How to Stress Less and Live Better in 2020

While the holidays may be a wonderful time of year for some, they often come with the gift of added stress. To help you recuperate, whether your holidays were full of joy or drama, here are some tips from my program on how to stress less and live better. I hope that these ideas will help your New Year get off to a good start.

Instead of pressuring yourself to set New Year’s resolutions, take small steps toward improving your life and health. Too often, we give ourselves ridiculous and unrealistic goals to pursue, without having an idea of how to get there. So, we’re going to start small and suggest manageable steps to help you reach your goals. 

Step 1: Practice self-care. Make yourself a priority by taking 15 minutes twice a week to do something that relaxes you or brings you joy. Some of my favorite self-care practices are taking a walk through the neighborhood, eating my favorite food (which is chocolate), and listening to music. These are some ideas to get you started, but it’s best to find what works for you. One of my clients recently discovered that the mindless TV he watched was not relaxing, but watching something that interested him helped to calm his mind.

Step 2: Go slow. Don’t expect sudden changes. Instead, take one step at a time and don’t multitask. Research shows that multitasking is not an efficient way of getting things done. In fact, what happens is that our attention is divided and we frequently become overwhelmed. Some of the ways I like to do this are to take 3 deep breaths when I’m stopped at a stoplight, to walk slowly around my back yard, or sitting outside in the morning having a cup of tea. When you physically start to slow down, your mind will follow.

Step 3: Keep it simple. You don’t have to add anything extra to your life to ease stress and quiet your mind. Start with the things you’re already doing, but learn to focus your attention differently. For example, instead of focusing your attention on your to-do list while you take a shower, think about the scent of the soap and the sound of the water. Studies indicate that when we direct our attention to our sensory experience, it allows us to savor the moment and feel better because we’re not focusing on something unpleasant and worrisome.

Stay tuned for more ways to Stress Less and Live Better in 2020!

Here are some additional resources you can look at in the meantime:

Stress Less, Live Better

Stress Less, Live Better: For Pregnancy, Postpartum and Early Motherhood

Podcast: Intro to Mindfulness

Holiday Tips for Self-Care

The holidays often suck us into the gimmes, just like our kids, as we make the holidays happen. We easily lose track of the underlying message of the season for our kids. Consider these focused activities to reconnect with the holiday lessons:

1) CHOOSE actively, in line with your values. Stop and consider what you want to teach about the holiday season. You might want to say no if an event is too commercial, or detracts from planned family time. It’s fine to focus on fun–and opt out if an event is more drudgery or duty than pleasure. This is your holiday, too, and you have the right to celebrate it in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable for you. What a good example for your children!

2) INVOLVE everyone in the process of giving, helping small children pick out toys for the holiday toy drive, donate from their piggy banks to the bell ringer at the grocery, or make macaroni necklaces for favorite aunts or sitters. Older children might perform a chore, or sing/perform on an instrument for neighbors, visiting family, or residents of a senior living community.

3) READ one book about your spiritual perspective and traditions nightly. Every library has a children’s librarian eager to suggest new (or old favorite) titles. On the subject of reading, consider a classic book as a gift each year. Building a personal library for a child fosters a lifelong love of reading, one value to focus on that continues throughout the year.

If you’re looking for more ways to stay relaxed throughout the holidays, checkout my Stress Less, Live Better series. These books would make a great gift for the busy mom in your life, or anyone who could benefit from learning how to better manage stress.

Stress Less, Live Better

Stress Less, Live Better (Pregnancy, Postpartum and Early Motherhood Edition)

Happy Thanksgiving!

With the holiday season back in full swing this week, it’s important that we take time to focus on what matters most. Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Thanksgiving filled with love and relaxation. #wellnessWednesday

If you’re looking for more ways to stay relaxed throughout the holidays, checkout my Stress Less, Live Better series. These books would make a great gift for the busy mom in your life, or anyone who could benefit from learning how to better manage stress.

Stress Less, Live Better

Stress Less, Live Better (Pregnancy, Postpartum and Early Motherhood Edition)

Order directly from my publisher for 30% off of Stress Less, Live Better (Pregnancy, Postpartum and Early Motherhood Edition) with code Blackfriday2019


Introducing My New Book!

SLLB PPE frontHello Followers!

I have some exciting news. I have a new book out!

In the latest book from my Stress Less Live Better series, you’ll learn how to best meet the challenges of pregnancy, postpartum, and early motherhood. With over 30 years expertise in motherhood and emotional health, I have developed 5 Simple Skills to reduce stress, anxiety, and parenting guilt by learning to calm your mind and body. Based on my Stress Less Live Better program developed for moms and busy people, these skill sets are practical and can easily fit into your daily life without needing extra time.

Complete with exercises and opportunities for reflection, this book will guide you on your journey to stress less and live better.

Purchase my book here:

Mindfulness Workshops

Saturday, January 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday, February 2 @ 9:00am – 12:00pm

$30 – $50 ($30/class OR $50 for both)


Join us for two weekend workshops covering various aspects of mindfulness practice.

The perfect antidote to the hectic holiday season, unwind and set new intentions for 2019, through guided exercises and lessons.


Mindfulness in Everyday Life: of discussion of the value and practice of mindfulness in everyday life. This workshop was offered in 2018 and quickly sold out, with rave reviews.

Women, Mindfulness, & Mood: Because as women our minds, hormones and lives are constantly changing, we need to learn a set of coping skills that will help us weather life’s storms. Mindfulness practice that teaches us to calm our mind and re-inhabit our body is a time-proven skillset for easing stress, anxiety and worry.

Tickets include light refreshments.

Check out the link below to learn more about Stress Less, Live Better:
Podcast: Intro to Mindfulness

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and Smoking Cessation Training

Hello Everyone!

Do you work with pregnant women or mothers? Do you want to know more about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders? Are you interested in learning techniques for assisting with smoking cessation?

My daughter, Rachel Sanford, MSW, LMSW, and I will be providing a training on PMADs and Smoking Cessation.

The FREE training is on Wednesday, October 3rd from 8:30-11:00am at the John C Murphy Health Center–located at 6121 N Hanley Rd, Berkeley, MO 63134.

I will be giving an overview of PMADs. Rachel works at the American Lung Association providing smoking cessation for pregnant women and adults. She will be covering some techniques and guidelines for working with women who are suffering from PMADs (or other mental health issues) and trying to quit smoking cigarettes.

The information and registration can be accessed via this link:

We hope to see you there!