yourself to a cultural event such as a museum or concert.
Remember to breathe deep and savor the moment. If you are like
most people, you'll find your perspective is new once you have
stepped away from your stress for a bit.
What can you do to give yourself a break and a fresh
Hold on to tradition or routine.
We humans like what feels comfortable to us. For long term
stress, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to
maintain a familiar routine.
I remember a few years ago when I was going through my divorce.
It was tough on my kids being divided between two homes. One
thing that kept us grounded during those turbulent days was
spaghetti. :) I often make a big pot of spaghetti sauce with
fresh herbs and meatballs, letting it simmer all day long. The
"recipe," if there ever really was one, was handed
down from an elderly Italian lady, who passed it on to my Dad,
who then passed it along to me. Big spaghetti dinners are not
just a meal, but an event at our house. These meals were
familiar to my kids and brought comfort (comfort food) to them,
even though their world was turbulent while adjusting to
divorce. Our spaghetti suppers became a sacred time for honest
sharing between my kids and me. Spaghetti is still a tradition
we established that really anchors my family.
What traditions or routines do you have that bring you comfort?
Connect with others and with God.
Faith can be waning when times are tough. It's especially
important during these times to keep the communication open
between God and you and also others and you. Make time for
prayer and meditation as well as seek the guidance of a trusted
friend or family member. If you attend a place of worship, go
and find solace there. If you don't, consider going or designing
your own way to reach out to God.
When my son, who was 7 at the time and is now 13, was diagnosed
with Type I diabetes, my world was rocked to the very core. I
know there are worse fates, but having a sick child is pretty
devastating to a parent. Diabetes is especially cruel to
children and is a chronic condition in which there is no cure or
break from. I was in a daze, angry and hurt for a long, long
time. Reaching out to others seemed to be too strenuous of an
effort and attending church just seemed inconsistent with my
spirit at that time. I was fortunate to have a dear friend who
listened, but told me to snap out of it, pick myself up and get
on with life. I needed that kick in the butt more than anything!
We all need to have friends like that! It took some time but I
was able to reconnect with other friends and God, who equipped
me so adequately for handling the pressures associated with
having a diabetic child. Without that connection and without
faith, I can only imagine how difficult it would be each day to
face challenges solo. I am grateful for a pretty healthy child
and a bright (hence the name BrightSide Coaching) outlook on
With whom and how can you connect?
Distinguish between your perception of your stress and what is
real about your stress.
Focus on the aspects of your obstacles (which can be
opportunities in disguise) that will empower you. If you have a
personal responsibility that needs to be handled such as an
incomplete conversation, forgiveness or acceptance, then
increase your self confidence by taking care of it. This can be
challenging and training your mind requires persistence.
I recommend writing in a journal and using affirmations as a way
of strengthening yourself to respond to stress in the way that
is healthy. Developing this muscle is the same as developing
your physical muscles -- it takes repetition and practice.
What's really going on with your stress and what can you do
about it now?
So often we think that peace of mind is just something that we
have when all is going well. Not true! Peace comes from a
combination of many factors and each one of us can tap into them
when we choose to. When we use these suggestions consistently we
can find that peace that will sustain us when the world around
us is chaotic.
* * * * *
Beth Burns. Beth is a Professional Life Coach -- partnering with
motivated people on their personal and professional goals.
Her mission is to teach people to love themselves and love
their life! She offers two free email newsletters and can
be visited on the web at www.BrightSideCoaching.com.