Thursday, October 8, 2009

Help for Busy Moms

Below you will find 4 mini articles on stress management, looking your best, and tips on working from home. Enjoy!

Save Time, Look Amazing
By Alison Craig of 3 Impressions
For Families Matter

Wouldn’t you love to grab something out of your closet every morning when you’re barely awake, and know you’ll go out looking amazing? Alison Craig of 3 Impressions does makeovers of both personal image and office design, and she also teaches us how to put your wardrobe together so ingeniously that all the planning is done, and you just grab one of your fabulous outfits and go.

First, edit your wardrobe so that your closet only holds items that you use at least once every six months. This minimizes those “My closet is full, but I have nothing to wear” moments.

Next make your closet Idiot Proof! Do what your little girls do: invite a girlfriend over, have some fun, and play dress-up. Take your existing clothes and accessories, and spend a few hours to mix and match them into wonderful outfits. Take photos and notes of all the combinations. 

I teach people to create an Idiot-Proof Guide so that when you barely have time to change out of your PJs in your rush to work, you will look as amazingly sharp and refined as any day when you had more time. You did think about what to wear; you just thought about it well in advance.

That advance planning will make every following day of your life less stressful. Less stress and look amazing every day. Who wouldn’t want that?

Looking Fabulous at Any Age
By Alison Craig of Three Impressions
For, L.A. Parenting

We all want to look fabulous. Who wouldn’t? But in today’s day and age, what is in style seems to change every 15 seconds. Oh look, there goes another trend. So how is one to know how to look great no matter what your age?
And how do you avoid that dreadful moment 10, 15, or 20 years from now when you look at the photos and wonder, “Why did I ever wear that? Why did I style my hair like that? Why did I do my makeup like that?”
Well, it is actually quite easy. Stop looking at the trends of what is considered beautiful for 15 seconds, and look at the classics that have been beautiful for ages. Here are two very simple and consistent principles used throughout the ages to create that look of timeless beauty.
1)    Create contrast. Visual contrast has always been key to being a classic beauty. Fair skin and rich hair is an example of natural contrast. But contrast doesn’t just have to be between you hair and skin color. You can also create contrast between your skin color and clothes and between several articles of clothing. Why is contrast so important? Contrast creates visual interest and make colors pop. Think about the color wheel: opposites attract.
As we age, we want tone down the contrast. In your 20s, you can go pretty crazy with color contrast. So if you want to create a bold fashion look, use contrasting color. It is the easiest, most inexpensive way to create a dynamic look as well. As we age into our 40s and 50s, and beyond, begin to tone down the contrast. So if you are a fair skinned and blonde, try a gray suit instead of black. The harsh black can begin to exaggerate the visual signs of age, such as wrinkles. So don’t go to extremes that can age us and startle others.
2)    Be true to yourself. I know it sounds quite simple, but it always amazes me how many dress for who they think other people think they are. If your look and image don’t reflect your true authentic self, then you will always make those “Why did I do that?” mistakes. You’ll feel embarrassed later if you aren’t authentic in this current moment. Why is that so important? People can tell if there is something amiss, so if you are dressing to please someone else other than yourself, it won’t work. So be original, and be timeless.
By creating timeless looks that reflect who you are, you and your look will never be out of style. 

10 Ways to Make Your Work from Home Experience Successful
By Lesley Spencer Pyle, MSc.

1.       Whether you are dealing with a customer over the phone or via e-mail, it should always be done with the utmost professionalism. You want your current and potential customers to feel confident in your abilities. This should include stepping into a quiet area to make a call to a client or getting a company dedicated phone number so you can answer the call with a company greeting. E-mails should always be spelled checked before hitting the send button.
2.       Schedule your day and create goals to ensure you are completing all the tasks that need to be done as well as making a set number of marketing contacts each day. This will help you remain focused and productive, despite any distractions that might be taking place in your home.
3.       Create a business plan to help keep you on track. It is a lengthy and miserable process for some, but once completed, it is so advantageous to the success of your business. Even if no one else ever sees it, a business plan creates a tool for you to make sure you have thought through the entire process running a successful business.
4.       Determine your strengths and weaknesses and what responsibilities take up the majority if your time – either in the workplace or your household.  These are the functions that should be considered for outsourcing. It will help you find a balance, but more importantly, focus on your strengths which will help thrust your business forward.
5.       Participate in local and online networking groups to help build resources and a support group. There are several online groups such as:, and
6.       Get yourself up to speed with new technologies. Whether it is taking a class online or at a local community college or having someone come in to train you, you will keep up with your competitors by being technologically literate.
7.       Set parameters with your family so they know that when you are working, this is your work time. This may be challenging with little ones, but should get easier as you continue to emphasize the importance of “work time”. Be sure to hire help when needed. Your business needs your full attention as do your children. Don’t try to do both at once.
8.       Set a limit so you are not overwhelmed by taking on too much at one time. Be comfortable with letting people know that you are not available to watch their kids, do volunteer work, etc. It is OK to say that your schedule is really booked right now, but maybe in the near future they can call on you when things have settled down.
9.       Create emergency back-up plans. This would include back-up daycare, what to do if your computer system goes down, or if a huge project comes in, who can you rely on for assistance. This prevents you from scrambling at the last minute.
10.    Make time for yourself. Points 1 – 9 will not make any difference if you are not looking out for yourself. You need to be healthy and happy to be there for your family and your business. Prioritize time for you, your faith, your family, your friends and your home in addition to your business.
Managing Stress
Stress is something that comes with everyday life, and there are ways to manage stress so that it doesn’t consume you.  I am going to share with you some tips that can help you cope with stress and gain back your control. Stress comes from the mind. It’s based on our own perceptions and beliefs and filtered through fear, and when left out of control can cause significant mental and/or physical illness, so you need to look at ways of managing it.
Meditation, or stilling of the mind, significantly reduces stress and the detrimental effects on your mind and body. It is proven scientifically that even small amounts of meditation daily can cut down on the negative effects of stress. Quieting your mind will eliminate the thoughts and emotions that cause stress and increase your sense of peace.
When something comes up for you that creates stress (a stressor), ask yourself if there is anything you can do about it. Can you manage or change the stressor? Maybe not, but you can change the way in which you view it. Remember that stress comes from your perceptions, based on your beliefs, and you can change those. Do not ‘worry’ about the cause of your stress. ‘Worry’ is a useless emotion and only increases stress and irrational thoughts, as well as preventing you from finding options or taking action.
Try to look at the stressor objectively, that is to say, without your personal beliefs, perceptions, and emotions attached. Break it down into smaller more manageable parts and set out a plan to deal with each part. Eliciting the help of someone you trust may aid in brainstorming options that you may not have thought about previously. 
You need to take care of your mental health because your mind is what drives everything you do and if it breaks down, every aspect of your life will be affected. Seek out professional help if needed. There is no stressful situation that cannot be managed. It’s up to you to take the lead in your life.
Cheryl Hitchcock DSW, ADC

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting my article about stress. Hopefully all of your stressed out moms will find a pearl to help them.

Cheryl Hitchcock
Integrity Counselling & Coaching Services


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