Archive for the ‘Self-Care’ Tag

Reducing Holiday Stress: Say “No” to Get to “Yes,” Plus 2 Days Left   Leave a comment

Dear Friends,

Do you find it easy to say “Yes,” to others’ requests, but hard to say “Yes” to yourself?

Do you have a vision or intention for how to spend your holidays, but get hijacked by requests that you have a hard time saying “No” to?

The holidays can be a time of joy and cheer, as well as elicit feelings of stress and pressure.

While we may enjoy all that the holidays offer as we attend parties and other events; decorate our homes; shop for special gifts; visit friends and travel to see relatives and; make our favorite holiday recipes, among other festivities, we can also feel stretched and experience a strain on our time, energy, and financial reserves.

We may rationalize our decision to forgo our own needs, because we don’t want to offend our friends and family members, or risk disapproval from those we love or value.

But saying “No” provides an opportunity for others to grow, and care for themselves, and respect your personal needs.

Here are seven tips, and related questions, to help you gain clarity and take care of yourself this holiday season:

1. Take Inventory

– When are you saying “Yes” when you would rather say “No?”

– Are there particular circumstances or people who present a challenge?

2.  Be Mindful

– How does it feel in your body when you say “Yes” instead of “No?”

– Pay attention to stress and tension.

3.  Is what you fear will happen really true?

– How do you know?

– Is what you’re afraid of happening absolutely true?

– Regardless of what has happened in the past, this is a new moment.

– How can you take care of yourself if what you’re afraid of actually happens?

4.  What is saying “Yes” costing you?

– Are you tired and forfeiting rest?

– Do you have the financial resources to travel or buy expensive presents?

– Do you want to attend the events you’ve been invited to, or go out of obligation and later feel angry or resentful?

– What other costs might there be?

5.  Are you willing to pay the price?

– If you’re answer is “Yes,” do so with awareness. What will the payoffs be?

– If your answer is “No,” what could you do instead” (See #6 below)

6.  Saying “No” takes practice

– If you’re feeling nervous about expressing yourself, you may find it helpful to write down what it is you want to say.

– Then practice with a friend, a coach, or even in the mirror!

7.  Moving Forward

– What qualities do you need to grow inside yourself in order to feel comfortable setting healthy boundaries?

– Reflect on a time you were presented with a challenge and took care of yourself by setting a healthy boundary.

– Notice how the positive sensations feel in your body, and let the feelings flow through you.

– You can also think about how you felt – perhaps you felt a sense of confidence, or felt secure or empowered.

– Let the good feelings soak in as you stay with the experience for five to 20 seconds.

As always, I would love to hear from you.

With love,

Theresa

If you found today’s post helpful, please comment and share.

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Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, Workshop Facilitator, and author with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.  

 

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) More Will Be Revealed   Leave a comment

Dear Friends,

I began writing “this week’s” blog last week. Like many of you, my emotions have been up and down after last Tuesday’s election. After a tumultuous campaign season, although it’s only been a week since the election, it feels more like years.

I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary.  Perhaps you did, as well, or were a Hillary or Trump supporter.  Regardless of who we voted for, one thing is certain – we share a common goal – our desire for love, contentment and happiness is universal.

I am dismayed by the violence of protestors – whether they be for or against Donald Trump. The emotions we are experiencing – on all sides – must be channeled constructively for true and lasting change.

As I reflect on the conflict here, at home, and around the world, I can’t help but think of our brains’ primitive survival mechanism to fight or flee: an automatic response that fuels conflict and war – both interpersonal and global, when we perceive a threat. When we act on automatic pilot, we forget that we have a choice for how we respond – but it takes  but it takes discipline and effort. (Think of the last time you reacted to something a loved one said? It’s easy to let ourselves get triggered.)

So with emotions flying high, how do we reconnect – person to person – and find our common ground? How do we listen, with respect and understanding, to what our brothers and sisters are saying without getting lost in a web of fear and hate? Communication is our greatest ally, when we allow ourselves to listen to what one another is saying – underneath the rhetoric.

