Stress Less This Holiday

It's the holiday season! This is the time we celebrate with our family, our friends, our coworkers and colleagues. Many of us have meaningful traditions that hold a special place in our hearts. We are filled with wonderful expectations and plans. But with all that, we find ourselves over-worked, over-stressed, and possibly even dreading the holidays. Well...not this year!

Let's do this differently this year...let's all stress less this holiday! I invite you to approach the holidays differently this year. Ready? This year start with your well-being in mind. Radical, right? The only way you can really enjoy the holidays, the people, the traditions, and have it be fun is to start by being good to yourself.

How? Schedule self-care activities. You schedule all the other big important events and tasks...why not schedule you? If you don't, all the parties, cooking, shopping, wrapping, and running errands will take up every moment of your time. The scheduled self-care activities don't have to be long, just 10 minutes here and there can have a huge impact on your health and state of mind.

My gift to you is my free printable Holiday Self-Care Planner for you to use. Let's all celebrate the season with good health, a happy heart, and peace of mind. Wellness changes everything. Be intentional.

 

8 Surprising Ways to Get Your Mojo Back...Reenergize

Need to re-energizeLearn 8 simple tips that can help busy people reenergize during busy days. My life is great…I have the career I wanted, a supportive spouse, smart kids, two cars, but I am exhausted and not enjoying all that I have, let alone functioning at my best. Does this sound familiar?

 

Believe me, I’ve been there! My busy life is terrific, but I’ve gone through those times when I am not feeling wonderful, let alone healthy. This is a common experience among busy adults. We are up early and already feeling as if we are behind and tired. And, this is only the first 15 minutes of the day!

 

There is plenty of research out there that proves that as humans we can only really stay focused  and perform well for approximately 90 minutes. Then we need to seek restoration. Taking short focused breaks can help you get your mojo back. Turns out managing our energy is more important than managing our time!

 

If you want to feel you can perform at your best all day, achieve improved health, and feel greater happiness, then you need to manage your energy. This happens by increasing your energy capacity in four key areas: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

 

Rub the sleep from your eyes and take a deep breath. Here are some tips for getting your mojo back. Some may even sound counterintuitive - just try them!

 

  1. Go outside for 5-10 minutes. I can hear you now, “What? I don’t have time to go outside because I have got to do …..”  Just take five minutes, go outside and breathe deeply.
  2. Every 90 minutes, get up, move to a new place (outside is great) and get a change of scenery for a few minutes.
  3. Stand up and do some simple stretches.
  4. Set a timer every 60-90 minutes. If you tend to get “lost” in your work and lose track of time,  let the timer remind you it’s time to move, stretch, and breathe.
  5. Switch gears. If you are struggling to get a task done, stop and go do something different! When you come back, you will be amazed at how refreshed you are. Now try tackling that “difficult” task!
  6. Eat a healthy snack and drink water.
  7. Change “channels” mentally and emotionally.
  8. Tap into your deepest core values. What is most important to you? Create a sense of purpose in your life.

 

Try some of these for a week or two and notice what changes for you. I believe you will find that you actually begin to enjoy your life, your family, and your work more. You will increase your energy throughout the day and actually do a better job of whatever the task is at hand. Taking the time to breathe and reenergize may be one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

 

Shirley Michl is a Certified Integrative Health Coach and owner of Intentional Wellness, LLC. Schedule a free 15 minute telephone consultation today.

9 Signs You Need Help Managing Your Stress and Energy

If it wasn't for stress I'd have no energy at allWondering why you are feeling burned out even though you are doing good things in your life?  You're working hard and you're successful. Maybe you even workout or walk (occasionally) so you're getting some exercise. But...you are still left feeling frazzled, fatigued, and always have that nagging feeling of never being caught up! This could be a sign you need help managing your stress and energy. If this sounds familiar, this post is for you. I was there! I had a great leadership position in my company, made good money, was in demand, focused on getting my certification as an integrative health coach, had great family and friends, and took decent care of myself physically, or at least I thought. And, I was completely stressed, drained, and began to experience health issues. Nothing felt as great or exciting as I knew it could. Why? Because I was doing a lousy job of managing my stress, and more importantly, my energy!

