Today I had an epiphany on the way home from work. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw angry blue eyes staring back at me and lips strained into a hard line. I felt myself gripping the steering wheel tightly, as if I had the world depending on my driving abilities. Guess what I realized? I needed to CHILL OUT about some things in life. Maybe it’s not just me. Maybe we all need to take a chill pill so we can enjoy our lives a little more.

Yes, the traffic was crazy. Yes, it was a long day. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I was eager to get home and eat some kale chips. (The nacho flavor is the bomb.) Yes, I was ready to take off my tights. (They are so uncomfortable to me.) Was it worth it to get so tense for all of the above? I don’t think so. I just hadn’t thought about it before. I was just annoyed with the traffic and didn’t realize how that truly manifested itself in my daily life until I glanced in the mirror. The reflection made me aware and I’m thankful for that.

After that, I started thinking about all of the things that I’m guilty of getting uptight about, but that don’t really matter in the long run. I’m going to try to catch myself in the act and stop this negative chain once and for all. I know it’s going to take a while because it’s natural to get annoyed, but all I can do is try, right?

  1. Traffic. Traffic after work totally stinks, but I decided that I’m just going to recognize that there isn’t anything I can do about it and let it go. My strategy is also to get awesome songs on my iPod that I can jam out to when I get frustrated. I also listen to a bunch of podcasts that entertain me, so I’ll use those too. Game plan ready to go!
  2. Technology. We’ve all been there. A program won’t load at work or maybe our phones aren’t turning on. Whatever the case may be, I’m just going to relax more about it. I can’t speed up the loading process, so it’s best to just wait and let it do its thing without me clicking buttons and getting stressed. Let it be! Also, call IT. 🙂 Wow, that even rhymed.
  3.  Future goals. OK, this is a bigger one. I have lots of goals for myself and I often catch myself worrying about whether they will work out or not. This is stuff that is sometimes years away! Instead of wasting energy worrying (it really does nothing to help), I’m just going to focus on what I can do today. I’ve actually been doing this for a few weeks and it has done wonders for my perspective on life. Plus, it allows you to live more in the present.
  4. Waiting on someone else. This can be for anything. Maybe you are going to lunch together or maybe you are meeting for a run. If someone is late, then they are late. End of story. A lot of our life is spent waiting for things or people, so it makes sense to just let it go and flow with the situation. Instead of freaking out, just take action, and then let the chips fall. There is only so much you can control.
  5. Planning time for workouts. If I can’t squeeze in my workouts, it bothers me. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s OK. (Gosh, I rhymed again.) I need to learn to chill if I miss a workout. Getting stressed about it definitely doesn’t serve me, especially in a situation that I can’t control.

I’m sure you see a theme here. Let go of what you can’t control and just live your life. I think that a certain amount of stress lights a fire that keeps you chasing after your goals, but there is definitely a fine line as to where it is needed. These examples are pretty applicable to most people’s lives, especially this time of the year, so I hope it’s relatable to you.