Busy is the new status symbol - how many of us can relate to that idea? We talked a little bit about the dangers of busy culture last week on the Stress Less Show, but there is a lot more to unpack here if we are going to start letting go of the pressure we put on ourselves at work. Ensuring that you are working a reasonable amount of hours is a great step, but I know what you are probably thinking: How can I cut back on the hours I work when I have so much work to get done?? Managing a heavy workload is tough, and so this week I brought freelance digital marketing strategist, Sarah DeGeorge, on the show to share some of her tips for dealing with a heavy workload…
Hello May! It is mental health awareness month and on the Stress Less Show this month, we are talking about one of the top stressors for people in the United States. I'm willing to bet that this stressor has probably impacted your mental health at some point in your own life - I know it has for me. Yes, this month we are talking about job pressure! To start off this month’s topic this week, I decided to bring on the show, Sue Allen Clayton, the founder of the Serene Solopreneur to discuss how working long hours contributes to the pressure we feel about our jobs, careers and businesses…
This week on the Stress-Less Show, we are talking about Budgeting. I know, your head may still be spinning from all the numbers you spent pouring over on tax day, but now is a perfect time to start crafting a budget that you can stick to so that tax season is a little less stressful. Money Mindset Expert and Certified CPA, Mala Dukhi of Wise Women Smart Money, is back on the show to talk all about how and why to start budgeting.
Let’s be honest: Budgeting is not most people’s idea of a good time. It requires taking a look at your bank accounts and debts and unfortunately, that makes it really easy for most of us to just avoid altogether. Mala noted that “Most people that I've talked to avoid looking at their numbers and the more you avoid the more anxiety and stress you're going to have. So…
Did you know that 79% percent of women surveyed listed money as a top stressor for them? That’s a lot of us women worrying about the same thing! I know from personal experience and from talking with clients and friends that we all have some form of anxiety or worry at money at some point in our lives. That’s why this month on The Stress-Less Show, we are going to be talking about all things money so that you can start to manage your money stress - instead of it managing you!
Since this month is all about money, I decided to bring my friend and money mindset expert Mala Dukhi of Wise Women Smart Money to share her tools for transforming the way we think about money and feeling more in control of the way we feel about our financial situation. She had so many great ideas for changing your money mindset and my favorite tip that she shared is…
I know that you’ve heard it before: networking is SO important! Whether you are a business owner looking for clients or an employee looking for your next big promotion, putting yourself out there and meeting new people is key in helping you find new opportunities that excite you. Especially in today’s world, it is crucial to network and to learn how to network effectively. That is why I brought the queen of networking herself, Jennifer Robinson of Purposeful Networking, on this week’s episode of the Stress-Less Career Show to share valuable ways you can improve your networking skills and make the most of your networking efforts.
Networking is tough for a lot of us. It can be overwhelming to walk into an event with a bunch of new people and know exactly how to strike up a conversation with person after person. Knowing this, the first networking tip that…
Oh my goodness, I am so grateful that we've made it to episode seven of The Stress-Less Career Show! Last week, we had a great conversation with personal stylist, Susan Padron. She gave us phenomenal tips on how to ensure that the way we dress aligns with our personal brand. This week, we're continuing February's theme of personal branding by talking about something you have likely been trying to avoid.
At the end of the day, your personal brand is your reputation. It's what people think of when they think of you. What I really want you to think about this week is how your quirky characteristics and…
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!
A lot of my private clients have mentioned to me that even though I share so many useful tools and ideas to the world, there is one powerful thing that I use with my clients who are feeling overwhelmed that I haven’t ever shared. After hearing this from clients over and over, I realized that they were onto something so I want to start doing something a little different over the coming months and share with you my tried and true methods for reducing stress with creativity.
If you have followed me for a while, you probably know that I am an artist and I cannot tell you enough how effective creativity can be when I need to let go of all of the craziness in my life. This first exercise that I want to share with you can really allow you to reduce your stress. When I am stuck in a rut, I always return to this creative exercise to reclaim a sense of calm. I am going to explain how I go about starting this exercise, but I encourage you to customize the process to you. You can watch the video above to see what this exercise actually looks like.
When I feel myself slipping into an overwhelmed state of mind, I will start my creative stress reduction practice by grabbing a piece of paper and marbling it. Marbling can be a complicated process so you do not have to do this step. Marbling consists of putting ink in water and then placing a blank piece of paper on the water’s surface and then the paper pulls back these gray areas from the ink, resembling a piece of marble. For me, I like to do this because these areas feel symbolic to me. They represent all of the extenuating circumstances in life. We are all dealt our own hand of circumstances that are beyond our control and I like to think this marbling process brings that to life on the page. From this page, I begin to think about how I am really feeling in the moment. This is when we go to the next step: scribbling!
If you do not want to try marbling, you can do the rest of this exercise with any kind of paper you want. You can use paper that’s old and discolored, paper with dots all over it, or just plain blank paper. I take my piece of marbled paper and begin to draw how I am feeling in the moment. What does this look like? This doesn’t mean I draw a sad self portrait or create an elaborate drawing. I listen to all of my emotionally exhausted feelings and thoughts and I scribble on the page. We are trying to draw the essence of the emotions we are feeling in this moment. Maybe your emotional exhaustion looks like a flat line, or maybe it feels more like a frustrated zig-zagging pattern. Whatever feeling you have, try to express it in an abstract way and let out all of that emotional energy onto the page. This part of the exercise is all about emotional release so you can do this for as long as you need to.
Next, we are going to be more meditative in this exercise. What I like to do next is take my piece of paper and I begin to highlight and go over the lines I have drawn in fine print markers. You can do this in any way you’d like with whatever materials you want. Shapes and areas in the scribbles and the marbling or design of the paper will begin to pop out and by highlighting these areas in marker, I am symbolically pulling out the things in my life that do or don’t serve me. This part of the exercise gives you the space to meditate on the benefits of life and the emotions that have come up as you continue to express yourself on the page.
The longer you do this exercise, the more you will see all of the energy and emotion you put into it. This exercise is all about being present with this manifestation of your emotion. You do not need to judge anything that comes out of you, simply let everything out on the page and be with it. Over time, you will start feeling that overwhelm, stress and anxiety dissipate. The more time you spend with the emotions you've drawn, the more peace you will find you feel from within you. If you're craving a sense of ease, calm or just a clear state of mind try it out, scribble out your emotions and draw back into them. I promise you'll feel much better afterwards.
If you have been feeling so overwhelmed by stress at work, you can check out the free 5 minute morning meditation that I have created for you here. You can also 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 create a clear plan for you to find the work you love that doesn’t leave you burnt out every day!