Balance: Not just for yoga

We need to take control and responsibility for the kind of lives we want to lead. If you don’t design your life someone else will design it for you and you may not like their idea of balance.
— Nigel Marsh

How is your May going?  As I think about that question personally, I realize that year after year, the month of May has always been busy for me.  Whether its kids wrapping up the school year and starting summer programs, graduation festivities, planning weekend getaways, backyard BBQs or getting out into the yard that I’ve abandoned over the winter, it seems that the weekend is never long enough to get everything done that’s on the list.  This May is no different.  In my work as a coach, I often encounter leaders who are struggling with stress in their life.  This month I realized that I needed to look myself in the mirror and remind myself of some strategies that I often share with leaders.  I needed to find some balance.    

When stress manages us.

  • People lacking this competency tend to view stress as external events; they don’t realize that stress is our reaction to external events.  They are unable to concentrate, become forgetful, can’t think clearly.  They tend to worry about the future.  They have a low frustration tolerance and engage in unpredictable, sometimes explosive, abusive or self-defeating behavior

Gain your balance back.

  • Recognize that stress is a part of daily life and think of it as a chance to grow
  • Become aware – in the moment - of your own reactions to stress and choose a healthier response
  • Expect change; learn to anticipate and tolerate uncertaintyFind a relaxation technique that works for you and practice it regularly (i.e., deep breathing, meditation, relaxation tapes, listen to music, take a walk, take up yoga, take up a hobby, read a book or see a movie to get your mind off things, get a massage, exercise, do Reiki or Tai Chi, visualize a happy, stress-free time and make a genuine attempt to re-activate those feelings of relaxation and no stress)
  • Develop assertive behaviors, speak up on your own behalf, there’s no need to accept abusive or bullying behavior
  • Be healthy. Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet daily-eating a healthy diet makes you better prepared to cope with stress; Get enough sleep; Sweat the stress out through exercise (take a run or walk, stretch, do yoga, lift weights)
  • Talk with a good friend about your worries/problems and find other ways to connect with others (share your feelings
  • Budget your time wisely. Leave enough time to get to your destination (the airport, your next meeting) so you aren’t feeling stressed while getting there
  • Plan ahead, avoid procrastination, set boundaries on your time and insist that others honor them
  • Set realistic goals, prioritize, do your best and let it go at that
  • Try not to control the uncontrollable; assume control only over what’s within your control
  • Stop blaming yourself
  • Focus on the positive and the good
  • Pare down your “to-do” list
  • Practice assertiveness and boundary setting (learn to say “no”)
  • Keep your sense of humor
  • HeartMath Techniques (

A big factor is really making time for fun and relaxation. Take a hot bath, get a massage, play with a pet, work in your garden, curl up with a good book, write in your journal, watch a comedy, and spend time in nature.

 Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury – only you can take care of yourself – no one else can do this for you.

Other ideas? What’s your go to stress buster technique?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear your suggestions!

How to make work-life balance work

In this 10-minute Ted Talk, famed photographer and author Nigel Marsh provides a humorous look at an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity -- and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.  I found the video empowering and incredibly inspiring, not only for me personally, but for the possibility of changing our value about success as a society.


Coaching helps individuals remove road blocks and become better, more effective leaders. In doing so, they wield more influence in their business, maximize their contribution and add more value. Ultimately this translates into increased profits, growing the business and broader career opportunities.

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When you have balance in your life, work becomes an entirely different experience. There is a passion that moves you to a whole new level of fulfillment and gratitude, and that’s when you can do your best...for yourself and for others.
— Cara Delevinge