Conquer Stress and Overwork When the Heat Is On: Simple Strategies to Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected


I know most of you are no strangers to stress and overwork.

It’s an ever present feature of our modern work and lives.

No matter how intentional you are, stress is unavoidable.

So this is a collection of lots of different ideas and strategies you can use to conquer stress and overwork when the heat is on so you can stay cool, calm, and collected.

Simple Strategies to Conquer Stress and Overwork

  1. Quick Coherence to calm your body and mind and get back to your heart (watch the Results that Count video) and access a Quick Coherence audio here
  2. DRESS for Success – Excerpt from my upcoming book!
  3. Create time and space for innovation
  4. Find the meaning in what you’re doing. It can reduce your stress almost instantaneously.
  5. When you’re stressed and exhausted, you might not be able to see the success within the mess that is the chaos of a hurricane that is your life. Here’s some lessons I learned from the pandemic when I had the opportunity (aka was forced) to teach my kids at home for eternity. I mean several months. It was a successful failure.
  6. Are you ready if a layoff happens? This is what you need to do.
  7. Take Comfort in What Brings You Comfort – and during times of high stress and change, we all need MORE comfort!
  8. Whatever the question, slippers are the answer! Or more accurately, it’s about figuring out small things that can make a big difference for you. But also, slippers.
  9. Less Is More – no explanation needed!
  10. When nothing seems to be going as smoothly or as easily as you’d like, get unstuck quickly
  11. Say Yes to something that you normally wouldn’t. You’ll be surprised at the opportunities that can create for you!
  12. And of course, there are also plenty of times when you need to reclaim your time and your sanity by saying, “No”.
  13. Be more kind. You’ll never get better advice than that of Mr. Rogers. When the heat is on, sprinkle kindness on everything and see what changes!


More than anything, being intentional when you have too much to do (which is probably ALL THE TIME!) can make a huge difference in how you’re able to respond so you can conquer stress and overwork. 



Image by Daniel Sampaio Donate if you want (Paypal) from Pixabay

Summer, more than any other time of year, BEGS for simplicity.

It’s the one season that encourages us to relax, chill out, and do nothing.

But that doesn’t describe  most people’s summers, now does it? 

I’ll channel my inner punk rocker and say, “Why’d ya have to go and make things so complicated?!?”

We say we want a relaxing, chill summer, but then we schedule every hour of every day, trying to stuff more plans into fewer days than normal. And all our fun seems to magically disappear when push comes to shove.

What if things could be under-complicated instead?

Sounds simple enough, right?

But that’s the third challenge you face in trying to create a FUN summer: Keeping it simple! 

It doesn’t take long before something is so over-complicated, you can’t hardly recognize it.

I can tell you from experience, simple doesn’t mean easy! 

Often the hardest thing we can do is simplify, whether it’s simplifying our work, our life, the stuff we own, or the way we approach the summer season.

That’s why my program, Make Summer Fun Again is so awesome!

It’s going to help you simplify summer into three pieces:

  1. Dream it. 
  2. Design it.
  3. Do it.

Not only that, Make Summer Fun Again will help you slow summer down, make sure your fun gets prioritized, and give you a plan to have the summer of your dreams!

All in only 2 hours.

Talk about simple!

I know that having a summer you’re actually excited about again is priceless. 

And I’m throwing in 2 more things: you’ll get daily emails from June 2-20 with ideas and approaches for summer fun and you’ll have the choice to attend an optional virtual party on the first day of summer, June 21!

Reclaim your summer today with Make Summer Fun Again.


Image by Thanh Thắng Trần from Pixabay


Last week we talked about how we can slow summer down by doing less of everything, but more of what we really enjoy.

And I promised I’d share more about why that can be really tricky to pull off.

As we already established last week, the season of summer has limitless options for activities and when our calendar is overstuffed, we don’t have time to enjoy the fun stuff.

The solution to that problem has nothing to do with deciding what activities you want to do (deep down, you know already).

But it’s not easy to slow summer down, even when we know what we want to do.

It’s a challenge to create more fun because we fail to prioritize ourselves.

How do I know?

Because it’s a lesson I keep re-learning!

And because prioritizing what matters most is something I work with my clients on.

All. The. Time.

