Ah, overalls. Nothing says don’t take it too seriously like an adult in overalls. :)
And that’s exactly what I need right now. A good dose of don’t take it too seriously.
It’s easy to worry. It’s easy to feel like I need to have it all figured out, like yesterday. It’s easy to feel tense and forget to enjoy the journey.
So today, I’m reminding myself to loosen up a bit. And sometimes, I get the message a little quicker if I embody it on the outside. So, overalls. :)
Two other things that help me get the message?
AN UPLIFTING BOOK
This year, I’ve been learning more about yoga and I’m working my way through Meditations on the Mat by Rolf Gates — a book I would highly recommend if you’re the slightest bit interested in yoga. Just yesterday, I read this:
“Years of consistent [yoga] practice are not built on rigid self-discipline; they are built on the desire to know more.”
As soon as I read it, I felt lighter. It reminded me that, no matter what the culture around me says, life is less about the results and more about the process. It’s not about controlling everything around us or getting it perfect every time — it’s about approaching everything around us with curiosity.
HAPPY + RELAXING TUNES
Music can work wonders on my mood. When I need to quiet my mind, I listen to my Morning Tea playlist. It’s all uplifting, instrumental music — like what you would hear at a spa or yoga class.
When I want to unwind, I listen to my Patio Dinners playlist. It’s a mix of 60’s and 70’s soul mixed with some modern R&B and indie. The vibe is happy and a little nostalgic. I can’t help but smile when I listen to it … and it pairs well with a glass of wine. Just sayin’. :)
• • •
So tell me, what helps you loosen up a bit when you’re feeling stressed or taking things too seriously? Do you gravitate towards fun/playful clothes? Share away — I’d love to get some ideas from you!
Photo Credit: Katie Jameson
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01 | Grey Tee (old by Everlane) | similar
02 | Overalls (old by Madewell) | similar | similar (under $100)
03 | Shoes (old by Madewell) | similar (on sale) | similar (made responsibly) | similar slide (made responsibly + on sale)
04 | Round bag by Baggu (made responsibly) | similar (on sale)
laura lee franks says
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend listening to the “On Being” podcast where Krista interviews Matthew Sanford, a paraplegic yoga instructor. And his autobiography “Waking”, is super. It discusses his accident, injury and his relationship to his body. (i practice mainly, but not exclusively, Iyengar yoga – love it!)
Thank you for the recommendation, Laura! :)
KateY lEE says
Thanks for the recommendation on the book “Meditations on the Mat.”
I will definitely add this to my reading list!
Besides music and reading, I have been turning to this website as a source for relaxation. It has beautiful live views of different cities in the world. And I enjoy watching sunrises and sunsets of different places. It reminds me how large the world is when worries and frustrations come my way.
And of course, how beautiful our world truly is. Below is the link:
Yes, I agree :) Mostly it makes sense to take it not too seriously. But you look seriously absolutely cool in your overall!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
What do I do when I’m stressed? Probably just keep thinking circular and intrusive thoughts about the topic I’m stressed about, then say “So what?” and think about the actual consequences of whatever I’m worried about and realize that it won’t end in me 1) losing any family members or 2) losing my place to live and then realize it is just no big deal after all.
As for music, Wendy Carlos “Sonic Seasonings” or Brian Eno “Music for Airports”!!!
Rebelle Kitchen says
You rock those overalls, girl! I have been wanting to get into music more and those playlists sound right up my alley. Looks like I’ll need to sign up for Spotify. I tend to listen to podcasts, but then at the end of the day I realize I haven’t given my brain a single second to “turn off”. Music it is!
Meg O. says
I love Medtitations on the Mat!! It’s one of my favorite yoga books, and makes the philosophy really accessible. I’ve been practicing yoga for a couple of decades now (feels so weird to say that), and it’s helped me to help myself through some tough times, family crises, and even just the “restless spring crazies.”
Walks in nature help me a ton, too, as does gardening (when I have a space to do it).
And those overalls are adorbs. :)
OMG Meg! Yes — the “restless spring crazies” is a real and accurate feeling. :)
I used to gravitate toward color when I needed a dose of fun, but my closet has become a more neutral-toned territory. Since I work in an office setting, I tend to reach for pieces or accessories with unexpected details to liven things up. I have to be careful since I work at a college though – I’m mistaken for a student enough as it is! My outfits have to reflect me – and a more established, professional version of me.
You went off-color with the bag and the shoes! I love it. :) Especially since the shirt is grey/black and the hardware on the overalls is brassy.
