Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
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...
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...
If this “unprecedented” time has you feeling depressed, sluggish and unmotivated, my friend Paula Starker, RN, has some great suggestions to lift your spirits and regain your health.
“You’re deconditioned.” my friend’s doctor told her after she collapsed off the treadmill, unable to finish her cardiac stress test—despite the fact that her heart was okay. “You’re out of shape!” he explained. Exhausted, embarrassed and riddled with guilt, my friend wondered why she had ever given up working out at the gym in the first place. The truth is, the biggest problem with most exercise programs is that, like my friend, most people sooner or later quit. You figure it’s just not worth the effort to get in shape, even though you know it’s good for you. Guilt settles in. Hopelessness overwhelms you and you sink back into the rut of inactivity.
The Mind-Body Connection
It is a well-known fact that regular exercise produces...
I recently had the opportunity to do a Facebook Live event with Dr. Randy Carlson for the Intentional Living radio program. We were discussing some of the issues families, in particular, are dealing with as they are staying at home due to the Covid-19 protocols. Here are some of the tips and insights that might help you and your family as you navigate your own situation.
One of the disturbing factors of the virus and the measures being mandated to prevent its spread is the uncertainty that accompanies loss of control in our own lives. One of the strategies we can employ is to reasonably control what we can. I have talked to many people who are anxiously watching news reports for developments and finding it only adds to their stress. My suggestion is to drastically reduce the amount of news they consume. In reality, from hour to hour, there will not be any drastic changes, so a brief, daily check-in is probably enough to keep you informed but not overwhelmed.
It can also be...
The world has recently become a scarier place than it was before Covid-19. The incidence of anxiety is increasing in the US, thanks in part to the speed with which we can hear or read a barrage of bad news all day, every day.
Some people are worried constantly about the state of the nation and are convinced that they can never regain their personal or economic losses. Some are panicking over every minor ache or pain because it could be the frightening new disease. If you’re looking for a reason to be anxious, just click into social media or turn on the news.
With our human tendency to worry, our imaginations can easily concoct fears that are irrational, exaggerated and unlikely to ever actually happen. Of course, it’s important to be informed about national events so we can make wise choices, and it is always wise to live a healthy lifestyle and check out persistent symptoms with your health care provider (not just Google). But living in constant fear of everything that...
We are currently living in an unprecedented and unusually stressful time, with the Covid-19 virus affecting nearly all of us in one way or another. It is highly likely that within the last few hours you have given in to the urge to worry about some aspect of how it may impact your life or the life of someone you love, both short term and long term.
So, let’s take a look at what worry really is in order to help us manage our feelings and behaviors more effectively.
Even under normal circumstances worry comes naturally to most of us, so it is important to consider the importance of learning how to minimize the destructive nature of worry while still effectively navigating the unavoidable, and sometimes very scary, challenges and uncertainties of life.
As a psychologist, I have worked with hundreds of people who struggle with acute and chronic worry, and it can be very emotionally, psychologically, and physically debilitating.
Generally speaking, worry is more often...
Paula R. Starker, RN
You don’t need to go far from your front door to notice that people avoid it. The driver in the car next to you talks on his smart phone or sings along with music from his satellite radio. The shopper next to you talks on the phone (and you listen!). People work out at the gym or the park or take bike rides arrayed with a variety of earbuds and headphones entertained by their favorite music play list or podcast. We are swept away into the steady stream of communication, information and ideas that flow into our minds 24/7. Natural opportunities for solitude, which were once an integral part of life in generations past, are avoided and drowned out.
Did you know that your need for solitude is as basic to your well-being as your body’s need for food and sleep? Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception (Harper and Row, 1970) suggested that our sense organs, nervous systems, and brains are basically eliminative in nature. They keep us from being confused...
Hi, everyone! In place of our usual blog post, I want to take the opportunity to introduce myself as the newest member of the Relational Advantage team! My name is Kristen Linaman-Weleba and I am a certified teacher and Licensed Professional Counselor. Most importantly, I have the joy of being a wife and mom to my husband and two children.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and my Master of Science degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University. I began my teaching career working with elementary age students and then transitioned into teaching middle and high school. For the last few years I have been a therapist at a residential treatment facility.
Every year while in the classroom, I encountered a small group of children and teens who not only struggled academically, but socially and emotionally as well. I knew how to address many of the academic challenges, but I recognized that these students would likely...
As Halloween approaches, we are surrounded by scary images. Giant spiders, grinning skeletons, ugly witches and flickering jack-o-lanterns can give you the creeps as they seem to pop up everywhere you look. You may be brave enough to venture into a haunted house and allow the ghouls and ghosts to scare you out of your wits, but deep down, you know it’s not real. Before long, you come out into the light and tease your friends about how loudly they screamed.
If only every scary thing in life were so simple! The incidence of anxiety is increasing in the US, thanks in part to the speed with which we can hear or read a barrage of bad news all day, every day. Many people are afraid to let their children play because they’re sure they will get hurt or a stranger will kidnap them. They worry constantly about the state of the nation and are convinced the world will end soon. Some people are panicking over every minor ache or pain because it could be some new disease that was just...
The beginning of Autumn signals a welcome relief from blistering summer heat in some parts of the country. In others, it is the harbinger of dark, cold winter coming. Regardless of where you live, seasonal change is inevitable, but growing through change in your own life involves a choice.
Seasonal changes almost always require adjustments – to the thermostat, to your choices about what to wear, to your favorite warm or cold meals and drinks, and to your activities. But whether you’re reaching for an ice cold water bottle or a pumpkin spice latte, it’s time to say, “See you later” to the passing season and “Hello” to the new one!
Seasons of life aren’t always about the weather, of course. They’re about natural progressions and cycles that occur in our lives that include birth and death, youth and maturity, practice and mastery, needing and giving, sickness and health, gain and loss. Changes are inevitable, and yet they can still...