STRESS: You are in control.. don’t let it control you! {Sunday Affirmations}

walking on a tight rope

Happy Sunday!

As much as you may pray, meditate and seek methods to reduce your stress and stay balanced– life always has a way of knocking you on your toosh or making you feel like you’re teetering on a tightrope. Who feels me?   Last week I got so sick of hearing myself whining and saying, “I’m so stressed…I’m so exhausted.”  It was one of those moments when I had to pull myself over to the mirror and say to myself, “Tiff, get a grip.  You control your schedule.  You control how you ALLOW situations to effect you.  You can control your attitude about it all.  You have the power when you check all the texts and emails!”  I told a friend I needed to go read my own blogs. Hmmmph.  Isn’t it funny how we can easily give others advice?  I also feel like I should add that stress-levels for us gals is always heightened during PMS.  I’m not using it as an excuse….it’s just a biological fact.  Ok, now that we are clear on all that….

There are so many factors that cause stress and it is different for everyone.  Where you live, work pressures, financial difficulties, relationship pains, kids, world events and the list goes on and on.  Living in LA, a city where I’m shocked anyone passed their driving tests and were allowed a license, is enough to give you an ulcer every time you get in your car!  I was running a few errands the other day and this woman– who was in the wrong turning lane– had the audacity to flip me off while I was patiently allowing her to turn… even though she was in the wrong.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  My shoulders tensed and I gave her the evil eye and then decided to say a little prayer for her under my breath AFTER I visualized myself giving her back the same unladylike hand gesture she had given me.  I kept my hands on the steering wheel, of course.  Just normal daily interaction with people can stress you out.  People seem to enjoy transferring their stress to you, but we can control what we allow to stick to us.  Yes, easier said than done I know!  This is why I try to remember to pray for protection and to be covered with the full armor of God plus be enveloped in white light every time I walk out the door.  I don’t always remember and should put a note/affirmation by the door.  (Ok, I’ll go do that as soon as I’m finished writing this blog!)  I recommend you doing it too.

My point to this rant is YOU HAVE THE CONTROL.  I realize we all feel powerless at times, but “feeling” powerless is even something we can control.  Dig deeper.  You always have the power.  You always have the control.  Take charge.  Maybe you think you’ve lost the power and control, but you can regain it.  Make the choice.  You may never seem to achieve balance, but it’s about the constant effort to make the right choices for YOUR life and stop trying to keep up with your friends, neighbors and co-workers.  Make the choice to step down off the tightrope.  Everyone- especially women- loves to validate themselves with how “busy’ they are.  Honestly- I’m beginning to hate that word and I’m trying to remove it from my vocab.  Yes– life is busy and stressful, but life is also meant to be a beautiful experience.

THIS WEEK I WILL….

  1. Check in with myself.
  2. Be a warrior not a worrier.
  3. Put my phone on silent when I need to. Some peeps can wait!
  4. Stop + smell the roses.
  5. Not allow other people’s stress to stick to me.
  6. Regain control.
  7. Keep my plate manageable.
  8. Get more sleep.
  9. Be more assertive by saying no.
  10. Stop taking on too many projects.
  11. BREATHE!

life_10%_90%

Cheers to a week free of any rude encounters, evil eyes, perverted hand gestures, boundary breakers, one uppers or back talkers. HA!

YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

FIND YOUR ZEN.

Love, Tiff

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Don’t Sweat It, Girl! How to be Stress-Free in 2013 by Guest Blogger- Ryan Rivera

Hi Steel Magnolias!  Happy New Year!

Many of you have written in and expressed that you’re battling anxiety and panic attacks.  I have been there girlfriend.  The first time I had a panic attack about 15 years ago, I thought I was dying and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.  The long term physical and emotional pain we experience from anxiety will ultimately rob of us from living the healthy life we deserve!   I’m excited that Ryan Rivera of The Calm Clinic reached out to share his tips with us.  I thought this was the perfect reinforcement we needed as we hit the new year running….

