Balance Your Life With Routines And Rituals…

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people are concerned about their health and are eager to eat right and exercise more. Unfortunately, for many of us this is easier said than done. People today lead busy lives. Many people are running from work to a child’s sporting event, or this meeting or that meeting and don’t feel they have time to breathe, let alone follow a normal routine or hit the gym. Yet, a routine can be just what you need. Many people break their regular routines when they are busy, thinking they will get more done and feel better about themselves. This thinking however, often backfires and may leave you feeling and out of sorts. In reality, you can feel more alive when you balance your life with routines and rituals.


Routines and rituals keep us grounded and help us perform better. Routines are habits that give structure to our daily lives—brushing your teeth, a morning cup of coffee, organizing your calendar, a daily walk, visiting the gym, or eating dinner at the same time. Routines help keep us organized and on track, although they do require discipline and will power. Rituals, on the other hand, are a little different. They are more celebratory in nature and include, going to church, praying, meditating, attending a wedding, or celebrating a birthday. “Rituals connects us to community and to society in general. Routine reinforces our sense of control over our every-day lives.”¹ The bottom line is we need them both to feel balanced. When one or another is missing, we can feel off and feel like something is wrong.


For years, I’ve had a morning routine that included a walk outside. Well for some reason the other winter, I became little lax with my walking. Walking is  part of who I am, so when I miss going a few days in a row, I really feel off. Walking is uplifting to me and gives me energy for the day. I find the sounds of nature soothing too, so it is no wonder I wasn’t like myself. Funny how simple routines can keep us in balance.

walking in nature

In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self-care and how important it is in our lives. Routines and rituals are a from of self-care, and are something we all need. They can help re-energize your body, provide activities for enjoyment and feed your spirit.

Hal Elrod, in his great book, The Miracle Morning, gives us a set of daily practices that he calls S.A.V.E.R.S. When done daily, he claims they will change your life. Give these routines and rituals a try to help balance your life and feel more alive.

Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S:

S= Silence: Take at least 10 minutes to be silent. You can just sit still, pray, or meditate. This time is important and gives you some time to just be.

A= Affirmations: Use positive phrases to affirm your goals and aspirations. (e.g. I am positive, I am a hard worker, I am a caring person, I am loving, etc.)

V= Visualization: See yourself as having already achieved a goal. Picture yourself already having accomplished a task. You can use a vision board with drawings, or pictures of certain items, or can just envision them in your mind.

E= Exercise: Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, biking, stretching, etc.

R= Reading: Set aside at least 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of reading, preferably read some thing that is inspirational. This helps set the tone for the day and establishes a positive mind-set.

S= Scribing: (Journaling) Set aside at least 10 minutes to record some positive thoughts that came to you from reading, meditating, praying, etc. This allows you to record your thoughts and generate ideas, etc.4

Thanks for reading!




² Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning. ©Hal Elrod International.2014. pg. 53-81

Box of Dreams…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Have you ever wished for something or had a dream about doing something and wondered if it would ever happen or come true? Everyone has dreams and aspirations, but unfortunately not everyone puts forth the effort to make them happen. What most people don’t realize is that in order for any dream to come true, you must take action. You can hope all you want, but unless you take the necessary steps to move forward, you most likely won’t get anywhere and will probably be left feeling drained and unfulfilled.

Maybe one of your dreams is to get a new job, but have you taken the time to update your resume and send it out? If not, what are you waiting for? If one of your dreams is to change careers, you can take action by going back to school to learn something else that interests you. It may take some time, but the end result will move you in a new direction. How about your health? Are you interested in losing weight and becoming healthier? Instead of talking about it, you need to make a plan and commit to it. One place to start is to ditch the junk food and sugar-filled drinks and start buying more wholesome foods. You can also look for healthy recipes to make and find some sort of exercise you like, whether it is walking, swimming, basketball or tennis. Whatever it is, just do it and do it frequently.


Many people are in the same boat and get stuck in those rapids of life, instead of taking action to move themselves forward. In the book, Spiritual Economics, author Eric Butterworth, mentions the Quaker says, “When you pray, move your feet.”¹ In other words, you can hope and pray, but you also need to take steps to get you moving on the path to your goals and dreams. If you don’t, most likely you will feel frustrated and disappointed. David J. Schwartz, in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big,” tells us, “A good idea if not acted upon, produces terrible psychological pain. But a good idea acted upon brings enormous mental satisfaction. Actions feed and strengthen confidence; inaction in all forms feed fear.”² Now those are some words of wisdom we can all use.

