I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that getting older is filled with a lot of stress. When we are kids, our parents and parental figures often act as our protectors from the day to day stresses and responsibilities that are now commonplace in our lives - bills, work, insurance, you name it. Our parents take care of us, so we can feel free to explore and learn about the world. However, one thing that we don’t always like to talk about getting older is the stress that comes from having to become caregivers in life, for our aging parents, chronically ill loved ones, and more. It can be overwhelming to manage caregiving responsibilities with our own daily lives, and it inevitably affects everyone at some point as time goes on. That is why this week on The Stress Less Show, we are talking about how to manage the stress that comes with caregiving…
It’s that time of year! June is here, the weather is heating up, and that means school is out for the summer! We all love summer vacations and quality family time, but let’s face it, no one knows how to push our buttons more than our family. Between kids being at home more often and planning trips and beach days with the family, the summer can mean sun and stress for a lot of us. That is why this month on The Stress Less Show, our theme is all about family obligations. To start us off this week, I brought parent and teen coach, Tracey Lukes, on the show to talk about managing stress in our relationships with our kids.
Tracey’s work as a parent and teen coach…
I found myself at the gym this past week and I noticed something there that I think is so important for all of us out there who are looking to be more successful in our lives and careers. I usually go to the gym early in the morning and see tons of people working out. Typically, my gym is pretty packed at all times, so I’m used to walking into a pretty busy gym each morning. This time, however, my gym was a ghost town. I had noticed that I had been seeing almost no one at the gym for several days and so when I walked in and saw no one in the gym that morning, I had a realization about what makes successful people so successful.
What are the things that can set us apart as successful people and business owners? What makes some people more successful in relationships? What can we do to be that successful in our lives? Well, what I realized in the gym that morning is actually very simple. My gym has become a ghost town recently because it is the holiday season and this is the time of year when so many of us just kind of give up on our goals. We stop going to the gym, throw out our healthy meals and unbutton our pants to eat all of the holiday food we want. We push all of our professional goals out of our mind, let them fall to the side and tell ourselves that we’ll come back to them in the new year. It’s the holidays, I get it, but here’s the thing. Now is the perfect time to get ahead of the competition.
You have a unique opportunity at this time of the year when everyone else is slowing down to ramp it into high gear and do the best you can to beat out everyone else who is taking a break. If you are searching for a new job and haven’t looked at your resume and cover letter in a while, now is the time to sit down and update them. If you want to start your own business and get out of cubicle land, now is the time to start developing a clear plan.
This is the time to start doing the things that everyone else is giving up on for the next few weeks like going to the gym. No one is going to the gym right now. You can spend as long as you want on any machine without worrying about anyone else and have a much better time working out than you will next month when everyone is trying to work on their fitness New Year’s resolutions. The same is true for all of your professional goals. Now is the time to start preparing behind the scenes. Apply for open jobs if you can or get to know your cover letter and resume inside and out. Do whatever you can to work towards those career goals so that when everyone else comes back to the grind in January, you are already ahead of the game.
A lot of people spend December completely in vacation mode and that is important. We all need to take a break and recover when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. However, there is a reason why I was able to quit my job and work full time for myself. When everyone else is chilling out, I am still working hard to set myself up for the next year. I know that so many of you reading this right now have been dreaming of making a real and positive impact in the world. Taking this time off your 9 to 5 job will push you ahead of the game so that you can start your dream business or career and make a true difference in the world. If you want to set yourself apart from everyone else and be more successful, be the person that speeds up instead of slows down this holiday season.
If you need help starting 2019 off on the right foot, sign up for a complimentary clarity session with me here. Together, we will discuss where you’re at, where you’re going, what’s getting in the way and start developing a clear path towards work you love!
The weather is cold, the stores are packed and the sleigh bells are ringing. Yep, it is definitely the holiday season! This time of year can be filled with good tidings and cheer, but it can also bring a huge heaping pile of stress in our lives. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you an analogy that will help you understand just why you may find yourself feeling like a bit of a scrooge this time of year.
For this analogy, I want you to go back to your school days in your mind. Think back to middle school or high school when you would have to buy lunch from the cafeteria. You would walk in line, grab a tray and start piling on all the different things you wanted to have for lunch. Then, you would carefully carry it over to a table to eat everything. I want you to remember that feeling of balancing your lunch tray because that is what we are doing every day with all the different parts of our lives - especially during the holidays.
Think about everything you have on your tray right now. Usually, you have a plate full of work responsibilities on one side and another plate for family obligations. With the holidays upon us however, you might find an extra side dish of holiday preparations on one side of your tray. Maybe your work plate is beginning to overflow as your boss adds on a scoop of tasks that need to get done before the end of the year. Maybe your family plate is the one that is filling up as relatives from all over fly in to celebrate the holidays. Add another side dish here for friends and another for office parties and before you know it, things are just about to spill off your tray and into a messy pile on the ground.
When we let those work obligations or family responsibilities on our tray fill up too much, our tray starts to feel heavy or lopsided. We get so overwhelmed by all of the plates we are carrying during the holidays that we spend all our energy on just getting everything done and we completely miss out on the holiday joy and spirit. The closest we come to feeling Christmas cheer is stress eating a holiday doughnut because that one relative we really don’t want to see insists on hosting the family get together this year. Now we are not only missing out on the holiday spirit, but we are also not taking care of ourselves and our personal goals.
