Oct 16

How To Be A B.R.A.T. (Breathe, Relax and Talk)

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement , Uncategorized

Public speaking is terrifying for most people. Just the thought of it can make our hands sweat, our heart beat fast and throwing up doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Getting up and presenting to an audience is more than just relaying information; it’s doing our best to get our ideas across. Being able to communicate effectively is important to our business success as well as personal success, whether it’s a presentation we have to do at work, a networking event or a wedding toast. One of the first things that we take for granted when stepping onto a stage is our breathing. So far I haven’t seen anyone pass out on stage because they forgot to breathe; what I have seen is speakers holding their breath and swallowing their words. The throat is tight, the mouth is dry and the sound is not coming across clear and crisp.

That’s when you should remember to be a B.R.A.T. Breathe-Relax-And-Talk.

I have three steps for you to take to calm your nerves, project your voice and breathe through your speech.

Step 1: When we are nervous we tend to take short breaths, which keeps our heart rate up. To reduce anxiety before going onstage, learn to breathe deeply.

Please place one hand on your chest and another on your stomach. I want you to take a deep breath that expands your stomach, not your chest. Inhale through your nose, breathe in for four counts. Hold your breath for four counts and release the air through your mouth for four counts.

This type of deep breathing is great when we are feeling anxious, nervous or ready to punch someone in the face. It will help lower our blood pressure and keep us calm and focused. Before taking the stage, stand up tall, pull shoulders back and take a deep breath. This gives the mind and body a chance to feel confident.

Step 2: Learning how to project our voice without yelling at the audience. It’s important to be heard throughout the room when a microphone is not available. Please stand up. Place one hand on your chest and your other hand in front of your mouth. Take a deep breath and say “Hello. How Are You?” Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in that expands your stomach. Now place your hand near your mouth and say “Hello. How Are You?”.

The force of air the second time should’ve been stronger than the first. Expanding your stomach with air is how you can use your diaphragm to project your voice. This will make your voice stronger and clearer. This will also give your voice more resonance. Your voice will sound fuller when you breathe from your diaphragm as opposed to breathing from your chest.

When giving a presentation, it’s a good idea to warm up vocal chords and face muscles. Move the jaw around and stretch the mouth. Do a large yawn. Gently move your neck from side to side. Lift your shoulders and release any tension that may be there. Slowly say the vowels A,E,I,O,U and exaggerate each letter. Do some tongue twisters: Red Leather, Yellow Leather, She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers, Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy Had No Hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy Wasn’t Fuzzy Was He? Here’s a link for more tongue twisters.

Keep your vocal chords from getting dry by staying hydrated, drink water.

Step 3: When you are practicing your speech, practice breathing through your speech. My suggestion for understanding what that means is to put marks on your speech where you should be pausing to take a breath. This will slow down your speech making you aware of pronouncing all of your words. We have all heard people speak and found many of the words inaudible. We know through experience what the person is trying to say, but we are left with the feeling that the speaker isn’t very polished. Breathing through your speech helps you to enunciate, which makes your voice ring clear.

Remember to be a B.R.A.T. Breathe, Relax and Talk. Practice breathing techniques, relax your neck and shoulders and talk at an even pace. All of this will help you become a more effective communicator.

 

Sep 14

Do You Take Your Own Advice?

By Celeste DeCamps | General , Self Improvement , Uncategorized

Advice is so easy to give, but harder to actually follow. Take the overweight, smoking, alcoholic doctor who admonishes us for not living a healthy lifestyle. There are so many things we should and want to be doing for ourselves. We know to stay away from sugar, processed and packaged foods. We know we should exercise, meditate, stay in touch with family and friends and be mindful through all of it. Honestly, writing out this list makes me feel guilty and a little stressed.

It’s noon and the most I’ve accomplished was to eat a healthy breakfast and talk myself out of having a chocolate chip cookie.  I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me she can’t let herself sit and relax for too long because she feels it’s a slippery slope to never being productive ever again. It makes sense to constantly feel that we are never doing enough; enough for ourselves, our family, our friends, and our business.

I research everything I can to understand how our mind and body work together. I feel like a fraud if I give suggestions or advice to people that I’m not following myself. I try to follow my own recommendations because I know in the long run, I do feel better. I’m more mindful, more optimistic and more content. I also know that when I get off track and not do everything I need to do for myself that it doesn’t help to beat myself up over it. It’s also something I’ve been able to tell other people: it’s okay to not be perfect.