A few years ago, I was invited to a friends home for a dinner party along with a few other ladies. After we ate, my friend who is a life coach, gave each of us a box that looked like a book that opened, along with a few pieces of paper and a pen.

box of dreams

She asked us to take a few minutes to write down a few dreams we would like to see happen in our lives along with the date of the get together and place them in the box. While she didn’t really say why, I believe the idea was for us to examine where we were in our life with where we wanted to go. Anyway— It took me a little time to ponder what I wanted to record, but finally I came up with a few ideas.

When I got home, I took my box and put it on a book shelf in my office, where it blended in with the other books and I forgot about it.

box of dreams on shelf
box of dreams on shelf

Fast forward 3-1/2 years later…

I recently was decluttering my office space and low and behold, there was the box on the shelf just where I had placed it. As I opened the box and read one of the notes, I smiled and felt a warm feeling come over me.

box of dreams with note
box of dreams with note

I had been thinking of taking some nutrition classes and after the dinner party, I decided to take action and enrolled the next week at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®, (IIN) to become a certified health coach. At that time, I had no idea that IIN also offered a Launch Your Dream Book program, which I enrolled in after I graduated as a certified health coach.  While this may all sound easy and straight-forward, let me assure you the process was not easy. Writing a book can be scary and over-whelming, which is one of the reasons it took me some time to complete it. I had to keep pushing myself forward to push through the fear of it all.

I am happy to say that with some strong determination and many action steps, I completed the task and made my dream true.

Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living

The final result is a simple guide that anyone can follow for healthy eating and living. You can find my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, on Amazon. If you would like to take a quick preview, you can grab a FREE Chapter here.

How are you doing with your goals and dreams? Make sure you take that first step and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Thanks for reading!



¹Butterworth, Eric. Spiritual Economics. Unity Books, 2001. Page 21. Print

²Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Magic of Thinking Big. Magic Of Thinking Big. pg. 6



Unplug And Unwind For A Healthy Lifestyle…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a camping trip near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) to unplug and unwind and enjoy some beautiful, pristine country with my family. With our pop-up camper in tow, vehicle stuffed with camping gear and the dogs, we left to meet our daughter and her family for a long weekend of fun and relaxation.

It had been years, since I was up this way and I somehow forgot how breath-taking and peaceful this area in Northern Minnesota really is. If you’ve never visited and enjoy the great outdoors, I would highly recommend it. It is a great place to get back to nature, unplug from technology and the media, get away from the busyness of daily life and feed your spirit to create balance.

Speaking of unplugging from technology and the media, did you know that “we are exposed to more stimuli in one week than our ancient ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetime?”¹ That’s a little scary. Many people today have a hard time breaking away from all of the news and media, which is unfortunate and unhealthy. In fact, “one of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyper-connected, 24/7 media world is say: ‘I don’t know, or I don’t care in regards to what’s happening all over the world all of the time.'”² If you missed a little more news you would probably feel less anxious, sleep better and over-all feel a whole lot better.

That was one good thing about this camping trip, we were all forced to unplug and be more present with each other, which is something we all can work on.  In this area, even if you bring your cell phone, you can’t really use it a whole lot. It is hard to get service, so forget about catching up on the latest social media posts. I brought my cell phone along on the hiking trails and down by the lake, but only to capture some of the gorgeous scenery.

We all need time away from technology to unplug and unwind and reconnect with ourselves to rejuvenate our mind and body. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self care and how renewing your energy is a necessity. We all need time to get away from our daily routines and work life. Even if you can’t get away from work, or don’t have the time built-up for a vacation, there are plenty of other ways you can unplug and unwind in your daily life. After a long day at work, why not get outside and enjoy a nice, long walk? You can also take in a yoga class or get a massage to relax your mind and body. If you live by a lake, why not go for a boat ride, take out your paddle board, go for a bike ride around it, or just sit quietly and take in the calming affects of the water? There are many options. The important thing is to get away and out of your regular routine. Oh—and make sure you leave your cell phone behind, or at least turn it on silent!

Thanks for reading!



¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. Daily Stoic, pg 4

²¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. Daily Stoic, pg 3

5 Ways To Feed Your Spirit To Feel Balanced…

It is hard to believe that the Fourth of July has already come and gone. Hope you are enjoying your summer and finding ways to feed your spirit. Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy things you like to do, which help you feel balanced such as swimming, boating, biking, golfing, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Over the Fourth, I had plenty of time to experience some of these things, especially family time. We had a family gathering at our lake home that included 27 people total with 2 babies, 2 toddlers and 9 dogs! Crazy, huh? Thankfully some people came at different times, so it was more manageable. Everyone pitched in and helped out with food and clean up too. Thankfully, one of my daughters made a meal plan using a spreadsheet to help make things easier, so we could all enjoy ourselves more. I have to say, overall it was a good weekend and everyone had a great time! There were plenty of good conversations, and lots of great memories were made. Hope you created some good memories of your own with your family and loved ones.

Having healthy relationships is important and help us feel balanced in our lives. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about primary foods and secondary foods. Primary foods include relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality. Secondary foods are the foods we eat.¹ While both are important, primary foods feed us at a different level. They feed our soul and help us to feel balanced, feel joy and help make us happy.

Following are 5 ways to help you feed your spirit and feel balanced:

  1. Have Healthy Relationships—
    Relationships play a big part in our day to day lives. Make sure you are including enough of them in your life. You can join a church group, bowling league, health club, tennis team, etc. If you have family near by, make an attempt to get together from time to time.

  2. Stay Active—
    Your body was meant to move. Make sure you find ways to stay active. Go on a walk, run, or a bike ride. If that doesn’t interest you, find some other activity that does. You can join a gym, lift weights, do yoga, kick boxing, etc. You can also look back at your childhood and find something you used to like to do such as play basketball, swing, jump rope, or hula hoop.

  3. Find Work Your Enjoy—
    We spend a big part of our day and our lives working. It is important to find something that you like to do, or a job that has a fair amount of duties you enjoy. If you don’t have enough tasks you enjoy, maybe you want to consider finding a different job. If that’s not an option, maybe you can find something outside of work that fulfills some of your needs, or find a hobby you enjoy.

  4. Spend Some Time Embracing Your Spirituality—
    Many people like going to church and enjoy the community and worship that it offers. Other people however, are more spiritual in nature and may prefer less structure. No matter which one fits your practice and beliefs, it is important to take some time to reflect and be alone. You can also practice meditating, spending some time out in nature, doing yoga, or taking a meditative walk.

  5. Take Time For Self Care—
    Many people are good at taking care of others, but when it comes to taking care of themselves, it might be another story. Make sure you take some time to practice a little self care. You can have a massage, go shopping, have a pedicure, go to a concert, go to the golf range, etc.

Thanks for reading!



¹”Primary Food.” Institute for Integrative Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 July 2017.


Mindsets and Milestones…

Happiness, peace, joy, health, love, abundance…we all want these things—right? Why is it then that so many of us have a hard time achieving them, or fall short on some? Many of us commit to making changes in our lives at different times; perhaps at the start of a new year, a time of transition, or when we are fed up with something. While some people may start out strong and committed, over time our commitments are often put by the wayside. But what is it that causes these road blocks to change? The answer unfortunately is often us. We frequently sabotage our own progress.

We are all creatures of habit. While you may want to make changes in your life, often times, your thoughts don’t match up with your true desires and you get stuck in your ways and feel unfulfilled, stagnant, or stressed. This reminds me of something I read about rose bushes.

Typically when you plant rose bushes, you have to break up the root ball before planting them in the ground, so the roots can grow freely, get nourishment and flourish. “We, too, can become root bound, being so tightly packed in a too-small container that we can no longer breathe or receive nourishment.”1

So what holds us back from growing and changing and how do we overcome it? First of all, you need to give yourself room to grow, so you are open to change. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts, you need to focus on what you really want and how to get there. I recently visited with someone who was so stressed out with work that she felt she couldn’t take the time to eat healthy anymore, let alone exercise. We all can get overwhelmed with life from time to time, especially if we focus on too many things. During times of stress however, it is important to eat the right foods, as well as exercise, as whole foods provide nourishment and exercise produces serotonin that can be calming. When we are calmer, we can focus more. It is easy to freak yourself out when you focus your thoughts on an outcome. By changing your mindset however, and breaking things down, it is much easier to achieve your goals and milestones.

