Cheers to a [stress free] new year

To my friends, I’m known as the one who won’t say no to a project. Even if that means I stay in on a Friday night to blog. I love my work, I love what I do, and as a result, I overuse and overpack my Google calendar and to-do lists to a fault. My New Year’s resolutions include: get more sleep, make more “me” time, and….maybe launch a business. Okay, so that’s just in my DNA 😉

But in all seriousness, my roommate/best friend/inspirational budding social entrepreneur wrote an amazingly charming and motivational letter to a friend not too long ago, and I asked her to borrow parts of it for my blog, as I feel it’s chock-full of great advice as we enter 2012. You can (and should) follow her @nricchio or read her writing on


Don’t ever think what you have accomplished up to this point isn’t good enough.  At the same time, don’t ever let your amazing talents go to waste.  Everyone has the ability to change the world, it’s actually scary.  Whenever you are feeling down or anxious, come to this and read it.  Remember that there are people out there that believe in you.  Remember that your failures don’t disappoint them.  Remember that you are doing what you choose to do in your life for YOU.  And remember that everyone fails. Everyone. It takes failure to have really lived.  It takes failure to really learn.  It takes failure to find and embrace success.

Here are some of the things that get me through my most stressful times:

Sarah Kay.  Please embrace the amazingness that is Sarah Kay. These videos–these words–they inspire.  One of the things that really makes someone inspire me is when they have a talent that is so far from any talent that I can possibly possess.  This girl’s spoken words are magic.  It makes me feel like I have someone to aspire to be–something to really reach for even if I never get there.

Meditate!  You can spare 20 minutes out of your day–I know you can.  Everyone can.  No matter what.  Mindfulness in Plain English is a really no nonsense, simple guide to meditation.  It’s clear and in steps–exactly how someone who is analytical and logical needs it to be.  Get a cushion and a blanket and do it at home.  I also really like candles while I meditate.


People and friends.  Surround yourself with the people that matter most and the people that care the most.  Don’t stress yourself out or waste your time with the people that you don’t think are true friends or are selfish or only thinking about themselves and not your feelings.  You need to talk things out with people that really care.

Music.  Find songs that you can really connect with emotionally.  For me, I immediately think Hey Jude, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Dear Prudence, and Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles.  Also, John Lennon’s version of Stand By Me and Bill Withers Lean On Me.  Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here and anything Simon & Garfunkel or She & Him.  Patsy Cline is FULL of emotions that you can’t help but get drawn in.  I know a local artist — Rudy Brownbird Relic — no local artist has ever affected my life the way he does with his music.  These are the artists that change my life–find the ones that change yours (you can borrow mine if you want to).

Find that one movie that makes you happy whenever you watch it.  Find that one movie that just makes you forget everything that doesn’t matter and embrace everything that does.  Find that movie that can help you put all the bullshit on hold for two hours of your life.  I know this is deep–mine is Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Write.  Write not for anyone but yourself. Write about everything you think and feel and embrace it.  It’s the best way to get out what is really deep down.  Writing is the best therapy there is–especially stream-of-consciousness.