Archive for Uncategorized

Finding The Words With Sara McNally from Constellation & Co

In this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety, I talk with Sara McNally. Sara is a true wordsmith and the owner Constellation & Co. Based in Seattle, Constellation & Co. isn’t your average greeting card shop. Sara and her team create cards that reflect the highs and lows of life.

This episode was one of my all-time favorite to record. Sara was so open about her own experiences with loss and anxiety.


In this episode:

  • The need she feels in the marketplace that inspired her cards.
  • How to find the words when there aren’t any.
  • The way she lets her personal life inspires what she creates.
  • The “What-If” avenues we travel after a loss.
  • How working for yourself stretches you and can also trigger you.
  • Why she started a YouTube channel.
  • Her experience starting with antidepressants.
  • How she addresses anxiety with her husband and son.
  • How anxiety can isolate you and why it’s important to realize your feelings aren’t a burden to the people who love you.
  • The highway of anxiety. (My favorite new way to describe the highs and lows of anxiety.)
  • Why you need to check in with yourself and ask for what you need.

Listen here:

Enjoying This Episode? Share It On Twitter:

I can survive more than I think I can. Click To Tweet We can handle anything in the moment. It’s the fear of what might happen that undose us. Click To Tweet 'Sleep really helps.' Sara from @constellationco and Dia dive into Anxiety in episode 66 of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. Click To Tweet Give yourself grace when you’re trying new things. Click To Tweet Sometimes your anxiety isn't’ a bad thing. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Click To Tweet Have hope. Click To Tweet Ask for what you need. - @constellationco Click To Tweet

About Sara

snail mail superstar

Sara McNally is the owner of Constellation & Co, a letterpress stationery company and brick & mortar gift shop located in the Seattle Fisherman’s Terminal.

Constellation & Co uses the power of words and the magic of snail mail to connect people and make us all feel less alone.

Our line of cards and gifts are inspired by the events and occasions in life that are made sweet by close, honest relationships. Our work as Constellation & Co. is built for sharing joy and holding our loved ones close in the middle of pain.

Constellation & Co has been featured on a variety of publications such as Oh So Beautiful Paper, Creative Mornings, The Paper Chronicles, and more. Sara has been interviewed on podcasts such as Proof to Product, Let’s Talk About It with Taylor Nolan, and The Postcardist talking about business, mental health, and her love of postcards.

When Sara’s not working at the shop, she’s sending snail mail to her loved ones, buying copious amounts of fountain pens, and spending time with her husband and son.

Use code “CREATIVES” on my site for 10% off your purchase, including your first month of our stationery subscription box, Card Club!

You can find Sara here:

Mentioned in this episode

Anxiety – the Missing Stage of Grief: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Healing the Impact of Loss Book by Claire Bidwell Smith

You can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform:

Thanks for listening! <3

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

  • Do you still send snail mail?
  • Do you keep your cards on display, in a safe place or throw them away after a few weeks?
  • What is the best card you’ve ever gotten? 

Why You Need To Identify Your Work Style

In this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety, I talk about why it’s important to identify your work style and things that make up your work style. Learn the subtle elements of your environment that make all the difference and take the quiz to learn which of the Work Styles you have.

In this episode:

00:27 Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. Now I have to tell you, I’m so excited to do this episode because we’re talking about one of my favorite topics and it’s work styles. Now, what is your work style? Well, it’s right in the name. It is the style in which you get work done and I think it’s really important for people to understand that not everyone works the same way. A lot of times you’ll see a one size fits all solutions and that’s just not real life. People don’t all work the same. People don’t get distracted by the same things. People don’t get excited by the same things, so it’s really important to understand how you work so that you can find ways to improve it and really find ways to set yourself up for success. I think it’s really easy to just try to plug in, play something, but if it doesn’t work for you, then it isn’t going to work for you.

01:22 So the first part of this is you want to determine what works for you and determine what doesn’t work for you. And I just want to give you a few examples, of this. So example for me, if I have some writing to do, I can put on  Jason Mraz or Sara Bareilles and I can just sit there and write and let the songs play in the background and be completely focused. Now if I put on some like Tupac, I love Tupac. I feel like this is probably the third time I’ve brought Tupac up on the podcast.  If I would put onTupac or Cardi B or Justin Timberlake, I more than likely going to be squirming and dancing and not getting any work done. If I’m doing admin tasks or things that are just, you know, plug and play and don’t take a lot of brain power or creativity I can listen to hyper music. I recognize what types of music I can listen to, what works for me when I need to get certain things done.