I tend more towards lounge-wear when things get serious, and my antitode is a healthy dose of stand up comedy. Netflix usually has a great variety, and it often leads to seeing a show when the comedian is scheduled to be in my neck of the woods.
I did, Jackie! Went a little crazy ;) I figured the dark shoes worked with the dark top (still bookends, right?!) and, as you pointed out, the bag plays off the brass hardware. :) Good eye!
Hi caroline ~ (this is only in caps for some reason…not yelling) I just wanted to say I can empathize with the “serious season” & your blog has been a bright point in my days as I process through my experience. I have found your ideas to be very cathartic. I am enjoying simplifying not only my wardrobe, but it has overflowed to other areas of life too now! :) #konmari anyone? haha… I hope you will be encouraged to know that your posts go way beyond simplified fashion inspo to challenge thinking and hearts to find joy in the simplistic beauty of life. looking forward to checking out the playlists! ~ erica
sooo…I guess not in caps when it posts. oh well! :)
that confused me too the first time i commented :D
I love the outfit with the overall!
I tend to go for colour too – either floral long dresses or printed scarfs.
Often we tend to feel stressed due to small not very relevant things. I personally find that it is important to change the perspective to a more positive attitude.
After a busy day I do sport, walk in nature or listen to my favorite music. Cooking can be relaxing too. And talking to a friend/ partner of course.
Great suggestions, Lena. Thanks! :)
Everyone needs a way to decompress and remind ourselves it’s ok to have a little fun along the way. You show us this everyday with your infectious smile! No matter what the day has held, when I walk in the door “home” is what relaxes me and gets me ready to face it all again tomorrow.-Laurel Bledsoe
Anna W says
Jeans, jeans, jeans. And anything comfortable. I’m still easing in to this whole “working remotely means I can dress in whatever I want” thing, but I have loved the option to throw on a nice pair of jeans and a comfy top and just be comfortable and not care. I also love audiobooks and podcasts to listen to while I’m doing chores, like cleaning up after dinner or folding clothes.
Denim forever, Anna! :)
I always enjoy your playlists!
Kay Nguyen says
Love how you nailed the overall look without looking like a kid! Great outfit as always <3
It sounds like you’re dealing with some difficult things right now. I’m not sure what you meant by “like yesterday”. Emotions? Expectations? Fears? Anyway, I’m sorry and I hope you’re able to find some peace and inspiration. <3
For the most part, I just let my feelings be what they are. I don't try very hard to force myself to loosen up.
My normal state is usually pretty serious and thoughtful. When I was young used to think there was something wrong with me because my teachers and classmates were always telling me to light up and relax and have fun. For me, it's pleasant to be pensive and solemn, and to take most things seriously. (Turns out, my temperament makes a pretty good therapist, and I have no problem listening to sad, hopeless stories all day!)
My husband tends to shrug when I tell him I'm feeling uptight and irritable. "They're just feelings. Everyone feels that way sometimes. It will change." Being able to let my emotions be what they are without judging them or trying to change them is a great way to let go of them. They become like the wind, blowing up, then blowing away.
My dad always quoted this tongue-twister:
There was a man who was always feeling of his feelings to feel how his feelings were feeling. And every time he felt of his feelings to feel how his feelings were feeling, he felt that his feelings weren't feeling quite as good as they felt the last time he felt of his feelings to feel how his feelings were feeling!
So: I identify and acknowledge my feelings. Then I allow myself the space to feel them without demanding that they justify themselves. Then I get on with whatever it is I want to do. And if I get caught in a feedback loop, I get involved in something outside myself. Walking outside, a creative project, reading, cleaning house, etc.
Hi MK, thanks for the thoughtful comment and sharing about your temperament and what works for you. I agree that it’s so important to identify and acknowledge our feelings and in turn, find little ways to cope with them.
Oh, and my “yesterday” comment just meant there are things that are overdue — they should’ve been figured out yesterday. ;)
Ryan S says
I’m reading a book right now that goes hand in hand with “not taking life too seriously” and I feel like you might enjoy it. It’s called The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*** by Mark Manson. It’s wonderful and empowering. He has excerpts on his blog as well. I highly recommend looking it up. :)
Ryan, sounds right up my alley! Haha :)
Pauline mckinney says
Hi Caroline- I wanted to start by thanking you! Your blog has helped me in my style journey! I love love that you show my how to wear things- not just one way, but many ways.Pieces I never would have invested in before, and suddenly possible, because I see how you wear them, and love them! If there’s one life skill I have, it’s finding play.
