Leave some wiggle room in your days to help navigate life’s unexpected events

Leave some wiggle room in your days to help navigate life’s unexpected events.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Eric Rothermel

When was the last time you had a doctor’s appointment that occurred on time? It’s common to be told to arrive early for most visits and even more common to be welcomed into your appointed time late.

In the past few months our need for doctor visits increased and with the help of some very understanding medical staff we found some wiggle room in their back-to-back appointment world.

One doctor’s office even went on to tell us that they intentionally block off some extra time each day for such events to accommodate the expected unexpected needs of their patients.


Where and how could your life benefit if you added some extra wiggle room in your days?

How might this buffer time reduce stress and have others around you feel more at ease?

Linger in the space between thoughts

Linger in the space between thoughts and discover what stillness has to offer.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jack Dylan

How do you feel when you drive in city traffic?

Does the lack of space between vehicles increase your vigilance, heart rate, and blood pressure?

What is it like to drive along a scenic country road without another car in sight?

In what ways is the pace of your life and the world around you causing traffic jams in your mind, with no exit ramp in sight?

How long can you go without a few benders or major disruptions to your health and well-being?


Where and in what ways can you create greater space for yourself?

How could you benefit from blocks of stillness, taking your foot off the gas and lingering in the space between thoughts?

Practice the art of mindful breathing whenever you wish to reduce stress and experience calm

Practice the art of mindful breathing whenever you wish to reduce stress and experience calm. Your breath can inspire and in-spirit you.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by bobby hendry

About three weeks ago I reached a meditation milestone of 1200 consecutive days. This practice, which began before the pandemic, has helped me reduce stress, remain calm, and—when things get out of balance—not lose my head nearly as often as others.

Fundamental to this practice is the act of mindful breathing which helps body, mind and soul navigate our daily pursuits in all the minutes and hours off the cushion.


Consider signing up for a free trial membership of a mediation app such as CALM or Headspace. If this commitment seems beyond your current interest, please investigate the wide variety of breathing exercises out there that can inspire and in-sprit you. Please give these efforts at least a week and let me know what you experience.

When is being lazy just what the doctor ordered

When is being lazy just what the doctor ordered?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Aleksandar Cvetanovic

Being lazy is an approach to living that most people avoid or judge negatively. Taking the easy way out, goofing off, and not pulling your weight in your personal and professional activities will annoy and upset others.

Consider the animal kingdom for an alternative perspective.

Domestic dogs and cats can often be found lounging and relaxing. Select a few of your favorite wild animals to determine their levels of activity and leisure especially when food, water, and shelter are not an issue.

How often do you wish you could trade places with them to have a slower, lower stressed life?


Where and when can you prescribe and take a healthy dose of laziness?

Look to your pets as doctors for some coaching when you forget.

Switch up your stress story

Switch up your stress story.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Elisa Ventur

To what degree do you feel like you are at a breaking point?  Where are the levels of personal and professional stress having a negative impact on your physical and mental health?

I recently visited the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. Of particular interest was a glass breaking exhibition in which various types of glass were put to the test. Over the years of use and development of this miraculous material, engineers and scientists have come up with numerous processes to make glass far stronger and resistant to breakage.


Where are you being tempered and heat treated through various life experiences? How can you view these events and the stories you tell about them as opportunities for greater growth and resilience?

“You can only untie one knot at a time.”

“You can only untie one knot at a time.”


Image from Unsplash by Joshua Hoehne

Each morning I lace up my New Balance sneakers to take my 45-minute walk. Since the beginning of the pandemic, walking has become my go-to form of exercise, and a key for me to reduce stress and maintain my sanity.

The act of tying my shoes to the proper tightness occurs habitually. Moments later I’m off into the great outdoors with arms and legs in unison. Taking in the sights and sounds, practicing gratitude and greeting my fellow walkers are bonuses.

When I untie my shoes upon my return, it is pretty common to experience a knot in one or both laces. Although I experience some frustration due to the delay, I am also thankful for my opposable thumbs and the level of dexterity needed to release the knots.


Where are you currently experiencing a few knotty areas in your life?

How can you more patiently untie them, one at a time, as you navigate your day?

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

—Pablo Picasso, 20th Century Spanish painter & sculptor

Image from Unsplash by Anna Kolosyuk

The world is in great pain and could use some healing. Hardly a day goes by without many examples of suffering and stress.

My coaching conversations almost always include personal issues as well as professional priorities. Among the many strategies to calm down and cope with the stressors, a good number of individuals are seeking and engaging in artful expression, to wash away the dust in their souls. Cooking and baking work nicely in the Demp household!


Please reply to this post with the artful strategies you use to brighten your days.

Consider discussing this topic with friends, family, and others to help realize a more beautiful and soulful life.

“When demand exceeds capacity we experience stress.”

“When demand exceeds capacity we experience stress.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unslash by Christian Erfurt

Where are you currently experiencing stress and observing it in others in your personal and professional communities?

Take a very close look at the demands placed on the individuals and the systems where stress is easily or not so easily seen. Take another look at the capacity and the resilience of the people and processes attempting to meet these demands and challenges. To what degree are they holding up, or not?

Although there is a type of stress called eustress that can be productive and support growth, when things go too far it can easily create the distress many of us are experiencing.


What actions can you take today to reduce demands or increase capacities to lower the levels of stress in your world?

Please reply to this post to describe your efforts and how things progress.

Friday Review: Stress


What strategies and techniques do you employ to reduce stress? Here are three stress-related posts you may have missed.


“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”




“Worries and tensions are like birds. We cannot stop them from flying near us, but we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our minds.”





“When I go to bed, I leave my trouble in my clothes.”