It’s one thing to think, “Gee! I’d really like to go to that cool event on that stuff I care a lot about” but it’s another thing entirely to keep the commitment to yourself and actually go to the thing you want when your boss is asking you for something at the end of the day and you have nothing ready to eat for dinner and your kid has decided that now is the perfect time for a meltdown.

Next thing you know, you decide to skip the thing you were looking forward to.

And that’s why this piece is more tricky to navigate than building a piece of IKEA furniture.

You don’t cancel the fun that people you care about want to do in summer.


What’s the first thing that you cross off your summer fun list? It’s YOUR stuff.

When push comes to shove, you don’t prioritize your own fun.

Then you wonder why summer just doesn’t feel fun anymore.

It’s because you literally aren’t having any fun!

If taking your kids (or someone else’s) to the zoo feels exhausting, I’d encourage you to take off the day AFTER you go to the zoo, so you can do something that does feel fun for you.

Yeah, that’s right! 

I give you permission to do things YOU think are fun, regardless of what other people think!

Short on time or vacation? Plan out a tiny bit of fun that you can do in a few minutes, no vacation days required.

Maybe it’s sipping lemonade in the shade for 5 minutes. 

Maybe it’s closing your eyes and experiencing and appreciating the great invention that is air conditioning for a few moments. 

Maybe it’s feeling the sun shine on your face as you walk around the block.

The important part in making summer fun again is prioritizing YOU. 

I know you know this already, but it’s worth repeating.

No one else is going to make sure that YOU have a super fantastic, wildly fun summer!

Of course, once you prioritize you and what you care about, there’s one more challenge standing in the way of making summer fun again (which we’ll talk about next week).

In the meantime, I dare you to reply and tell me: What’s one thing you commit to prioritizing for yourself this summer?


Ready to have a summer that is actually fun? Check out Make Summer Fun Again to learn how that can be your new story of summer.


Image by Shad0wfall from Pixabay

Some of my fondest summer memories aren’t of big milestone events. Instead, they’re the days when I was free to do nothing or anything I felt like. 

The days when I woke up at sunrise and went to bed long after the sun had set, never looking at a clock or having to be anywhere on time. The days when I ate non-standard stuff at odd hours because we were at a picnic or happened upon a random ice cream stand. The days when I napped in the shade or I played games or swam or rode my bike without any regard to fitting it into a window of time. 

I’ll bet you have memories of summer like that too.

Maybe you get lost in a daydream of a time when you had no responsibilities and felt free enough to enjoy the long days that stretched out before you.

One of the things that tends to suck all the joy and fun out of summer is the sheer volume of stuff we’re trying to squeeze into it. 

There are BBQ’s and picnics, festivals and fairs and parades. There are camps and schools and lessons. There are parties and concerts, events and celebrations. Going to the beach, camping out, resting in the shade. Summer-only sports and occasions and family gatherings.

There is A LOT of fun to be had in summer!

But a lot of fun is still a lot. 

And a lot can be too much.

Doing a lot of activities can steal our joy and create stress around ending this bit of fun so we can hurry to the next bit of fun so we can leave early and still make it to the other bit of fun we have planned.

And all of a sudden, the summer we were dreaming of disappears as we race from thing to thing, barely experiencing or remembering any of it because we have to get on to something else somewhere else (in 45 minutes or less!).

Anyone else feel exhausted just thinking about it? Maybe you’re ready to hop in your Delorean to time travel back to a simpler time? 

Here’s the thing.

We don’t have to travel back in time to make summer fun again (but if you have that option, call me!).

Instead, we need to get clear on priorities. 

We don’t need a lot of activities to experience a lot of fulfillment and fun.

Just because there are a kajillion things you CAN do during summer doesn’t mean you WANT to do all those things.

You can have an intentional, super fun summer by deciding what’s most important to you and then focusing your energy on that. 

Hate sand in all your parts and getting sunburned? Don’t make plans to go to the beach. Even if that’s what “they” say you have to do in summer.

Hate how the family BBQ with all the relatives you don’t enjoy seeing ends with them giving you life advice (and super judgy looks)? Stop attending it! Even if that’s what “they” say a good child, cousin, or step-aunt-twice-removed would do.

Hate sweating outside in the blinding heat when there’s perfectly good air conditioning to be had? Stop dining al fresco with your friends. Even if “they” say that eating outside (with the bugs and the weather) is fun. 

