Month: September 2013

Five Ways to Find Love this Fall

Fall is 100% my favorite time of the entire year. Jeans and a sweater weather, football, and the excuse to go on a soup cooking bender makes me happy. It is also a great time to reset your focus, and put some effort into finding love! When the weather cools down and the beaches are closed, many singles find themselves ready to find their match. Here are my tips for finding fall love as shared on The Couch this morning on CBS in NYC.

1. Embrace the season – Every season has its own unique opportunities to meet people, i.e., the beach in the summer, skiing in the winter, and the fall is no different! Its football season, and if you are a single female, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t head to your local sports bar on Sundays. Find a pumpkin or apple picking event on Meetup.com. Join a hiking club. Create your own potluck supper club – fall is all about comfort foods, have everyone bring a dish and single friend. The possibilities are endless.

2. Enlist your friends – Tell them you are single and looking! This should be done seasonally. Some of those close to you may not want to overstep their boundaries, so let them know that you are open to meeting anyone they think you could click with. No expectations, but it is great to get the energy out there!

3. Create a calendar – You will never meet anyone sitting home. Create a calendar where are you are twice a week at events, groups, or drinks with friends. You don’t need to focus on dating-related activities, even business networking events work! The goal is to grow your love tree. The more people you know, the more options/branches you have.

4. Put pen to paper – Describing where you see yourself in 6 months or a year is a power-packed activity! Write it down with a real pen and paper (no typing!) and describe what your life looks like, who your partner is, where you spend time, and how you feel. Be as detailed as possible. Visualizing what you want, who you want, and how you’ll feel when you get it is seriously powerful.

5. It’s all about attitude – Regardless of the season, your attitude matters most. Embrace the possibilities, keep your expectations in check and realize that not everyone is for you, but they are still great people. Positivity is an intoxicating trait, and one that is often desired by my clients, and sometimes difficult to find. You attract what you put out there.

What are your plans to find love this fall?

 

5 Steps to Resolving Conflict

Is there tension in your workplace? Are you constantly fighting with your loved ones? Conflict is a natural element of the human condition. We are not identically wired. Each of us  maintain unique triggers of stress and anxiety, and a method of communication that works for one person, may not be effective with another.

Unfortunately, conflict can become expensive and unproductive, especially in the workplace. Research shows that conflict in the workplace is on the rise and will continue to go up. A typical manager spends 25-40% of his or her time dealing with workplace conflicts. That’s one to two days of every work week. Conflicts in your personal life are similarly detrimental and can lead to stress, constant circles of arguments, and even divorce.

So how do we resolve conflict, or better yet, avoid it? Here are some ways to help to reduce conflict – whether it is at work, or at home:

1. Breathe. Have you ever forced a room full of angry frustrated employees to stop talking and just breathe? I have. It’s transformative. When you clear the noise and focus on  your breath for even a few minutes, you have the ability to change your perspective and tackle issues from a logical base, as opposed to an emotionally charged exchange. In an argument with your partner? Stop talking and take that moment to re-center. It will avoid the pitfalls of saying something you will regret.

2. Question the motive. Every person you work with is inherently different. Your friends, partner, and family members are all inherently different. As we all have different personalities, stressors, and communication styles, it is important to put yourself in their place before creating assumptions. Instead of responding to a conflict in kind, reframe your thoughts. Are they really upset with you? Could they possibly have outside stresses that are causing them to lash out at you?  Recognizing that the issues may stem far from you can lead to empathy and resolution.

3. Question the aggressor. No, this isn’t a deposition, but asking open ended questions that empower can diffuse the situation significantly. Ask the aggressor (calmly)  questions, such as “What steps can we take together to finish this project?” or “How would you envision this process?” or “Why do you believe that x is ineffective?” in a workplace scenario. In a personal setting, asking them questions such as “Why do you feel that way about x?” or “Where do you think we could make changes to compromise on this issue?”can make an enormous impact in the level of hostility. Empowering  questions let the frustrated party become part of the resolution.

4. Walk away. Never engage in a heated discussion in the workplace. If you cannot breathe and refocus, step away from the situation until you can. Do not engage the other party if they are becoming aggressive. Even if they are the one seen as hostile, you will be viewed as a willing participant if you fail to diffuse by exiting. Similarly, in a personal argument, if there is no line of communication open, it is better to take 5, 10, 100 minutes away from one another to gather your thoughts as opposed of continuing for the sake of it.

5. Engage in Active Listening . Often times, conflicts result in a severe lessening of actually hearing what the other party has to say. Active listening requires you to pay attention to the “why’s” of the conflict, and respond with an understanding of their position. Most people simply want to be heard.

What conflicts have you encountered in the workplace? How was it resolved? I would love to hear from you. For more information on my workshops on conflict resolution, click here.

 

Taking Care of YOU – Self-Love

We lead insanely busy lives. Every day we are trying to balance work, love, family, and our addiction to binge-watching terrible reality television.  Every one of those can deplete our energy, and lead us to a cycle of sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and stress. That is why I LOVE self-love.

All of my clients get a healthy dose of self-love assignments, which focus on taking care of YOU! Similar to on an airplane, should anything go awry, you need to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping anyone else. Self-love is like oxygen for the soul. The more you breathe in, the more energy you have for all the other amazing things life has to offer.

So what are some ways you can practice self-love this fall?

1. Create a seasonal bucket list – List 3-5 things you want to do this fall. Things that you don’t have to or need to do, but activities that make you get all warm and fuzzy. Maybe it’s going to see a Broadway show or pumpkin picking, or planning that ladies/guys night out that keeps getting mentioned and postponed. Write them down, and give yourself a timeline.

2. Meditation – Meditation is the secret to bliss. I’m completely serious. Getting in touch with your mind and breath, for even 5 minutes, is a huge dose of self-love. You don’t have to move to an ashram or take a pilgrimage to India. You can meditate in your car, your bed, or your kitchen. There are a ton of free and low-cost apps that can guide you through some simple, but effective, mediations. My favorite right now is Simply Being. It has options for a 5, 10, 15, or 20-minute session, and it is 99 cents. If you aren’t worth a buck, we have a lot more work to do than I can put in this post.

3. Learn to say NO – The magic word is no longer please, it is NO. Saying no is about prioritizing your time, and leaving room to breathe. When you say yes to everyone that needs your help, and ear, some money, or time, you take away that breathing room. No breathing room = suffocation.  Suffocation = BAD. You don’t have to become a part of every organization, attend every event, or be your friend’s therapist at 3 am. Boundaries are key to self-love. Oh and throw out the guilt, you taking care of you is more important than a disappointed friend.

4. Revamp your Rolodex – Speaking of friends… We don’t use Rolodex’s anymore, and there is a chance that many reading this will think I’m speaking Greek, but the lesson is the same. It is time to eliminate the negative people in your life. Those energy suckers that do nothing but complain? Yeah, they need to go.  The “friend” that always needs your help, but is never available when you are in need? Time to release. You don’t have to break up with them per se, but limit the time and energy you give them. If they aren’t bringing you up, they are holding you down. As Toni Morrison said, “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

5. Healthy habits – You don’t need me to tell you that exercise is important, or maybe you do. The change of seasons is a great time to revamp your health habits, including hitting the gym (or the pavement) more regularly. Another great idea to expand your recipe library is to host a healthy potluck. Get 4-5 friends together and have everyone make their favorite healthy dish. Share some food, laugh (a lot), and learn how to make a new dish. It’s a win-win. Send me pictures!

Can you commit to some self-love this week? YOU are so worth it!

 

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