What goes up must come down. Change is a never ending cycle. Call me naive, but what we perceive as the worst-case scenario now, can bring deep healing and change in the future. As spiritual leaders have told us throughout the centuries, change begins within ourselves. We are not powerless, but how we use our power is essential for the good of all concerned.

Who do we wish to be in the midst of our current political climate, knowing that the energy we put out has an effect on ourselves and the world at large? Our thoughts, behaviors and emotions contribute to love or fear. What do we wish to create in spite of what others are doing?

As Martin Luther King Jr. so graciously wrote in his book Strength To Love in 1963 applies just as much, if not more, now:

“At the center of nonviolence stands then principle of love. The non-violent resister would contend that in the struggle for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter and indulging in hate campaigns. To retaliate in kind would do nothing but intensify the existence of hate in the universe. Along the way of life, someone must have the sense and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.”

As I contemplate Dr. King’s words, I feel a sense of expansion, and am filled with peace and love. If it feels right to you, I invite you to let his words resonate deep within you. And, should you feel inspired to take action on local or global issues, how do you wish to contribute? Tune in to your heart and listen. If time and resources are not within your current means, sending love is just as powerful an action as others.

In times of doubt or fear, which we are all likely to experience, here are four ways to reconnect to strength and love:

1.  Respond. When tempted to react to what you see or hear, take a breath, walk away, and take a moment to calm down. So often, in the heat of emotion, we are tempted to lash out and react, creating fear and suffering for ourselves and others. Giving yourself the time and space required to calm down will allow you to respond with greater confidence and power.

2.  Take Inspired Action. Quiet the mind and listen to your heart. Your actions will be more effective and your decisions more impactful.

3.  Develop Loving Backbone: Don’t worry about what others are doing or saying. Take a stand for the values you believe in without getting caught in a wave of emotion, blame or judgment. Let the wisdom of your inner voice guide you.

4.  Self-Care. When feeling anxious or out of sorts, ask yourself what you need to do to restore harmony and balance. Then honor yourself and take appropriate actions.

Although our state of affairs may look dire and confusing at the moment, we can only see a small fraction of the picture. More will be revealed.

With love,

Theresa

If you know someone who would find this post helpful, please share.

Would you like to experience greater joy and balance in your life? Or have a goal you desire to achieve?

Email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com to schedule a 30-minute Complimentary Coaching Consultation. It would be a pleasure to speak with you.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

To schedule a 30-minute Complimentary Coaching Consultation to learn how you, too, can improve your health and accomplish your desires, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

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Treat Yourself To Love. And, A Free Valentines Gift For You   Leave a comment

Preamble

For those of us living in U.S., today marks our annual celebration of Valentine’s Day, a holiday  designated to acknowledge those we love.

As a special gift to you, it is my great pleasure to offer you a preview of my recently completed e-book, “Alphabet Affirmations To Transform Your Life And Love Yourself.”

Drawing on Positive Psychology and New Thought Philosophy, Alphabet Affirmations uses the letters of the alphabet to transform our consciousness and love ourselves. Alphabet Affirmations contains 78 powerful statements and space to write your own! Coined as “Absolutely Beautiful, Charming and Delightful!” by one reviewer, I would love to share it with you!

Email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com for your free copy and awaken to the Love within you.

And, as an extra gift, I invite you to take advantage of this month’s Special Valentine’s Day Offer and save 33% on a 3-Month Coaching Program. See the Announcements Section below for more information.

And now, in keeping with the theme of love, on to this month’s blog, “Treat Yourself to Love.”

Treat Yourself To Love

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

dating make you shudder or retreat to your coach to watch reruns of your favorite TV show?

We all desire love. It’s as natural as breathing. We were born to thrive and loving is a necessary component. But we often shelter ourselves and hold back from taking the risk that would lead us to greater happiness and fulfillment.

