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!

Are You Being Selfish if You Take Care of You?

christmas-meditatorAre you taking care of you?

Often women are reluctant to make caring for themselves a priority. This is particularly true during the holidays.

You may feel like there is just too much to do.

All the shopping, decorating, socializing, cooking, sending out holiday cards—the list goes on and on. Plus, you may be focused on creating a magical holiday experience for your kids and family.

You may feel that taking care of you is being selfish.

The Truth is that you have to take care of yourself first to have the stamina and energy to take care of others.

Ask yourself, “Are you the best partner, mom, daughter, friend you can be if you’re over-tired? How much harder is it to get everything on your to-do list done if you don’t feel physically well?”

A common response to the idea of establishing a routine of self-care that includes getting enough sleep, exercise, healthy foods, and quiet time for self-reflection or meditation is, “I don’t have time to do those things.”

The Truth is you don’t have time NOT to do them.

Making your self-care your highest priority—even if it’s only 15 minutes a day—will give you extra energy and vitality that will enable you to be the partner, mom, daughter, and friend you want to be.

And it helps you “do” more in the time you do have.

If you only have 10 to 15 minutes a day to take care of you, what should be highest priority?

If you can do just one thing, figure out how to move your body in some wayeven if it’s just 10 minutes a day.

Exercise is powerful medicine. The list of its benefits is long and incredible. Study after study shows that exercise plays an important role in promoting sound physical and mental-health, as well as emotional well-being  If the effects of exercise could be put in a pill, everyone would want to take it.

This doesn’t have to be a long, full-blown workout. Even going for a walk around the block makes a difference and provides stress relief. It could even be vigorous vacuuming! Get creative and count everything you do.

Other simple but powerful things you can do are:

  • Take 3 deep breaths. It sounds simple, but you’ll be amazed at the shift in energy it provides. And you can do this anytime, anywhere.
  • Meditate or sit quietly or take a bubble bath for 5 to 15 minutes. Quieting your mind for just a few minutes boosts physical energy, and also makes solutions easier to see.
  • Focus on appreciating not only the blessings in your life—but also of the people in your life. This is like blazing a mental trail for how you want your life and relationships to be.
  • Take a nap! Even 10 minutes can rev up your energy and help quiet the mental strain for the rest of the day.
  • Be picky about the treats you eat. Is it really calorie-worthy? Choose healthier foods or smaller portions—most of the time—and then really enjoy the treat you do eat.

These small actions boost your wellness and well-being—and your ability to be there for the people you love. 

Establish a simple and doable routine of self-care. Actually schedule it in your calendar and do your best to work everything else around it.

Make taking care of yourself your highest priority so you have the energy and vitality to take care of others.

Together we can do it!

Nine Tips To Break the Holiday Stress Tradition

Many of you may be traveling over the next week or have visitors coming to you to celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

While the focus is on the feast, it may be your emotional wellness that is more strained than your waistband.

The holidays—the time that’s supposed to be so magical and wonderful—are often the hardest time of year.

Part of this is because of the temptation of all the extra food around.

This leads to inner conflict. You may want to celebrate with food, but then you feel guilty about it. Or maybe you’re successful at resisting all that temptation, but then feel deprived and resentful. Or you may rebel at restraining your eating and binge on everything in sight.

There may also be the stress caused by your perception of family expectations that you don’t feel like you can live up to.

Or worse, your own expectations that everything has to be perfect.

This may mean you pack too much into your to-do list.

The result is you’re challenged when your priorities aren’t shared by others, which results in family tension. Again, you might turn to food to try to comfort yourself and deal with the stressful feelings.

You put your own self-care at the bottom of the list so you aren’t taking care of you.

It may also mean you spend too much time on details that don’t really matter and miss out on the things that do. This could look like staying up late trying to get every dish looking perfect, but then you are so tired that you scream at your kids the next morning. What’s really more important to you? Having a perfect dish, or getting enough rest to be a great Mom?

All of this can lead to a physical and emotional hangover.

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

Here are 9 things that you can do to break the holiday stress tradition:

  1. Take time for you. Make this your number 1 priority. Schedule your calendar around taking even 5 to 15 minutes every day to meditate or exercise, or just lounge in a bubble bath. And make sure you get enough rest so that you can maintain the best possible version of you.
  2. Love the ones your with. It’s easy to criticize when your expectations aren’t being met, so spend at least a few minutes every day focused on the best qualities of everyone you love and forgive them for not being perfect. And most importantly forgive yourself for not being perfect.
  3. You are only responsible for you. Release yourself from the responsibility for anyone else’s happiness. Their reaction is their reaction. You are in control of how you react.
  4. Align your actions with your priorities. Prioritize your to-do list so that what you’re doing aligns with what you truly want out of the holidays. Beautiful dish or great Mom? What do you really want? What will your kids really remember?
  5. Release the need to do everything yourself and either ask for help or let things go. This may mean paying a few dollars to have the store wrap your packages, or being OK with the wrapping job your partner does.
  6. Focus on all the things you appreciate in your life. There is so much that you already have that is amazing. Pay more attention to what you do have rather than resenting what you don’t.
  7. Focus on all the reasons you want to start the New Year feeling great. Do you really enjoy the emotional and physical hangover you have on January 2? What would change if you started the New Year, energized, happy, and satisfied?
  8. Celebrate each tiny thing that you do that creates your balanced and fulfilled holiday experience. So you don’t get a workout in every day. Did you do it 3 days this week? Did you park at the far end of the lot and walk? Did you go for a walk around the block when Uncle Ralph started in on that story you’ve heard 1,000 times before? Count and celebrate even the smallest thing!
  9. Reach out for support to help you get through the challenges you’re facing. This is not the time to go it alone. If you need support, ask a friend, hire a coach, or log-in to a free on-line support community, like 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. It’s prioritizing your time to match up with what you really want.

Together we can do it!