An example would be if you are in sales and needed to increase your sales numbers. Many people overwhelm themselves by thinking, “I am never going to reach the new sales goal for the month.” You can tell yourself instead, “I am working towards my new sales goal by making 10 extra calls each day. You can also make a list of people to contact to work towards your goal. If you want to lose weight, you can change your thought that “eating healthy food is expensive, to  I love eating fresh fruit and vegetables.” You can also make yourself a healthy meal plan and make a shopping list.

So what changes do you want to happen in your life and what are you waiting for?

Remember—“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Thanks for reading!


Source: ¹ Seale, Alan. Breaking Up Your Root Ball. Entheos – The Optimizer eNews. January 10, 2013.

Live For Today, Take Strides For Tomorrow…

Happy February!

It is hard to believe that we are already into the second month of the new year. How are you doing with those new year’s resolutions? I know not everyone makes resolutions, but many people like to set goals for themselves to keep on track especially for a new year, month, or week. While goal  setting is  a common practice, I recently read an article that gave an interesting spin on the topic.

In “Forget Setting Goals. Focus On This Instead, James Clear, Writer, Entrepreneur and Behavior Science Expert, talks about focusing on systems instead of goals, which I found interesting. He states that “we should commit to a process, not a goal. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”¹ For example, let’s say you are interested in losing 20 pounds. If you focus on the goal of losing weight, you can easily get off track and stress yourself out. If you focus instead, on the process of incorporating more healthy food in your diet, such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains each day, it is much less stressful and easier to achieve.

In business, sales people often have a monthly goal to achieve. If they focus on the number, again they may easily stress themselves out. If instead however, they focus on the process of making sales calls and stick to it, they will have taken the rights steps towards achieving making sales and signed agreements will follow.

Although I think it is good to have goals, I do agree that it is better to focus on the process, no matter what that may be. We must all remember the saying, “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” and make sure we take it.

Following are 3 reasons why we should focus on systems instead of goals from the article:

  1. Goals reduce your current happiness. When working towards a goal, we often say we are not good enough yet, but will be when we reach the goal. In doing this, we are postponing our happiness. Again—We need to commit to a process, not a goal.
  2. Goals are strangely at odds with long-term progress. (e.g. Someone who is training for a marathon, may be committed for months, but when it is over, often times they stop. This is also true with many fad-diets. While some people may lose some weight while on a diet, when they go off, there is often times a “yo-yo effect,” as people tend to go back to their old way of eating, instead of choosing healthy foods. It is better to eat healthy and not be concerned about immediate results. Results will come with a life-style change of eating.
  3. Goals suggest that you can control things that you have no control over. We can’t predict the future, nor is it guaranteed. We often try to plan out where we will be and when we will get there, but have no idea what circumstances will rise in the mean time. It is better to build feedback loops. Feedback loops help build good systems. They allow us to track certain variables that show where we are at a certain points in time. (e.g. Food journals, Website stats, etc.)²

Thanks for reading!



¹Clear, James. “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.

²Clear, James. “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.

Renew Your Mind , Body, And Spirit Wtih Daily Rituals…

Baby it’s cold outside!

I know it’s December and I live in Minnesota, but I always have a hard time adapting to below zero temperatures. Brr! It just doesn’t seem right to me. I am a summertime gal and love warm temperatures and sunshine, so it probably never will.

Thankfully–I have an upcoming trip to look forward to. Nothing sounds better to me than a warm breeze, sunshine and the calming ocean. I hope you have an opportunity to take a warm vacation get away this winter too.

Speaking of the ocean—I recently read something interesting about the Great Barrier Reef, which stretches some 1800 miles from New Guinea to Australia in the Pacific ocean in one of Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes on the book, The Art of Peace. “Earl Nightingale, on a visit there with his son, noticed how the coral polyps on the inside of the reef, where the sea was tranquil and quiet in the lagoon, appeared pale and lifeless, while the coral on the outside of the reef, that is subject to the surge of the tide and power of the waves, were bright and vibrant with splendid colors and flowing growth and asked why this was. ‘It’s very simple,’ came the reply, ‘the coral on the lagoon-side dies rapidly with no challenge for growth and survival…while the coral facing the surge and power of the open sea thrives and multiplies because it is challenged every day.’”¹ It is funny how that works, but is true for most organisms in the universe and humans, as well. While we all need challenges in our lives to grow, sometimes they can cause stress overload.

