I have a very stressful job, so I make sure that my office is full of beautiful things to look at. Calming landscapes and pictures of the ones I love help me manage my stress when it gets to be too much.
Scheduling items from my self care list helps me to manage stress. In addition, these are non-negotiable, i.e. they are as important as brushing my teeth in the morning and getting to work on time. Regular self care includes relaxing breathing, wandering around my vegetable garden, trying a new SparkPeople exercise video, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and so on.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be hard. Why make it harder by doing exercise and physical activity that you don't enjoy? Experiment with different activities until you find the ones that bring you joy, the ones you'd do just because they make you happy. When you engage in joyful movement, you win!
Making one change a month, and making it a regular part of your everyday life, will help you to keep yourself on track.
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the secret to successful meditation is to meditate without having any expectation whatsoever for anything. To simply sit, in the now, and peacefully work at nothing, no thoughts. Being gentle with yourself dovetails into having no expectation. Let thoughts and dramas pass.
I've learned the secret to staying eternally motivated. I've learned to prioritize. I put God first, my husband second, personal needs third and my family next. Work, volunteerism, and social advancement don't garner a place in line or a second of my attention. As I have learned to keep my priorities in order, my stress (and blood pressure) have come down along with my weight. Also, my personal happiness has increased and my family support of my goals and needs has increased. Life is great!
I do not phone, email, text, etc. family and people having a stressful time.