Oh Rats! 3 Reasons You Feel Weird These Days

Is it just me or has everyone been experiencing tough times lately? A lot of people I know, myself included, are feeling stressed or burned out but are having difficulty pinpointing a specific cause. Some days it’s work, other times it’s the economy. Some times it’s lack of sleep and then it’s because of personal problems. It feels like the reason changes on a day-to-day basis.

In my conversations here at YSN.com and with my friends, I’ve blamed 3 influences for this general malaise with the status quo:

1. The Election
Let’s face it: the presidential campaigns have everyone thinking about all of the changes needed in our country and our lives. Just as we question political policies and decisions every four years, it’s always a good idea to assess your own. What have your successes been in the past few months? Years? Your failures? What do you want to change in your life? What can you change?

2. The Season
It’s finally warming up and with the changing season comes the always-fun Spring Cleaning. As you start pilfering through your old stuff deciding which items you value and which to throw out, it’s almost inevitable that you start doing the same with the rest of your life.

3. The Year of the Rat
People look at me like I’m a crazy person when I bring this up BUT hear me out! 2008 is the Year of the Rat, according to Chinese horoscope (and, no, I’m not Chinese). One of its underlying themes is productivity –getting things done – and it’s marked by possibilities, progress and trying new things. As the first sign in the Chinese horoscope, the Year of the Rat symbolizes new beginnings but it doesn’t always mean tossing aside the old. The rat is always on the move so it really means finding a way to take your life to the next level and move forward.

My best advice is that “This too shall pass” so instead of identifying problems, identify what you hope to achieve. Then put your head down, stay focused, keep doing what you can to get closer to your goals… and then go a step further.

Let me just add that it does feel like the fog is lifting slowly, and that instead of just knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I can actually see it. So hang in there! Before you know it, we’ll have a new president, the seasons will change (and then change again), and the Year of the Rat will be a thing of the past.

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