Relate Well! Blog

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

Growing Through Change

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...

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It’s Summer! Are you Hot Under the Collar?

I think we can all agree that the weather has been a bit unusual in many parts of the country this year. It’s July, and some people are wondering if they will ever be able to put away their sweaters and winter coats. But many others are experiencing the summer heat with higher than average temperatures.

Extremes in the weather can have an effect on your physical and mental health, your attitude and your temper. This can lead to a greater level of stress, fatigue and irritability. Some of the factors to consider as you endure the hot days are:

Changes in your daily routine

For a lot of people, having the children out of school can be a lot of fun, but it can also add a lot of stress when you have them home all day (often accompanied by boredom and bickering) or when you have to arrange and pay for child care. If possible, coordinate with other parents to take turns supervising, transporting and entertaining the kids this summer. Many churches have vacation Bible school, the...

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Simple Self-Care Advice for Improving Your Head-to-Toe Health

Today’s guest blog post is written by Kimberly Hayes, and I’m confident you will find her simple self-care advice to be informative and highly beneficial. – Dr. Todd

Doctors, personal trainers, life coaches, and the like can be helpful to all of us who try to live a healthy life. At the end of the day, however, we are responsible for our own well-being. That’s why taking steps each day to better our head-to-toe health is so important. If you’re looking to develop a lifestyle that fosters your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, here is some simple self-care advice to put you on the right track:

Indoor Air Quality

One of the most essential aspects of living healthy is ensuring that the air you’re breathing is clean, as the inside of a home is more prone to pollution than the outside. To remove as much smoke, dust, pet dander, mold, and pollen as possible, it’s important to replace your filters regularly. The severity of pollution in...

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How Is Your Life Balance?

Many of the patients and clients I work with daily express some level of frustration with their lack of life balance. Sometimes it is their work that steamrolls over their personal life or prevents them from exercising, recreating, or spending meaningful time with the people they love. Others are so consumed with family issues and responsibility that there’s no time for a relaxing break.

The first challenge to having greater life balance is to figure out what, exactly, is out of balance. We have a simple tool to help you assess your life balance.

This exercise will help you gain greater clarity with regard to your level of satisfaction and effectiveness in the eight important domains of your life – Career, Money, Health, Friends & Family, Significant Other/Romance, Personal & Spiritual Growth, Fun/Leisure/Recreation and Physical Environment.

It will also help you identify your priorities for goal-setting by visually demonstrating the areas of your life that need...

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A Visit to the Park Improves Emotional Well-Being

Spring is in the air in most areas of the country, and we can’t help but be drawn outdoors to enjoy a break from the icy chill of Winter! We know from studies and experience that getting outside can be a refreshing break from “cabin fever” but now we know that it might be easier than you think to enjoy the benefits.

The University of Alabama Birmingham conducted a study at three urban parks in Alabama that regularly have visitors. The study participants reported that they felt better after spending as little as 20 minutes in the park – even if they weren’t being physically active. An excerpt from the University’s report says:

Principal investigator Hon K. Yuen, Ph.D., OTR/L, professor in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, said the original intent of the project was to validate previous research findings on the impact of park visit on emotional well-being, and evaluate the contribution of choosing to participate in physical activity in the...

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Is Your Stress Level Too High?

The demands of life can at times be overwhelming, making it nearly impossible to avoid stress. Although brief periods of high stress are a normal part of life, many people endure unhealthy levels of prolonged stress leaving them vulnerable to mood swings, physical symptoms like headaches and stomach discomfort as well as serious disease.

If you have experienced a prolonged period of high stress you may have become habituated to it and therefore consider it normal and even tolerable. In order to avoid becoming accustomed to high levels of stress I recommend that you monitor your stress level on a regular basis. This self-assessment can be done in three steps:

Step 1: Take an honest look at your behaviors.

Examples of behaviors influenced by stress:

Engaged in wasted motion and busywork
Irritability – critical of others
Not pleasant to be around
Agitated by little things
Impatience
Caffeine and/or alcohol consumption increased
Diminished work quality
Unable to make decisions

Step 2:...

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Trends Come and Go; But Some Things Never Change

Are you having trouble keeping up with what’s “in” and what’s “out” this year? Should you decorate minimalist or maximalist? Should you drive a gas or electric vehicle? Should you eat a vegan diet or an all-animal products diet? Should you… it’s hard to keep up with the changing trends!

If you don’t want to be anxious, insecure or confused about what you “should” be doing, begin with a solid foundation of things that never change. The day to day decisions about what to eat, what to wear, and how to spend your money will become so much easier when you remember these basic principles for life:

Character counts. The longer I live, the more I understand that qualities like honesty and integrity usually win over situational ethics and looking out for number one.  A “win” may not look the same for everybody, but even if you don’t land the account, get the job or receive the recognition,...

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Three Simple Tips to Help Balance Your Life

“There just isn’t enough of me to go around! It’s our busy season at work and it’s impossible to keep up with my job demands on top of my family responsibilities. It feels like I am headed for a break-down!”

When your life seems out of control and you’ve got endless demands tugging at you from all directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued and just plain stressed! You know you need to do something to preserve your health and your sanity, but what can you do?

Believe it or not, balancing your life does not require massive changes. You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost, no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances. Attitudes, habits and choices will determine the balance you achieve.

Below you’ll find three simple ways to begin building a...

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Counseling or Coaching? Getting the Right Kind of Help

A new year often inspires us to evaluate our lives, which frequently makes us want to change whatever is not working well or build upon what is. It can be helpful to bounce your thoughts and feelings off of someone else who can offer perspective and help you discover what is – or isn’t – within your power to change.

Since the 1980’s there has been a growing interest in the field of Coaching. There are several different types of coaching, e.g., Executive, Personal, Career, etc., and each serves a specific function related to helping someone achieve desired results. With the rise of coaching as a profession have come questions concerning the differences between the practice of coaching and counseling. Let’s look at these two different services in an effort to help you decide which one is right for you – counseling or coaching.

What is Coaching?

According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is an ongoing relationship between the...

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Give it a Rest: The Importance of Taking a Break

When I think about resting, something rather strange occurs. At first, I begin to imagine lounging on the couch, watching golf and (inevitably) falling asleep. But just as I begin to enjoy this image, I am yanked back into reality with the thought that dozing off to a lullaby of polite clapping and hushed announcers is just plain lazy.

This kind of internal scolding is a culturally-driven, knee-jerk reaction many of us have because we have grown up in an environment that values Type A drive and workaholism. “I do, therefore I am.” We have come to believe that our worth is found in our productivity, and our value to our employers is achieved in tireless, devoted activity with no thought of our own needs.

The good news is that the tide is turning, and workers today are less likely to be plagued by guilt if they grab a quick nap mid-afternoon or take a short walk outside to clear their minds, and some companies actually endorse activities that refresh their employees. This...

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