Life is a balancing act for all of us. We are constantly trying to move forward with our purpose, to achieve our goals, all the while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives. But if any aspect of our life draws a disproportionate amount of energy, we have to shortchange the other aspects. That throws us off—and we are unable to move forward on life’s tightrope until a balance can be reestablished. We have to deal with any areas that are taking too much energy and put them in perspective, align them, so that we have energy available for all areas.

thCheck on your whole self. The first step is to stop and assess how you are doing. Look at all the  various aspects of your life that you are constantly juggling, constantly trying to keep in balance—marriage and family, money, health, social circles, spiritual development, mental growth. Have you lost touch with good friends?Are you working too much and family life has suffered?

Assess your life as it is right now. With both your money and your health, aim for progress, not perfection. Don’t wait for big leaps. Small steps in the right direction can be a game changer. For example, if you are overwhelmed with debt, saving just $20 a week can add up over time – and best of all, it eventually becomes a habit. It is the same with your health. Maybe you can’t get to the gym, but you can make a habit of taking the stairs, stretching during a commercial or marching in place while you brush your teeth.

Renew your decisions on a daily, minute-to-minute basis. This is especially important after a slip. It allows you to ease into change, instead of expecting things to change overnight. Step back and put things in perspective. Set reasonable goals. If you can’t figure out how to get where you want to be, ask for help. Acknowledge that creating balance is essential to your health in all areas and worth the effort.

Make time for yourself everyday, in a quiet meditative state, to relax and “check yourself out.” The right balance today might not be the same as yesterday. Sometimes priorities change. None of us is going to be perfectly balanced all of the time. But if you don’t keep tabs on your progress, you might find one day that you have moved far away from your goals. The important thing in having a balanced life is the feeling of accomplishment and happiness you enjoy at the end of the day.

We are happy to be hosting an intern for the summer. She wrote this article for us:

Every marriage relationship is looking for stability. When Bipolar disorder comes into the picture stability may seem like an impossible state to reach, and love may seem lost. This does not have to be true! When Bipolar disorder enters a marriage, problems tend to present themselves as more animated and theatrical. However, by honestly communicating with your spouse and working together through your problems, you will not only help the situation, but increase bonding as well.

Here are a few tips to help you along your way:

  1. Keep taking your medication. If this is an option for you, it would be wise to continue taking your medication, even if you believe you are feeling better. Do this for yourself, and for your spouse.

  2. Educate yourself about the disease; what stressors trigger mood swings and what best sooth them. Selflessly comfort your spouse, try to understand what they are going through and what helps. Have compassion and recognize when the disease is speaking, not your spouse.

  3. Both husband and wife attending therapy together may be helpful to learn more about each other, the disease, and to increase your overall marital fidelity.

  4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy, and stay active. Maintaining a healthy, mind, body, and spirit is tremendously beneficial in all aspects of life.

  5. Take time for yourself, to pray, and recall your love for each other, and manage stress. Do something creative, go biking, golfing, fishing, or pick up a hobby.

 

–Miranda Farthing

At different times of our life all of us will experience feelings of grief and loss. Whether that may be a death of a loved one, an accident, or loss of something vital in life we all will experience the pain that accompany’s the respective action.

There are some things to keep in mind when grieving. Some of these are:

  • Give yourself permission to feel bad. It is normal.
  • Maintain as normal a schedule as possible.
  • Alternate exercise with relaxing.
  • Reach out, spend time with others and be willing to share your feelings.
  • Do not make any big life changes.
  • Get plenty of rest

For family and friends:

  • Spend time with grieving person.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Reassure them that they are safe.
  • Don’t offer false comfort such as “you will feel better in time,” “at least their suffering is over.” Such statements may make you feel better but are not usually consoling.
  • Give them some private time

At Christian Counseling Center we have helped a number of people in all types of grieving situations. If you feel the need of comfort or healing call us at 270-442-5738.

images.jpg‘Tis the season for making positive changes. A new year is here and it is as good a time as any to be better people. Even though it’s a little late; (never too late for a resolution, right?) here are some helpful tips on making a solid resolution.

To have the best chance at success it is wise to set resolutions as a goals. This will lead to many changed behaviors in order to attain the goal. Hopefully, all positive ones.

An acronym that may help you setting goals is SMART.

“S” stands for specific. If you want to be able to judge whether or not you have been successful there is wisdom in making the goal something tangible. An example could be, “I want to bike a century ride this year.” This will give you something specific to measure rather than, “I want to ride my bike more.”

“M” stands for measurable. If you are going to make a change or accomplish something you have to be able to answer the question of why it is important to you. Our resolutions have to be something we want to do.

“A” stands for action oriented. What steps are you willing to take to achieve this goal. What things in your life have to be eliminated? What things must you incorporate? For example, if you want to learn a new sport such as tennis you need to have a plan in place such as tennis lessons and when you would play.

“R” stands for realistic. Although we don’t want to limit ourselves we also do not want to set ourselves up for failure. Is there some evidence this is attainable?

“T” stands for time. When we have a time we want to accomplish something by it gives us more motivation.

One additional helpful tip is to find someone you can be accountable with on how you are doing. Whether it is giving something up or adding value to your life, find a person who is willing to join you on that journey. This may be in having the same goal or just doing things to keep you on track.

I believe when we incorporate these principles into our goal then our possibility of success increases.

Good luck and have fun with your resolutions!

 

Break_ball_and_chain_bigger.pngWritten by a friend of the center who has broken a strong habit in their life.