You know those experts that have advice and sayings about everything? I give you permission to NOT DO ANYTHING “they” say.

Instead, take some time to focus on you and what would make your summer fun. Like actually, honestly, truly, looking-forward-to-it-like-the-first-day-of-vacation fun!

Of course, when we try to do that it takes us to the next challenge we all have in making summer fun again (which we’ll talk about next week).  

Until then, what’s one thing you’re planning to stop doing this summer?


Image by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay

The Best Ever Way to Make Your Vision a Reality. Image of Best Ever Mastermind Flexible Framework 5 Components: Clarity, Constraints, Consistency, Celebrations, Community. Work Authentically logo in lower right corner.


The Best Ever Framework to Make Your Vision a Reality

Have you struggled to make your vision a reality? Do you appear successful to others, but feel like something is missing? Are you unsure how to actually achieve your resolutions or goals for the year? Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Is this all there is?” after you accomplish a milestone?

These and so many other questions are common to ask ourselves, especially at the start of the year. 

Many people go so far as to make resolutions about all the things they want to change in their work and life. But resolutions simply don’t work and WHEN they don’t, most people run out of ideas and energy to make the big changes they really want for themselves. 

But YOUR dreams don’t have to be abandoned like a rotten resolution!

With the Best Ever flexible framework, it becomes EASY to make your vision a reality.

Ever have a WTF moment? 

You know, you’re minding your business at work when suddenly, finally, you discover a framework that does more than make some rich consultants even richer.

It’s a framework that actually works.

It’s a framework that makes your life easier.

And it makes you say, “Wow! This Framework!” or WTF for short.

I know. Those moments are rare.

But friends, this is one of those moments!

I have rejected using the word framework for years, in part because of the many frameworks that I’d experienced and been subjected to in corporate. 

Many frameworks sounded good in theory, but in practice, didn’t solve the problems we were trying to solve. Some actually made the problem worse. 

And so I avoided using the word framework for a long time because I didn’t want to be lumped in with all those frameworks that make you exclaim the other WTF.

But flexible framework is the exact right word to describe the underlying idea the supports my Best Ever Mastermind.

I feel like I have to share this framework in part because it’s helped me and everyone in the program create BIG, vision-aligned results.

Introducing the Best Ever Framework

The flexible framework that we use in Best Ever allows you to FINALLY make progress on those things you’ve been trying to do for years. It sets you up for success, even when you have a history of not being able to see things through to the end. It removes the guesswork so you don’t have to wonder if you’re spending enough time on the stuff you actually care about.  

It’s the kind of framework you can use to:

  • achieve your goals personally and professionally
  • write a book 
  • tame the chaos of selling a home and moving 
  • start a business or grow that business to new levels 
  • manage your health in a way that allows you to thrive
  • change the trajectory of your career
  • create more fun and joy in your life
  • and so much more!

Framework Components

This flexible framework is the exact process I used for myself when I left my corporate job nearly 5 years ago to rebuild a life I wanted to live from the ground up. Here’s a quick look at the way we use it in Best Ever:

  • Clarity: We use visioning exercises and approaches that help you get a clear vision. I’ve had people tell me they’ve never been successful trying to do that and with my approaches, they finally have a vision they are excited to bring to life!
  • Constraints: We talk through ways to set the boundaries you need to move forward. We spend time at the start of the year doing a deep dive into approaches that work. We deliberately dive deep so you learn HOW to make your vision a reality.
  • Consistency: The cadence of our discussions is designed to build in consistency. You can’t get too far off track because there’s always another mastermind discussion or quarterly planning session coming to help you get and stay on track.
  • Celebrations: We kick off the year with a pre-party. We end the year with a party to celebrate your successes. And in between, we celebrate all the small steps and milestones you experience throughout the entire year. There’s even surprise mailings!
  • Community: My groups have awesome, encouraging, brilliant people creating amazing results! And let’s be honest, as adults finding friends who truly want what’s best for us can be a challenge. This group is already excited to support your dreams!

This framework worked for me and it has worked for all my clients.

Are you ready to take your work and life from fine to WOW? 

The Best Ever framework is, well… the best ever way to create your vision for a WOW life and then make your vision a reality.

By the end of the year, you’ll be saying to yourself some version of, “Wow! This framework! aka WTF! I’m so excited that my dreams have become reality!” 