Life gets in the way of our best laid out plans. It doesn’t mean we have to abandon the path we are working on, it just means we may have to take a different route. Our best stories come from our experiences with the challenges that we faced. Our own sense of inspiration comes from recognizing just how far we have come.

I can appreciate hearing other people’s stories of how they found success through their persistence. I understand that they want to share their knowledge and give advice to others. I think we all want to encourage and support each other. I just don’t believe that we can give anyone a shortcut to their own accomplishment. We all have to undertake our own journey. We learn from our failures. We all have to go through trial and error to find what works for us.

I do have a strong sense of resentment when I hear someone say: “If I can do it, so can you.” Everyone has their own set of circumstances and experiences. What works for one person will not work for another. I think a better statement would be “let me encourage and support you through your journey to success.”

The one piece of advice I have is to ask for help when you need it. It’s amazing how people seem to come out of the woodwork when you accept the fact that you can’t do it all by yourself. We do need each other. We need to be able to bounce ideas off of people; the wall we are staring at, simply will not offer feedback. Taking your thoughts out of your head, putting it down on paper and sharing it with others is how we begin to take action.

When we help others, we end up helping ourselves. We start to recognize that we want more from our lives and we start to find the time to make it happen. Some days will be more productive than others. We will have setbacks and it will be frustrating. If we can embrace the pitfalls and recognize them as part of the learning process, we will stay motivated to keep going.

The reality is the process is never-ending. We will always strive to be better. I will take my own advice to take care of myself and not push and pull on my life today. We’ll see about tomorrow.

Oct 18

To The Women Who Still Support Trump

By Celeste DeCamps | General

I’m trying to understand, with all that has happened in this election, why so many people, especially women, still support Trump. Maybe it’s because no matter who is wearing your team’s T-shirt, that’s who you are going to stay loyal to. Trump has disparaged everyone who is not a white Christian. A few days ago, it became painfully obvious that all women were, in Trump’s mind, objects. Objects that he can demean and degrade without any consequence. The victims that are coming forward are the ones being judged and refuted. All of this has brought up too many painful memories for me.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I wasn’t raped, just an attempted rape. I’ve met many women who have had similar experiences and it’s almost a given; you’re a woman and it’s going to happen to you on some level. I’ve been groped on a crowded subway: I’ve been pushed up against a wall by a boss who thought he had the right to do so; I’ve been followed by men; and I’ve been propositioned while standing on the sidewalk trying to cross the street. Because of my experiences, I am constantly aware of my surroundings. I walk with strength and confidence hoping that will be enough to keep me safe. I see the men who do this for the cowards that they are. They are the ones who are terrified of women. They are scared of being rejected by us, so they use their physical strength to impose their will on us. The pitiful excuse of the man who tried to rape me fits this description perfectly.

I was 20 years old working on my bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami where I had an internship at the cable station. The director and head of the station invited me to go to a networking event. This was the man who was in charge of my internship and my grade. After the event, he drove me to my car that was still in the cable station parking lot. I unlocked my door and got in. He opened the passenger side and jumped into the seat. He grabbed my car keys out of my hand and tried kissing me. I pushed him away but he kept coming at me. I said, “What is wrong with you? You’re married. You have to stop.” He responded, “Look, we both have been drinking. What’s the big deal?” I shouted,”I’m not drunk, and I certainly am not going to have sex with you. Get out of my car!” He looked at me and said, “I can fail you and ruin your grade point average”. He started to grab at me again. Something in me just snapped and I become so angry. I started yelling, “Let me tell you something you asshole: I will rip off your fucking face if you don’t get off me! I will tear your throat out and let everyone know what you tried to do!” ( I may look small and helpless, but I’m quite scary when I get mad) He looked at me and said, “Go ahead. Tell anyone you like. They are not going to believe you.” Thankfully, he got out of the car.

 

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The next day I went to my professor who set up the internship and informed him of what happened. His response was, “Is this the only way you can get hired for the job?” I looked at him dumbfounded and said,”I’m not going to work for him.” My professor said, “Well, it doesn’t really matter then.”

When I had to get my grade for this internship, the director had given my paperwork to his assistant, a woman whom I did very little work for. She decided to give me a C. I asked her what she was basing this grade on and she responded that she felt that was what I deserved. I took the paperwork and went to the director. I handed him the sheet and he just laughed, “Oh, you don’t like the grade she gave you?” I said, “She knows very little about the work I did here. I worked for you. Change this to an A. Now!” He changed my grade to an A.

