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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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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Free Yourself from Anger

Did you know that, on average, a man will lose his temper six times a week, and a woman will lose her temper three times per week? That’s a lot of conflict! But within certain boundaries, it is not always a bad thing. While it is never good to resort to violence or deliberately hurtful words, expressing strong feelings can be a healthy outlet for emotions.

Even though many people seem to freely express their anger, others are so averse to conflict that they drive their anger underground, resulting in serious problems.

Unresolved anger can lead to serious physical, psychological, relational and emotional problems. In fact, unresolved anger is believed to be the number one contributing factor that propels couples towards divorce. Even small irritations, left unaddressed, can eventually turn into serious anger. Something as simple as one person not putting their dirty clothes in the hamper or someone habitually not checking the amount of gas in the tank can be blown into major...

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Daily Grind or Wise Investment?

relationships stress Feb 27, 2018

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich once said, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? How do you keep going when it seems like an endless cycle?

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.

So what’s the answer to why you do it? The answer is investment. Every good thing you do for your family, friends, career, church is an investment in the lives of others – even the daily routine tasks.

Investing in the people you influence as you persevere through the long days at work. Investing in maintaining your home and ensuring the well-being of your spouse and children helps to grow a healthy family. You and the people you affect each day will make a difference –...

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Riding the Waves of Change

If you have ever gazed at the ocean for awhile, you saw it change with every wave that came to shore. Life is like that; waves of change come along, sometimes small and sometimes gigantic, and nothing is exactly the same after that.

There is a myth in our culture that promotes the notion that people hate change. The truth is – people love change! People change their clothes, hairstyle, and favorite restaurant. They rearrange their furniture, travel to new places and do things to add variety to their lives on a regular basis.

There is, however, a type of change that people don’t like: that is any change they have little to no control over. In today’s world, we no longer have a guarantee of lifetime employment and technology has revolutionized the workplace. Many of us have heard the dreaded words, “Our company is switching to a new computer system,” and all of a sudden you are fearful that you’re going to feel frustrated and confused for a long...

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What to Do for Stress Overload - Part 2

personal growth stress Dec 10, 2015

If you read our previous blog and began implementing some of the first 7 suggestions for ways to reduce your stress, you may already be on your way to feeling more relaxed.  In the first 7 tips we suggested: Get away regularly, develop your favorite hobby, read 15 minutes per day, engage in Expressive Writing, share a belly laugh with someone, use Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and use aromatherapy.

Here are 7 more tips for getting out from under stress overload.

8.  Engage in breathing exercises. The more stressed you are, the more rapid your breathing will be. In a genuine “fight of flight” situation, the stress hormone cortisol is intended to help the body respond with fast escape or self-defense. But when no burst of activity burns off the hormones, they can cause serious health problems over time. Regularly practice inhaling for about 4 seconds – taking in enough air to lift the chest and abdomen – hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale...

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What to Do for Stress Overload - Part 2

Life is full of stress, and it’s not always bad. If we’re honest, most of us enjoy the adrenaline rush of meeting an unexpected challenge once in awhile, but none of us do well when the stress of heavy workloads, over commitment, family needs and uncontrollable circumstances never lets up.

The reality is, your mental and physical health is at stake if you don’t make it a priority to engage in stress-relieving activities and habits that help you relax.

I have developed a list of 14 things you can do to start now. Today we will talk about the first 7, and then we will cover the other 7 strategies next time.

1. Give yourself permission to get away regularly. This may be a solo activity, or can include anyone you enjoy being with – your spouse, friends, family, etc. It can be a weekend at a cabin or hotel, or an afternoon at a park with a good book. In a pinch, an hour in a quiet place or listening to music can even be helpful. The only “rule” is that...

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