UNITED STATES—I’ve had a few tough weeks juggling personal problems in addition to work and health. Last week, I started to feel some significant pain in my left leg. I gave it about 24 hours to see if the pain would subside, because if I’m being honest it was not pleasant. I take myself to urgent care where I discover that I’ve possibly damaged my Achilles. I’m thinking to myself, whoa, that cannot be good because that is a serious muscle, it controls movement and if I have to have surgery, I’m going to be out of commission for several weeks.

The doctor gave me some meds and told me to just try not to overextend myself in the coming week and to ensure a follow-up with my primary care doctor in a week as it may take that long for the Achilles to subside. I’m praying to the powers that be that it’s just a slight strain because I was a bit more active in the past week than in previous week. Hell, I’m trying to take my health serious America because I know how vital that is for my overall health in the long run. Perhaps the one thing I was most worried about was my blood pressure, which to my surprise, it was normal. Why?

I have been stressed beyond being stressed the past 2-3 weeks. I cannot recall the last time I had a decent amount of sleep. I feel like as soon as I close my eyes, I’m opening them to start the day and my body is being pushed to work when my mind is simply saying: STOP YOU NEED TO REST! It has come to my attention that I am doing too much and I have to cut back and stop worrying about everything that I cannot control. Whatever happens is going to happen; I cannot change it and worrying myself to death about it does not help me in the long run.

The good thing is amidst all this stress, I’m not allowing it to hinder my eating habits. I’m still focused on cooking a daily meal, not eating out, exercising rigorously at least 30 minutes to an hour 4 to 5 days a week (a lot less this week based on doctor’s orders) and not allowing people to get on my nerves. People will indeed push your buttons because there are just some people in your orbit who are unhappy people. They lash out at others and take out their frustrations on you even though they should not be doing that at all America. I used to let those things get to me, but I’ve realized not anymore.

When my work shift ends, that’s it, my shift is over. I’m NOT checking emails anymore, I’m not responding to text messages, my shift is over. I’m not an assistant or ER doctor who is to be on call 24/7, so why had I been stressing myself out weeks, months, years prior. Stupidity. Sometimes we go overboard trying to be a people pleaser, but I’ve come to realize trying to be a people pleaser pleases the person you’re trying to impress (and that’s probably NOT the right word), and leaves you an emotional, stressed mess.

No sir America, not anymore. The focus has shifted to me. I’m focusing more and more and more on me and what I need to keep a strong mental balance. If you worry about the small stuff it ultimately turns into something bigger and bigger and bigger so much to the point that you can no longer operate without being overstressed. That’s not a good thing people and no one wants to be in that boat, but guess what the reality is: so many Americans actually are. It’s a shame because we allow some things to get the best of us, when if we just cleared our minds, took a moment to reflect and decompress we would realize the situation is not as serious as we think.

Life is all about choices, there are things we do that lead to more stress. There are things we do that can eliminate stress and then there are choices we can make that have domino effects to our entire day. Try to focus on the positive when possible. Yes, it is easier said than done with negative stimuli in your orbit. If that is the case, think about things that bring you happiness and use that as a motivator for your day. Remember sometimes, you need to take that day off. Hell, if you need to have a sick day because you just don’t have the energy to deal with whatever stress is being thrown your way, take the day. If your job doesn’t understand, well, they should be prepared to have a backup. You can never place all your eggs in one basket, because if the basket tips over than guess what you’re screwed.