It’s been a stressful year for people everywhere, to say the least. For Houstonians, when Hurricane Harvey hit, our lives didn’t stop. What are normally the mundane, everyday scenarios we find ourselves in are now just extra on top of whatever we’re dealing with in the aftermath.

The same could be said for families of Las Vegas victims, our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico or those picking up their lives after the northern California wildfires. The added layer of shit to deal with takes a toll on a person, not just mentally, but physically. On the hunt for tools and ways to cope with ALL OF THE THINGS, I found this TED Talk by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist who is determined to make “stress your friend.”

Using clinical studies, Kelly suggests that it’s possible to make stressful situations and our responses to that stress HEALTHY. If you believe your body’s reaction to stress is a means of preparation to rise to the occasion, you’re less likely to die from stress.

She even makes a case for surrounding yourself with people to support you, and people who you can support thanks to the effects of the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin on your body.

I hope Kelly McGonigal’s words help you like they have me.

Here’s to a brighter 2018.

—Jess, @jbierman87