First Understand, Then Destroy Stress

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”
– F. D. Roosevelt, 1932

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
– B. McFerrin, 1988

Most of us know enough not to disagree openly with unassailable pillars of wisdom like those above. But somehow, we also have a hell of a time putting them into practice in real life. And yet if we could just get those simple things to click in our heads, we could improve almost every aspect of our lives – permanently.

I’m no exception – while I grew up generally happy, I was prone to worry and fear over some pretty irrational things. I worried when I didn’t get good enough marks on important tests in school. I fretted after the end of each of my silly high school romances. Even major traffic injustices were enough to get the odd windshield-cracking batch of profanity out of me. Luckily I ended up in the relatively low-stress career of software engineering, otherwise work might have gotten to me too.

I was also fortunate to have the stress-relieving factors of a nice bicycle commute to and from work each day, and a peaceful social life with no relationship drama at home. So overall, stress was not a big factor in life.

All this changed shortly after retirement in the the mid-2000s – right when I was supposed to be enjoying the good life. Some bad times occurred in my hobby house-building company (as described in Mr. Money Mustache’s Big Mistake). To make that long story short, I experienced mental stress more severe than at any point before in my life. Suddenly I couldn’t sleep or eat properly, I lost 25 pounds of weight within just a few weeks, and all sorts of bizarre things started going wrong with my body.

The silly part of it all was that looking back, I had very little to worry about. I came out of the situation just fine and happier than ever, and the financial implications were negligible, or perhaps even positive over the long run. And yet the younger version of me was so untrained at dealing with stress, he couldn’t even see it.

So let’s take a little look at Stress right now, in order to understand how just about anyone can get out of their world of worry, and back onto the party platter where they belong.

Once I realized that I was treading into Crazy Man territory, I turned to my usual source for help – The Library. I went to one of the catalog computers, typed “stress” into the search box, and hit enter.

My problem was solved instantly, because it turns out that stress is a big thing in our species, and it always has been. But if you haven’t studied up on it, you’re still a victim, rather than a student, of its effects. Here are just a few of the titles on stress that came up:

The stress less workbook : simple strategies to relieve pressure, manage commitments, and minimize conflicts / Jonathan S. Abramowitz.
Building blocks for controlling stress : learning to make stress a friend, not an enemy : 20 philosophies to help you understand and control the different ways stress attacks your life / Richard Flint.
Stress relief for life : practical solutions to help you relax and live better / Mike Ronsisvalle.
Overcoming anxiety for dummies / by Charles H. Elliott and Laura L. Smith.

Those happen to be a few from my own library, but the exact titles don’t matter – almost any book on the subject will do.  The key is just to dig in and start reading a few of these things. Once you do, you’ll learn some interesting things about stress:

It starts in your mind, but it affects your whole body: Just by worrying about things, you can suppress your own immune system, clog up your arteries to create heart disease, and mess up just about every other system in your body. These effects are scientifically documented, which effectively makes Worrying the worst disease there is.

It’s totally useless in modern life: The human body’s reaction to stress evolved to help us survive in fight-or-flight situations. Your heart rate and breathing accelerate, hair stands on end, Adrenaline and Cortisol shoot into your blood stream. Pain perception decreases, higher reasoning is suppressed in favor of fast muscular action. You get edgy and emotional, and you are ready to kick some ass. These are all great things if a lion is chasing you down on the savanna, or even if a misguided redneck is grabbing hold of your collar in a bar. But they are not appropriate responses to your boss suggesting an overly optimistic deadline for your project, or a driver accelerating too slowly in front of you at the green light.

Yet many people experience it for a good portion of every day: Without understanding the stress response, most people just assume it is inevitable. “My boss is such a BITCH!! I can’t believe she just WALKED IN HERE, and DROPPED THOSE PAPERS ON MY DESK!! I HAVE TO GET HOME TO MY KIDS AND IT’S ALREADY SIX ‘O’ CLOCK!! AAAAUUUUUURRRRGGGHH!!!!!”.

