How to Unwind in 19 Seconds

Sometimes, anxiety happens. Here's how to unwind in 19 seconds. 


Sometimes life is stressful. There are days where the workload is high, the ability to compartmentalize personal from professional and vice versa is difficult, and anxiety threatens to take over completely. I think it is safe to say we have all had that paralyzing moment of not being able to mentally take it down a few notches. 

I use this breathing technique to relax my mind and body for various situations; before an interview or big meeting, if I can't fall asleep, or as a way to exit work mode. It takes less than a minute to complete three rounds and can be done anywhere. 

It's fairly simple yet highly effective. Here's how it works:

1. Close your eyes or drop your gaze to the floor. 

2. Breathe in for a count of four.

3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

4. Exhale for a count of eight.

5. Repeat at least three times. 

How do you feel? Relaxed? Was it helpful to count or was it distracting?

Happy almost long weekend. Xx. 

+ What do you think? 

How to Shake Hands with Someone

Never break eye-contact. 


Did you know when it comes to a handshake, if you don't make eye contact, you're immediately seen as less confident? I learned this is one of my professional training seminars. It is easy to be nervous walking into a social situation and look down to make sure you don't miss a person's hand. This makes you appear uncertain and unsure. In actuality, you can see your hands out of your peripheral, so you would rarely miss, and can thus maintain eye contact and exude the aforementioned confidence. 

Of course, we're not talking excessive staring. Since you will most likely be talking with someone, saying things like 'good to see you again' or 'nice to meet you, I am _____', you'll be walking into a situation where natural speak should be coupled with strong contact to demonstrate self-worth and power.

We could talk about cultural customs or whose hand goes on top of whom at a later time, but for now, we'll stick with the traditional shake:
As your hands come towards one another, the space between your thumb and index finger will touch theirs, and your fingers will wrap around the palm and lay on the back or side of the hand. Grasp strongly.

Some people suggest squeezing only as hard as the other person if you are in the less powerful position or having a firm shake if you are displaying dominance.

Remember, at the end of the day, it is just a handshake. Some people don't even prefer them at all. As long as you are being yourself and being confident in how your respond and speak, you will be just fine. 

+ What do you think? Do you have trouble making eye contact?

How to Say Goodbye at a Party

Five words: it is an art form. 

I first read about the Irish exit here. I was a little shocked about the idea of guests leaving a party without first saying goodbye. However, the more I thought about it, the more I recognized how much of a bummer pausing conversation to say goodbye to someone can be at the height of a fun night. I think back to the latest party I threw, and I was always slightly dimmed when my favorite people (aka anyone there) had to leave. 

I've had it go both ways, though. On one hand, a large party where a few guests slip out the door without saying goodbye is fine, but a smaller party becomes more complicated. Also, at large events, like weddings, if you know the couple very personally or are in the wedding, you should never leave without saying farewell. 

If you're worried about your friends, “this is key,” says Seth Stevenson in this Slate post, “They probably won’t even notice that you’ve left." If you're a little worried, just send a thank-you email in the morning with a lovely anecdote from the event.

Since I'm a sucker for those last tight hugs before departing, I would choose to do this at a larger event or if I'm sure I'll see them again (or see them regularly). What do you think? 

+ Would you Irish Exit?