02:21 Another example of this is maybe what you’re wearing. Are you the type of person who if you stay in your pajamas or if you’re wearing yoga pants, are you going to just feel lazy and not really get anything done? Even if you have every intention of working, do you need to go get dressed like you’re going to an office even though you’re just going to be at your desk in your bedroom. How does that work for you? I would like to be comfortable when I work so I can put on some dance pants and a tee shirt and get work done. But it’s funny because I don’t have to formally dress up to go to work like I’m going anywhere. I just need to get out of whatever I slept in and put something comfortable on and go to work.

03:03 And then I feel like, okay, now the day started, now I’m in the zone, now this is happening. So just being able to recognize what works for you… If you get dressed are you going to have troubles  focusing if you aren’t comfortable, if you know you’re wearing something that is very business professional and it just makes you feel stuffy and uncreative. Another example of this is your environment itself. Can you work with other people? Does it depend on what you’re working on? A good example of this is, you know, a lot of people feel like they really benefit from coworking spaces, people who have their own businesses or work from home. They like going out being around other people in an environment where you’re encouraged yes to communicate and make connections, but at the same time to not distract each other.

03:55 So, you know, yes, there’s other people there, but you don’t feel like you must talk to them. You may even feel like, okay, I’m going to be quiet and focus on my work so that I’m not a distraction to anyone here. Or is it that you are around people and you’re just going to want to be friends and talk to everyone? Again, this is one of those things that it may depend on what the situation is. I could go to the library in a study room with a group of friends when I was in college and just study and be completely focused depending on the subject. If it was a subject where I wasn’t necessarily really interested, I would be the distraction. I would be sending notes or, or whispering versus if it was a subject that I actually enjoyed, I could just buckle down.

04:38 And then also there were certain people that I could hold up with and others that we would just be like little gigglers when we got together. It was really, really important to just be aware. You probably won’t realize things straight off the bat. Like you won’t be able to sit down and say, “Oh, this distracts me.” But if you make a point that when you’re in these situations to stop and say, “Okay, I’m not getting as much done, or I just got so much done,” look and see what elements were put in place there to make that a productive work session for you. Now another thing that is very, very crucial, like once you start understanding what works for you and what doesn’t work for you, is planning ahead to actually make your environment accommodate your work style. And what I mean by that is if you know that you have a day of writing and that you’d like to listen to classical music and you don’t need to be on the Wifi.

05:32 You can’t do it in a public place like a coffee shop because you’ll people watch then before you set out to actually have that work session with yourself. Go ahead make that playlist of that classical music or find that station you want to listen to. Unplugged the Wifi right before you get started. Whatever it is that you need to do to set yourself up so that you’re not saying, “Oh, I’m going to write it from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM” and then you’re spending the first 15 minutes of that setting the scene. “Let me find the right classical musical station. That one, that one’s still gets me a little bit hyped. So I need to listen to something a little bit more chill….. Oh, I know I can’t write at a coffee shop but I really need coffee so I’m going to go ahead and try to work from the coffee shop even though I know that won’t work.”

06:15 No, go get your coffee before that time period is, it’s just little itty  bitty tweaks that you wouldn’t even think would make a huge difference that when you set them up can really make or break your creativity. Now I go so much further into all of the, these tips in my Keep it Together Masterclass which is available.  I will share the link to that. It is a about a one hour long masterclass with additional resources and guides. I share some of my favorite books to help you get organized. I share basically just how to create your work plan and how to get more done without driving yourself crazy. I’m also going to share the link to the work styles quiz that I’ve created. When you take this quiz, you will be asked a series of questions. It really shouldn’t take you more than like maybe seven minutes if you really, really want to stop and think, but I just recommend you read the question, see what answer fits you best and pick it.

07:14 Then when you do that, you will be able to get the results of what works style you have. Once you get your work style, you’ll be invited to actually get the free guide and the guide will have even more information, not just about your work style but the other work styles because it’s really important to understand how the people we work with work and to be able to spot different characteristics in them. And even if you want to invite your team or your coworkers to take the quiz and to let you know, “Hey, what work style do you have?” That way you can say, “Okay, well I know that they do really well with this, so let me set them up for success and in turn set myself up and our partnership up for success.” So I’ll also linked to that quiz and to the Keep it Together Masterclass.