Modern life does indeed present its injustices. Traffic jams do indeed suck, and your boss is indeed a bitch. But what we don’t realize is that we can control the way we respond to these things. Most importantly, we all have the ability to train ourselves not to feel the standard stress response.

Mental stress can be virtually eliminated with just a little Practice: Once you know that mental stress is both simple and ridiculous, you are well-armed to defeat it. The trick is just to catch yourself right as you start to get riled up, and then go through a series of calming reminders:

“Oh… nice try there, Stress. I know what you’re trying to do. But I’m not taking your shit today. My heart is slowing back down, my breathing is deep and relaxing. I’m not being chased by a tiger, there is no gun barrel against my temple, and absolutely none of my vital organs are hanging out. I’m in a great place right now with shelter, plenty of food, and a nice, prosperous, and safe life. In fact, I think I’ll take this opportunity to stand up and stretch a little bit, and even bust out a few smiles!”

That’s right – every time you feel the Incorrect Tap of the Finger of Stress on your back, use it as an excuse to stand up, stretch your fingers to the ceiling, and issue a defiant grin.  This technique alone can save your life, despite the fact that I just made it up right now. And there are many more available in almost any book on the subject, including:

  • Use a timer to schedule breaks from your work at least every 90 minutes. During the break, get up off your hindquarters, walk around and stretch, then before returning to work, close your eyes, put your palms together and remind yourself how good you’ve got it. Now resume, feeling better than ever.
  • Practice the Low Information Diet: avoid TV news programs like the plague, and focus on reading only things which are relevant to your immediate life. No gossip magazines, no stories about trapped Chilean miners, the moment’s political polls, or tragic murders of people you don’t know.
  • Make the last hour of every evening Gadget-Free*. The internet goes off, the phones go downstairs on the charger, and all that’s left is you experiencing a life like someone might have had 50 years ago. What will you do? Light some candles? Bust out your acoustic guitar? Or just read some paper books?

Similarly, from now on you will not allow stress to become a valid topic of conversation. “I’m really stressed at work”, or “This is stressing me out!” will become phrases used only for comic relief. You might acknowledge that you felt some incorrect stress at work or at home – but it will always be paired with the acknowledgement that the stress was something in your own head, not a valid and unavoidable part of the outside world.

As you get better at identifying the stress and shrugging it off safely, you will be amazed at how silly a problem it is. People are raving, shouting, and dying over this stuff every day, even while YOU can learn to be free of the whole mess.

The end result is a bunch more of all the things we associate with Mustachianism: extra health due to fewer stress hormones. Extra wealth due to being more effective at difficult tasks. And extra happiness due to not worrying about things that don’t deserve to be worried about. I’d love to go back and tell my past self all this stuff to save a bunch of trouble. But I’m content knowing that all of us can still benefit from it for the rest of our lives.


* this rule may destroy the excellent rush of traffic that this website gets late every night long after I’m asleep… but so be it. Also, if you’re a night owl and do your best work after midnight, all while leading a happy and stress-free life, feel free to ignore the rule completely.

  • rlabersmith October 31, 2012, 5:13 am

    Yoga works great for me. It’s free, you don’t need any fancy equipment or even much space to practice, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, there are hundreds of free videos at the library or online. Most good instructors focus not only on physical postures, but on connected breathing and mental focus too, so it’s great for your body, soul and mind. And it’s much cheaper than Prozac!

  • DoubleDown October 31, 2012, 9:37 am

    Great post with great advice.

    I’d like to add to everyone reading: Notice that you are still HERE, right now. Notice that despite all the times in your life when you thought everything was a mess or crashing down or with impossible deadlines to face, you managed to get through it and here you are, just fine, probably relatively comfy and cozy.

    So the next time some problem comes along that tempts you to stress out, follow MMM’s advice, and remember that you always get through these times, no need to worry about it. I think a wise man once said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

  • DoubleDown October 31, 2012, 10:06 am

    To spin MMM’s great advice about not worrying in a slightly different way that might help folks tempted to think, “But my problems are different! ANYONE would stress about these problems!”:

    Follow your fears to their logical conclusion, and realize how silly they are. Unless you are truly in that flight or fight moment, your fear will melt away. Like MMM said, it’s all about perspective.