ANXIETY_strength

Modern life and everyday living can be so stressful, and women often find these to be causes for anxiety. Then there is that time of the month when our estrogen levels, which affect our vulnerability and anxiousness, fall below normal. This makes us more prone to emotional roller coasters that severely affect our mood.  On a normal day, we stress ourselves out over trivial matters, and then work or family-related matters add up to the pressure. The next thing you know, you’re totally dazed.

While we can’t really escape the trappings of the daily grind, we can choose to handle it better.  Know which tasks to spend time on and which ones to abandon.  Lighten your load and see how your world can open up and become a more vibrant, positive place.  A lot of women find themselves wallowing in their woes and burdens, feeling incapable of escaping the lives they built for themselves. The truth is that you can always choose to improve your life and not waste time on the petty things that carry the most weight.

Don’t let stress and anxiety render you incapable of living the life you want. You can use both to motivate you to be the best in everything you do, but don’t let it get to you so bad that you start feeling inadequate on a regular basis. Don’t think too much about what other people might say about you, don’t pour over the littlest things, and spend too much time worrying about small issues.  Anxiety can help fuel you at times, but it can also cripple your abilities and prevent you from performing when you let it get to you.

Since hormones don’t really work in our favor, women should remain headstrong and persistent.  It may take more effort for us to be able to move forward and battle the anxiety which could hinder us from getting what we want, but it will be worth it!  Don’t sweat the small stuff and just keep doing what you need to do in order for you to achieve your goals. Never allow anyone or anything to stop you from succeeding in life.

Here are 5 simple and doable things you can do to reduce anxiety:

  1. Exercise. Try signing up for a gym membership or work out on your own just to channel the negative energy that’s pent up in your system.  A good workout will boost your endorphins as well.
  2. Get crafty. Get into a new hobby and learn new skills. Who knows? Something that starts as a hobby could end up a source of income for you. This happens to a lot of people. They earn out of something they love doing.
  3. Rest and relax. Unwind and don’t let yourself be bothered by stressful thoughts. You don’t have to splurge to unwind. It can be a day at the spa, lunch date with friends, or movie date with your loved one.
  4. Form healthy habits.  Eat right and stop the vices.  If you maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, it will allow you to perform better at work and accomplish tasks more.
  5. Find more things that make you happy.  Open your eyes to the beauty around you.  Focus on the things that make you happy and spend less time focused on the things that stress you out.  Make sure to slow down as well.  There’s power in the saying, “stop and smell the roses”.

Women should not become victims of feelings of anxiety. There is so much more to life than having to go through the pressure of living up to other people’s standards. Do things as you please, and live your life the way you want to.  Create your own ways of fighting off anxiety and you are sure to perform beyond what is expected of you, which can help you live a fulfilled life!

ABOUT RYAN RIVERA, Publisher & Founder of http://www.calmclinic.com

Ryan Rivera has spent 7 years of his life suffering from, as he calls it, the “whole package” – panic attacks, severe anxiety, agoraphobia, social anxiety, unbearable physical symptoms, headaches, neck pains, constant tension, diarrhea, palpitations, pounding heart.  After trying numerous different treatments for his anxiety (including various medication) a tipping-point in his life made him overcome his emotional problems.

Have you found a great method to reduce anxiety? Please comment and share it!

I have learned to keep my schedule light and stop putting too much on my plate.  This has done wonders!  I also turn my phone on silent a few times a day, take a brisk walk and run a hot bath to keep me from going coocoo for cocoa puffs! 

Remember, anxiety is often caused by FEAR so by letting go of the fear, you will also let go of your anxiety.   2012 brought a ton of stress for most of us, but we can make a few small tweaks to ensure the new year will be different.

CHEERS TO FREEING YOUR SPIRIT IN 2013. 

Nurture that little girl inside you.  Make her happy!

DSC02766

Me at about 3 or 4.  A toe-head, blonde tomboy who loved being outside running around in blue jeans. I plan to give her more attention this year.

TWEET with me and let me know how you’re going to nurture yourself more this year!