I'm not alone in this. My clients experience this. Many colleagues experience this. Simply talk to people and you will hear how busy, stressed and overwhelmed they are. According to research:

  • It's estimated that 90% of health practitioner visits (conventional & complementary) are due to stress.
  • 75% of total health care costs are spent on preventable issues...lifestyle choices.
  • 40% of Americans are sleep deprived.
  • and the stats go on and on...

Do you recognize any of these 9 signs in yourself:

  1. Sign #1 you need help:  You wake up every morning feeling more tired than you did when you went to bed. You've tossed and turned much of the night. You couldn't stop your brain from going over your work deadlines or life issues. Even if you went to bed on time, it simply meant you were laying there in bed, not relaxing or sleeping.
  2. Sign #2 you need help:  You dread starting your day. It just feels like there is no joy or fun in your day. You begin to think about all the work waiting for you, what you still need to do, what problems are headed your way. Depending on your personal life, you may have kids to get up, feed, get to school, a long commute, a bad hair day...endless tasks and responsibilities simply to get to work and start your day!
  3. Sign #3 you need help:  You find little to smile about. With so much to do, so many meetings, deadlines, demanding boss, demanding customers...how can you smile. Oh yeah, and it's a bad hair day!
  4. Sign #4 you need help:  There is no time for lunch. You grab something on the go, probably fast food. Or you brought something and eat it at your desk while still cramming in your work. If you do go to lunch, you can't relax because of all that needs to be done in the afternoon, plus what did not get done in the morning.
  5. Sign #5 you need help:  You reach for your antacids...a lot! Your stomach churns and the familiar heartburn rages. You think this is just normal, after all, everyone else around you is complaining of the same thing! News flash...this is not normal or healthy!
  6. Sign #6 you need help:  You reach for your over the counter go-to for your headache...that has been with you all day. You typically find yourself taking a pain reliever for headaches multiple times a day at least 3 days a week. Big sign that stress is getting the best of you.
  7. Sign #7 you need help:  You work long hours everyday. You promised yourself you would leave at a reasonable time. You even promised your significant other, or your child. But, there is that IT issue, a new demand from your boss, that report that needs to be done. Or maybe you are on the project from hell. It sounded so exciting and promising at first...now it's a life force sucking project that has more problems than solutions.
  8. Sign #8 you need help:  You are tired, cranky and just want to eat and watch mindless television when you get home. You finally get home - and there it is, your second job!!! There is no rest, just more tasks to do! Your family wants your attention or you need to run the kids to their activities, get groceries, pick up the kids, write your performance review, mow the lawn, grab fast food for dinner....
  9. Sign #9 you need help:  You "have no time" to take care of yourself! You would love to get a massage, walk with your family and friends, workout, participate in sports, but there's no time for that. You can't even remember when you really had a physical check-up or got your teeth cleaned.

Do any or all of these sound like you? 

Most of us can relate to at least some of these at some point in our life. We've grown used to this. We tell ourselves it's the price we pay. It's simply the way it is. How many of us have bought into these beliefs along the way to adulthood? It is so easy to get so caught up in the demands of living, of achieving, of getting more...whatever the more is. We lose sight of what is really important. We focus almost entirely on what we need to do in the short term to get results, impairing our long term ability to be healthy human beings.

The Good News!

Yes, you can do something about this! You can get off that treadmill, at least enough to regain your energy and decrease your stress. Let's face it, there will always be stress in our lives. And stress is not all bad!  We all need some stress to motivate us to perform. Unfortunately, many are living in a chronic state of fight, flight or freeze because of stress that is not managed.

An important key to managing stress is learning how to manage your energy. Instead of focusing on how to manage your time, seek to manage your energy!

Watch for my next blog for tips on how to manage your energy.

 

The Cha-Cha of Life!

