This is a hard post for me to write. I have never been one to talk about my problems, except maybe to one or two close friends who are allowed to see the real me. Approximately three times in my life I have struggled with a mild depression. Once was after I graduated from college and felt stuck in my home town. The second, and worse, was a few years ago when I was forced into a miserable work situation. I came out of it once I was removed from that situation. Currently I am struggling with it again. I believe because I feel stuck again. My career has stalled. I feel like a failure. I feel all my ambition to work hard and desire  to make something of myself is wasted. Maybe because I feel a lot of who I am is tied into my education and career. I take a lot of pride in my brain and work ethic.

On top of that I have always been one who has to please other people. I need to make sure everyone else is ok. Often times I suffer from not doing what I want or being who I want to be. I feel like when I am not truly happy (not just the fake front I put forward) that I have failed those around me. This has been an issue for me my entire life. There were parents to please, teachers, friends and later boyfriends and bosses. It gets taxing making sure all of these people are taken care of.

Earlier this year I discovered that my blood pressure was abnormally high for me. I am considered pre-hypertension now (I have since checked it an additional two times). Since I already track my food intake I immediately checked my sodium. With the exception of maybe one day a week I am always well below the recommended 2300 mg. I know the issue is this dark cloud hanging over me and the stress I always seem to carry around.

I have several goals (I am planning a future post about these) but one of them is to shake of this depression and become my usual self. Hand in hand with that is to get my stress under control and thus my blood pressure. Being the type A, green personality I am I am spending time researching. What I should eat. What I should do. How to relax. I can’t help it that researching relaxes me. I like to learn and grow.


This is one way to relax, watch a sunset! (Picture: My own from a trip to San Diego)

I am working to rid myself of the negative stress reactors and learn more positive reactions. My goal this week is to not complain. This is hard but I am determined to work on it. I make myself pause and take a few deep breaths if I realize I am complaining. If it is too bad I will go for a walk (I haven’t reached this point yet).

Tell Me: How do relax? How do  you deal with stress, depression and daily life issues?


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.


runninginnj · May 24, 2013 at 7:04 am

Sorry to hear about your stress – I really don’t feel I have much to offer in the way of advice except possibly one story from my past – since this I have been relatively stress free. I had a job when I was in my 20’s and the bosses were asking for ridiculously unnecessary things (well, that was my take on it, and the opinion of others too so it wasn’t just me). It reached a point one morning when I was called in for something I hadn’t done. I went through all the other things I needed to do and why I felt those things were more important than what they were asking for. They had no answer so it was at that point I realized that as long as you are doing what you feel is for the best and can explain why then everything will be fine (it didn’t stop them continuing to ask for these things – everyone was asked to do this, but I felt confident enough after that to quit and find something better).
I don’t let work situations get to me any more – the only person that can make me stressed is myself, so I work on doing what I think is right. Of course there is a balance, I can’t piss off everybody so sometimes you just have to let some things slide, but if it’s important enough I’m happy to make a fuss and point out why they are wrong – generally people will listen and accept; sometimes when I listen to others I will realize I am wrong and I’m happy to admit to that (someone actually said to me once that they like working with me because I tell them if I messed something up).

    heelaholic · May 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you for your comment. It is always helpful to read/hear what others have to say. It helps to put things in perspective.

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