Here’s a few things I do when things get heavy for me:
1. “Find the good” It’s a mantra that’s been in my husband’s family since his mom was a little girl. When I don’t have much time, and I need to feel lighter- I think about finding the good. In life. In now.
2. Laugh. I love laughing! I’ve put together a playlist on youtube of videos that make me laugh. It’s go babies laughing, silly animals, and impractical jokers clips in there :)
3. Yoga. Oh my goodness. Yoga has become such a wonderful way for me to find play, lightness, and ease in my life. Here’s my go to: https://www.codyapp.com/plans/wring-it-out?ref=coach_meghancurrie_list_12
Meghan Currie has been an incredible teacher- and her wring it out series literally helps me wring out the shit in my head. It bubbles up all the crap for me, and simmers it out.
4. Wine. God I love wine.
These are great, Pauline. Thanks for those suggestions! :)
Grey does not help your mood at all. Please look at this resistance towards color. It’s the ego keeping you from enjoying life more. With a yellow t-shirt, this outfit brings you more joy and more freedom.
A book that will make you feel better is It’s just my nature by Carol Tuttle. :)
I think you look beautiful in grey, Caroline. I feel good in grey too. If I was going to wear color with this outfit, it would be red or burgundy.
I think grey looks nice too – I love color, but grey is probably my favorite neutral color, and if it makes me feel happy to wear it, I will!
I love reading, and cooking to wind down and forget the rest. I also practice yoga and find it’s a great mental-emotional exercise as well as a physical one. It’s definitely a help for not taking oneself too seriously. You fall out of a pose ridiculously, or I don’t know what happens to you after 3-legged dog, but if I couldn’t laugh at myself I’d die of embarrassment, so there’s that, too.
Anyway, on a related note, I’d love to see an overview of your activewear wardrobe. Have you done this? If not, I’m interested :)
Thanks for keeping it real!
Hey Jean, I will definitely keep an athletic gear post on my list of things to do! :)
The quote you chose is a great reminder! What helps me lighten up are great reminders.
I try to figure out how to add a little ‘happy’ in my day to day – whether that’s spending time reading a book outside, having a few squares of chocolate, or taking a bath. i think that sometimes it’s good to bring the ‘special’ into the every day rather than just special occasions!
You’re absolutely right, Sarah! :)
Katie Sartz says
Love a good, relaxing playlist. You look so cute in those overalls like they were made for you. Seriously applaud you for following a mostly capsule wardrobe. Thanks for sharing!
I always feel much more relaxed when I wear something light in colour! For example a white jeans, it just instantly lifts my mood :) also music is a huge factor for me, I find coldplay really calming…
I love your Morning Tea playlist! I listen to it often when I also need uplifting. Thank you!
irene \ hint of grey says
You rock that overall, Caroline! To loosen up.. I shop haha! I mostly window shop, or shall we say browser shop. Seeing pretty clothes online just makes me happy!
http://www.hintofgrey.com | Hint of Grey
I enjoy your casual way of dressing, mostly solid colors, very subtle color combos. What do I do when I am stressed? Listen to meditation music, take a walk in nature, lie on the grass and stare at the clouds, enjoy my garden to see what’s new, walk my dog, pet and cuddle my cat, and sometimes just focus on posture and breathing.
McKenzie Morgan says
Oh Caroline, I swear you’ve never looked bad in a single outfit ever! Overalls are the absolute best and never fail to put a smile on my face. Have a great day, hun!
Donna Parks says
Caroline, I have followed you for a couple of years and just today I realized who your father-in-law is. He has helped four people in my family. Small world!!
Tanya E says
Oh, I’m going to check out that book! I’m just getting over a summer cold so your post is timely. Things that make me feel better:
1) another vote for yoga, this morning I did Yoga with Adriene Yoga when you’re feeling sick, to ease me in after a couple of days of rest, nice and restorative
2) walk outside
3) another one who wears grey or loungewear , as it’s soft and comforting
4) music can definitely lift your mood, I will check out your playlists
Lots of other great recommendations on here too.
Jenn Rairdan says
Is the bag color called Saddle? Shop bob doesn’t have it anymore and am trying to find on baggus website!
Carolina barcelos says
I was exactly thinking about this today, about what I really like to do, to use when I whant to loosen up. I used to think that was food and candies, but I stopped to think and realized that isntead I like to read blogs! To put the Reading of them in day, because is something that in the agitated routine I don’t have time, so when I what to stop and enjoy a little, I read blogs, like yours.