Whether it is biting your nails, smoking, overeating, alcohol abuse or drug addiction that you want to stop, you CAN break it.

Even if you have tried before, you CAN make it.

  • Make a decision. You have to WANT to break your habit.
  • Make a list. Write out all the reasons that YOU want to quit.
  • Make a plan. Talk to someone who has already had success.
  • Make a substitute. For instance, if you are trying to quit smoking substitute brushing your teeth when you have a need to smoke. Call a friend, read a verse in the bible.

Do it because you want to, not because someone else thinks you should.

And then do it again. Every time you want to pick up that cigarette, piece of pie or bottle of alcohol either refer to your list, call someone, or find a substitute.

It feels good to be in control instead of having that habit control you.

The holiday season is in full swing. We have already experienced Thanksgiving with Christmas (and Festivus for you Seinfeld fans) already upon us.

Just a few things to remember that may not be obvious in making the holiday season an enjoyable time.

1. Take time alone to reflect. Things can get so busy and rushed that we don’t have time to reflect on things that are truly important to us. Stopping to consider our blessings is always a good idea. Especially during the holidays. For people that gain energy by recharging, this is particularly important as to not burn out on parties.

2. Don’t be afraid to grieve. For some people this is the first time a family member will not be at Christmas or it is a yearly reminder of the fact they are not with the family anymore. It is okay to be sad about this. Even if you become tearful, it is normal. It may be helpful to talk about some of the memories you cherish about this person in your discussions.

3. Have manageable expectations. Most of us are familiar with Clark Griswald’s desire for a “fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.” He spends so much time with the high expectations of everything being perfect that he misses out on the joy that he could be experiencing. Don’t let this happen to you. Wasting mental energy with “if only” and “I wish” cause you to miss out the times you can be enjoying!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Christian Counseling Center!

Many times marriage counseling is seen as a last ditch effort. I often hear things such as, “this is the last chance,” “if this doesn’t work it is over.” Regularly the presenting problem for couples is quite extreme.

While these are appropriate times for marriage counseling, they are not the only times marriage counseling is important. Here is a list of times that marriage counseling can be helpful, in no particular order.

1. Pre-marriage. Okay, so this is technically not marriage counseling but participating in some type of premarital counseling sets a couple up for success in areas where they may be set up for failure. In premarriage counseling the goal is not to discover a reason not to be married, but to recognize hurdles that could develop into more difficult problems. We have all heard the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

2. Communication breakdowns. Marriage counseling is an opportunity to learn and sharpen communication skills. A couple does not have to be in the depths, just care enough about knowing their spouse more intimately to enter therapy for this reason.

3. Changing of life stage. Utilizing a trained marriage counselor is not something that comes to mind for many when undergoing a major life change. This could be growing your family, retirement, empty nesting. Having a place to plan out your next step with your spouse can be valuable.

4. In-laws. Early in the marriage it is not only a new spouse to learn but an entirely new family. Being in counseling with your spouse in navigating the best approach to these relationships can be helpful.

All the counselors at Christian Counseling Center have training and experience to help guide couples through all of these reasons for entering therapy.

Depression can be more prevalent in the winter time. Dark dreary days can hinder our moods. There are some simple things to be done in order to handle feelings of depression. In no particular order here are a few simple tips in handling feelings for depression.Depression

1. Turn to trusted friends and relatives. Sharing what you are going through is helpful because you do not feel like you are carrying the load on your own.

2. Challenge negative thinking. Think outside yourself, are these thoughts rational? Try to adopt the positive thinking of those in your life who tend to see the bright side.

3. Take care of yourself. Live a healthy lifestyle, get the appropriate amount of sleep, eat in a healthy way and get exercise.

4. Be open to professional help. Sometimes we just need someone to walk with us for a little while. This does not mean we are any less of a person.

We have plenty of training and experience in treating those dealing with depressive thoughts and feelings at Christian Counseling Center. We are able to provide in depth help for depression. If you need someone to support you for a time feel free to call us (270) 442-5738.

Henry Cloud and John Townsend are the authors of the very helpful book, “Boundaries in Marriage.” In this book they list these two common pitfalls in a marriage.

Moralizing Your Preferences

The problem here comes when one of the partners in the marriage claims his or her preference in somehow superior. One person’s hobby may seem more “productive” or “important” because it is satisfying or enjoyable to them; but that does not mean the other person’s hobby or way of relaxing is somehow wrong. Spouses may have differences in how they relax or socialize. This does not make one way right and the other wrong. We are in danger of working against our spouse in our marriage if this becomes a norm.

Score-keeping

Another problem area in marriages is score-keeping. At times couples may get into seemingly endless arguments about how time needs to be more balanced. When this replaces kind loving exchanges our marriage is obviously going to suffer. Trying to keep up with what the other person gets to do versus what you get to do can be a way to build resentment. Remember, balance does not have to mean equality. The important thing is that both people are satisfied. It all probably evens up in the end, anyways.

Most importantly always be open when there is conflict or resentment building. It’s much easier to handle in the early stages than when it becomes a habit. At Christian Counseling Center we are willing and able to help couples create healthy habits and learn communication strategies. Feel free to contact us for an appointment.

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  • Learning how not to do for others what they can learn to do for themselves is one of the golden rules of adult maturity. 1 year ago
  • In an effort to avoid the feeling of failing people often don't put forth effort.By doing this they will not experience their full potential 2 years ago
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