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Dan Randall

Holidays got you stressed? Motivational speaker shares tips

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Area resident Dan Randall says he lives a blessed life.

After working with a Fortune 100 company for 35 years, Randall is now retired and says he's thankful that he can spend his "free" time reaping vast rewards that consist mostly of big smiles, words of appreciation and lots of warm hugs.

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And Randall doesn't collect those treasured and priceless expressions of thanks from just one group of people in just one city or just one nation. Randall wears many different hats that represent his varied ways of assisting those in need. But each of those hats has one purpose in mind.

"I'm so glad to give back," says Randall. "Whatever help I'm able to give, I get back doubly" by looking into happy faces and feeling heartfelt appreciation.

Randall works with local Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, serves meals at a church in St. Paul once a month, travels once a year to Honduras to assist the Greenfield Children's Home and the community where it's located, is a member of his town's Parks Committee and is a gifted motivational speaker who focuses on stress management.

"They're so appreciative," says Randall about the people whose lives he's touched, somewhat amazed at the depth of gratefulness.

For more than 20 years, Randall has been reaching out to people in corporate settings, small businesses, education institutions, professional associations, not-for-profit groups and religious congregations, offering helpful words and inspiration based on his own life experiences and research.

And now with the holiday season in full swing, Randall has offered to share a few of his stress management tips that can help conquer some of the pressure and anxiety some people experience.

These are Randall's suggestions:

"Breathe: ...deeply, completely and often."

Randall says some people, in their hurry to get tasks accomplish, often take shallow breaths as they work, which offers the brain less oxygen to the body, and in turn affects many parts of the body.

"Delegate: Don't try to do everything. Almost everyone likes to help out.

"Let them help," says Randall about family members and friends who offer to take part in tasks or projects. "It makes it more like sociable sharing rather than a job.

"Express: ...your expectations early and clearly. (For example:) We need to be at Grandma's house by 3 p.m., so we need to be in the car and on our way by 1:30."

It's simple, clear and no one is left guessing about what is expected of them.

"Focus: ...on the real meaning of the holiday and attend your place of worship for a true... celebration," whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.

"Just say no! (Especially if) someone asks you to do one more thing."

Randall has a website, www.managingstress-randall.com, where he offers five ways of saying no without saying no and without feeling guilty. He encourages readers to check it out.

"Kiss: ...your sweetheart under the mistletoe.

"People need to pause, especially when rushing, and give each other a kiss," said Randall. "And then you can get back to whatever it was you were trying to finish."

He said it makes others feel important, knowing that you took time out of your work just for them.

"Let go:...of unrealistic expectations."

Too many times people put too many tasks on a to-do list.

"Back up, step back and look at what you're trying to do," suggests Randall. "Is (the task) truly important to be done; done today? There are times when 'manana' (Spanish word for 'tomorrow') is OK.

"More: ...is not necessarily better. Keep things as simple as you can.

"As for meals, for instance, prepare and offer just one appetizer, not three; serve one vegetable, not two or more," Randall says. "A menu that has more offerings than necessary creates more planning, more shopping, more dishes to wash, more expense."

And in regards to gift giving Randall says TV commercials are the stress culprits.

"Don't think you have to give loved ones five gifts each, when there are those in our community that might receive one or most likely none.

"Nap, plan some quiet time, unwind, sleep, and walk: Nap when your body tells you to rest and recharge.

"Quiet time is needed by all. Set aside some time for solitude during the 'razzle dazzle' of the holidays.

"Unwind with a massage, a manicure, or even a long, hot bath.

"Sleep. Schedule at least seven hours a night to sleep. Most squabbles start when someone is overtired.

"Walk outside in the sunshine for a few minutes each day."

Randall stressed the benefit of absorbing Vitamin D during walks in the sunshine, an important vitamin doctors around the world say people these days are not receiving enough of.

"Examine: ...your priorities. Decide in advance how to best invest your time and energy."

Even when it's not holiday time, stress can be a factor in the lives of many. Randall's website offers a "Tip of the Month," something to keep in mind as the world goes spinning by.

The website also offers Randall's contact information. Call or e-mail him for more about his stress management talks or to schedule him to speak.

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