07:58 Now at the time that you are listening to this, I am actually going to be running a special to celebrate my four years at AllTheThingsIDo.com during the month of April I will be running a special on the class and you will get it for a very, very low price. It’s usually $97 so I’m really, really excited and I think that you will get so much out of this masterclass. The main takeaways of this is to discover how you work and be able to identify what elements you need to put in place in your environment to be your best, most productive self. I encourage you, once again, even if you don’t want to take the masterclass, take the quiz and see what result you get. Feel free to email me and if you feel like that’s not the right one for you, and we can see maybe you’re a hybrid, maybe you are a mixture of two.

08:57 We can talk about that. We can see what your answers are and just how you really work the best because I want you to be productive. That’s what this is all about. My podcast is all about creating a world where we can find the things to prevent our anxiety from being triggered. And when you know how you work and you can set yourself up for the most success, that’s one less thing that may trigger that anxiety. So thank you so much for listening.  Until next time, this has been great as crushing anxiety.

10:01 And in case you’re wondering what work style I am, I am the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Worker. I took the quiz. I wasn’t actually sure what I would get to be totally honest. I feel like I have a little bit of aspects of all of them, which most people do when it comes to certain tasks. if you want to hear what the broad definition is of the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Worker. “You decided a long time ago you would sleep when you’re dead. Late nights and early mornings are a regular thing in your house. This is the sal might also show up in your personal life, agreeing to every outing and invite, or it may be a strict, be strictly a work habit. Unlike the yes woman, you aren’t saying yes to other people, you’re saying yes because you genuinely have a desire to do at all.”  Yeah. That is me.

00:27 Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. Now I have to tell you, I’m so excited to do this episode because we’re talking about one of my favorite topics and it’s work styles. Now, what is your work style? Well, it’s right in the name. It is the style in which you get work done and I think it’s really important for people to understand that not everyone works the same way. A lot of times you’ll see a one size fits all solutions and that’s just not real life. People don’t all work the same. People don’t get distracted by the same things. People don’t get excited by the same things, so it’s really important to understand how you work so that you can find ways to improve it and really find ways to set yourself up for success. I think it’s really easy to just try to plug in, play something, but if it doesn’t work for you, then it isn’t going to work for you.

01:22 So the first part of this is you want to determine what works for you and determine what doesn’t work for you. And I just want to give you a few examples, of this. So example for me, if I have some writing to do, I can put on  Jason Mraz or Sara Bareilles and I can just sit there and write and let the songs play in the background and be completely focused. Now if I put on some like Tupac, I love Tupac. I feel like this is probably the third time I’ve brought Tupac up on the podcast.  If I would put onTupac or Cardi B or Justin Timberlake, I more than likely going to be squirming and dancing and not getting any work done. If I’m doing admin tasks or things that are just, you know, plug and play and don’t take a lot of brain power or creativity I can listen to hyper music. I recognize what types of music I can listen to, what works for me when I need to get certain things done.

02:21 Another example of this is maybe what you’re wearing. Are you the type of person who if you stay in your pajamas or if you’re wearing yoga pants, are you going to just feel lazy and not really get anything done? Even if you have every intention of working, do you need to go get dressed like you’re going to an office even though you’re just going to be at your desk in your bedroom. How does that work for you? I would like to be comfortable when I work so I can put on some dance pants and a tee shirt and get work done. But it’s funny because I don’t have to formally dress up to go to work like I’m going anywhere. I just need to get out of whatever I slept in and put something comfortable on and go to work.

03:03 And then I feel like, okay, now the day started, now I’m in the zone, now this is happening. So just being able to recognize what works for you… If you get dressed are you going to have troubles  focusing if you aren’t comfortable, if you know you’re wearing something that is very business professional and it just makes you feel stuffy and uncreative. Another example of this is your environment itself. Can you work with other people? Does it depend on what you’re working on? A good example of this is, you know, a lot of people feel like they really benefit from coworking spaces, people who have their own businesses or work from home. They like going out being around other people in an environment where you’re encouraged yes to communicate and make connections, but at the same time to not distract each other.

03:55 So, you know, yes, there’s other people there, but you don’t feel like you must talk to them. You may even feel like, okay, I’m going to be quiet and focus on my work so that I’m not a distraction to anyone here. Or is it that you are around people and you’re just going to want to be friends and talk to everyone? Again, this is one of those things that it may depend on what the situation is. I could go to the library in a study room with a group of friends when I was in college and just study and be completely focused depending on the subject. If it was a subject where I wasn’t necessarily really interested, I would be the distraction. I would be sending notes or, or whispering versus if it was a subject that I actually enjoyed, I could just buckle down.