I bring this last part up for a reason. Working with other women was also an obstacle. Instead of banding together and helping each other, I found many women siding with men, hoping that will give them the respect they want. All it did was help this type of behavior become acceptable.

That’s the only way I can reason why so many women will still support Trump. You can’t tell me it’s because you like his ideas or that Hillary is crooked. The facts are that Hillary Clinton has been investigated for Benghazi, her emails, her charitable foundation and still comes out innocent. Trump has done very little for this country. As a matter of fact he has done a lot to hurt people financially and emotionally. There is nothing presidential about him. He’s not smart; he’s a failed businessman and a sexual predator. It’s time that all women come together and send a loud message to all the cowards in this country that we will not stand for this type of behavior anymore.

Mar 23

Dance of the Seven Veils

By Celeste DeCamps | General

We all do our own Dance of the Seven Veils everyday.  We make quick decisions on what we will reveal of ourselves to others depending on circumstance and familiarity. Through experience we recognize what we can show to others and what we need to keep hidden. This concept seems simple enough but I grew up with parents who strongly believed in this philosophy “Don’t talk to anyone outside of the family about the family”. I was so afraid to divulge anything about myself to others that I said very little. This did make me a great listener but that is not enough if you are trying to cultivate friendships. People came to me with their problems and knew I would keep their secrets safe. These same people who confided in me would soon act like they didn’t know me. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t until a long time friend said to me, “You know so much about me and I don’t know anything about you. Is there a reason you don’t include me on what’s going on in your life”? This feeling of staying private was so ingrained in me that I didn’t realize that this action was keeping me from having real relationships.

Revealing ourselves little by little to people whom we want to know better is a give and take that I was not doing. They trusted me but I was not returning that trust. It took me a long time to figure out that other people were interested in knowing me, not just the surface part of me. That’s when I began to understand the layers we wrap ourselves up in. It’s trial and error of finding that line between too much information and what’s actually appropriate for the setting. I have performed on stage The Dance of the Seven Veils and I thought it could be used as an interesting analogy of what we do in our daily lives.

The first veil we drop is the one strangers see. We all want to make a good first impression, so we are on our best behavior. We come across happy, confident, well-adjusted, and fun. We keep an open mind to other people’s ideas. We are guarded on how much we will disclose of ourselves: think of first date, job interview and talking to the bartender.

The second veil we drop is for our casual friends or acquaintances; people we don’t see on a regular basis but they are important to our network. Our conversations revolve around work and family but rarely get much deeper than that. These are people we hope will think of us for business opportunities, references or call us when they have tickets to a Yankees game they can’t use.

The third vail we drop is for our co-workers. We want them to see us as hard working, professional, ethical and efficient. We want them to hear our ideas and appreciate the work we are doing. We want to be accepted as  team players. For most of us our co-workers become our second family. It makes sense to get frustrated or impatient at times with the people you are dealing with on a regular basis. To keep good working relationships steady we choose our words carefully: no matter how mad we get at Paul for eating the yogurt that clearly has our name on it.

The fourth veil we drop is for our family. I know what you’re thinking: that our family knows us best. Not necessarily. They have known us since we were kids and most likely they will always see us as kids. I believe we want to make our parents and siblings proud of us. Let’s face it though, I’m sure there are things that we have done in our life that are better left unsaid when it comes to our family; of course that may just be me.

The fifth veil we drop is for our very best friend. This is the person who knows us best; whom we can truly be ourselves with. The one who gets our twisted sense of humor; who doesn’t try to change us; the one we can tell our deepest, darkest secrets and know we will not be judged; with whom we can be as silly as we want and not feel bad about it. It helps that we know where their skeletons are buried as well.

The sixth veil we drop is for our partner in crime otherwise known as the significant other. Hopefully, this person is also our best friend. This is the one who sees us completely naked and still loves us. Who puts up with us when our sunny disposition isn’t so sunny. When we can argue with that person and know that they are not going to leave but stay and fight. Who will challenge us and make us grow as a person more than any other relationship we have. Which is perfect because we are doing the same for them. I try to be fair with my husband and let him know that if he keeps pushing my buttons the psycho bitch will come out and rip his face off. I believe honesty is the best policy.

