Renew and Revive

Part II of Vicky Milazzolo’s plan for de-stressing your life.

In the first part of this article (“The ‘Wicked Success’ Revival Plan: Eight Ways Stressed Out Women Can Revive and Renew—Mind, Body, and Soul”) published in the November issue of Natural Solutions, author Vickie Milazzolo asserts that women should not accept a state of stressed-out existence and call it living. 


In her book, Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman (Wiley, 2011, $21.95), she advises that “you can lead a successful life and cultivate a wellspring of energy that renews your mind, body, and soul every day—but first you’ve got to give yourself a break.


“You wouldn’t expect a battery to keep going forever without recharging it, and you shouldn’t expect it of yourself either.” In the first part of this article, she spells out four ideas to help you de-stress and revive. Here are four more of her suggestions:


Plan for renewal. With days, weeks, and months that are packed full of responsibility, you can’t exactly head to the spa, to the nearest mountain for a hike, or to wherever you go to relax and reflect on a moment’s notice. (Heck, you can’t even paint your own toenails in the bathroom without being interrupted!) So if you want to renew your energy, Milazzo states, you’re going to have to schedule time for relaxation just as systematically as you would plan to complete a long-term project at work. If you keep waiting for the right moment to kick back and smell the roses, it’ll never happen because life will get in the way.


“Remember, what gets scheduled gets done,” shares Milazzo. “If renewal time is really a priority for you, it will be on your calendar. Period. So you need to make sure that no one—including you—overbooks your time. Over the years, I have learned to schedule everything from vacations to massages to daily quiet time and exercise in my planner. I have also learned that what you’re striving for shouldn’t be a balanced day, but a balanced life. For example, if I know I’m about to take a totally unplugged vacation, I’m willing to work some 14-hour days beforehand. The key is to feel that you are in control of your life instead of the other way around.”


Celebrate to intensify renewal. Think about it: life without celebration would be one long stream of to-do lists, thankless tasks, and mindless drudgery. When you accomplish a goal or pass a milestone—big or small—Milazzo suggests taking a little time to celebrate your success. Even thirty seconds of allowing joy to bubble up inside you can act as a great pick-me-up and keep burnout at bay.


“You need to experience satisfaction when you reach your objectives, so make a habit of celebrating each success,” Milazzo reiterates. “When you acknowledge the little things, the big goals also seem more attainable. For example, just being considered for a promotion is worthy of self-congratulations. Even if things don’t work out as you hoped they would, you can still celebrate your willingness to step out into the unknown.”


Renew with the people you love. Have you ever noticed that we often work ourselves to the bone to benefit the people we love…and end up rarely spending time with them as a result? No, you can’t blow off all work and responsibilities, but Milazzo encourages you to make sure your close relationships stay at the top of your priority list. The fact is, since life and love don’t happen in a vacuum, surrounding yourself with people you love guarantees more positive experiences.


“When you cultivate strong relationships of all kinds, you will create memories, and you will not have to face anything alone,” Milazzo says. “Plus, women in particular are wired to connect, so when you schedule date nights and girls’ nights, take part in traditions, and create memories, you’ll be more fulfilled. Also, responsibilities, tough times, and problems that need to be overcome don’t seem nearly as overwhelming when you have a team of friends and loved ones on your side!”


Renew by giving back. The phrase “giving back” often conjures up the mental image of a wealthy philanthropist writing sizeable checks to various charities and organizations. No wonder many of us don’t consider ourselves to be givers—we’re more focused on making sure that our own accounts aren’t overdrawn! However, giving doesn’t have to mean cracking open your wallet—time, mentoring others, or giving spiritual or emotional support are all just as valuable, according to Milazzo.


“Giving is a gratifying and renewing act because it disconnects you from yourself and your own problems, creating fresh perspective,” Milazzo asserts. “I’ve found, for example, that when I extend encouragement—even if it’s just a quick ‘Thinking about you!’ text message, I receive that same gift back abundantly in my own life. When you live selflessly, you will attract genuine relationships, unconditional support, and lasting respect…and you’ll also leave behind a positive legacy that you can be proud of.”


“Ultimately, taking the time to renew yourself will give you the energy and capacity to enjoy the life you were blessed with—even in the midst of tough times,” Milazzo concludes. “Remember that it’s okay, and even encouraged, to take care of yourself. While periodic and strategic renewal won’t get rid of all your problems, it will lighten your load and help you to remain solid in the midst of the chaos.”