S.M.A.C.K.s for Stepmoms: Do you have a pleasure deficit?

25 11 2008

dec08_cvr1Yesterday, a series of things happened that made me realize I am experiencing a pleasure deficit. First, I had a lunch with some really groovy folks. Jocelyn Hale, the Executive Director of the Loft Literary Center, Dennis Cass, the author of the hilarious and fantastic book Head Case, and Pilar Gerasimo, Editor-in-Chief of Experience Life magazine. We were discussing an article that is coming out in the December issue of Experience Life called A Real Pleasure in which the staff of the magazine describe how all the latest research in the fields of positive psychology, neurology, and psychoneuroimmunology show that pleasure is good for us. Yet, each of us at the table admitted to not taking proper care of ourselves by doing activities that really gave us joy. For instance, I absolutely love massages but I haven’t booked one since before Eva was born. She’s 8 months old.

Then I ended up at the eye doctor yesterday afternoon with what turns out to be a case of episcleritis. My left eye is all red and it hurts. Why? Because I’ve been staring at the computer for too many hours in a row. You got it. I’ve been working too hard, with too few breaks for fun.

The final straw was a voice message from my co-author Clare. She admitted she was totally exhausted. She’s working two jobs and has to work through the Thanksgiving holiday without a break.

Consider this quote from the Experience Life article: “Pursuing pleasure and feeling stress, it turns out, are mutually exclusive – which means that embracing pleasurable experiences may present not just an opportunity for warm fuzzies, but a very real antidote to stress and a very necessary ingredient to sustained well-being.”

Instead of letting the Inner Critic freak out on me and tell me I can’t possibly get up from the desk since there is so much to do, I flipped it the bird. After a business phone call I must take at 10:30 a.m. CST, I am outta here! If you don’t hear from me for the rest of the day, you’ll know I am off visiting a flower shop and inhaling as deeply as I can. Or maybe I’ll be tasting a cup of joe in my favorite coffee shop. Or perhaps I’ll even book a massage for later this very day. The only errand I’ll run is to buy myself a pair of reading glasses – promise!

It seems to me that this post is really important for us stepmoms since the place where most of us go to relax – our home – produces serious stress in our lives. So what will you do today, right this minute, to increase the joy and pleasurable experiences in your life?

Visit www.smackyourinnercritic.com for more about how to knock out your Inner Critic and live the life of your dreams!