Cha-cha of lifeOk, I am a health/life coach so I am supposed to have my life figured out, be completely transformed into my great self and well on my way to achieving my BIG dream. Right? Well, theoretically that’s the plan, but the journey continues to challenge, surprise me, and cause me pain, confusion, and oh yes, joy!!! Cha-cha-cha. This is one of those times in my life when I feel as though I am doing the cha-cha. I move forward, things are flowing, then BAM! I get shaky, doubt myself, and move backwards. The syndrome commonly known as the cha-cha of life!  Things are shifting and changing…which is good and yet unsettling right now. Anyone else experiencing this? I am feeling on the verge of some great things about to happen for me both professionally and personally. So, why is it also causing me discomfort??

The discomfort is being fueled by my old belief pattern of I am not good enough and should be doing better. My business should be growing by leaps and bounds. Yet I should have the time I want to grow myself in other ways. I should do all this really, really well…probably perfectly. I should not be feeling anxious. After all I am an experienced coach right? I have been successful in my life professionally and personally right? And….I realize I am “should-ing” myself into a state of stress!!

Yep, some old patterns are rearing their ugly little heads and not helping one bit!!!  So, what do I know? Nothing is perfect in life. I know this, so it’s about time I accept this for myself…really accept it. If I stop the negative runaway train in my head and think about all that I have done and accomplished I actually get a better view and perspective of myself.

If this sounds familiar - try this. Write down all the things you have accomplished, achieved, done…everything positive. Now just sit and take it in. Amazing isn’t it! Was it perfect? Never! And, you still did some amazingly beautiful things in your life. And, so have I. Let’s practice this reframing and just enjoy the dance of life!

Fall...Time to Let Things "Fall" Away to Make Room for Possibilities

Falling leavesHere we are...it's fall! Many of us are out enjoying the cooler air, seeing the leaves turn, and watching nature begin to slow down to come back refreshed in the spring. Now may also be a great time to let some things fall away in your life so you can "awaken" refreshed. Autumn is the time for letting go. Gardens and trees let go of their fruits, vegetables and leaves. Nature's life cycles provide great metaphors for our own life cycles. What do you need to let fall away from in your life? Is there a hurt, person, memory, feeling, or situation you need to let go of? Or perhaps you are thinking of all the things you "could've, should've, would've" done. Maybe you have seen others achieve what you hope for or are living the life you want. It's time to make room for your possibilities.

The autumn equinox is the perfect time to strive for balance. That may mean you need to let go of something in order to make room for more balance in your life. Now is the time to STOP!!! Stop living in autopilot just going through all the motions. Now is the time to let all the excuses, self-blame, hiding instead of really living fall away. OK, it does take courage to face yourself, take stock of yourself, truly yourself, what you are about, doing, or not doing. Only you can let the negative, self-limiting beliefs go and get the courage to take the steps toward your personal vision and fulfillment. I've done this, I know how hard it can be. I also now know how liberating and refreshing it is to strip away all the excuses, truly examine myself, what is true, what is not, who I am, what I love, and begin the "falling" away of all that does not serve me so I can be on my intended journey.

It's so easy to become lulled by excuses for not living up to our own possibilities. Yet, we all have a choice...always! You can choose to continue to make excuses or to make a change. So with the weather changing, it's a good time to begin making your own personal changes and open yourself up to who you are meant to be. If you are ready to open your personal door to honor yourself and put the energy and attention into making room for your possibilities...keep reading and answer these questions:

  1.  What is my vision for myself?
  2. What are my dreams?
  3. In what ways do I hold myself back from living my dreams or moving toward my vision?
  4. What are my excuses?
  5. What am I afraid of?
  6. Where did those fears stem from? Are they the truth?
  7. What will I gain if I choose to work towards my vision?
  8. What will I lose if I choose to work towards my vision?

Answer these questions from your true inner self. There is no right or wrong answer...only what is for you. If you find fear is holding you back or there is someone or something that you need to let fall away in your life, it's time to challenge yourself. Reach to find your inner courage, your truth. Allow yourself to release what needs to be let go of. Release comes many ways, perhaps permanently, or maybe just for awhile. Once you release what is holding you back from truly living, you begin to make room for possibilities! Isn't it time to say "Yes" to life?

If you are ready to begin letting go of what holds you back, I am happy to speak with you. Schedule a meeting with me from my website and let's talk! Coaching is my passion and I am confident that in working together, we can open up your possibilities! You are worth the investment in yourself!

Possibilities now is the time