Stress sucks. It hides everywhere. While good stress can motivate you to finish projects, bad stress punishes and can hold you captive without an actionable solution out. There are a few ways to get out of an unbeatable stress cycle: you can get lots of cash, make yourself comfortable, linger in the moment instead of the next, and take a tiny bit of chill.

Cash Money

Money makes things easier. You could tell yourself that it doesn’t, but it helps to live a comfortable life. I’m not talking about swimming in pools of cash while one of the Playmates does donuts in a Ferrari on your back lawn and Stella McCartney picks out your next outfit. But enough that you can live relatively comfortably and not have to worry about the future. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

-Find a better job that pays you more money (there’s a mountain of articles on professional success here, and more about making your own business here)

-Start a cat burglary ring that targets the illuminati (but I think that falls under entrepreneurship, see above)


If you’re making enough money to live, but can’t seem to make ends meet, it’s time to start a budget. And to be harsh with it. Start with the necessities, estimate your food, housing, and bill costs. Separate out how much you spend on the necessities and really dive into where your money is going. If you’re anything like me, it probably goes to a lot of booze and adventure. Organizing your life a little more can help you lay out future plans, like a retirement fund, or paying off credit cards, that helps avoid future stress.

You can still play around with booze and adventures by forgoing small trips for really big ones, or making the small trips less of a descent into the madness once the weekend hits, and more of a time to relax and enjoy the world. By smartly indulging yourself.

Make money less of an issue by addressing where it goes, and how you use it in your life. Writing it out in the form of a budget is a great way to do this. You might be surprised at where the world is bleeding you dry.


Being comfortable is a great way to bring down your stress levels. Make what is enjoyable to you easy to access. If you love food, like all non-cyborg humans love food, making really great food cheap and easy for you to access might be a pretty high priority for you. Consider doing some meal planning, put in an office mini fridge, or if you are a garbage person like me, buy your candy in bulk, put it in tiny jars and hide them in the places that you frequent. In your purse, in your closet, at work, near your bed, and at your healthy friend’s house.

Making yourself physically comfortable is something relatively easy that reduces a lot of stress that people easily forget about. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but practical. When buying pants, you want to look totes bangable, but we all have that pair of pants that sucks because it rides up in weird places and the 10-minute heels (with a max walking time of 10 min). Try going for something like yoga-dress pants or a giant heated blanket. Or a hot cocoa dispenser that you spike for funsies while doing laundry, painting, or whatever you do in your free time. Make life as comfortable as you can for yourself. It removes a lot of stress, and is very enjoyable.

Do not linger in the next, the previous. Just the now.

Anticipation for the future and embarrassing moments in our past causes a certain amount of grief and stress. When you’re waiting for your friend to get to your house, when at the doctor’s office, or the DMV thoughts of a past can haunt you and anxiety about what you have to do next can heckle you. If future things are really giving you hell, consider writing them out, setting an organized path to success.But you really don’t have to worry about things that you have no control over.

These are problems, in the great words of Homer Simpson “for future you”. Those problems do not matter in this instant. There is nothing you can do about them.  If you can’t succeed, and it’s regular stuff, like groceries, icy roads, your hair not being shiny enough, trying to avoid dressing like a potential prostitute when you go on an adorable evening stroll, or if Brenda at work said Hello nicely or meanly and if it could have anything to do with that one time that you didn’t hold the door because she was just far away enough that it didn’t matter. Relax. Drop it.

It has nothing to do with this moment in time, there is no reason to fill up on stress that you can’t actively solve that has no real consequence on your day-to-day. Enjoy your time sitting in the doctor’s office, they have nice chairs, okay music, and a vast selection of magazines that you will probably only access in this moment. If it’s about something serious, like paying off your student loans, get on it. Otherwise enjoy your moments. Enjoy the small comforts that fill most of your day.

Could you have a tiny bit of chill right now?

Could you increase your chill factor? I bet you totally could.

I bet there are like three things you could have a little bit more chill about. I’m not talking about calming down with your fervent political beliefs, because your active efforts to promote feminism is a valued effort, but that jerk who cut you off in traffic isn’t enough to ruin your chill. Karen from accounting who has zero chill and keeps emailing you about stuff that does not matter is not enough to ruin your chill. You can get her what she needs without picking up that nonsense. Asking yourself when you get really keyed up, not angry, but shaken up or nervous, if you could have more chill can help you accomplish more and better.

You probably perform better when happy and away from the situation, even if that means getting a cup of tea or a breath before doing some very fussy hand motions at the line cutter at the fair or any of the million things that really grind your gears.

Take a deep breath. Get a cup of tea. Is this something you should have some chill about? Enjoy your life, don’t be so rough on yourself. Drop the stress like a backpack you never realized you were carrying.


Mary GraceMary Grace is a magical unicorn of a human being from the gorgeous Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking, skiing, and human interactions with technology. Email her anytime at or connect with her on Twitter.