Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

Taming the Beast of Disorganization

Have you ever noticed that when you are disorganized life seems more chaotic and stressful? This experience often makes it difficult to know what to focus on or tackle first in an effort to regain a sense of calm and control. It’s frustrating to be late for work because you forgot an early meeting or to have to dig through a pile of papers to find the forms for a doctor appointment at the time you should be leaving the house. When I am disorganized, I find myself feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and off balance. The only way I can feel more settled and ready to face my day is by taming the Beast of Disorganization.

Here are two reasons why being organized helps you feel better:

It frees up time. Time is a very precious resource that can never be renewed. When you organize your mind and your physical surroundings you will be better equipped to identify what needs to get done and create a system to help you complete tasks efficiently. Having your life organized also helps to...

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Are You Poisoning Your Relationships?

Imagine you are sitting in a coffee shop, chatting with friends. One of your friends reaches into their pocket and brings out a vial of poison and begins sprinkling it into each person’s cup. Wouldn’t that be shocking? You can imagine that you would be very unlikely to invite that person to coffee again!

You will not likely ever have that exact experience, but did you know it’s possible to poison yourself and your relationships without even being aware of it? Nearly every day I talk to men and women who are either engaged in, or hurt by, behaviors that are a form of relational poisoning. The damaging toxin is gossip.

You would be hard pressed to spend a day in any workplace, social media site or other gathering and not be exposed to some form of gossip. Gossip involves the spreading of rumors or information about others. Although there can be sociological benefits associated with some forms of gossip, today I want to address the epidemic...

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How to Stay Focused During Covid-19

Have you found yourself saying, “I just can’t think straight lately!” One of the primary complaints associated with the Covid-19 pandemic is the inability to stay focused. Whether it’s work, school, or just having a conversation with a spouse or friend, it can constantly feel like a battle to pay attention, concentrate, and stay focused. 

Since February of this year there has been a 300% increase in people searching “how to get your brain to focus”. For most people, even if they try, it isn’t getting any easier and in many cases it’s getting more difficult. Here’s why:

The part of your brain that controls rational thinking, concentration, impulse control, and the ability to focus occur in the prefrontal cortex, which is located right behind your forehead. Both acute and chronic stress weakens the functioning of the prefrontal cortex and strengthens the primitive brain known as the limbic system, or what some refer to as the...

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You Are Right!

There was a cute meme circulating on social media at the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdowns, while most of us were spending a lot more time at home. It said, “I always thought the reason I didn’t clean the house was because I didn’t have time. Now, I know that’s not the reason.”

Believe it or not, there is a lot to ponder in that simple meme! Long before social media existed, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Your brain believes whatever your mind tells it to. You see, our brains are hard wired to find evidence among all the stored memories and experiences we’ve had in the past to evaluate and support anything that we think today. So, if you think, “I can’t do it,” your brain will find evidence of any time that you have struggled, failed or given up. So, if you tell yourself that you don’t have time, resources, or ability to succeed you will most likely...

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How to Tell if Work has Taken Over Your Life

You may be thinking that your life needs more balance, more time spent doing things you enjoy and less time working. Perhaps you’ve even mentioned this to your spouse, girlfriend, best buddy, doctor or co-workers. 

If you have, it is likely that at least one of these people raised an eyebrow and explained the facts of life to you. That is, that nearly everyone is overworked these days and you should get used to it. Besides, there’s that one friend who says, unsympathetically, “I work a lot more hours than you do, so you have no reason to complain”. 

Some jobs have natural cycles of busyness and down time (tax professionals between January and April, summer tourism, retail stores at Christmas, etc.) Peaks and valleys may just be normal, but when it never seems to let up you begin to feel that nagging doubt. That feeling that you shouldn’t always be so stressed, so tired, so short on time, coupled with the knowledge that you...

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Are You Dog Tired?

A legend about Alfred the Great, King of the Saxons from 871-899 AD, purports that he used to send his sons out hunting with many dogs who would come back panting and worn from the hard work. Hence, the phrase we still use today: “Dog-tired.” It’s that particular kind of tired that happens when you have exerted and used up your energy.

You may be saying, “Yes, that’s my life every single day!” You work all day on the job and come home and work some more as you raise children, prepare meals, keep up with household chores and attend to volunteer commitments. Or, during these days when many are working from home, you’re swamped with all of it happening at the same time…all day…24/7!

Some days you go through the motions of your daily routine, wondering why you bother going to the same old job doing the same old things. Or you can’t remember why it’s important to prepare meals and wash dishes and laundry day after day....

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Take Control of Your Life Story

Trying to manage life right now seems so hard. But if you can remember back to “before Covid” you may realize that trying to manage all of life at once has always been too much to handle. So, I want to share something that works for me.

For the last couple of years, I have found it helpful to imagine the current year as one chapter in my “book of life.” This helps me to focus on what I can do to make the best of my circumstances and opportunities today and avoid distractions from the past or the future. 

As we navigate through life it is so easy to get caught up in things that happened long ago. We may ruminate on “past chapters” and feel sadness, regret or grief and dwell on “if only” scenarios that can keep us stuck. 

It is just as tempting to worry about what lies ahead. Obsessing about chapters that have not been written yet can keep you focused on “what if” scenarios and trying to predict what might occur in...

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Getting Along with Critical People

We all have to deal with critical people at times. You know the type - the person who can spot a flaw from across the room, gives unsolicited advice, frequently complains and passes judgment, is negative and seems impossible to please.

We can all be critical. Every day, we literally critique everything that goes on around us consciously and unconsciously. Unfortunately, some people tend to verbalize the thoughts many of us have learned to keep to ourselves. When things don't go our way or we're in a bad mood it is easy to become critical. It's true, miserable people prefer miserable company. Critical people actually feel better around others who share the same negative attitudes. Before we spend time learning how to cope with other people's critical traits let's make sure we have our own well under control.

It can be quite challenging to get along with a critic, especially when we live, work or attend church with them. Here are 10 tips to help you get along better with critical...

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Draining the Last Drop of Joy

Nearly every day I talk with men and women who are suffering from worry, discouragement and despair. Their emotional pain can be triggered by many different sources, but one thing they often share in common is the absence of genuine joy in their lives.

This mindset is increasingly fueled by the flood of negative news and opinion stories and programs offered by media outlets. If you believe everything you hear, you may feel like giving up! But your circumstances and the news don’t have to diminish the gratitude and joy that comes from appreciating the good things in life.

Whether you are struggling with fears about the Covid-19 pandemic, political frustrations, financial problems, relationship conflict, career uncertainty or physical illness you don’t have to live in a state of gloom.

Life will always include circumstances we don’t like, so in order to help my clients manage emotional pain I encourage them to consciously make the effort to drain the joy from their...

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The Role of a Father

As we approach Father’s Day, I would like to take a moment to recognize the powerful role fathers play in the lives of their children. I believe the role of a father is too often undervalued in our society. The truth of the matter is that fathers have a significant impact in the their children's social, emotional, academic, spiritual and relational development. 

As I reflect on my life growing up, I can’t help but feel truly blessed to have had such an amazing father in my life. He was a constant provider for our family and an extremely hard worker. Though my mother was more present in our day to day lives, I have fond memories of the role my father played. He taught me the power of a strong work ethic, how to be true to myself, the power of consistency and action, and how to ride a bike. My dad took me on vacations, called me while he was on trips for work, and either showed up to my sports games to cheer me on or asked me how they went afterwards. I never knew how...

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