Issue #107: Tips for Holding it Together and Getting Through Stressful Times
Plus Ann Patchett's life advice and 3 house purchases.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff: In this new novel, out today, a young girl named Lamentations escapes a 17th century American colonial settlement for the Virginia wilderness. The protagonist, often referred to only as “the girl,” shakes off gendered expectations and learns to survive alone in the brutal, freezing forests of North America.
🎧 Olivia Rodrigo’s new album, ‘Guts:’ This album single-handedly got me through my move into my house this week—I love the angsty teen vibes of “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” “bad idea right?” (which has been stuck in my head nonstop since Friday) and “all american bitch” (which I initially thought was a cover of “Joanne” from the first few chords). Basically, I’m all about the revival of pop punk Rodrigo is channeling.
📺 “The Changeling” on AppleTV+: Once upon a time… LaKeith Stanfield stars in this eight-part adaptation of Victor LaValle’s surreal novel as Apollo, a bookseller married to a woman who was cursed years earlier on a trip to Brazil. When their son disappears in New York, Apollo is thrown into a dark (and very scary) fairytale world that is as disruptive and otherworldly as the series, which jumps between centuries, perspectives, folklore, and nightmarish visions. I’ve only watched the first two episodes, which I started late last night, but I’m already eager for more, coming this Friday.
If there was ever a week I needed to lean into self-care it was this last one. In the span of a few days, I submitted book copyedits, began my fall semester, started a counseling internship, saw clients in the teaching clinic, closed on my house, and moved out of my apartment in a 15’ U-Haul. Whew. Now that I’m on the other side of it, finishing this issue from my new home (!), with a window that overlooks a maple in my backyard (!!), I feel like I survived a tornado; it was exhilarating, but also a whirlwind of over-caffeination, stress, insomnia, and cancelled plans.
The thing is, I didn’t actually have time to engage in my daily self-care practices. Instead, I squeaked by and held myself together with a skeleton crew of non negotiables (I shrunk my morning walk to 20-minutes, did 15-minute low-impact workouts, and sat for at least one meal each day while reading). Whenever things began to feel overwhelming, I spent five minutes engaging in a quick pick-me-up or relaxation.
Fall can be a stressful season and I know I’m far from the only one scrambling to take care of myself, with school starting and end-of-year work projects ramping up. A few weeks ago, inspired by the New York Times series of the same name, I asked for your tips for holding it together. Below I share your tips, a few of my own five-minute self-care practices, and a potpourri of fun, bite-sized recommendations and links (including the three purchases I’m prioritizing in my new home).
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