04:38 And then also there were certain people that I could hold up with and others that we would just be like little gigglers when we got together. It was really, really important to just be aware. You probably won’t realize things straight off the bat. Like you won’t be able to sit down and say, “Oh, this distracts me.” But if you make a point that when you’re in these situations to stop and say, “Okay, I’m not getting as much done, or I just got so much done,” look and see what elements were put in place there to make that a productive work session for you. Now another thing that is very, very crucial, like once you start understanding what works for you and what doesn’t work for you, is planning ahead to actually make your environment accommodate your work style. And what I mean by that is if you know that you have a day of writing and that you’d like to listen to classical music and you don’t need to be on the Wifi.

05:32 You can’t do it in a public place like a coffee shop because you’ll people watch then before you set out to actually have that work session with yourself. Go ahead make that playlist of that classical music or find that station you want to listen to. Unplugged the Wifi right before you get started. Whatever it is that you need to do to set yourself up so that you’re not saying, “Oh, I’m going to write it from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM” and then you’re spending the first 15 minutes of that setting the scene. “Let me find the right classical musical station. That one, that one’s still gets me a little bit hyped. So I need to listen to something a little bit more chill….. Oh, I know I can’t write at a coffee shop but I really need coffee so I’m going to go ahead and try to work from the coffee shop even though I know that won’t work.”

06:15 No, go get your coffee before that time period is, it’s just little itty  bitty tweaks that you wouldn’t even think would make a huge difference that when you set them up can really make or break your creativity. Now I go so much further into all of the, these tips in my Keep it Together Masterclass which is available.  I will share the link to that. It is a about a one hour long masterclass with additional resources and guides. I share some of my favorite books to help you get organized. I share basically just how to create your work plan and how to get more done without driving yourself crazy. I’m also going to share the link to the work styles quiz that I’ve created. When you take this quiz, you will be asked a series of questions. It really shouldn’t take you more than like maybe seven minutes if you really, really want to stop and think, but I just recommend you read the question, see what answer fits you best and pick it.

07:14 Then when you do that, you will be able to get the results of what works style you have. Once you get your work style, you’ll be invited to actually get the free guide and the guide will have even more information, not just about your work style but the other work styles because it’s really important to understand how the people we work with work and to be able to spot different characteristics in them. And even if you want to invite your team or your coworkers to take the quiz and to let you know, “Hey, what work style do you have?” That way you can say, “Okay, well I know that they do really well with this, so let me set them up for success and in turn set myself up and our partnership up for success.” So I’ll also linked to that quiz and to the Keep it Together Masterclass.

07:58 Now at the time that you are listening to this, I am actually going to be running a special to celebrate my four years at AllTheThingsIDo.com during the month of April I will be running a special on the class and you will get it for a very, very low price. It’s usually $97 so I’m really, really excited and I think that you will get so much out of this masterclass. The main takeaways of this is to discover how you work and be able to identify what elements you need to put in place in your environment to be your best, most productive self. I encourage you, once again, even if you don’t want to take the masterclass, take the quiz and see what result you get. Feel free to email me and if you feel like that’s not the right one for you, and we can see maybe you’re a hybrid, maybe you are a mixture of two.

08:57 We can talk about that. We can see what your answers are and just how you really work the best because I want you to be productive. That’s what this is all about. My podcast is all about creating a world where we can find the things to prevent our anxiety from being triggered. And when you know how you work and you can set yourself up for the most success, that’s one less thing that may trigger that anxiety. So thank you so much for listening.  Until next time, this has been great as crushing anxiety.

10:01 And in case you’re wondering what work style I am, I am the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Worker. I took the quiz. I wasn’t actually sure what I would get to be totally honest. I feel like I have a little bit of aspects of all of them, which most people do when it comes to certain tasks. if you want to hear what the broad definition is of the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Worker. “You decided a long time ago you would sleep when you’re dead. Late nights and early mornings are a regular thing in your house. This is the sal might also show up in your personal life, agreeing to every outing and invite, or it may be a strict, be strictly a work habit. Unlike the yes woman, you aren’t saying yes to other people, you’re saying yes because you genuinely have a desire to do at all.”  Yeah. That is me.

