Stress and Anxiety Coping Skills

Did you know that about 70% of Americans feel physical and mental symptoms of stress?  Of those, only around 37% believe they are actually managing it well (American Psychiatric Association, ‘Stress in America’).  When stress begins to show physical and mental signs of wear and tear, perhaps it is time to more closely examine your coping skills.

Effects of Stress ImageCoping or “dealing with it” is a task that some people will quickly jump to as the right way to ‘handle’ stress, anxiety and depression.  While there are remarkable coping skills we can all benefit from, what matters is getting to the root of the issue that is causing the stress in the first place and then working on fixing that issue/s.  But that’s for the professionals.  Let’s look first at some immediate-response-techniques to moments of crisis, anxiety and depression.

  • The Mental Picture:  often it is our own minds that are destroying us from the inside. We allow our minds to drift to scenarios and situations that do not alleviate our stress but actually add to it. We have to take time to purposely manage our thoughts and actively replace the poor ones with positive ones.  When you are in the deep throws of depression and anxiety it can be really hard to come up with positive thoughts but you owe it to yourself to work hard at this step.
  • Move It:  Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a swim – do SOMETHING physical. Your body deserves to be treated well and even though you may feel like it’s in complete rebellion against you, the fact is, its screaming out to you to take better care of it.
  • Mind Your Manners:  Nothing can add to your stress quicker than flying off the handle at those around you.  If you need to, take a few moments before talking or responding, take a deep breath, and speak in the manner that you would want to be  addressed.  Talking in a calm, rational manner is also good for your heart and anxiety, minimizing spikes in blood pressure and heart palpitations which often accompany stress and anxiety.
  • Eat Something: My grandmother used to be known as the ‘food pusher’. Had a bad day? Eat something. Feeling blue? Eat something.  She was always there with something but the difference (and I only see this looking back), she didn’t throw the standard stress-eating foods at us.  She would make us a salad, a fruit bowl, or a healthy sandwich or cup of soup.  Feeding our bodies is a great way to bring about a bit of satisfaction and it gives our brains a moment to focus on something else.
  • Meditate:  This one is hard because if you ARE in a moment of crisis you are far from being able to calm down, breath and “go to your happy place”. And let’s face it – if we experience depression along with this that usually means our happy place was destroyed a long time ago!  Take a few moments and breathe deeply, center on one object on the wall, sit up tall and allow your lungs to fill completely with air.  It only takes 3 deep breaths to completing refresh the air supply in our lungs.
  • Seriously, Though:  Take yourself seriously and if you don’t have people around you who are taking you seriously, go find people who will. Talk with someone or just have people around you so you are not always alone.  What you are feeling is REAL and IMPORTANT.  YOU are a person of great worth and you need to take issues seriously.  Tell people how you are doing and accept their support no matter what kind of support it is – suggestions, stories, hugs, “sorry’s” and even “holding you in prayer”.  Because it all matters and so do you.
  • Balance:meditation-2262835_1920
    Then there is balance. Allow yourself to grieve for your loss – allow yourself to curl up in a ball and sleep all day but don’t let these become your norm. Fight it with all you have.  You weren’t created to withdraw into obscurity. You weren’t designed to shut out the world.  You were designed for far more and to be far better than all your haunts, all your ghosts and all your demons combined. YOU ARE A PERSON OF WORTH and you deserve to treat YOURSELF as one.

Finally, make sure you seek help.  There are counselors all around us.  If you are having feelings of hurting yourself please call 800-273-8255 and talk with someone today.




In Crisis?  Consider calling 1-800-273 TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center.

Dial 911 for immediate assistance or emergencies.




ORCVirtual, Inc., it’s Officers, Directors, Employees, Contractors and Assigns are not licensed mental health experts. This is intended solely for informational purposes.  Seek proper physician care.

4 Steps that Will Change Your Life

Every single day that we are fortunate enough to wake up we are faced immediately with a question: how are we going to face the day.  We have to make a choice.  Here are 4 steps that will ground you every morning so that your day is strong, confident and productive.
530907415Step 1. Embrace the mindset that life is going to be a challenge.  Accept that there will be decisions during the day that need to be made.  Accept that there will be disappointments and set-backs.  From long red lights, to major health setbacks – life is full of them.  But life is also full of victories both small and large.  By accepting that life is an obstacle course you are less likely to get stuck in the mud. Instead, you’re going to get sweaty and dirty but you’ll come through it a winner!

Step 2.  Heart Connection.   Make sure that your heart and your mind are connected and on the same page. We all have the ability to succeed but if our mind isn’t on that page with our heart, we are already fighting ourselves.  When our mind and heart are in tune we set ourselves up for success.  Take a quick moment and breathe, listen to your heart, and pay attention to the rhythm in your head and then connect the two as one.BN-NZ368_OBSTAC_P_20160511184641

Step 3. Accountability.  Don’t do it alone. During the day as you face both challenges and successes you must have someone who is willing to stop running, turn around, reach down and pick you up.