Learn more about the Best Ever Mastermind


Image created by me in Canva.


Lessons from Elf. Lesson #5 - Dare to Have a Bold Vision

As I shared at the start of these lessons, Elf is timeless, which is why I can wear my Smiling’s My Favorite t-shirt all months of the year. So it’s never too early or late to share one final Lesson from Elf.

The final lesson? Dare to have a bold vision.

Walter Hobbs (Buddy’s dad) was a not-nice person. He was showing up as the worst version of himself at work and at home. He was even on Santa’s naughty list! (NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

It took a lot of vision and a healthy dose of hope for Buddy to see his dad as anything other than a curmudgeon. A modern-day Grinch, if you will. 

Many other people had already given up on Walter Hobbs, but Buddy saw what he could be, with enough Christmas spirit added.

Buddy persisted with showing kindness and love when most other people wouldn’t have been able to continue. And Buddy’s vision for a time when they had a great parent-child relationship helped him keep at it even in the face of many obstacles and challenges. 

As we move into the new year, it’s time for all of us to be like Buddy and dare to have a bold vision. 

It’s the perfect time of year to decide what you do (and don’t!) want to have happen going forward. It’s the best time to dream a bigger dream than you have before and surprise yourself as you go after it.  

And just as Buddy encouraged his dad to make changes, don’t we all need encouragement to live into the best version of ourselves? 

If you’re ready to dream a bigger dream in 2023 and be supported and encouraged as you make your dreams a reality, then the Best Ever Mastermind is, well, the best ever place to do it!

You’ll get the guidance you need to create a bold vision, maybe for the first time in your life, along with the practical tools to convert your vision into a reality. This isn’t a “resolution for a week and go back to the same old same old as before” kind of approach. This is a year-long group program that enables your growth in all areas of your life (relationships, wealth, health, work, and so much more). 

Here’s what people are saying about Best Ever:

“I’m so glad I decided to participate in Best Ever this year. This has been the most impactful year of my career to date and it has put into focus the lifestyle I can build for myself and my family. I accomplished things this year that I used to think were ambitious for a 3-year plan, but here I am! I also made back my entire investment less than two months into the program and have been growing my business ever since!”

“I no longer have to wonder, “Will it work?” or “Will I stick with it?” because I can say a resounding “YES” to both questions. Best Ever was easy to follow and apply especially when my work and life were super busy. It kept me focused and making progress, even when everything else was chaotic. In fact, I was always pleasantly surprised how much more progress I made each month than I thought I had. I’m so glad I invested in my future – it was worth it!” 

Best Ever | Work Authentically

Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins… sign up today so you can create a compelling vision for your work and life!


Lessons from Elf. Lesson #4 - Be Known for Something.

As Buddy the Elf reminds everyone, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

And so, when some holiday hijinks involving Santa ensues, those who know Buddy start singing carols and get an entire crowd of people to join in. Wouldn’t you know, the extra cheer was exactly what was needed to save the day!

So why did people think to start singing? Because it’s one of the things Buddy was known for: his Christmas spirit.

Just like Buddy, we’re all going to be known for something (even if we’re known only by a small circle of people).

Have you thought about the legacy you want to have? 

People sometimes can recognize our strengths, but that’s not usually what we’re known for.

I spent my entire career in corporate delivering on results and doing my best work, but what most people told me when I left was that they were going to miss my… enthusiasm. Wait. What? Aren’t you going to miss the awesome software? Nope. It’s the way I could get people to care about and be excited about the software.

Today, it’s the same feedback I get from clients since I stepped away from corporate to start my coaching business. My enthusiasm helps them get excited about stuff that they ordinarily would avoid. 

I’m known for my enthusiasm and fair warning, it can be pretty contagious!!!!!!!!! (NOTE: One exclamation point simply would not do here).

Now it’s your turn to think about what you ARE known for and what you WANT to be known for.

Are they the same thing? Do you need to make small changes to align them or big changes, like Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas morning? Write down the legacy you want to have and ideas on how you can start sharing it with others.

Buddy wasn’t afraid to own being known for his Christmas spirit and we shouldn’t be either.

Sing your own praises loud for all to hear! Tell me, what are you known for? Or what do you want to be known for going forward? I’m excited (enthusiastic, even) to hear what you have to share!


Lessons from Elf. Lesson #3 - Design Your Ideal Day.