The seventh veil we drop is for us. Only we know our innermost thoughts. Our experiences and perceptions that are shaped by our life is ours alone. We know the struggle of trying to improve ourselves. Trying to be more understanding, more forgiving and more compassionate is an ongoing process. We have to remember to be kind to ourselves and love ourselves unconditionally. We have to be comfortable with our own company. I know I am because I know how to make a great cocktail and I appreciate that.

Mar 05

Life In The Distracted Lane

By Celeste DeCamps | General

When I was growing up, I had never heard of Attention Deficit Disorder-ADD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder-ADHD. It wasn’t until my little brother’s teacher informed me that he should get evaluated. I was in the classroom watching him spin around like a whirling dervish and his teacher explained her concern. She said “If I ask Tommy to slide under the table, jump over the chair, and walk around the circle of kids to get to the door, he would do it. But, if I tell him to walk from here to the door, he would run into the table, knock over the chair and stumble into the circle of kids trying to get to the door. He’s smart but he is hyper and cannot sit still for more than a few minutes. He is easily distracted, and I’m worried that he will have a tough time getting through school.” I respected this teacher. She wasn’t looking to medicate an energetic child but I noticed, early on, that Tommy had a hard time focusing on anything for very long. He couldn’t sit still and would run himself ragged. He had many nights that his whole body hurt from playing so hard and not being able to relax. I had him tested by a group of neurologists that the pediatrician recommended.They told me that the drug Ritalin has been around for over fifty years. It is getting a bad reputation lately because too many people are using it on children who don’t need it.  In Tommy’s case, Ritalin helped him sit through class. He said it felt good not to have to constantly keep moving; he admitted he finally felt comfortable in his own skin.

I started researching ADD to better understand and help my brother. A friend of mine, a psychologist, recommended Thom Hartmann’s book “Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception”. Mr. Hartmann put forward a great understanding of this condition by using the analysis of being a Hunter or a Farmer. My friend said, “You might find this very helpful” and I realized she wasn’t just talking about Tommy.

I was never that hyper but I always had trouble staying focused when I was in school. I would try to stay in the moment and listen to the teacher but inevitably, my mind would wander to a million places. I fell easily into daydreams and when I would “wake up” I would realize that I missed the last half hour of the teacher’s lecture. Recess was not much different. I would be jumping rope one minute and then trying to catch a football in the next. The idea of sticking to just one game didn’t make sense to me.

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I would constantly tell myself that when the weekend came, I would get my homework done first thing. I would not wait till Sunday night to do it. Yes, you guessed right, homework was not even looked at until Sunday night. Even now, I will put off work until the deadline is just a few hours away.

Case in point. I started this article last year. With no deadline, there’s no reason for me to even finish this. Why bother now? Well, I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last couple of years. One of the biggest things is the decision to stop doubting and over analyzing everything I do. Oh, I hope that came out right. Maybe I should do a rewrite after all. Nope, I’ll just keep going. I’ve learned to write down a real plan of action. Seeing my goals set down on a daily basis gives me the motivation to move forward.

Wait, I need to stop here and file my nails. I will also go look in the fridge even though I’m not hungry. While I’m in the kitchen, I will do the dishes I left in the sink this morning which will lead me to cleaning the microwave, the stove and the countertop before I sit down and continue working on this piece. Okay, so I’m still working on the discipline part. Back to Thom Hartmann’s book. He writes:

People with ADD are the descendants of hunters. They’d have to be constantly scanning their environment looking for food and for threats to them:that’s distractibility. They’d have to make instant decisions and act on them without a second’s thought when they’re chasing or being chased through the forest or jungle, which is impulsivity. And they’d have to love the high-stimulation and risk-filled environment of the hunting field. It’s only a flaw if you’re in a society of farmers.

Mr. Hartmann goes on to explain that today’s society awards the Farmers. Farmers are people who can keep to a routine day after day. They can sit still and absorb information. They can pick a career and job that they will do for the rest of their lives. Hunters on the other hand, have trouble sitting in class for long periods of time. Their attention span is great when it’s information that they are interested in, otherwise, it is fleeting. They will also have a few different careers. Not because they can’t find something they like, but because they get bored easily. It’s a wonderful book to read whether to gain better understanding of yourself or perhaps your child or your spouse.