Step 4. Finally – stop whining. Don’t start your day with negative statements.  The moment you rise start telling yourself positive statements, looking forward through the day at things that will be good from a simple great cup of coffee, to the refreshing ice water in your cup, to spending time with loved ones at the close of the day.  Gather those positive thoughts and use them to fuel you through the rough spots. Don’t focus on what might be – focus on what you know WILL be and if negative things happen, you are prepared for them.  They won’t catch you off guard and more importantly, you’ve set yourself up to face them head on and win.

So say to the day – bring me your best or bring me your worst – I’m ready.  Bring it.



You Got This…Thanks, Sophie.

IMG_0652Whenever I sit at my desk and turn my chair around, this is the sign I see hanging on my wall.  It was a gift from my amazing Executive Assistant, Sophie. For those who work with us, you know how valuable of an asset she is to the company because she is also a tremendous asset to YOU.  She has been by my side (and my next door neighbor) for several years and she knows the ups and the downs the company has experienced. Sophie refuses to give up no matter how hard things get.   She and I have had our share of both laughs and cries – but we are there for one another and we make a great team!

During the past few months I have allowed myself to get beaten down a bit by some business failures.  Sophie is always there to remind me that the ONLY way we grow is by failing.  If we never failed, we would never know the struggle of getting back up and we would never understand how we need to adapt in order to keep growing.  She gifted this to me and my partner on our birthdays (our birthdays are two days a part!) and it made both of us tear up. It is the PERFECT gift and such a tremendous motivator for me.

I was sitting in my office trying to develop an answer to a tough question and it just was not coming to me.  My frustration level continued to grow and I slammed my mouse down on the desk (because we ALL know how helpful THAT is!) and spun my chair around and my eyes landed right on this.  It’s hanging right beneath a dry erase board on my office wall and it immediately reminded me that I DO have this.  I got this!  I know how to overcome diversity, to turn struggle into success, and turn sorrow into dancing.  She’s right – I got this!

When life beats you down, and it WILL beat you down, remember: You Got This.  You know how I know you got this? Because today you are still here which means you have overcome even the most difficult of days. You Got This! Thanks, Sophie!


Success Blockers – Got ’em?

blackboard-board-chalk-21696-2All the motivational speakers, life and business coaches, seminars, books, audio tapes, and millions of websites dedicated to helping us succeed are useless when it comes to the success of your business.  Totally useless.  They provide great bumper sticker theology, nice phrases you can make a meme out of, and it feels really good for a few moments in time but they can’t provide you with the motivation to succeed in  your business – only YOU can do that.

What inspires you may also be blocking you.

  • Are you inspired by hearing about others’ success?
  • Do you have the “I wanna be like them” attitude?
  • Do you express love or indifference?
  • Do you put forth the positive or wallow in the negative?
  • Do you spew venom or healing?

Here is the comprehensive list of the differences between everyone who wants to or is a success:

  1. We all want love. Regardless of how you define it, we all want to feel and give love. It is what is at the very core of being human. On my mother’s deathbed, surrounded by family and dear close friends, listening to us tell her about all the calls and messages pouring in for her, she looked at me and said, “Why am I so loved? What did I do to deserve all of this?” My response: “Because you chose to show love first”.  When we select love as our primary motivator it will come back around and will show itself when we most need to see it.  Does love motivate you or do you push it away and believe that you can be successful without it?
  2. Acceptance. There is a trend right now in society that urges us all to accept one another without requiring change. It seems that more of society is defined as ‘marginalized’ than, well, non-marginalized.  It is ‘trendy’ to label ourselves and stand apart from everyone else yet we want full acceptance and I’m not sure that is something the human race is actually capable of doing.  Why not? Because we confuse acceptance with understanding. Is it possible to accept without understanding? It is possible to agree to disagree but then we must refer back to item #1 for it work.
  3. Attraction. We attract what we believe.  If we see the world in a negative light, we welcome negative energy to come back to us. If we continually look for and celebrate the positive around us, the positive energy we put out will come back to us.
  4. why-1352167Why or Why Not.  Over the past couple of months our company has seen some drastic changes.  We have said farewell to some and have welcomed some new clients in to our family.  There is a HUGE difference between the ones who succeed and the ones who fail.  While I could join the thousands of authors out there and write my own book on success VS failure, there is one that stays on the top of every list I write.  They ones who are in the game to win it are the ones who continually look for solutions.  They are the ones who say, “oh yeah? Watch me!”  They are the ones who say, “Bring it!”


What is blocking YOUR success? What is in the way?  I’m willing to bet that when you look hard enough, you’ll notice the only thing in your way…is you.




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