    For example, before my “aha” moment about stress came in college, I was flipping out over an assignment that I had due. I was stumped on the assignment, and worrying horribly about not completing it and failing. Then it occurred to me, what would happen if I completely blew it on the assignment?

    Following that line of thought, I figured, I could get an F on that assignment. Or more realistically, maybe a C or D since I had at least tried. And even if I failed the assignment, couldn’t I ask the professor to redo it for possibly a higher grade?

    But worst case, even if I got an F, it was one part of the whole class. So it didn’t mean I would fail the class. But let’s say it was the final exam, and I failed it, and also failed the class? It’s one class out of maybe 50 needed to graduate. That is, about 4%. And couldn’t I always repeat the class if needed? Sure I could. Or I could stick with the failed grade, and it would barely make a dent in my GPA let alone the ability to graduate.

    But let’s say I failed the class, failed repeating it, and started failing all my other classes too. Would I be starving the next day? That’s surely the end of the world, isn’t it? Or maybe instead it’s a signal that I’m in the wrong major. I could always try another line of study. Or if that didn’t work out, maybe I’m in the wrong college. And if that doesn’t work out, maybe college isn’t for me. Aren’t there one hundred other options along the way besides failing out of school and becoming homeless and starving?

    So take your fear to the final logical conclusion, and you’ll probably find that it’s a tiny speck in the whole of your existence. You have so many options along the way, even if your worst fear in that moment came to fruition, you’ll find that everything works itself out in the end. You’ve already made it this far through everything! And without a doubt, worrying about your problems in the past didn’t help one bit, and only made things worse along the way, needlessly.

  • Freeyourchains October 31, 2012, 10:35 am

    Cubicle Engineering jobs should be almost completely stress free, unless people are shouting out “Emergency”, or ethics are involved in pressured grey area decisions.

    90% of the time if you work for someone else, anything they delegate to you will have a deadline to them, and will cause some form of stress on you, for their greater benefit, or the greater benefit of the overall someone else’s company. Though when you want to do something yourself, it’s fun and challenging and thus not stressful to you.

    Half the time or more when working for and under others, you will sit there bored, until they pass on the difficult work, stress, or decisions to the subordinates.

    Power struggles amongst each other, governments, and companies cause the greatest stresses in the world, just like past history with kings and kingdoms but in the financial and political realms.

  • Peggy Malone October 31, 2012, 11:06 am

    Great post and a reminder of how it is soooooo important for most people to learn stress management skills.

    I love the analogy of stress as compared to a violin.

    If the strings of a violin are strung too loosely, you won’t get beautiful music and if they are strung too tightly, they might break.

    There is a middle ground where our performance will be optimal and give us the most ‘beautiful music’.

    So stress isn’t all bad….a little bit will push you to be your best….too much (which seems to be the current common condition) can cause a breakdown in performance…and perhaps life.

    The piece of the fight or flight response that you can use to your advantage during situational episodes to better manage stress is your breath. It’s the only physiological piece of the stress puzzle that you have voluntary control over (unless you are James Bond and can slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure).

    When people are under extreme situational stress (running from the tiger), they breathe into the upper parts of their lungs only. By taking a second to breathe deep into the belly and slow the breath down, the other aspects of the stress response will also decrease which will allow you to ‘perform’ better in the situation. (and feel better)

    For chronic stress, the advice I give my patients and clients that gives the best results (and which has been mentioned in previous comments here) is all about planning.

    Brian Tracy (Author of Eat That Frog) says that for every 5-10 minutes spent planning, you will save yourself an hour in the doing. Many people run around life going from crisis to crisis and they don’t take the time to look at what they are doing long term and plan it out. (much like financial planning)

    Human beings operate best when they know what to expect. By taking time every week to plan your week, you will be more efficient, perform better, have less stress and more time. This kind of planning will also put you in a better state of mind for when unexpected stresses arise (as they do).

    It will also give you a longer time horizon which will help you to plan your way out of a bad situation that may be contributing to chronic stress.

    Here’s to calm and stress free (or at least stress managed) days for all of us!