Listen Here:

Mentioned in this episode

Work Style Quiz

Keep It Together Master Class

You can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform:

Sticher

iTunes

Google Play

Thanks for listening! <3

Did you enjoy this episode?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:

  • Did you take the quiz? What style did you get?
  • What is something you need in your environment to be productive?
  • What is one distraction you can’t get past?

Behind The Anxiety: Open Letter About Depression

You may not watch soap operas. You might think they are silly and over dramatic but for most of the past 29 years, The Young & The Restless has been a part of my life. I started watching like most people did, because of an older relative. Before I started going to school I would watch the show daily with my grandpa. After I started school it became a staple of the summer. So much so that I started recording it on VHS each day. Yes, I just aged myself. Then it became a hit or miss once I started college but once I got a DVR, forget about it. It was on like donkey kong.

That’s my fun way of saying I still watch every episode of the show.

As a lifer not only do I watch the show but I keep up with the cast on social media. You can imagine my shock when I woke up hungover Monday after the Superbowl to learn that Kristoff St. John had been found dead. Kristoff St. John has played Neil Winters on Young and The Restless for 27 years. A talented actor and a fan favorite. The last few months his presence has been sporadic at best. So much so that on the last episode he was on I remember squalling “Neil! My man!” when he appeared on the screen. “My man,” was kind of Neil’s catchphrase/greeting and from what I can tell may have also been Kristoff’s.

Dia, why are you going on about a soap opera star? Like sure death is sad but how much does this affect you?

The truth, more than you think. While the exact cause of his death is still up in the air most of the people familiar with his story are assuming 1 of 2 things,  suicide or a broken heart. A few years ago his son killed himself while in a mental health facility and he never truly recovered from the loss. So even if he didn’t kill himself his son’s death probably played some role in him dying at 52.

I feel like mental health is this big shameful thing. No one wants to talk about. People don’t get it. They say “Cheer up buttercup.” or “Can’t you just be happy,” like you’re choosing to be anxious or depressed. They say these things and all you hear is “I don’t want to deal with your pain. Can you pretend everything is fine so I’m comfortable? You’re such a burden.

If you’re never excused yourself from a meeting to sob uncontrollably in the bathroom because everything felt like too much….

If you’ve never doubted if you could live another day this way….

If you’ve never felt guilty for being so sad when things look so good to the outside world and you know things could be worse….

If you’ve never written a suicide note…

Looked too long and too hard at a bottle of pills…

Didn’t want to die but weren’t sure how you could live….

You’re lucky.

I’m not writing this to ruin your mood. I’m writing this for a few reasons.

  1. To explain why I do what I do. I know a podcast where I talk to some of the best minds in the business might seem like just a fun hobby but it’s stories like this. Anxiety and depression are very real and if hearing that you’re not alone or that it’s totally normal to feel like giving up or to cry in the shower…car…supermarket. As much as I love talking to these women, messages telling me how much someone related to a story or how grateful they are for the podcast it lights me up.
  2. To beg you not to say insensitive statements to people who seem sad all the time. Sometimes an “It’s not that big of a deal.” “Be positive,” may be well intended but can only alienate someone dealing with depression even more. You don’t have to let their feelings “bring you down” but just be supportive. Sometimes if you just listen it can be a huge help. Just say “I’m here for you.” Don’t try to fix it. When they push you away, and they might know that they appreciate the love and support even if they can’t deal with it at the moment.
  3. To ask you to educate yourself on mental health. While some of the stigmas have decreased around mental health unless you deal with it, either personally or through a loved one, it can be hard to understand. If you subscribe to the “just be happy,” mindset consider doing some research on the medical aspects of it, that might be easier to comprehend than the feelings part of it. Don’t stigmatize them if they feel like medication is what they need to do. It’s a personal choice and not an easy one.
  4. To remind you to check in with your loved ones. Even the happy ones. Because more often than you’d think the biggest smiles hide the most pain-filled hearts. Again, you don’t have to push or even ask “how are you,” but maybe just a “I love you, or a “I’d love to see you,” can mean the world when you feel alone.

There has been such an outpouring of love for Kristoff since his passing Sunday and I don’t doubt he had people who loved and supported him in life. Even as someone who suffers from anxiety and depression I can’t even imagine what the loss of his son in such a tragic way did to him.

Finally, #5 if you ever need to talk please feel free to email me. I may not be able to respond right away but I will respond. I’m not a therapist or mental health professional but I know sometimes talking to someone who gets it is a great start.

I love you, I love you, I love you,

Dia