Once Buddy the Elf reunites with his dad and gets invited to stay in a human home, Buddy is pretty pumped to hang out. He’s got a lot of expectations for an awesome time, so he writes out a to-do list on an etch-a-sketch, naturally.

Buddy: “I planned out our whole day. First we make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie Dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.”

Sounds pretty awesome, right? 

Unfortunately, Buddy’s dad is focused on getting to work and declines to do anything on the list. Boo!

Although it didn’t materialize right away for Buddy, there’s a lot of power in designing your ideal day and working to bring it into being.

There’s joy in the clarity of knowing what you want and setting boundaries to make sure it happens.

So here’s your question to ponder for this week: What would it look like if you were designing your work and life to be ONLY the things you were most excited for? 

Sounds pretty awesome, right? 

Think about what it would look like to not only enjoy what you’re doing daily at work (remember: make work your favorite), but in all areas of your life.  What if you could design your ideal day and, unlike Buddy, live it out?

I dare you to pass through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, go through the Lincoln Tunnel and share your ideal day with someone!


Photo created by me.

As a responsible human raised by elves, Buddy likes to stick to the 4 main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. He dislikes coffee and spaghetti (when served without syrup). 

Buddy knows what fuels him and what makes him feel bad. 

That’s an important lesson. 

There’s really 2 pieces to it:

  1. Knowing what fuels you
  2. Prioritizing what fuels you

I know it can also be challenging to figure out what DOES work for you and my best advice is to experiment. Try something out and pay attention to how you feel. Do you have more energy as a result? Start with making a list of what you know fuels you and makes you feel your best. Then, keep adding on as you try new things.

And here’s step two. Once you know what fuels you, it’s critically important that you prioritize it. Not once a year or once a quarter. DAILY.

When you don’t know what fuels you, or worse, don’t prioritize what fuels you, you’re going to feel off and out of sorts. And it can be hard to put your finger on exactly what is causing it.

For example, if you know that you need some quiet prep time before your work day begins in order to operate at your best, then showing up late and heading straight into a meeting is not going to work for you. That overwhelmed feeling follows you the rest of the day.

Instead, let’s take a cue from Buddy and stick to candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup!

I challenge you to schedule one thing that fuels you THIS WEEK and then tell me about it. 


Lessons from Elf - Lesson 1. Make Work Your Favorite

Smiling’s My Favorite

Welcome to December! This time of year you’ll usually find me making recipes in the kitchen or watching certain holiday movies. I’m a sucker for the Muppet Christmas Carol, Love Actually, even Die Hard. And of course, one of my all-time favorites, Elf. 

I am endlessly entertained by Will Farrell in this holiday classic. I quote the movie year round. I also see no reason not to wear my “Smiling’s my favorite” t-shirt EVERY month of the year. 

There are a lot of lessons to be taken from Elf too, so for the rest of December, I want to share them with you. And we’ll start with the quote from my fave shirt.

Buddy the Elf: I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite. 

Gimbel’s Manager (aka his boss): Make work your favorite.  

Make Work Your Favorite

That conversation between Buddy and his manager makes me laugh every time I see Elf.

But here’s something I like to ask my clients: What if work really was your favorite? What if you truly enjoyed the key elements of your job while sharing your strengths with the world? 

Anyone who’s been around here for even a little while knows I talk a lot about the importance of money, meaning, and impact because those are the reasons we all go to work. And when there’s a misalignment in any one of those things, it’s impossible for work to be your favorite.

If you’re having a hard time imagining work being your favorite (trust me, I’ve been there!), here’s a collection of articles and blog posts I’ve written around money, meaning, and impact that just might help you figure out what to do next.

And since we’re in the season of making a list and checking it twice, here’s my other suggestion: Start a list of your favorite things at work.

Before we can make any changes to something, it’s important to know where we’re at. The easiest way to create your list is to pay attention to your activities for the next week and to write down any that you loved or got big energy from doing. 

When you know your favorite parts about work, you can start to intentionally incorporate more of them into your everyday.

Need help? Tell me about the ways work isn’t your favorite and I’ll get back to you. Yup. My work is my favorite and I love reading and replying to your questions and comments! 

And finally: Not familiar with Elf (*gasp*) or want to watch it for the kajillionth time like me? Check out the clip here.