  • partgypsy October 31, 2012, 11:40 am

    I recently went on vacation and have come back feeling like a different person, My body feels more muscular yet more toned, I have no stress-related reactions, I physically, mentally, emotionally feel good. I haven’t felt this good in a long time.
    I think it was a) being removed from usual work burdens and planning/worry b) being “forced” to have 3 solid, filling, and tasty meals, fun activities to look forward to, lots of physical activity (swimming and walking), c) ample/non-interrupted sleep d) being around my kids/spouse in a non-hectoring to-do list context e) no distractions of internet/web/email.

    Although I can’t get rid of my day to day responsibilities (nor would want to), it made me think I need to incorporate more of these components in my regular life (such as take breaks from internet, take breaks from planning), so every day I can have a “vacation” in my mind.

  • Jane October 31, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Speaking from my perspective of 56 years of life experience, I see that I spent so much time when I was younger just stressing over things that were not really that important.

    As time has gone on, I have had to face the inevitable things that getting older brings; death of close relatives and friends, serious health scares, helping friends through terrible sadnesses. This is, simply, life.

    I wish I had realised, when I was younger, that all that other stuff just didn’t matter that much! Almost exactly 2 years ago, I was spending my weekends visiting a close relative who was dying (he managed another 10 weeks, as it happens, but he knew he was already on borrowed time). We talked and laughed about all the crap we had worried about over the years, and agreed that worry was greatly overated as a passtime.

    He told me that the liberation of being in his position was that you could, if you wanted, just choose not to worry any more. In the big scheme of things, worry was pretty redundant – and a waste of our precious time. We stuck a Van the Man CD in the player, agreed that very few things were that bad really, and poured another glass of red wine (here in Europe, it is regarded as a health food so that’s alright ;)).

  • ChillyMac October 31, 2012, 7:03 pm

    Some more wisdom on worrying:

    An Irishman’s Philosophy
    In life, there are only two things to worry about—
    Either you are well or you are sick.
    If you are well, there is nothing to worry about,
    But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about—
    Either you will get well or you will die.
    If you get well, there is nothing to worry about,

    But if you die, there are only two things to worry about—
    Either you will go to heaven or hell.
    If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.

    And if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends
    You won’t have time to worry!

  • BC November 1, 2012, 10:13 am

    I have been working my way to less stress over the years, sounds corny but like everything else I see this as a journey. For me less stress comes from planning, from getting my shit together, and from being clear on what my lifelong priorities are (good health, good family, good career, secure finances, and having fun…).

    I set mental goals on what I want my life to be like and I work toward them, and at times I’ve taken untraditional routes against everyone’s advice to get there. Like 4 years ago taking a lower-level, lower paying job to get out of a stressful one and then quickly working my way back up in the new organization that was a better fit and 1,000 times less stressful. This paid off on every level of my life: family, finances, education, personal fulfillment, and mental health.

    A few other things help me reduce stress: 1) I put things to the “death bed” test. That is, will this matter on my death bed? Last week I rearranged the life of some of my coworkers to be at my son’s preschool Halloween party because on my death bed, that party will matter more than our meeting. 2) When I make a mistake I immediately try to learn from it and take some action to help make sure that I won’t repeat it. Then I get over it and stop beating myself up for it. 3) I’m a slow poke on purpose. I work with the one of the most stressed out (and ambitious) populations of people in the world. Everyone wants everything done yesterday. I turn that down a notch, to think through complex situations, to not respond to a nasty email, to let things sit a bit. I try to carry this slow poke mentality everywhere. Feeling hurried = feeling stressed = usually making bad decisions. When I feel myself going there I stop myself. Lastly, at the end of the day I check in on the basics: my family is healthy, the heat is on, there is food in the pantry. These are the things that truly matter.

  • American Debt Project November 1, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I used to stress out about everything a lot more than I do now. A few key books (Jon Kabat Zinn, David Viscott) helped me get over my stress, but more importantly to move forward and take care of business. It was easier to stress about money and wake up each morning thinking about the weight of my debt than to remember how many great things were going on all around me. Now my challenge is to continue to be mindful everyday and not just think about how much better off I am at each payday. Even though I am engaged in a journey to financial freedom right now, it doesn’t consume me. It’s just part of the things I do. It is not the be-all end-all of my life. It’s just a start to reducing my stress and increasing my potential. Great post and I love the quotes you use in each post!