Love, Tiff

STRESS-FREE GIFT GIVING + VIDEO REPLAY {Plus Sunday Eve Affirmations}

gift_giving

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”  ― Mother Teresa

Who’s loving the festive season?  Who’s getting totally stressed out from it all?  With all the holiday parties to attend, one too many swipes of the credit card, scouring the stores for THE perfect gifts and the anxiety of spending time with that family member who just– to put it plain + simple— gets on your last nerve….. the sparkle, magic and beauty of the holidays can turn into a depressing, stressful and lackluster occasion.  Don’t let that happen sistas!

We’re wrapping up a big year and that alone is reason to celebrate.  In the remaining weeks of December, let’s sloooooow down.  Remember the reason for the season.  Has ‘gift giving’ turned into more of a commercialized expectation between you and your family and friends, rather than a genuine token of love and appreciation?  Has it become normal for you to start the New Year with maxed out credit cards?   Please take that pressure off yourself!  Some of the most meaningful gifts are the ones that cost very little, but had so much thought put into them.  Giving your time and attention to someone who gets very little of it throughout the year can be the best gift you could ever give them and it’s FREE! 

Trust me, I love shopping for the important people in my life!  It’s so fun to find that perfect, unique gift you just know will bring a big smile to their face and twinkle in their eye.   It’s a win-win.  The giver feels good and so does the receiver!   But, say you had a rough year financially….PLEASE communicate that with your family + friends.  It may bruise your pride and ego, but you’ll get over it.  That brief sting is better than the long-term pain of paying off the credit card interest throughout the coming year.   There are so many low cost options these days.  Get creative.   Also, many people feel if you buy them a gift then they’re obligated to reciprocate with a gift of an equal amount.  WHY?  This is just another way we suck the love, joy and beauty out of the season.  If you find that perfect gift for a friend, give it without expecting anything in return.  That is true giving.  

In the week ahead, I WILL…..

  1. Stick to my gift budget without running up my credit cards.
  2. Not feel guilty about declining a social invitation.
  3. Be present in the moment. This special holiday only happens once a year.
  4. Not allow that ‘certain’ family member to steal my joy.
  5. Slow down.
  6. Enjoy the cookies, candy and hot toddy in moderation.
  7. Respect others traditions, but will start a few of my own.
  8. Rock the red lip, red heel, red dress or all three.
  9. Give a deserving person my time and attention.
  10. Not neglect my workouts because it’s an instant stress buster.
  11. Give without expectation!

Need a few gift ideas for the fashionista or the foodie in your life?  Check out this video replay:

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and two-cents on the topic of gift giving.   Each and every comment is appreciated!   Do you have a great holiday stress-reliever?  Share it sista!

We have (2) more weeks of Stocking Stuffer Giveaways!  Don’t miss out.  Make sure to check in on the FACEBOOK PAGE during the week.  You must be a subscriber to this blog, part of the Facebook Community and make at least (1) comment during the giveaway week!  Winner will be announced on Friday.  BIG CONGRATS to last week’s winner, Colleen Campbell-Voigt!

Happy Hanakkuh to those of you celebrating!

Wishing you a week full of twinkly lights + sparkly sequin!

Love, Tiff

CHILLAX: Stress Management

Hey Junebugs!

Question- What’s your stress level on a regular basis?  You are probably wondering, “Tiff, what does that have to do with beauty, style or inspiration?”…well, it has a lot to do with how healthy, vibrant, aware, sharp, peaceful and powerful you feel.  Constant stress is carried on your face and will dull your light not to mention over time it can cause serious dis-ease in your body. So let’s discuss this because I am personally “checking myself” and my own stress levels more than normal lately and I find everywhere I turn people are just out-of-their-mind STRESSED OUT!  This is no way to live ladies. LIFE IS SHORT!