If you’ve been hiding out, it’s time to try something new and expand your horizons. Here are seven tools, which act like seeds, to help you sprout new roots and blossom:

  1. When looking for true love, the first step in the process is learning to love yourself. Appreciate who you are and honor your gifts and talents. You will become magnetic and attract people who resonate on your level. You will also be inclined to select a partner who respects and treats you well.
  1. Having a partner with similar interests in essential for a thriving relationship. Take note of the activities that bring you joy and are important for you to share. The list will help you choose someone with whom you are well suited.
  1. Are you clam and patient? Energetic and active? Quiet and Reflective? Choosing a partner with a similar temperament will improve your ability to understand and relate to each other.
  1. Brainstorm a list of qualities you want in a partner to ensure a fulfilling relationship Then, prioritize your list and pick the top 10 attributes as your “must have’s.” Kindness, generosity and good communication are three potential examples.
  1. Do the same for characteristics that turn  you off and are top 10 deal-breakers. Swearing, addictions and self-centeredness are three possible examples.
  1. Review your list of interests and choose something you’ve wanted to do, but have been afraid to try, and do it. Pick something small enough to get you started, but big enough to stretch you, than build on your success. Doing what you love provides opportunities to meet others who share mutual interests.
  1. Have fun with the process and don’t be attached to outcomes.

Wishing you a love-filled journey!
Theresa

Disclaimer: As with any exercise or process, the choice to use it is at your own risk and is your personal responsibility.

Announcements:

Special Valentine’s Day Offer: Enjoy a 33% Discount On A 3-Month Coaching Program

This nine (9) session coaching program will create a solid foundation for your life.

We will begin with a 90-minute Discovery Session, in which we take stock of your life, identify your needs, and create goals that allow you to experience greater health, happiness and fulfillment. This powerful process will help you to gain clarity and direction about your life path and establish an action plan to move you forward.

During our weekly coaching calls, we will work together to address your needs and goals, both immediate and long term; identify and work through blocks that may be standing in the way of your success; brainstorm and test out options to realize your dreams and goals in ways that resonate most strongly with your personal essence, and develop a strategic plan, with clear action steps, and a specific timetable, for reaching your goals.

Your 3-Month Coaching Program includes:

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  • Eight (8) one-hour coaching sessions by telephone or Skype
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For more information and to purchase your coaching program, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com.  It would be my pleasure to serve you.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients transform their stress into harmony and balance, so they can realize their dreams, and live healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.  To learn more, visit Theresa’s website or email her at Theresa@reconnecting2you.com

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) The Art of Caring   Leave a comment

Preamble

Having spent seven years caring for my elderly father, I used to think caregiving was a term explicity used when caring for an elderly or ailing family member. However, my concept of caregiving began to change when a friend called me to task and proclaimed that as a mom, she was a caregiver, too.  Her comment got me thinking.

I have since realized that caregiving takes many forms and spans across multiple professions, including those who care for our health, well-being and communities: therapists, doctors, healthcare providers, healers, aids, coaches, police officers, fire fighters, and members of our armed forces, among others.

This week’s TNT provides practical tips for anyone involved in the art of caring.

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool): The Art of Caring

 

As a caregiver, you may find the balance between caring for the needs of your loved one and yourself difficult. You may wrestle with guilt, remorse, anger, frustration, and resentment, and then judge or berate yourself for feeling that way.  And over the long haul, your own health and well-being may suffer. Having been my father’s primary caregiver, and coached many a client and friend, I speak from personal experience. There are several things you can do, however, to maintain (or regain!) your sense of balance.

The following tips will help to nourish your body, mind and soul, and in the process, serve to prevent burnout.

* Take a breath break!

Although breathing is involuntary, and something we inherently do, we often create physical and emotional tension by unconsciously holding our breath when under stress. (Can you relate?) This disrupts our biochemistry, prevents oxygen from nourishing the cells, and builds toxins in the body. The simple act of breathing will improve your health, reduce anxiety, and help you respond, rather than react, when in crises or feeling under duress.

To implement, simply stop at various times throughout the day to tune in to your body and notice your breathing.  If you are holding your breath, stop what you are doing and take a moment to consciously breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As your breathe in, notice the air as it touches your  nostrils. Repeat two more times, then notice any changes you may feel (more relaxed for instance, or a release of tension). Set the alarm on your phone or other device to check again in 30 minutes. It’s as simple as that!  Applied often enough, it will become a habit.

