How to Manage Holiday Stress with Gratitude

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Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving, and a lot of times we are reminded to use that day to think about what we’re thankful for. But then, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and the general kick-off of the peak retail season all swoop in. We go from giving thanks to rushing off to prepare for the next holiday in a matter of hours! And here comes the typical stressors we have every year - did we buy our partner the right gift? Will the toy we ordered for our niece arrive in time? Will our kids behave at our family get-together? Did we miss the window for securing a reasonable plane ticket? And so on…

As a coach that specializes in health and wellness - especially stress management, I know all about the way stress affects our health. You might think that it's no big deal to have holiday stress. It only happens once per year, and then in January things can get back to normal. But say you have holiday stress every year for the month of December from age 20-70. That adds up to a total of 50 months of being stressed out, or over 4 years of your life spent worrying about the holidays! Yikes!

One great way of managing stress, especially this time of year, is to focus on the good things in your life. Gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving! This month, I challenge you to consider adding a daily gratitude practice into your routine all the way until January 1st. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You could write down one or two things on a post-it note each day that you’re thankful for. Or you could challenge yourself to go complaint-free for an hour each day, longer if you can (harder than it sounds!) You could take a moment on your daily commute to notice what is beautiful around you. The main point is to focus on the the things you want MORE of instead of focusing on the things that are bringing you worry or taking you down a notch.

Maintaining a positive outlook and staying focused on what makes you happy goes a long way to a happier and healthier life. Is this an area you could use some support with? Schedule a free session with me and let's talk about how my coaching methods could help you.

Why I Started the Simplify Stress Program

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I want to tell you a little bit more about why I created the Simplify Stress 1:1 coaching program. Years ago, I started having some scary health issues. I was at the doctor for a check-up and my heart rate was off the charts. They immediately sent me to the ER. After seeing a specialist, he recommended I find ways to reduce stress, since that seemed to be triggering my elevated heart rate. I was relieved to find out that everything was fine, but also frustrated. How the heck was I going to lower my stress? Let's just say that life was a little crazy... 

I tried a lot of things. Meditation. Vacations. Getting more sleep. Changing my diet. Refocusing my attention on friends and family. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to get myself to a place where I was back in control of my life. I no longer feel run down by stressful times. Of course life can still be stressful, but now I know how to use those moments to power me through instead of wear me down.

Through my training program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, there was a lot of talk about a concept called "Primary Food." Basically, if these things are out of balance, you can be eating a perfect diet and still be unhealthy. Primary foods are things like career, family, relationships, exercise, and spirituality. I have been trained to coach clients in all of these areas (as well as nutrition!) My personal experience with stress as well as my training have led me to create this program, so I can help more people who are on the verge of burnout like I was and help them get back on track.

If you are ready to take control back of your life by managing through stress, burnout, and that overwhelmed feeling, I want to hear from you! Sign up for a free 1:1 session.