In this section, I’ll share recipes that and quick, easy and wholesome. They will probably freeze well too.

Exercise. I’m supposed to be doing that right? I’m trying to prep for a 12 miles, 5000 foot elevation gain hike in the late spring and go to yoga classes three days a week. Just getting into a regular exercise routine would be a triumph though. Here I’ll share stretches, motivation hints, and tidbits about working out.

This one is a little more complicated. I’m a knitter and knitting for me provides a great outlet for creativity, a chance to hang out with some awesome people, and cozy sweaters. This section is really about doing what you love. I’ll probably talk a little bit about my knitting in here, but a lot of it will talk about making time for things you love.