  • Matt November 2, 2012, 10:31 am

    I think another helpful tactic is to constantly remind yourself of all the things in your life that make you happy, or how good you have it.

    I one point in my life I struggled with mild depression. For me, it was about my mind getting “stuck”; I was constantly ruminating negative thoughts.

    Now, what if one were to do the exact opposite? Basically get your mind “stuck” on happy thoughts? I suppose there is the whole risk of wearing “rose colored glasses”, but personally, as a naturally cynical person, I’ve got a long ways to go before that becomes a problem. :)

    I think it might be possible to loosely categorize types of stress: you’ve got the short-duration, high-intensity stress (“my boss just dumped all this on me”) versus long-running, mild stress (constantly going over all the 100s of little things we have to do). I think just taking a few moments every day to reflect on how good you have it elevates your overall mood; it directly combats the long-running, milder stress, and possibly even curbs the short, high-intensity stress.

    For me, it’s as simple as thinking about my wife and child. With each passing day, the thought about how much I care about them and how lucky I am to have them becomes increasingly profound. Just thinking about our love for each other makes any other concern seem trite.

  • Georgia November 2, 2012, 4:59 pm

    Here’s a tactic I learned while doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (it’s a type of therapy where rather than hashing over your past, you learn ways to cope with future and current problems):

    1. Identify the cause of your stress.
    2. Identify how that makes you feel.
    3. Identify how the stress may be distorting your feelings: are you magnifying a small problem? Are you unjustly labeling yourself (loser, stupid, failure, etc.)? Are you minimizing your own successes/accomplishments?
    4. Cite evidence that supports how you’re feeling. (For ex.: I feel sad because I’m a loser, because I didn’t get that client.)
    5. Cite evidence that negates how you’re feeling. (For ex.: There were lots of bids, and only one person got the client. Surely we can’t all be losers.)
    6. Come to a compromise solution/turn the stress on its head (For ex.: I didn’t get this client, but I’ve gotten clients in the past, I have clients now, and I’ll get more clients in the future. And who knows, maybe this client would have caused me more stress than I feel now.)

  • Natalie November 4, 2012, 11:10 am

    I am so guilty of making myself more stressed by talking about things that stress me out, especially pointless things that require no intervention or problem-solving. Thank you for reminding me that this is not a good idea! I am already quite frugal, although new to this blog… coping better with stress is probably the most Mustachian thing I can do with myself right now!

  • James @ Free in Ten Years November 5, 2012, 1:25 am

    Stress is also something that can get out of control and it can definitely be worth speaking to your GP about how to manage it – it’s a bit like depression for me, there is something only so much you can do yourself.

    Exercise for me has always made me less stressed. A recent change of job has made me about 1000% less stressed. Shit jobs are just not worth it! I can’t wait to be financially independent.

  • Heath November 5, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Fantastic! I laughed really really hard at these two lines…

    “Traffic jams do indeed suck, and your boss is indeed a bitch.”
    “This technique alone can save your life, despite the fact that I just made it up right now.”

    And I’m definitely of the opinion that laughter is one of the best medicines. Thanks for the pick me up (which probably went towards reducing my already low stress level).

  • Mary Kaplan November 11, 2012, 4:46 pm

    Thanks for a great post and reminder that stress is not worth our time and energy! You are so right that stress is a killer. I’ve gotten a lot better at managing it as I have gotten older and wiser. The key is to teach our kids how to manage it when they’re young. The quality of their lives will be so much better without stress!

  • Ottawa November 16, 2012, 5:14 pm

    This is a decent (free) documentary on this topic:

  • Walter January 3, 2013, 12:32 pm

    Great article. Excellent blog.

    One of my mentors had this saying “when the going gets tough the tough relax”. It has stuck with me through three startups and other interesting twists in life.

