Take Five to Transform Holiday Stress


“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider

There is a lot about the holidays that can impact people’s wellness. One of the biggest culprits is stress.

Holiday stress can come from overeating, or feelings of depression or overwhelment, or challenging relationships, or just too much on your to-do list.

Now I’m going to be perfectly honest and authentic with you.

I’ve been stressed the last couple of weeks.

Oh, it wasn’t the holidays. I’ve learned how to manage getting ready for the holidays in a healthy and balanced way.

None-the-less, for the first time in two years, I found myself stressed and I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me to slow down. As a result, I’m just now getting over a cold that I had for weeks.

Believe me, the irony of that was not lost on me every day when I was writing my blogs!

The thing is, your wellness and finding balance in your life is never done. You’re not likely get to a place where you can slap your hands together and say, “Woo hoo! I can check wellness off my list of things to do. Thank goodness I’ll never have any more stress again.”

New things will come along that you have to make adjustments for and that require re-finding your balance. That is part of the evolution of life.

So what threw me into serious stress mode?

It was taking my business to the next level by launching my new brand and website last week, getting ready to launch a new coaching program on January 7, and planning my first ever Love Your Way Slim beach-side retreat in April.

What I forgot is that stress is not created by the situation I am in. What I forgot is how powerful I am.

We are the creators of the limitations—and the success—that we experience. When we are stressed, we are not accurately seeing ourselves, what we are capable of, what we deserve, and the support we are receiving from the Universe.

When I was seeing myself as overworked, limited, tired, and overwhelmed, I was not seeing myself accurately.

My coach was able to help me shift my perspective slightly so that I could see myself as capable, confident, energetic, and empowered. She reminded me to ask for the support I needed, and to see the support I already had. And that slight change in perspective made all the difference in the world.

Not only did I immediately feel emotionally better, but I began feeling physically better, too. All of a sudden, I was able to see how to work in the rest and self-care I had been neglecting, and my to-do list didn’t seem so overwhelming.

The only thing that was different was my perception of who I was in relationship to what was happening.

We are all so much more powerful than most of us realize. Huge changes can be made with just a slight shift in how we see ourselves.

While it took my body reminding me of this—and to practice what I preach—the great news is I have the tools and have been able to get my body back in balance.

And even better news is I didn’t fall back into old patterns of reaching for comfort food or overeating.That is a huge win!

Now, I know I’m not the only one who has struggled with stress the last few weeks.

You may be having a really hard time right now. And the idea that your stress is a result of limited self-thinking and faulty beliefs may sound like tosh.

But the Truth is, Who you really are is capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. The key is shifting your perspective just enough so that you can begin to believe it.

One way to reach for a new thought and perspective is to quiet your mind. Even taking a 5-minute mental break can make a huge difference in how easily you can see solutions to your situation.

Make quieting your mind—even for 5 minutes—a priority over the next few days. 

Do this by:

  • Meditating
  • Going for a walk
  • Taking a nap
  • Enjoying a stress-relieving bath
  • Sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book
  • Taking 3 deep breathes

Even if all you can manage is shutting the door and actually going to the bathroom by yourself, that can be enough to help clear your mind.

Then remind yourself that you are capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. Harness the power of your self-perception.

I know 5 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but consistently quieting your mind for even just a few minutes a day—and then reminding yourself of Who you really are—can have a profound impact on your physical and emotional health.

When you feel better, you’re better able to take care of your family—and be the version of you that your family actually wants to be around!

Make it a priority today to take a few minutes to quiet your mind and remember Who you really are. What difference does that make in your stress-level? What difference does that make in how much you enjoy your holidays?

Together we can do it!


My blog is moving! To keep following my posts after January 15, you will need to follow my new blog, at LoveYourWaySlim.com. I look forward to continuing the journey with you!

Love Your Way Slim

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

-Lucille Ball

Often, women who struggle to release weight are love-starved.

Oh, you may have plenty of people who love and adore you, but you don’t feel loved.

Perhaps you’re so afraid of being judged that you refuse to completely open your heart to others. Or you have expectations of how people should love you that aren’t being met. Or you’re so self-critical, that you believe yourself to be unlovable.

Overeating is often an attempt to find the love you crave and fill the void in your heart with food. It is another way of looking in the wrong place to feel comforted and loved.

At the root of this is the mistaken belief that love is something that is given to you, or that you have to earn or be worthy of. That love comes from outside of you. That expressions of love have to meet certain criteria before you will accept them as love.

What many women don’t understand is that they are intrinsically valuable and worthy of love. That love is the very core of Who they are.

Remember the infant you in your mother’s arms. What did you have to do to earn love? What conditions did you put on the love you were receiving? What did you have to change about yourself to be worthy of love?

Regardless of what you have said and done in this life, what you have experienced, or how you have been treated, you are just as loved, lovable, and loving as the infant you.

Allowing yourself to feel loved is key to getting the body–and life–you want.

To see lasting changes in your body, it’s important to begin to crack that shell of protection you have created and allow love to trickle in from alternative places—from All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) and from yourself.

Here are a couple of proven ways to begin to feel the love.

A powerful way to feel the love is to begin appreciating yourself. Not only can you turn your attention to those physical parts of you that you can appreciate, but also the internal parts. Begin to appreciate Who you are. Are you generous? Funny? Dedicated? Focused? Pay attention to and compliment yourself on your good qualities.

You can also appreciate the things that you do. Is the garden you have been tending overflowing with beautiful flowers? Did your kindness or compliment make someone smile? Did you get in your workout or stick to your eating plan? Count all the things you can appreciate about yourself—inside and out—and acknowledge and celebrate those things.

