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Ten Tips to Reduce Stress and Guilt


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Stress and guilt seem to go hand-in-hand. As a working parent, there seems to be plenty of both to go around! Below are a couple of quick tips that can greatly reduce feelings of stress and guilt creating greater life harmony.

1. Consciously choose what you want to do When you say "Yes" to one thing, you are automatically saying "No" to something else. Think about that the next time a request comes your way and be conscious about what it is you'll need to say "No" to in order to say yes.

2. Let go of the need to conform to the expectations of others A dear friend of mine recently said that turning 40 was liberating in that she no longer felt the need to please anyone! Why wait until you're 40 (or 50 or 60 etc.) to begin making decisions that are in the best interest of you and your family?

3. Create a balanced view for your life Take into account your season of life. Are you currently a corporate climber or business owner growing your business? Do you have young children? Older children (seasoned parents say kids need you MORE in the teen years than you think they will)? Are you an empty nester? Take these things into consideration as you create your vision for a balanced life. Ensure your own expectations match up with the reality of your life situation.

4. Say Yes to the RIGHT things It's not about saying no to everything but evaluating your response to make the best decision for you AND the requester. If saying yes to a request is going to add a level of excitement, energy or fulfillment to your life (even if it means taking away some of that precious time), it's likely something you'll want to accept. In contrast, saying yes to a request that will create feelings of resentment, being used, and drains on your energy aren't in your best interest or that of the requester.

5. Care for your body, mind and spirit I know, it SOUNDS selfish, but in reality if you aren't at your best, how can you GIVE your best? Do something for your body, mind, and spirit on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and watch your energy increase! This leads to a happier person/parent/spouse/employee and benefits everyone!

6. Set clear boundaries Boundaries and self esteem seem to go hand in hand. Through the work I've done, I find when a client has a strong sense of themselves and healthy self esteem they have an easier time setting AND ENFORCING their boundaries. When a client struggles with boundaries, very often they are struggling with their own sense of worth. When they value themselves, their time, their experiences, they won't let others walk all over them. It's not about being harsh or walking all over others, but caring for ourselves sufficiently to say "enough" when needed.

7. Use your values as the tie breaker between competing goals or events Values are not morals or principles. Values are who we really are. They represent our unique selves and shape your actions. Values are our true north and serve as a compass to make sure we are headed the right direction in our life. When the choice is hard or feels like a tie, the option that best supports your values will be most satisfying in the long run. So take a look at the difficult choice and identify the options and what values are honored by each. Choose the option that honors your highest value. Need help identifying your values? See the Values List found through the freebies on my website.

8. Remove tolerations Tolerate is defined by Encarta Dictionary as, "to be willing to allow something to happen or exist", "to withstand the unpleasant effects of something". By tolerating things, we are allowing that unpleasantness to continue creating more stress and guilt. You are likely putting up with more than you think. Tolerations can be minor like a button needing to be sewed on; a pile of papers on your desk needing to be filed; a stack of mail to be sorted, or some minor home repairs needing to be checked off the honey-do list! OR, tolerations can be BIG ones like an unfulfilling job, a toxic relationship, or a micro managing boss. Raising your awareness of these tolerations and articulating them brings them to the forefront of your mind and you'll naturally start handling, eliminating, fixing, growing through and resolving them.

9. Play to your strengths, talents, & passion There are those things you KNOW you are good at. You're the person people turn to JUST for that talent or strength. When faced with a request or the need to make some choices, choosing to take on a new task, role, or projects that allow you to use your natural strengths and abilities will cause less stress and can add feelings of fulfillment to your life. For me, numbers don't come easy! But I naturally connect well with people and easily make decisions (my siblings would call it bossy!). I'm NOT the ideal candidate to be treasurer of the PTO, but using my leadership abilities to connect with other business owners and Co-Chair the Small Office Home Office group at my chamber plays to MY strengths. I end up enjoying what I do and it shows. Versus saying yes to a request to do something that doesn't come naturally can create a sense of resentment and the task becomes a burden.

10. Hire a coach! OK, I KNOW I'm biased, but I also speak from personal experience! I hired MY first coach before ever thinking it was a career option for me. In fact, I didn't really even know about the profession of coaching when I met Elene, by divine intervention, scrapbooking! Initially, I came to coaching for insight and assistance during a career transition. What I ended up getting was a greater understanding of myself and what was important to me and how to tie THAT into my next career move. I also learned how to better manage my time, reduce stress and guilt, and motivate myself for continuous success. Not only did I choose a new career and pursue it, I used what I learned through my coaching to create a fulfilling and joyful personal life. Don't get me wrong, my life isn't always a "bed of roses", but I try to enjoy the journey and like that I have a plan and tools and strategies to realize it. Here are some additional ways coaching can be of benefit to success-oriented individuals:

Business / Career * Gain clarity about business and career goals * Improve decision making ability * Advance your career or business * Improve time-management skills * Sustain focus on your top priorities * Make and keep more money * Reduce isolation, have a supportive person for a sounding board and accountability

Personal Life * Get to the source of problems quickly * Balance your business and personal life * Re-design your life to make it the way you really want it * Enhance self-confidence * Get past personal blind spots * Overcome fears & procrastination * Enhance health, energy and performance If you're still struggling, you'll find lots of free articles, seminars and tools on my website to help you further.

About the Author

Victoria is a professionally trained and certified Business and Personal Coach. She helps ambitious working parents grow their business, live Guilt-Free, reclaim time and energy, and accomplish what really matters. After working with her, clients feel they have greater balance in their life, excel in their business and, most importantly, have more time for themselves and their families.

Her website is

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-07-09 22:27:36 in Personal Articles

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