So how can we thrive, yet deal with the stresses of our lives? According to Dennis Waitley, in his book, The Psychology of Winning, “One of the best ways to develop adaptability to the stresses of life is to view them as normal.”² While some of us would rather avoid stress, it is a part of life and we need to learn to deal with it. We can also try and maintain balance in our lives by practicing daily rituals, such as exercising, that help renew your mind, body and spirit. Twyla Tharp, in her book, The Creative Habit, says “When you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can’t simulate in a sedentary position. The brain is an organ, tied integrally to all the other systems in the body, and it’s affected by blood flow, neural transmission, etc.”³ By exercising and moving our bodies, we not only help de-stress our brains, but stimulate our creativity and promote well-being.

Some rituals can help prepare us for the day, while others can give you a break from work, or daily activities, and others may help you relax into the evening and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. Some examples of rituals include: meditation, walking, working out or exercising, reading, yoga, massage, going to the movies, prayer, date nights, and more.

Many of these can easily be incorporated into a daily routine, while others can be added weekly, or monthly. Matthew Kelly, best selling author and speaker, reminds us we must feed our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual self to become the best version of yourself. 4

How are you doing?

Thanks for reading!



¹ Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Art of Peace. Art of Peace, pg. 2

² Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Art of Peace. Art of Peace, pg. 1

³ Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Creative Habit. Art of Peace, pg. 4

4 Mathew Kelly: Becoming the Best Version of Yourself. Beacon Publishing, 1999. CD.

Use Morning Rituals To Unstick Your Life…

We’ve all heard the saying, “I’m stuck in a rut,” but how many of you have experienced the feeling? I’m pretty sure everyone has, at least one time or another, myself included. You know the feeling where you just feel out of sorts, not yourself, or just plain old BLAH? While most people attribute this feeling to outside circumstances, like not liking their job, a relationship, not making healthy food choices, or not accomplishing this, or that; the truth is it often has more to do with our inner being, and not being balanced in all areas of our life.

In the article, The Real Reason You’re Stuck In A Rut, author, Elizabeth McKenzie, tells us, “What it really comes down to is this: how you are living right now is not in alignment with your true self. It’s not authentic to you.”¹ This reminds me of a “rut” I was in the other winter. For years, I’ve had a morning ritual  that included a walk outside. Well for some reason that winter, I became little lax with it, and I could sure tell! Walking is really part of who I am, so when I miss going a few days in a row, I can really tell. Walking is uplifting to me and gives me energy for the day. I love to listen to the birds, or the other sounds in nature, which I find soothing. Otherwise– I listen to something inspirational while walking, so it is no wonder I was feeling a little off. Funny how simple routines can keep us in balance.


Twyla Tharp, in her book, The Creative Habit, writes “I can’t say enough about the connection between body and mind; when you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can’t simulate in a sedentary position.”²


Hal Elrod, in his great book, The Miracle Morning, gives us a set of daily practices that he calls S.A.V.E.R.S. and claims they will change your life when done daily. “When you change your inner world—your life—then your outer world—your life situation—will improve parallel.”³

Following are Elrod’s Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S from his book I wanted to share:

S= Silence: Take at least 10 minutes to be silent. You can just sit still, pray, or meditate. This time is important and gives you some time to just be.

A= Affirmations: Use positive phrases to affirm your goals and aspirations. (e.g. I am positive, I am a hard worker, I am a caring person, I am loving, etc.)

V= Visualization: See yourself as having already achieved a goal. Picture yourself already having accomplished a task. You can use a vision board with drawings, or pictures of certain items, or can just envision them in your mind.

E= Exercise: Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, biking, stretching, etc.

R= Reading: Set aside at least 10 minutes each morning to do some sort of reading, preferably read some thing that is inspirational. This helps set the tone for the day and establishes a positive mind-set.

S= Scribing: (Journaling) Set aside at least 10 minutes to record some positive thoughts that came to you from reading, meditating, praying, etc. This allows you to record your thoughts and generate ideas, etc.4

Thanks for reading!



¹ Mckenzie, Elizabeth. “The Real Reason you are Stuck In A Rut.” The Huffing Post.

² Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes. The Creative Habit. Creative Habit. pdf pg. 4

³ Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning. ©Hal Elrod International.2014. pg. 51, 52

4 Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning. ©Hal Elrod International.2014. pg. 53-81

The Sun Is Always Shining Behind The Clouds… 

I was outside walking this morning and just had to take a picture of the sky. The clouds were pretty cool looking and the sun looked like it was just ready to break through. It happened to remind me of the following quote…

“The Sun Is Always Shining Behind The Clouds.”