As you appreciate yourself, you begin to grow the love you have for yourself. You also grow the love you have to give to others.

Truly, loving yourself enough to take care of you—body, mind, and spirit—is what gives you the physical and spiritual capital to spend on others. 

“Life is here for you to live to the fullest. Take your courage in your hands and move out into Life. Ask for what you want. Believe that you deserve it, and then allow Life to give it to you.”

Louise Hay

Together we can do it!

Get Back on Track After Thanksgiving Treats

I ate more than usual over this four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and I can tell. My jeans are a little tighter and I am feeling bloated.

The good news is I know that this is temporary and that with a little focus and consciousness today, I can easily get back on track.

The other good news is that I could have been so much worse! Because my parents, who were visiting, are health-conscious, too, we were able to pare down the holiday menu and make some smarter choices. My Mom made the stuffing with toasted Ezekiel bread and I mashed the sweet potatoes with only a little fresh orange juice and grated rind. Both were delicious and much better for us than the traditional recipes.

I also got in all my planned workouts, which made a huge difference in my motivation this morning when the alarm went off way before the sun came up.

Where I need to refocus is on portion size, and on using what Dr. Judith Beck calls my resistance muscle where snacks and sweets are concerned. While the olives, cheese, and cashews I was indulging in are healthy, they are also high in fat and salt. And I have found in the past, that sugar can trigger cravings that have sent my eating spiraling out of control. I am so glad we threw away the rest of the pumpkin pie last night!

To help get back on track, I have planned out what I am going to eat today, and I will be checking in with my accountability group, Fabulous Friends, on http://www.transformation.com/.

Here are some things you can do stay on track—and get back on track, if necessary—with holiday eating:

  • Where you have control over the menu, provide healthy foods.
  • Forgive yourself if you do indulge.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate where you are successful.
  • Figure out what you need to do to get back on track.
  • Create a plan that you can stick to.
  • Remove temptation—throw, give, or put away those things that trigger overeating.
  • Exercise your resistance muscle and just say “No” to yourself.
  • Reach out for support to a friend, coach, or accountability group.
  • Remind yourself of all the reasons you do want to feel great on January 2nd.

It is not the end of the world if you ate more than usual over the holiday weekend. It’s over and done with. Today is a new day to make new choices that better align with who you want to be.

Together we can do it!

Make A Different Choice for the Holidays

I was thinking that I would blog today about getting back on track with food after the big Thanksgiving meal most of us Americans ate yesterday. But as I sat down to write, I realized that for many people, it’s their emotional wellness that is more strained today then their waistbands.

I know for me, the holidays—the time that’s supposed to be so magical and wonderful—was often the hardest time of year.

Part of this was because of the temptation of all the extra food around. And then there was the inner conflict of wanting to celebrate with food and then feeling guilty about it, or resisting it and then feeling deprived and resentful. Both the feelings of guilt or resentment might lead to overeating.

There was the stress caused by my perception of family expectations that I didn’t feel like I could live up to, and worse, my own expectations that everything had to be perfect. This meant I would pack too much into my to-do list. It would be a real challenge when my priorities weren’t shared by others, which would leave me feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Again I might turn to food to try to comfort myself and to deal with the stressful feelings.

I would often start the New Year five pounds heavier, or I might have a physical and emotional hangover from all the food that I had eaten and the resulting feelings of self-loathing that might last till spring.

There’s a lot about this time of year that can impact people’s wellness—whether it’s gaining weight, or having your emotional wellness impacted by depression, overwhelment, and stress, as well as challenging relationships.

The typical things that can throw people out of balance during the holidays include:

Unmet expectations—we might be trying to live up to a romanticized notion of how the holidays should be, either from our memories of when we were a kid or from how the holidays are portrayed in the movies. Or we may be trying to make everything perfect—for ourselves or for others. This is something Mom’s can really struggle with because they want to make things perfect for their kids.

Other people’s expectations—we can be dealing with expectations of how we should behave, or our perception of other people’s expectations. We may really struggle with feeling like we’re disappointing people, or we can feel like they have a negative perception of us that we can use to feel bad about ourselves.

Dwelling on negative things—we might have previous holiday-related disappointments or difficult times that haunt us this time of year.

Challenging relationships—tensions often run high during the holidays and there may be family misunderstandings and conflicts, particularly if you’re spending a lot more time together than usual. Or you may be facing the holidays without a loved one, which can also leave you feeling lonely and sad.

Extra physical demands—all the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on—can leave you wiped out. Being exhausted increases stress. Exercise and sleep—those good solutions for stress and fatigue—may take a back seat to chores and errands.

Having a different experience over the holidays is really about making different choices.

Here are some things that you can choose:

  • Take the time to meditate, exercise, and get enough rest so that you can maintain your connection to your Higher Self, and have mental clarity and physical energy.
  • Focus on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgive them for not being perfect. And forgive yourself for not being perfect.
  • Release yourself from the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness.
  • Prioritize your to-do list so that what you’re doing aligns with what you truly want out of the holidays.
  • Release the need to do everything yourself and either ask for help or let things go.
  • Focus on all the things you appreciate in your life.
  • Focus on all the reasons you want to start the New Year feeling great.
  • Celebrate each tiny thing that you do that creates your balanced and fulfilled holiday experience.
  • Reach out for support to help you get through the challenges you are facing. Ask a friend, hire a coach, or reach out to a free on-line support community, like http://www.transformation.com/.

Ultimately, getting through the holidays feeling healthy and happy is about letting go of the need to be perfect. It’s reaching for the hope and belief that life can get better and better.

Yesterday was just one day in your hopefully very long life. If it didn’t go as well as you hoped, what can you do today to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep making progress on your wellness journey?

Together we can do it!