* Get inspired!

I get it. We’re all busy. But inspiration rocks! And surely, you can find 10-minutes (ok, five will do for starters) to nourish your spirit and prepare for the day. Read something you love, stop to smell a flower or admire something beautiful on the way to work, sing, dance or listen to music. There are 1440 minutes in a day. You can rest assured you’re entitled to at leat five of them!

Inspiration feeds the body, mind, and soul and releases endorphins that will energize and strengthen you.  Not only that, your self-esteem will get a face lift to boot, and you’ll be better able to maintain your sense of optimism and creativity. Important components in the art of self-care and balance.

* Make a date!

Thank Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way for this one.

Take time for yourself once week to go on a dream date. If you need to start slow, even an hour or two will do much to improve your mood, enhance your health and enrich your relationships. Get your nails done, visit your favorite museum, or take yourself out to lunch. In other words – take some time out to enjoy and replenish yourself!

Don’t think you have time? Or financial resources? I can dig it. Sit and make a list of all the things you like to do that are low-cost or free. Then, block the time out in your calendar, as you would a “real” date and do it! You are important!

(Tip: If you like museums, check to see if the ones in your community offer a free or “pay as you wish” day. Many local colleges also offer low cost, fun programs.)

* Set boundaries

We all overextend ourselves at one point in time or another. After all, our nature is to give. The problem occurs when we overextend ourselves on a regular basis, and our giving becomes hazardous to our sense of well-being.

For instance, you’ve likely heard the story (true or not) about the mother whose child gets lodged under a car after being run over by a distracted driver. Frightened for her child, she digs deep within herself and finds the strength to lift the car in order to save him. That’s an awesome feat! But if it happened everyday, once a week or even once a month, she would either be a superwoman or burn out from exhaustion. The same holds true when you are consistently stretched beyond the limits of what you can naturally give, with no relief to help or support you.

We want to give our best.  We love the people to whom we give care. And let’s face it, it’s sometimes hard to say no. We don’t want to disappoint or may fear disapproval. Or, on the other hand, we may be afraid to give up control (guilty!) because we believe that we can do whatever needs to be done better than anyone else. Well, that might be true, but it’s equally true that there are extremely capable people who would be willing and able to help – with or without a fee – if you allow yourself to ask them.

Maintaining a sense of balance requires that you are clear with yourself and others about what you can and cannot do. For instance, while caring for my elderly father, I would often feel remorse because he spent so much time alone, and I was concerned that he didn’t have enough stimulation or company. It was neither healthy nor possible for me to be the only one to visit him, so I did a little research and found a community organization that offered a free home visitation program– and voila!  The organization set up weekly visits and provided a host of other services that we hadn’t even inquired about.

It may take a little ingenuity, but if I was able to do it, you could do it, too! Asking for support doesn’t make you weak – rather it demonstrates your strength and courage.

Family members, friends, neighbors, churches and community organizations are there to help. One important caveat: Don’t get attached to who (or who does not!) respond. Sometimes, the help you need will come from the most unlikely places! Be open and willing to receive it.

* Have fun!

Along with keeping your weekly dates, make sure you plan to have a little fun on a regular basis. Having fun invigorates, inspires, increases the endorphins that lift our spirits and keeps us feeling strong and healthy. In his book, Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins talks about healing himself from cancer by, among other things, watching episodes of The Three Stooges. Laughter heals. It’s also good for circulation and stimulates the body’s organs. (Ever hear of Laughing Yoga?)

* Connect with Others

Coffee with a friend or a chat on the phone can be medicine for the soul.  Why not sweeten your live with a little natural sugar!

As always, I would love to hear your comments!

Theresa Conti is a Reconnective Healing™ Practitioner, CertifiedLife Coach and Workshop Presenter, specializing in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and live happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. For more information, or to be placed on Theresa’s mailing list, please visit her website at www.reconnecting2you.com, email her at  Theresa@reconnecting2you.com or call her directly at 917-478-1722.

Copying (C) 2016 Theresa Conti.  All rights reserved.

 

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