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During my years as a practicing physician, I learned that the women who most needed to stop and have a moment to themselves were the ones with the strongest belief that they didn’t have time. These ladies were stressed: stressed because of a demanding job, stressed because of the responsibility of caring for their young children, stressed from trying to maintain a healthy relationship with their spouse...and usually stressed from all three. Instead of feeling in control and enjoying the pace of their lives, they were frazzled and rushed, never finishing one task before another got their attention and had to be addressed. Hormonally, these women were so unbalanced their brains were starting to betray them – literally. Have you ever been late because you couldn’t remember where you left your car keys? Gone into a fit of anger because you forgot the one item you needed to pick up from the store? Couldn’t fall asleep because you were worrying about work, school, money, laundry, food shopping, where that other high heel was...? If you’re nodding your head, it’s possible that you have high cortisol. Cortisol is an important hormone. In fact, in many ways it’s the head honcho and therefore it’s critical to keep it in balance. Cortisol wakes us up, gives us energy throughout the day, and helps us respond to emergencies. Unfortunately, many women today are so overloaded with things to manage that their brains start seeing everything as an emergency. Flat tire? Emergency. Forgot to pay a bill? Emergency. Need to make the kids’ sandwiches for lunch? Emergency. And now that my book is a mere weeks from hitting the shelves, I’m becoming guilty of some raised cortisol levels myself. Looming deadlines, kids to pick up from school, interviews to schedule...it’s hard not to stress about doing it all! So, I invite you to join me in one of my favorite ways to lower cortisol: Tiara Time™. Tiara Time™ is just 15 minutes long, but it is absolutely precious time. Here are your marching orders: Put on your tiara. Seriously. This is an excuse to go buy something sparkly and fabulous. Then tell your family it’s Tiara Time and you’ll be back to help them with homework or that broken shower head soon. Take 15 minutes to relax, lower your heart rate, and tell your brain to ease back on the cortisol it’s pumping through your system. Yoga, meditation, or simply deep breathing are all excellent and proven ways to de-stress quickly during this time. So with that *places tiara on head* I’m going to go do some downward dog and get my cortisol back to the place where it allows me to be my best self. You do the same, okay? It’s my audacious goal to balance the hormones of 1 million women this year, and I would love nothing more than to start with you.