Archive for Stress Management

19 Dec 2013

Beth’s Best Holiday Blog Posts

No Comments Christmas, Empowerment, Live your best Life, Stress Management

Christmas not likeIt is the most wonderful time of the year.  Right?

Probably not.

The holidays are actually the worst time of year for many people.  It is the time of year where Peace Love and Happiness gets shoved down your throat and if you are “doing it right” you are suppose to get a whole lot of fulfillment and joy out of it.  Problem is, so many of us are hung up on Christmas’s of the past that we choke on all the good-will. We can’t connect to whatever that magic is suppose to be. Fulfillment and joy? What is that?

Here are a collection of my favorite Christmas time blogs for you. Coach Yourself through another festive season of holiday madness and learn how find Christmas for your own self this year.

A Stressless Christmas, Yes You Can! 

 I Hate Christmas

A Christmas Journal: Your Key to Holiday Stress Management

Beating the Bah Humbug

28 Jul 2013

Reduce Life Down to the Lowest Common Denominator

No Comments Be More, Building Confidence, Decision Making, Do More, Empowerment, Fearless Living, Goal Setting, Life Coaching, Live your best Life, Stress Management

Lowest-Common-DenominatorMath was not my subject. In fact my poor Uncle Dennis probably still has the occasional nightmare about his time spent tutoring me. Me, at 17 through Math 11. Yikes. One concept that I do remember was the idea of reducing parts into their lowest common denominators so that they were easier to work with. It occurred to me the other day that every day I guide clients by breaking down big complex sums of overwhelming obstacles into manageable parts. The feeling that something is too big to take on is the reason behind things like procrastination, avoidance and plain old not doing. People get stuck because they don’t know how to break down big parts into smaller parts.  I help people do that everyday.

The process of breaking down life into manageable parts isn’t where the work ends, but where it begins. We believe we know how to do “life” but the inside voice that speaks gets in your way. Our thoughts sway to  objections to getting at “it.” Things like: “I am too tired,” “I don’t know how to do this,” “I am overwhelmed,” and “I can’t think when I am overwhelmed.” And then we stop. We turn on the TV, surf the net, take out the garbage – basically anything that allows us to avoid having to confront actually doing “it.” A skilled personal coach assists by breaking down your resistance to the process.

When working with me, people learn what really is at the heart of the matter. What is that voice of fear saying in your subconscious while you are actively choosing to do or not do?  I assist people in taking the time to really break down the internal objections that come up.  Together, we take the time to hear what the excuses in your head are really saying.  When you identify these life becomes easier. You can learn how to talk back to the voice inside your head.

Coach Yourself Exercise

What is it that you say you want to be doing?  Name three things.

Example:

  1. Selling cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market
  2. Exercising regularly
  3. Socializing more.

Now, name what your excuses are for not doing that.

I’ll walk you through one:

Selling cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market

1) Too tired after working all week

2) Watching TV too much and zoning out

3) Got distracted by family, my wife wanted me to do a bunch of chores.

Now, reduce selling cupcakes. Do the work. What is a list of 50 things you will need to do to sell cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market. What? 50 things!  Yes, 50 things. Be real and honest here.  To actually be to the point of being able to sell cupcakes at the farmer’s market is going to take many different steps. What are all the things you would need to know and do before you would be ready to actually do that?

Here are some examples:

What recipe am I going to use? What am I going to charge?  How much is each cupcake cost? Where do I buy ingredients? What equipment will I use? How do I register for market? When does it run? What am I going to call the cupcakes…and the list goes on. While making that list, pay close attention to the voice. What is it saying to you?

Your visceral reaction to that list is the thing that is running the show in your life. Use the tool of reduction to get to the bottom of what your excuses are excusing you from. It isn’t about the TV. It is about what you are avoiding when you confront the work associated with actually doing your dream.

Let’s do the work. As a Coach, I am your tutor. Just like my Uncle Dennis, I get you to sit and actually think about what you are doing in life and why. It is amazing what can happen when you get clear.

20 Feb 2013

The Multi-Tasking Trap

No Comments Do More, Stress Management

multitasking“Ability to multi-task and handle/ manage multiple projects” used to be my favourite line to add to my resume.  The ability to do multiple things and handle a complex series of needs is a really important thing.  Too much of a good thing however is a trap. How much is too much?

  • I feel exhausted
  • I feel like I never accomplish anything
  • I feel unfulfilled daily
  • It is never enough
  • I keep dropping the ball

If thoughts like this are frequent, ask yourself if you have gotten into the multi-task trap.  While being able to juggle is a great skill it also leads down the path of being unfulfilled.

Here is how:
Multi-taksing requires having multiple thoughts at once.  That means mind chatter.  Mind chatter can be exhausting, especially when it is “harried chatter”.  That kind of mind chatter is also what takes us away from being PRESENT.  The ability to be PRESENT is the key to happiness.  Consult any scholar, guru, therapist you like, that is what it all boils down to.  Presence.

Multi-tasking creates multiple thought patterns, all in competition with each other for the brain’s full attention.  This creates scattered thinking.  For some scattered thinking results in lack of focus, and the inability to get things done.  For others it creates mindlessness.

Mindlessness can be a dangerous place.  Think about it.  When you are mindlessly vacuuming, peeling carrots, doing dishes etc. what are you present to? Most likely in moments of mindlessness your inner voice starts to talk. Often our inner voice creates less than productive chatter. Fears, insecurities, regrets tend to occupy our thoughts in our mindless moments. What does your inner voice like to talk about?

