You're in the homestretch... of the challenge and the school year.  This week, take just a moment to learn about ways to manage stress.  Try meditation, yoga, relaxation breathing, etc.  Here is a fantastic webinar that teaches stress management techniques.  It's NOT your typical webinar... it's seriously informative and you'll learn and practice stress management techniques.

You can also get help managing your stress - try New Directions - it's FREE for all Center employees and provides free access to professionals to help you manage any of life's stressors, from work to marriage to finances to illness to elder care and more...  Our login code is Center.

Managing Stress - Before it manages you - BLUE KC WEBINAR LINK

 Also this week, try to practice gratitude.  By taking time to MINDFULLY acknowledge all the reasons you have to be grateful, you'll feel stress disappear.  Try this exercise:  Write a Heartfelt Letter (Excerpt from Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and It's All Small Stuff)

This is an exercise that has helped to change many lives, assisting people in becoming more peaceful and loving. Taking a few minutes each week to write a heartfelt letter does many things for you. Picking up a pen or typing on a keyboard slows you down long enough to remember the beautiful people in your life. The act of sitting down to write helps to fill your life with gratitude. 

Once you decide to try this, you’ll probably be amazed at how many people appear on your list. I had one client who said, “I probably don’t have enough weeks left in my life to write everyone on my list.” This may or may not be true for you, but chances are, there are a number of people in your life, or from your past, who are quite deserving of a friendly, heartfelt letter. Even if you don’t have people in your life to whom you feel you can write, go ahead and write the letter to someone you don’t know instead – perhaps to an author who may not even be living, whose works you admire, or to a great inventor or thinker from the past or present. Part of the value of the letter is to gear your thinking toward gratitude. Writing the letter, even if it isn't sent, would do just that.

The purpose of your letter is very simple: to express love and gratitude. Don’t worry if you’re awkward at writing letters. This isn't a contest from the head but a gift from the heart. If you can’t think of much to say, start with short little notes like, “Dear Jasmine, I woke up this morning thinking of how lucky I am to have people like you in my life. Thank you so much for being my friend. I am truly blessed, and I wish for you all the happiness and joy that life can bring. Love, Richard.”

Not only does writing and sending a note like this focus your attention on what is right in your life, but the person receiving it will, in all likelihood, be extremely touched and grateful. Often, this simple action starts a spiral of loving actions whereby the person receiving your letter may decide to do the same thing to someone else, or perhaps will act and feel more loving toward others. Write your first letter today. I’ll bet you’ll be glad you did.