TODAY   |  April 09, 2013

8 tips for balancing family, career, money

Psychologist Dr. Dale Atkins and personal coach Valorie Burton present strategies for releiving the stress of balancing family, money and your career, including focusing on solutions instead of problems, cultivating positive emotions, and lowering your expectations. 

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> these days, we all live very busy lives, we work out of the home and in the home taking care of kids or aging parents. and it can be very overwhelming and stressful.

>> well, april, if you didn't know this is stress awareness month. we brought in a couple of experts to keep you from losing it.

>> it can get ugly.

>> psychologist dale atkins is the author of "sanity savers." and valerie burton is a certified personal and executive coach.

>> very important.

>> author of "successful women think differently ".

>> ladies, nice to see you both.

>> this is one of those things we try to manage. we figure in a day we have kids and a job, et cetera , you try to make your way through.

>> it comes with the territory.

>> in a way it does come with the territory. but one. things i think that we don't do enough, is to step back and say what are the reasonable expectations that we have for ourselves and for the people who are asking things of us. because we jump right in. we think we're going to do everything at once and we're going to do it all 100%.

>> it's no going to happen.

>> yeah, i remember my little girl was very little and she was basically saying how come you're there or you're here and i go -- some things are urgent. and she looked at me and said, am i going to be urgent.

>> how telling that is?

>> you know that's the question. what's going to be urgent for you? what really matters when you get to the end of your life, what really matters. one of the reasons we have a lot of stress oftentimes is because of what we're thinking. it's really important to notice your thoughts when you're under stress. because you're thoughts if you're telling yourself, i can't handle this, i'm stressed out, that's when you tend to become more stressed.

>> one thing that kathie lee says, i'm going to deal with what i have to deal with right now. don't tell me what i have to deal with three hours or tomorrow. it gets to be too much.

>> that's a wonderful connection between what valley said, your thoughts and what can you do. if i'm worried about what's going on over there. what i'm doing here is not going to get my full attention and i will not feel as if i'm doing it well and confidently.

>> and it seems to me that stress gets really out of hand when we're stressing over what we really, truly have no control over. if i couldn't pray about those things -- i would be in looney bin . how important is a spiritual life to this sort of thing?

>> it's huge. and that's where you get clear about why you're here, what's most important. and one of the best things we can do when talking about expectations is to lower our expectations. research shows that makes you happier, believe it or not. we have --

>> we put so much on ourselves.

>> we've got so much technology. we're expected to do more in less time. what we have to realize is that sometimes the stuff we think really matters, trying to keep up with what everybody else is doing, doesn't matter.

>> keeping your tank full. you end up giving to everybody, you don't work out, you don't do anything, you don't fill up --

>> you have to take care of yourself. when you take care of yourself. you're able to give to other people and you're able to give from your heart not just from your head and you are really very present there. the spiritual life is for everyone very different and i think what we need to do is pay attention to what works for us, when do we quiet ourselves, how do we look at the larger picture. and we change and other people change. so what we were able to do when we were younger may not be what we're able to do when we're older and other people who expect things from us may not realize that. we have to know what we can did and do it well.

>> one of the weirdest things in my life, was when i realized if i got up one hour earlier and took that time to be quiet and to be spiritual in my own way, and i'm not trying to force my faith on other people, but it -- you remember, hoda, it changed my life.

>> one hour.

>> the right way. and the right path.

>> one of the best things you can do is to have something to look forward to. you start off praying, also, what do i have to look forward to. if i don't have anything, can i create it? when you're stressed, one of the most important things you can do is to have more positive emotions. it expands your ability to deal with the stress.

>> ladies, thank you.

>> you two are darn cute.

>> even though we did all the talking, i like that.