If you’re feeling exhausted and unfulfilled at the end of the day, take a close look at your self talk.  When we mindlessly buzz around, we rarely stop to “smell the roses” so to speak.  When we don’t purposefully pause and give ourselves a pat on the back for our worth each day, how can we possibly feel worthwhile?  The daily-ness of life is work.  Multi-tasking is a skill that many develop in order to cope with all of the demands. Be willing to catch yourself in a whirl and learn to pause and pull yourself into the present moment.  Fulfillment comes when we stop, catch our breath, and focus on the moment.

When your scattered thinking/multi-tasking leads to feeling like you never get enough done, learn to stop yourself and ask “what one thing can I complete”.  Focus on finishing one task at a time.  As you do this, write a list of all of the things you finished.  Even if they seem trivial write these things down for one week.  Be willing to soak in all it is you DO do.  When you do this for yourself it will give you practice at being PRESENT.  When you work on being present, depleting thoughts and feelings slip away.

02 Dec 2012

A Christmas Journal ~ your key to holiday stress management

1 Comment Christmas, Stress Management

stress-free christmasOne of the greatest responses I have had from readers of my Coach Tips is my suggestion to use a Christmas Journal as a way of managing holiday stress.  If you didn’t start last year, go back to last year’s article A Stressless Christmas – YES you can!, and get the benefit of this easy tool.

Last year, I asked you start a Christmas Journal.  The challenge was to write about three things and then tuck the journal away with the Christmas decorations until next year. A year later, here we are, and as predicted, Christmas has come again!

The three questions from last year were:

  1. The 3 things that I honestly could have skipped getting stressed out about.
  2. The 3 things that worked the best and I enjoyed the most.
  3. The 3 moments in which I felt the greatest gratitude.

What made your lists last year?  What are you going to put on your list this year?  Are they similar? Is there a theme?

Coach Yourself…

What 3 things do you not want to be stressed about this year? Considering what made your list last year, what does your new list tell you? Maybe you have found some peace or solace, and whatever was on your stress list last year, is totally over with this year.  Wonderful.  Time really can heal.  Maybe your new list is telling you that you’re still stressed about the same things. If so, what are you going to do to eliminate this item or items from your list?

What 3 things do you want to enjoy the most this holiday season? If you get specific about what you want and need from Christmas, you are more likely to get it.

What 3 things are you willing to notice and nurture? Sometimes in life we need to dig a little deeper to find the gratitude in situations.  Being willing to notice and nurture the moments when we are connected, peaceful, and joy-filled gives us the presence of mind needed to truly enjoy the holidays.

Happy journaling!

06 Dec 2011

A Stressless Christmas – YES you can!

2 Comments Christmas, Free Life Coaching Tips, Stress Management

Wow! What a fantastic response from my Stressless Christmas Teleclass! I heard from a lot of people who said…

“YES! I need ways to deal with my snobby sister-in law!”
I don’t know how we are going to do it financially???”
“On top of everything else, my mom is bringing her new boyfriend to dinner!”
“Why does he think I should be the one buying the gift for HIS parents???”

I also heard a lot of…

“I would love to join your teleclass Beth, but I’m just too busy!” 

Yep. Welcome to the 2011 Stressed out Christmas!

What if I told you that no matter what you do, Christmas is going to be STRESSFUL. No matter the level of participation in this wonderful event (that comes around EVERY SINGLE YEAR) the commotion of this “festive season” impacts you in some way. Whether its traffic, grocery store chaos, line ups all around, or the hundreds of items, chores, obligations and invitations on your list. Unless you are a complete recluse with no friends or family, (in which case watch for my next blog!) Christmas makes an impact – that usually has a hand in stressing you out!

What would you do differently if you just accepted the fact that Christmas is going to be stressful no matter what? What could you do to feel less stressed, amongst all the holiday cheer?

Here are my top 3 tips for managing Christmas stress:

#1) CHRISTMAS JOURNAL
I know, I know you’re already thinking you don’t have time for this. Think long term. Start a Christmas journal this year, to help manage stress for years to come. Find a book that you can write in every year and store away with Christmas Decorations. Use the book to record some key things:

The 3 things that I honestly could have skipped getting stressed out about.
The 3 things that worked the best and that I enjoyed the most.
The 3 moments in which I felt the greatest gratitude.
Feel free to add things like:
My favourite recipe
The toy my kids actually played with and enjoyed for more than an hour
We missed out on…

Creating a journal like this is a long term stress busting solution. Let’s go back to the truth – Christmas comes every year! There is no better time to start making a long term commitment to being less stressed. Over the years this journal will serve as a powerful reminder (and memento) of your commitment to being free and happy.

#2) DECIDE NOT TO…
Decide and commit to doing a little less. Make yourself a “brain dump” list. Sit with a blank page and start writing down every little thing floating around in your mind on your mental to do list. Push yourself for five minutes and get as many of those things down as possible. Make a big list, 20 things or more. Items can be totally random and unrelated. The point is to get all of those secret, niggly things down on paper.

When you have done that, dare yourself to scratch 5 -10 things off of your list. Doing this helps you have a moment of clarity on how you are going to tackle this stressful time of year. Look for things on the list that relate to some of your main areas of concern – family, finances, over-committing.  How many of those items require special care and how many can you just cross off and decide not to do?

#3) ASK YOURSELF…“Am I stressed or am I excited?”
These two emotions have a similar physiological impact on our body – heightened sensitivity to everything around us. Sometimes we get so used to being stressed out, that we miss out on the excitement. We run around like maniacs at Christmas because we get some kind of payoff from it – whether it is saving face by showing up with gifts, perfect Christmas mornings, or the bliss of having it all over with. So why not decide that when the stressed out feeling shows up you are going to embrace the excitement of it all. Enjoy. Be present.

The amount of stress that you allow into your life this holiday season is ultimately up to you. Know that it is what it is and choose to do or see it a little bit differently this year.