So I encourage you to take a moment to look at what is on your tray right now. It can help to even draw out a visual of what your tray looks like. Take a piece of paper and draw a big rectangle on it. This is your tray. Now ask yourself, what is on your tray right now? What are you carrying emotionally and psychologically? A good starting point might be to draw a plate for work and a plate for family - your traditional work life balance. From there, start thinking about all of the extra side dishes you may have added on your tray and draw those. What is causing you stress right now? What is making your tray feel heavy and unbalanced?
Taking a look at what you are carrying on your tray in life will give you a clear indicator on what you can let go of and what you can shift around on your life for more balance. You can look at the tray you have drawn out and identify what things on your plates you can possibly put on someone else’s tray who has more space. Asking for help - especially during the holidays - is the best thing that you can do for yourself so that you can feel balanced and really approach the holidays with a positive and merry spirit. ‘Tis the season after all!
If you are having trouble figuring out how to manage your time, I want to help you learn how to create a plan that you can use to make sure you have time for yourself and your career goals. That is why I am doing my planning workshop, Quit Your Job: An Intensive Workshop for the Aspiring Entrepreneur, tomorrow at 6:30pm at United By Blue. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop an actionable 90 Day plan to help you achieve all the goals you have for starting a new business that supports you. Learn more and sign up by clicking this link. I hope to see you there!
The holidays tend to be a crazy time of the year for most of us. Here are a few tips from our Fitness Nerd Family Members to help you get through them without letting your healthy habits slip:
1. "The steps to getting myself help were the hardest and greatest things I ever did. The first step to solving any problem is talking." When you're feeling down, Stormy Smith, APOP member since March 2014, says that reaching out for help is key. Don't be afraid to ask for help-whether that is from friends, family or a professional. Everyone needs someone to lean on.
2. “You only get one shot at this life. So be you; do you. Be happy with your choices and don’t worry about impressing others or conforming.” -Misty Mann, Member since December 2015
3. "Embrace who you are! It took me a year into college to remember that I need to embrace who I am, a quirky and random human being, and I couldn’t be happier with that. Sure some people think you suck, but comparatively you will bump into and find some incredibly awesome like-minded people along the way. Trust me." -Will Hurry, member since November 2015
4. "The more you act happy, the more you end up feeling happy." -Will Hurry, member since November 2015
5. “Willpower is so important in weight loss–willpower and dedication. You have to get up every morning and say, ‘This is who I’m going to be today.’ You have to be your higher-self. There is an opportunity to be your lower self: not go to the gym, eat poorly, etc., but you have to choose to be your higher-self. It’s a choice. It’s all choices. Everyday is a choice.”-Max Kohls, member since October 2015 (Max also recommends this podcast: http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts/willpower-works/)
6. Avoid those pesky cravings by drinking lots of water. -Misty Mann, member since December 2015
7. Do it for yourself not for others. Both Misty Mann, member since December 2015, and Max Kohls, member since October 2015, agree that this is key for achieving your personal goals.
8. "Feeling down? Hit the Gym! Not only do you get to work off your frustrations, but you leave feeling like a rock star–because you really have accomplished something!" -Carlee Myers, Founder APOP
9. "Never let food become an obsession. I know it’s comfortable and it makes many of us feel better, but in reality food doesn’t change a thing. My challenge to you is to directly deal with the problems you have in life." -Michelle McDonnell, member since August 2015
10. "Love your neighbor(s)." -Mary Ellen McAbee, member since September 2015
11. "Don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle; This season, more than any other time of year, is about family and friends." -Cathy Myers, member since March 2015
If you are looking for inspiration for your weight loss journey, here is it: my sister, Candace. Over two years ago my sister began her weight loss journey. As an active member of the, oh so famous, weight watchers program she made dropping her first 50 pounds look easy. She was getting ready to marry the man of her dreams-- now her husband, Patrick. She continued on her weight loss journey and she got married in the process--I'm not going to lie; she looked beyond beautiful on her wedding day (don't tell anyone, but I teared up a little bit :P). Shortly after getting married Candace and Patrick decided they wanted to be parents. It took some time, but thereafter Candace and Patrick found out they were pregnant with TWINS! I remember thinking to myself, "OHHH SHITTTT." At twenty I was sitting in the background of this story thinking shit just got real--I mean we were talking about not one, but two babies here! I was beyond excited to be the aunt of twins. So, here is where the picture you see above comes in. Candace after losing close to 50 pounds basically had gained those lbs back plus some--those little monsters were hungry (...and apparently they really liked eggo waffles--funny how that stuff works huh? :P). Now heavier than her original weight, she gives birth to two beautiful kiddos, but here's the twist, she immediately gets right back on track! She works harder than ever to return to a healthy body and a happy mind. She was doing something I think most moms forget to do when they have newborns--Candace remembered to take care of herself! She became supermom running around constantly doing things for the kids, but the moment she had the opportunity--she would hit the gym! She remembered to eat healthy as she continued to attend the weekly weight watchers meetings even if that meant she would have to take the twins with her. She quickly began to drop weight once again returning to her pre-pregancy weight. This is where I come in: if you aren't familiar with my geographical location; I call Philly my home. I wasn't around much for the first few months those kiddos were here, but due to a break-up, therefore no apartment to go to--I went back to my hometown for a month or two. Candace got me back on track--constantly asking me to go run with her on the local trails or hit up that zumba class at the gym. Please look at this picture of her again:
If it weren't for my sister's dedication and ability to inspire everyone around her. I sure as hell wouldn't be where I am today writing a blog about health and fitness. So for that I thank you, Candace! It's been almost two years of your constant hard work and determination and I just want to tell you one thing: You are one hot momma and I think that it something worth celebrating!