For me, it gave me a whole new way to look at myself. It was nice to know that there are so many other people who feel and act the same way I do. If we were living in a different time our skill sets would be envied and not frustrating to the people around us. Thom Hartmann’s book also explains how adults with ADD have been able to adapt and work out their own version of a routine. For example: If I want to know where my keys are, I have to put them in the same place everyday, otherwise, they will be lost forever. Time has never meant anything to me but I’m never late because I know to prepare the night before.  If I want to complete my to-d0-list, I have to have it written out with a deadline for each task, otherwise, I will find plenty to distract me. Oh, look, it’s snowing.

My brother, Tommy, is all grown up now. He has turned his passion for cooking into the never ending study of being a chef. He likes the creative outlet of preparing new dishes. The restaurant life works for him because everyday has its own set of challenges. With a little guidance and a lot of patience, people with ADD have quite a bit to contribute to our community.

Now, where did I put my keys?

Nov 24

What is the Antidote to Fear? The Word “Yes!”

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement

I am taking Improvisation classes to become a better speaker on stage. I want to be able to respond quickly and intelligently to my audience. The fundamental tools that I am learning should be taught in grade school and reinforced in junior high and high school. The skills in Improv are developed with a basic understanding of two words “Yes”, “And.” The deal is that whatever your scene partner is saying and doing you will respond to agreement and add on your suggestions as well. In return, your partner will do the same. The dialogue would become an unending argument if the players refuse to agree with each other. I think this kind of collaboration would be useful in dealing with classmates as well as colleagues. There is something very liberating about trying out thoughts and ideas and not being judged. Some things work and some don’t and we all move on with a better understanding of the process as well as a better understanding of each other. We all come from different backgrounds and perceptions but what makes everything work is the lack of conflict. Each person has agreed to agree. It’s amazing how fun and creative the conversations become when there is no argument or criticism.

Our whole lives are improvised. We did not come into this world with a script. We have to rely on making the best choices in hopes of desired results and many times failing in the process, but that’s how we learn. We are constantly working with the notion of saying “Yes.” Saying “Yes” gives you the power to try something new. It gives you permission to step outside of your routine in hopes of finding opportunities you wouldn’t have if  you said “No.”  In my opinion saying “No” is the same as giving into fear. Fear of not being perfect, fear of failure, fear of negative judgement by our peers. My big fear is not failing but of not trying. I always think, “What’s the worst that can happen?” The answer is, “I might fail and learn something.” I’m fine with that.

I learned to say “Yes” when I was in college. I was so shy and  full of trepidation of saying and doing the wrong thing that it paralyzed me. The turning point for me was deciding that I wanted to have a life that was full of great experiences no matter what. I signed up to be a DeeJay for the college radio station. I was so scared that I didn’t think I would have the guts to open the mic and introduce the next song. It was 3:00 in the morning and I figured no one’s listening anyway and I punched the button and was off and running. I have no idea what I said but for the next three hours I conquered my fear. In no time at all I was doing three rock shows a week in prime time and hosted Sunday Afternoon Jazz. It was a huge accomplishment for me. It also gave me the strength and determination to set bigger goals for myself. When an opportunity presented itself and it was out of my comfort zone, I would say “Yes” and see where it took me. Each experience taught me something new. Every time I tried a new venture, I would attract knowledgeable people who would guide me. I remain open to new ideas and suggestions. I have no problem asking and taking advice. I enjoy constructive criticism.

When I look back and think of the adventures I’ve had, the best ones involved taking a leap of faith.

Zipline

Tackling the Zip-line at Banning Mills, Georgia

Think back to when you were deciding on your career path. Did you instinctively know what you wanted to do or did you leave yourself open to all possibilities? How were your interests and hobbies formed? Was it a parent’s influence, something your friends were doing or was it simply an idea played out on TV? Whatever the reason, something inside you connected with the possibility and a course of action took place. It’s hard to keep working on something and not seeing success, yet it is part of the journey. Success will come but you will always want it to be better. Practicing and perfecting never ends. The important part is that you said “Yes.” You didn’t allow fear to control your actions. You allowed yourself to risk failure in order to succeed. That is what life is all about.