I’m about to keep it very real here…

I use to live stressed out all the time with high anxiety because I had not healed through my past and like many people I numbed myself with drugs and alcohol to begin with. Then a friend convinced me to see a doctor and of course, they put me on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills and ambien to sleep because I would be so amped up for the other pills.  WHEW! It’s a vicious cycle with this stuff and I couldn’t function long on all these RX’s.  For me, the only thing that worked to calm the nerves was to red flag my stressors and begin a serious spiritual practice of prayer and journaling plus there’s nothing like a good old fashioned long walk to clear your head. Learning to manage your stress will change your life and the lives of those around you!  It really effects every area of our lives:

  • Sleep Difficulties
  • Loss of Appetite or Over-eating
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Sloppy performance on the job
  • Anti-social Behavior
  • Abusing Alcohol or Drugs
  • Nervous Habits
  • Short Temper
  • Poor Memory

Does that sound about right? Make it a priority to check in with yourself on a regular basis and deal with the stress so it doesn’t grow into an unmanageable beast.

Here’s 20 tips I have found to help:

  1. Do not keep things bottled up! Talk to someone you trust to help you work through it.
  2. Spend time daily doing an activity you love. (I hike or powerwalk)
  3. Improve your diet! Eating vitamin rich foods and avoiding junk with preservatives will keep your nervous system functioning properly. Add a B complex supplement too!
  4. Simplify! This is so important but very difficult for “busy bodies”. Stop taking on too many activities at once. You know the popular saying, “my plate is so full”. Well, change that!
  5. Stop rushing! When you feel panicked or rushed, STOP- sit quietly, take a deep breath and regain your composure.
  6. Keep a zen-like peaceful environment at work and at home.
  7. Be present! Don’t put too much thought into the future or the past. Enjoy the NOW!
  8. Avoid unrealistic expectations on yourself and others! Whew- this will alleviate a ton of stress.
  9. Get enough sleep!
  10. Exercise  more! It produces “feel good” chemicals.
  11. Take note of your moods! Ladies, we have those pesky hormones to deal with so be aware of how you’re feeling emotionally and cut yourself a break when you need to.
  12. Explore relaxation methods: Yoga, walking, journaling, listening to soothing music, hiking, etc.
  13. Express yourself! If you feel sad, allow yourself a good cry. If you’re angry, express it constructively. (Breaking plates not allowed)
  14. Love people and use things! Not the other way around. Walking in love is a huge stress reducer. Drop the ego.
  15. Take a techno break! Unplug the phone, stay off the computer, don’t watch TV. Often these things bring major stress into our life and we don’t even realize it.
  16. Learn the power of saying “NO”.  This brings tons of stress on many woman. Being a ‘people pleaser’ will ultimately stress you out and build resentment!
  17. Do not use crutches! Food, cigarettes, drugs or alcohol will also ultimately add to your stress instead of the temporary relief of it.
  18. Avoid boredom! Period.
  19. Surround yourself with positive peeps!  Stress and negativity are contagious so hang out with positive, uplifting friends.
  20. Get in touch with the little kid inside you on a regular basis!  Try to have more fun and find things that give you a good belly laugh every once in a while.

Most important thing of all – GRACE!  It gives you the strength and power to get done what you need to even when you think you can’t. Tap into it.

Let’s not be one of those women who constantly whines and complains about how stressed out she is.  You know that gal!  They talk about it all the time, but do nothing to change it.  Make it a priority.  Make your peace + joy a priority.  I promise it will keep away the lines between your eyes and help you to shine your light as you should, my sista! 

REMEMBER: Fun giveaways every week this summer! I’m excited to share my fave self-tanner products with you from Colour Couture and fun unique items from Luscious Soul, a fun eclectic boutique in Thousand Oaks, CA and much more! To participate, you must be a subscriber to this blog (you can enter your email at the top right of the page) and a follower on the Facebook Page. Check in and join the conversation, make comments and each week one “commenter” will be chosen to win. This week is a fun one- I’ve asked “What was the first “fashionable” item you remember loving as a kid?” The responses so far have been so fun. Everything from jellies to patent leather Go-Go boots to Jordache Jeans and Vans!

If you have a friend who you know this post could help, please share it with her! Follow the links below. You can post it to Google+ or even email it.

I’m grateful you are part of this Style Sisterhood!