  • Me August 23, 2013, 9:41 am

    What if you don’t have a nice, safe, and prosperous life? And the people you should be able to count on the most are the main ones stressing you out, and writing you and your problems off? I feel crazy enough without talking to myself. And most people around me (friends, family, etc) think I’m just happy all the time because I keep everything bottled up. I know I could have it worse but i don’t feel like I have any sort of support system emotionally, financially, or otherwise anymore and all this stress/anxiety has manifested in physical problems and I’m only in my early 20s. :-/

  • mo September 12, 2014, 2:51 pm

    “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
    ― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

    “Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
    ― Eckhart Tolle

    “Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
    ― Eckhart Tolle.

    “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
    ― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

    “Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight
    of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.”
    ― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

    “In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.”
    ― Eckhart Tolle

  • Vanessa October 7, 2014, 2:51 am

    I think I know a bit about stress.

    I’m a family doctor in christchurch, New Zealand. A few years back our city has nearly flattened by a series of large earthquakes. People died, buildings were destroyed (basically everything was fucked). We lived through about 50000 after shocks and a lot of those we’re over 4.5 on the Richter scale. People adapted to this level of stress and for most it was business as usual to sort of cock your head to the side and wait when you heard one coming and decide if it was enough to get you off your arse and take cover. Cortisol possibly wasn’t raised after a while, but there was at least a month or more for most people where life was fairly extreme- no water, power and stinking mud in the streets. Sewers were fucked and we had to dig holes in the backyard and had make-shift toilets. I remember feeling spoiled when we had a port-a-loo delivered to our street:).

    Other people are still scared shitless all the time.

    The difference is resilience. Some people have it and others don’t. It can be developed like all other aspects of the human mind. Relaxation techniques are a great tool. What I’ve learned about stress is that it is a form of exercise for the brain that will make you stronger if you understand it. You are developing that resilience muscle.

    • Nidiyao April 25, 2015, 5:39 am

      A brilliant post, Vanessa. The key seems to be developing resilience if you are naturally lacking. Meditation, gratitude, optimism, forgiveness are all important in coping with stress. The How Of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky is a great book full of self tests and scientifically proven ways to increase happiness. One of the tools in the book is avoiding overthinking and social comparison, which I think are big causes of stress.

    • Plastic Kiwi February 2, 2016, 8:08 pm

      We lived through it too Vanessa and I stress about stuff way less now than pre-quake. We both survived – near misses, and I’m sure EVENTUALLY we’ll get paid out on the house! Everything else pales when you fear for your life. Kia Kaha.

  • Mel September 6, 2015, 1:05 pm

    I know this post was made several years ago, but wanted to add my own suggestion of reading books by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He’s been involved in developing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction which is an empirically validated treatment for stress/anxiety (and has been quite popular in the medical and corporate world). His approach is in line with what MMM discusses and many of the comments. The titles of his books don’t always stand out as being helpful for stress, but they are good resources. Some titles of interest are “Full Catastrophe Living” and “Wherever You Go, There You Are.” Both of these books were originally published 20+ years ago, were popular, and are likely in your library! He has some more recent books that you can also check out if you’re library is that hip and up-to-date.

  • Bill October 26, 2015, 2:37 pm

    >Luckily I ended up in the relatively low-stress career of software engineering,

    Um, what? The two-month release I just finished up wants to argue with you, but it’s too tired.

  • Be September 21, 2016, 10:53 am

    I wish I had read this a year and a half ago. Thank you for sharing your experience and solutions.
    Also, I find that the twitter account @WeRateDogs helps with the grinning exercise – though my coworkers do think I’d odd chuckling to myself at my desk.

  • EarningAndLearning May 24, 2017, 4:20 pm

    Thank you for the reminder to cut out the screentime a few hours before bed. There is so much research that all that blue light hitting our retina until 9, 10 o’clock or even later, messes up our ability to fall asleep and our sleep quality. I really need to make that a rule for myself, to get off the screens by…. 9 pm to start, then work down to 7 pm. :)

    Since you got me watching my electricity bill like a hawk, I unplug both my modems before bed. I’ll just have to start u plugging them earlier, and just cut myself off from internet or streaming movies.


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