Stressed? Join the club. We’ve got jackets.

Perhaps moving away from home for the first time, starting grad school, and jumping head first into a pageant (otherwise known as August, September, and October of 2011) is just another period of Imani’s life that can better be described as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

I’ve never been one for pacing myself, for resting, and though I tend to think my next projects out pretty thoroughly before I commit, that has never stopped me from jumping head first into them… and as the evidence is laid out… leaping into multiple projects at once.  My emotionality of August/ September 2011 hasn’t made things much easier for me ( let’s just say this song plays a lot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmG0sPyZJBg and I’ve reasoned with myself that if Adele could score a mega-hit album from her similar feelings, then I should be able to get a crown LOL).

That whole paragraph was a just a roundabout way of saying: a sista is STRESSED out. Everyone from my choreographer to my roommate to the mail lady can see that I need to relax (before I combust or some other non-flame retardant activity) and yesterday, when I finished dancing, I had to agree. Normally when I read blogs of pageant girls, there’s no vulnerability in them. The girls are perfect. They do everything perfectly. They just want to save the world in a pink suit and nude pumps.

But, these girls (and I) are actually human… with real fears, vulnerabilities, and stressors. We push ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally until sometimes we’re just running on fumes. And perhaps, that’s not just being a pageant girl but the plight of being a woman in general (as my mother would say, “A woman’s work is never done.”

Back to the original point. Here are some things I am trying to marginally de-stress in the next 37 days so that I can be a much more fun person to be around haha. If you’re in my boat, stream, or lake (or club as the picture above mentions), please try these tips as well.

1) Celebrate my birthday on September 22! (This might not de-stress you, but it’s going to make me very happy!)

2) Sweat. Exercising regularly releases feel good endorphins. It’s a natural pick-me-up.

3) Laugh. You can’t be too stressed while you’re laughing. Find your good friends or catch the new Kevin Hart movie.

4) Ask for help. Wowzers, I don’t do this often enough! But I should!

5) Take a second and breathe deeply.Woooooosaaaahhhhhh

Imani Josey

Imani is a writer from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating Howard University in Washington, DC, Imani received her Masters from Northwestern University. Sometime during all of that studying, she danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a (Luvabulls) cheerleader, and won the titles of Miss Chicago and Miss Cook County for the Miss America Organization, as well as Miss Black Illinois USA. Read her short story “North” in the forthcoming Hidden Youth anthology, out November 2016 by Crossed Genres.

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