With love + gratitude,

Tiff

DON’T SWEAT IT, GIRL! How to be Anxiety-Free in 2013 by Guest Blogger Ryan Rivera

Hey Steel Magnolia,

Many of you have written in and expressed that you’re battling anxiety and panic attacks.  Luckily, Ryan Rivera of The Calm Clinic reached out to share his tips.  I thought this was the perfect reinforcement we needed as we hit the new year running….

ANXIETY_strength

Modern life and everyday living can be so stressful, and women often find these to be causes for anxiety. Then there is that time of the month when our estrogen levels, which affect our vulnerability and anxiousness, fall below normal. This makes us more prone to emotional roller coasters that severely affect our mood.  On a normal day, we stress ourselves out over trivial matters, and then work or family-related matters add up to the pressure. The next thing you know, you’re totally dazed.

While we can’t really escape the trappings of the daily grind, we can choose to handle it better.  Know which tasks to spend time on and which ones to abandon.  Lighten your load and see how your world can open up and become a more vibrant, positive place.  A lot of women find themselves wallowing in their woes and burdens, feeling incapable of escaping the lives they built for themselves. The truth is that you can always choose to improve your life and not waste time on the petty things that carry the most weight.

Don’t let stress and anxiety render you incapable of living the life you want. You can use both to motivate you to be the best in everything you do, but don’t let it get to you so bad that you start feeling inadequate on a regular basis. Don’t think too much about what other people might say about you, don’t pour over the littlest things, and spend too much time worrying about small issues.  Anxiety can help fuel you at times, but it can also cripple your abilities and prevent you from performing when you let it get to you.

Since hormones don’t really work in our favor, women should remain headstrong and persistent.  It may take more effort for us to be able to move forward and battle the anxiety which could hinder us from getting what we want, but it will be worth it!  Don’t sweat the small stuff and just keep doing what you need to do in order for you to achieve your goals. Never allow anyone or anything to stop you from succeeding in life.

Here are 5 simple and doable things you can do to reduce anxiety:

  1. Exercise. Try signing up for a gym membership or work out on your own just to channel the negative energy that’s pent up in your system.  A good workout will boost your endorphins as well.
  2. Get crafty. Get into a new hobby and learn new skills. Who knows? Something that starts as a hobby could end up a source of income for you. This happens to a lot of people. They earn out of something they love doing.
  3. Rest and relax. Unwind and don’t let yourself be bothered by stressful thoughts. You don’t have to splurge to unwind. It can be a day at the spa, lunch date with friends, or movie date with your loved one.
  4. Form healthy habits.  Eat right and stop the vices.  If you maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, it will allow you to perform better at work and accomplish tasks more.
  5. Find more things that make you happy.  Open your eyes to the beauty around you.  There’s power in the saying, “stop and smell the roses”.  Focus on the things that make you happy and spend less time focused on the things that stress you out.

Women should not become victims of feelings of anxiety. There is so much more to life than having to go through the pressure of living up to other people’s standards. Do things as you please, and live your life the way you want to.  Create your own ways of fighting off anxiety and you are sure to perform beyond what is expected of you, which can help you live a fulfilled life!

By Ryan Rivera, Publisher & Founder of http://www.calmclinic.com

Ryan Rivera has spent 7 years of his life suffering from, as he calls it, the “whole package” – panic attacks, severe anxiety, agoraphobia, social anxiety, unbearable physical symptoms, headaches, neck pains, constant tension, diarrhea, palpitations, pounding heart.  After trying numerous different treatments for his anxiety (including various medication) a tipping-point in his life made him overcome his emotional problems.

Have you found a great method to reduce anxiety? Please comment and share it!

I have learned to keep my schedule light and stop putting too much on my plate.  This has done wonders!  I also turn my phone on silent a few times a day, take a brisk walk and run a hot bath to keep me from going coocoo for cocoa puffs!  Remember, anxiety is often caused by FEAR so by letting go of the fear, you will also let go of your anxiety.   2012 brought a ton of stress for most of us, but we can make a few small tweaks to ensure the new year will be different.

CHEERS TO BEING A FREE SPIRIT in 2013!

free_spirit

Love, Tiff