I don’t know about you, but I love that quote! It is a simple reminder that there will always be good times and bad times, and that neither of them will last forever. While we all may get depressed, or down from time to time, we just need to feel it and then move on. While this is sometimes easier said than done, we can always take control of our mind to make it happen. Carol Dweck, in her book, Mindset, talks about two specific mindsets we can take on. The first is a fixed mindset where you”believe that your qualities are carved in stone, which creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. The other is a growth mindset where we see failure as an opportunity to learn, to grow and become a better person.”¹ Which mindset sounds better to you? I am going with growth.

Why not embrace our failures and weaknesses and look for that silver lining?

Oh—and make sure you get out and enjoy today’s sunshine that busted through those morning clouds. And… if you get a minute, check out Brad Paisley’s song, Behind The Clouds. It should definitely lift your spirits!

Thanks for reading!



¹Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes—Mindset “ pg. 1, 5

²Paisley, Brad. Behind the Clouds.

Rest, Relax And Rejuvenate…

Most of us live in a society where things always seem to be go, go, go! More, bigger, better, and faster are words many of us have adopted in regards to work, and lifestyle. While many of us have more things and a better life-styles than that of our parents, or those of a generation ago, why is it that more people feel unfulfilled and stressed and what is the solution?

Many people have demanding jobs and are required to juggle multiple things throughout a day. Many people also skip breakfast and are on the run from the time they wake, to the time they get home. Others skip lunch and may run from one meeting to another. We also live in a society where we are being constantly bombarded with information, from e-mails, to texts, to social media, and often feel like we just can’t keep up. It is no wonder many people wake up tired, instead of refreshed.


While we all have stress in our lives, from work, children, family, household chores, etc., there are ways to control it and make it less frequent.

I recently came across the article, “Secrets to a Stress-Free Life,” that shared the story of Kathleen Hall, a famed stress expert that I found interesting.  She developed a “powerful but surprisingly simple mantra—SELF, an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food and started teaching it to others to great effect. These ‘four roots of happiness’ may seem almost too easy, but she insists they have a centering effect in even the worst of circumstances.”¹ Taking and making time for serenity helps us meditate and be one with ourselves and nature. It helps us to be in the moment and helps reduce stresses in our lives. Exercise helps the mind, as well as the body. Exercise helps to release endorphin’s in the brain, which in turn help us to feel good and have a better outlook. Love and friendships help to nurture our soul. They promote well being by giving us a connection to others. Nourishing food helps sustains us. Keep in mind that food is fuel. We all need to choose foods that give us energy and provide nutrients for the body, such as fruits and vegetables and foods that are of the earth. Food preparation can also be a means to share and gather with friends and family.


While we will never be able to get rid of stress entirely from our lives, we can certainly try to change the ways we react to it and find more ways to rest, relax and rejuvenate our lives.


Following are a few tips I wanted to share from the article:

Secrets To A Stress-Free Life:
by: Kathleen Hall

  1. Start Small—Relax into your day. Start with a small change such as a new morning habit, trying a new food for the day, etc.
  2. Connect—Put love and friendship first in your life. Try and make  it a habit to schedule time with others. Often times, feeling connected helps prevent health problems down the road.
  3. Focus on now—Try to focus on one task at a time and be mindful of what you are doing. Being in the present moment helps us to avoid stressful situations.
  4. Write it out—To help release negative thoughts, grab a pen and paper to write them down. Taking this action step will often help to release the negativity.
  5. Practice gratitude—Take at least 5 minutes each day to give thanks for all of the gifts in your life.
  6. Walk Softly—Often times when we are stressed, we walk with firmer steps. Try walking softly, or slower to help calm the mind.
  7. Take stock—Make a list of things that bring joy to your life and then make another list of things that drain you  and your energy. Compare the two lists and contemplate how you can add in things to increase joy.
  8. Love your commute—Use your travel time to work on your patience skills. Use deep calming breaths to help yourself relax and enjoy your time for thoughts.
  9. Try a mini-meditation—Memorize a three to five word phrase, or mantra that you repeat when you are feeling stressed, or keep a peaceful image, or photo near by to reflect upon.
  10. Own the news—Tune into the news only when you want to get more information about a certain topic. Don’t dwell on the negativity in the news, but instead try to send positive thoughts and prayers to those in need. Help out in situations where  you can make a difference, otherwise let information go.

Thanks for reading!


¹”Secrets To A Stress Free Life.