Get some s*#t done

I was reading recently that 18 percent of the population suffers from anxiety disorders.

Pshaw. Those are just the numbers reflecting those who get officially diagnosed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you they’re much higher. Do you know how many suburban housewives have told me they pop Xanax regularly (“helpfully” provided via their family doctor) or take a once-a-week Vicodin when hubby is out of town and they just can’t cope midweek?

More than you can shake a stick at, as my grandmother used to say.

Oh—and, shocker—women are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety.At the office

As if we weren’t already hardwired to push ourselves, self criticize and multitask until our brains are smoking, modern society is more than willing to point out things that we need to be on top of 24/7.

Particularly—ahem—the media.

In the past 24 hours, I’ve seen articles such as:

Is Your Kid Getting Enough Rest?

Making Healthier To-Go Breakfasts

Body Image After 50

10 Things People Who are Great at Relationships Do Differently

What You Should Know Before Making a Major Life Change

What You Don’t Know About Your Health Apps Could Hurt You

Which led me to think, in this order:

I’m not sure. I’ve had a hard time seeing lately due to the purple bags under my eyes.

Define “making.”

I’m not 50 yet. Go away.

How did you round up all three people in one article?

Thank you. Because my friends, family and local priest have not given me enough advice already.

I should have health apps? Shit.

Stop giving me the 10 keys to happiness, the five cures for depression, the eight ways I can please a man, the three methods for eliciting perfect behavior from my children.

You’re giving me hives already.

When I go to sleep, my mind tends to ramble anyway. See here.

And your reminders about how to improve things I wasn’t even aware needed improving make me cuckoo.

Let me give you the one way to reduce your anxiety forever—stop reading these damn articles on how to be better at everything. Put down your quinoa and your self-help books for a weekend.

And just get some shit done. Clean a closet. Pay some bills. Replace that sofa pillow with the rip in it.

Whatever will lessen the list of things that runs through your mind before you fall asleep.

I’m not trying to say there is a simple fix for a true anxiety disorder. But many of us just have generalized anxiety due to too much coming at us too fast–and not enough time to dig in and take care of business.

Doing one small thing at a time works every darn time. And many times, you’ll find you’re inspired to handle more because it feels so good.

I could come up with four other methods for relieving anxiety. But then I’d have to title this piece : “The Five Life-Saving Anxiety Stoppers You Need to Know to be an Adequate Human Being.”

And that might make us all just a tad anxious.



16 Comments Add yours

  1. Love this. Absolutely agree that we are bombarded with ways to better ourselves…because, apparently, we are such losers. Exhale and do. It may not make the anxiety go away, but it will hopefully stop the compounding of it. Thanks for stopping by my blog, too.

  2. There is a diagnosis for just about everything now – much to the delight of big Pharma.

  3. benrietema says:

    Damn right. Solid advice right here. And thank you for checking out my blog.

  4. As a fellow journo, you know (!!??) that magazine editors, especially, spend their entire lives dreaming up “problems” that their articles are supposed to solve…oh, and all the shit they are advertising as well.

    I spent hours this week ironing every thing in the linen closet. Damn, that felt good! Esp. since I haven’t been able to sell a single story in six weeks….unheard of and, hell yes, anxiety producing! Save your anxiety for the real stuff.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh yes. Ironing. Reorganizing the closet. Cleaning out the junk drawer. All therapy–and all more helpful than trying to get water from a temporarily dry well. It comes in fits and starts, doesn’t it? You will sell a story–you always do. I think this was the linen gods’ way of being sure you got wrinkle-free:). That’s all.

  5. markbialczak says:

    Great approach, Kay. One thing at a time and the mountain gets lower.
    I’m five weeks into my new job, my first new fulltime job since 1983, a totally different job, and every day it seems as if 100 new things fire into my brain. Yes, I’m anxious. But all I can do is handle one step at a time and do my best.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, Mark. The first three to six months at any new venture are not easy, are they? Good for you taking it one day at a time. Pretty soon you’ll look back and realize your newbie days are done:).

      1. markbialczak says:

        Thanks for your words of support, Kay. This newbie really appreciates it! 🙂

  6. I am in two minds about this because I do occasionally read self-improvement articles and books. However, I am selective about what I actually take on board (ie implement) which is usually very little.
    LOVE your conclusion that there are only three people in the world great at relationships. I agree with you on that one! I love your sense of humour!

  7. Roy McCarthy says:

    Nail on head. Too much information, too many ‘experts’. Switch off the telly, read something entertaining not informative, go for a run, plant some vegetables, regain your serenity by thinking less. Well said Kay.

  8. Yes! Amen! and Thank you Very Much!

  9. I used to read glossy women’s magazines until I realised I often felt like crap when I’d finished reading all those ‘self-improvement’ articles.

    1. candidkay says:

      Lol. Yes. I can’t read Real Simple because it only makes me feel inadequate. Nothing “real simple” in all of the schedules, organizers, etc. for me.

  10. averyhanaden says:

    I couldn’t agree more! All those exact numbers, you’d think they have OCD!

    I have a blog at and I would love if an experienced blogger like you could check it out and give me some feedback!

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