stress relief

Think Being Stressed-Out is the Price of Meeting Big Goals? My Hypothesis: Hell, No

It’s been a tough week for me since when I wrote to you last.  Not bad, just challenging.  Mainly because, as I mentioned last week, I’ve been stepping out courageously to meet some challenges worth meeting.


Like, for starters, I held my first ever free call which scared the shit out of me for unknown reasons given that I’m used to teaching, and I coach people by phone all the time and one would think that this combo of the two would be no big deal, but for me it was. 


The call was for stressed college students who want to finish strong this semester.  And because if you’re reading this you all are in my tribe already, I’ll send you the recording if you request it, even if you weren’t on the call.  It’s chock full of the strategies I’ve found effective for me and my clients in managing stress and meeting the challenges of the end of the semester. Just shoot me an email at if you want it.


I’ve also done 2 days of interviews for a big, complicated job.  I’ll tell you more about it if it happens, but just the interviews were challenging in terms of time and emotion—fun and exciting in many ways, but challenging for sure.  In fact, just considering doing this big job while growing my business and expanding my writing requires courage for me – and calming down my inner, “Are you crazy? this is too much!” voice.


And maybe it is crazy.  But maybe it isn’t.  Because you see, this week, so far, I’m doing it.  And so far, all I’ve had to do it this week.  Not next week, not even tomorrow. 


And that’s all you ever have to do too—this. Right now. The next step. 

A Really Common Belief that's Hurting You and Your Kids

I’m going to go a tiny bit “professor” on you today.  I hope you’ll forgive me!  I’ll try to make sure that the learning is fun – because making work playful is really kind of the point of this “lesson.”

Without getting too philosophical or delving too deeply into my historical research on the American Play Movement—which is what brought play into schools and simultaneously defined it as less important than the “real work” of academics— I want to encourage you to consider that the very common belief “play is the opposite of work” might be very, very bad for kids, and adults too, for that matter. 

Here’s what got me thinking about this today:  A student teacher told me yesterday that she was pleased with herself because she had “tricked” her students into “learning and doing work” by playing lots of games that “had good content.”  

“And they thought we were just playing!” she exclaimed.

My response was this: “They were playing.  Our culture has tricked you into believing that play and work are mutually exclusive.”  

My problem isn’t with this student teacher (who is an amazing play advocate herself,) but with the idea that when someone is “just playing” they are “not working,” and the connected implication that work is way more IMPORTANT than play.  

I’m convinced that these two beliefs—1) that play is not work and, 2) that work is more important than play—are doing a lot of damage to kids and to the adults to care for them.  Namely – you.  

There’s plenty of research (and more coming all the time) to show that play is very often the best way to learn, the best method for increasing productivity, creativity and problem-solving and a very effective stress-reliever for kids and adults alike (which is hugely important factor in overall health and happiness.) But still we talk and act as if play is not important, not essential.

Because I know you care about kids AND you also care about finding ways to love life yourself, I want to invite you to join me in an effort to change how we talk about work and play.  

Why change our words first?  Shouldn’t we go build a playground or something?  


Feeling Stressed? Try This.

I’m guessing that most of you are pretty stressed right now. 

For many teachers and for college students it’s the end of a semester packed full of final projects and papers and the stress of giving and/or receiving grades. 

For moms, it’s the holidays and, as I mentioned last week, the pressure of creating perfect holiday happiness is most often felt heavily by moms, perhaps even more so for stay-at-home moms.

And some of you are teachers AND moms!  You might even be a teacher, a mom AND a student – the trifecta of stress at this time of year.

So, this week I thought I’d provide a few stress relieving tips:

1)     Watch this SNL skit which makes fun of political liberals post-election in the best possible way – fun for conservatives and liberals alike.  Brooklyn in a Bubble.  I was laughing outloud.