Take the advice of an Improv class and decide to be open to new ideas. Learn to say “Yes.” Confront the anxiety, the nervousness, the dread and all the other negative thoughts your mind is screaming at you. Take control and be positive that you are on the right path and will see the desired results. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

 

 

 

 

Sep 16

Tropical Breakfast Smoothie

By Celeste DeCamps | Recipes

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For a calcium boost try this creamy and delicious smoothie. Total calories: 335

1 – 5.30z of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt-90 calories

1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk-30 calorie

1/2 of a Ripe Banana-55 calories

1 cup of All Natural Pineapple Chunks -100 calories

1 tbsp of Chia Seeds-60 calories

Mix together in your blender or NutriBullet

Chia Seeds is a great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Carbohydrates, Protein, Fiber, Antioxidants and Calcium.

 

Aug 22

I Need More Fun In My Life

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement

White Water Rafting GA

White Water Rafting GA

 

I’m not stressed. Everything is fine. I have nothing to complain about. Yes, my job is a little demanding, whose isn’t? Yes, my family makes constant requests from me, but that’s how families are. Yes, I don’t get enough sleep but it’s hard to go to bed early when I’m still finishing up with the dinner dishes, answering emails and helping with homework. Okay, maybe I’m a little stressed out.

Sounds familiar? Why do we hate to admit that our lives are not our own? We are either caring for a family, working or both. We don’t want to let anyone down, so we end up with more responsibilities than we can handle. We always think that as soon as this project is over or as soon as school lets out, then we will be able to do something fun. When we finally decide to take a vacation, that’s when we get sick. It’s as if our minds and our bodies know that we need a break and to make sure we get some rest, we come down with a cold. Is there a way off this merry-go-round or do we just try to make the best of it?

I think it’s time to get out of this vicious cycle and demand more fun in our lives. I know, easier said than done. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone has a different set of circumstances and challenges that make it difficult to set a course that will work for everybody. I do have some suggestions that might help find a way to sneak some “you” time in without neglecting your significant others.

1. Plan your day the night before or if you are an overachiever plan your week out on Sunday. Scheduling priorities that pertain to you such as going to the gym, dance class, poetry readings or other interests is important. This way if someone needs you to be somewhere or do something for them, you can look at your calendar and see if it can be done without you missing your event.

2. Learn to set boundaries. People can only take advantage of you if you let them. Of course, it never hurts to ask, but then that person should understand that the answer from you can be no.

3. Stop being Superwoman. You do not need to be at everyone’s beck and call and take on more than you can handle. Learn to delegate at work and at home. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teach your children how to do the laundry. Get your children to help prepare dinner and the clean up afterward. Just remember to have patience. Once these expectations become the norm, it will become easier when you don’t have to do everything yourself.

4. Meditate Meditate Meditate– Even if it’s for a few minutes. Breathing slowly and focusing on the light and energy within you, is enough to center and relax you.

5. Do not miss an opportunity for fun. If a friend is inviting you out to a party or movie-GO! Do not stay home because you don’t feel you look your best or housework should be done. Our lives are made up of memories and experiences. They should be filled with moments with loved ones and exciting adventures.

6. Get plenty of sleep. Our bodies and minds are recharged with a good night’s rest. Turn the television off and power down the computer. If you are having trouble getting your brain to relax, pick up a book. You could also use this time to write down everything good that happened that day. Focusing on the positive puts you in a more peaceful state.

7. Make the time to eat healthy. When your body has the proper fuel, you have more energy to take on the challenges you face everyday.  Also remember to exercise. Not only does it help to relieve stress, but it keeps your body and mind strong.

8. Have a sense of self importance. Many people unconsciously feel that they need to constantly prove their self-worth. The fear is if they turn down an extra project or refuse to take on more tasks that somehow they will be seen as undependable. Do not set yourself up for failure by taking on more responsibility than you already have. If you spread yourself too thin, you will not be putting out quality work but, instead, will be needlessly stressing yourself out.

9.  Friendships are important. Everyone needs someone to confide in. It has to be a two way street. You can’t be the one who always listens and is never heard. When you have that perfect person in your life, cultivate that friendship by emails, phone calls and definitely nights out. Don’t let weeks and months go by without getting together.

10. Don’t spend energy revisiting past regrets. It’s easy to do especially if you are not feeling great about yourself. Instead, see the accomplishments that brought you where you are today. Each new challenge gives us the opportunity to learn just how smart and resilient we really are.

I hope at least a couple of these suggestions will work for you. There is no planning for the unexpected twists and turns our lives take.

If life was smooth and easy, it would be boring and we wouldn’t have any interesting or inspiring stories to tell.