Six Secrets to Stress LESS

The holidays conjure up a special extra dose of stress.

Make a list and check it twice: Holiday shopping –  Secret Santa – Elf on the Shelf – Concerts – Parties – Hostess gifts – Holiday Cards – Wrapping gifts – and on and on and on!

How can you get a handle on your holiday and everyday stress? I have just the cure and with the holidays approaching I thought it would be a good time to share a sneak peek from my upcoming book, Building Your Brilliance, available in early 2019. The book outlines tools experts, psychologists, neuroscientists, and researchers, suggest to manage stress.

After almost a decade of collecting and trying out stress management tools, it became evident that I needed a method to organize the list. Growing up with family in the building industry it seemed only natural to “build a house” to store the tools. A house became a metaphor for the organization of the stress management tools.

The House! Every floor and every room in the house outline ways to manage your stress and in turn – care for yourself so you can let your brilliance shine! For instance, the kitchen is all about eating and drinking healthy. The office is about time and money management. The windows are for visualizing a bright future and for staying mindful of the gift of the present.

Below is a taste of the tips in the house to help you manage holiday stress:

  1. Strengthen your foundation– This means knowing yourself, your values, your personality traits, your spiritual base. For the holidays, strengthening means spending time bolstering that base. One of the best ways to reinforce your inner core is to meditate daily, even if only for five minutes. Another way is to write down, each day, three things for which you are grateful and why.
  2. Take care of your body–Make time to rest (the bedroom), eat and drink sensibly (the kitchen) and exercise at least three times a week (the workout room). Even if your normal routine of caring for your physical health is off due to holiday events, take a quick quiet time, eat some fruit or vegetables, and go for a short brisk walk or pause to do some yoga.
  3. Feed your mind– Don’t over-schedule yourself or your family (the office). Take the time to read something inspiring or watch a feel-good holiday film (the library).
  4. Stay in the present – Practicing Mindfulness isa key to managing stress. Secrets 4 and 5 represent the windows in the House of Building Your BrillianceMake sure you are not spending all of your time planning and fretting over your “to do” list. Use your five senses to soak up the sounds, sights and pleasant odors of the season.
  5. Visualize Positivity – And while you need to stay in the present, planning for a bright future takes some thought. The Visualization window is about detailed imagining of a happy, bright future. I like to use Olympians as the example. To gain a competitive edge before competitions, you will often see the athletes rehearsing the upcoming competition in their head, even making slight body motions to help train their brain and body for peak performance. You can do the same in everyday life to create a less-stressful edge to your upcoming events.
  6. Nurture Relationships– Relationships are in the gathering room. For the house metaphor, it means not only spending quality time with others, but it also involves setting a boundary. You can say no when it comes to doing everything you think, or others in your life think, are necessary to make the holidays wonderful. Remember to deliver the message of “not now”, or “not this year,” with respect and kindness.

Using these secrets, as organized in the House, will help you manage stress throughout the holiday season and into the new year!

Here’s to a brilliant holiday season and 2019!

And here’s to the publication of Building Your Brilliance – available in 2019!

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