Monday, April 28, 2008

How To Prevent Burnout

According to a London Daily Mail poll, more than half of those reading this right now are completely burned out on the job. How can you tell if you're burned out?

If you have lost that satisfied feeling at work and don't even revel in your own job accomplishments, there might be a problem. Are your coworkers asking if everything is okay with you? Have they noticed you acting depressed or even moody on the job? Have you been snapping at everyone?

Here's a telltale sign of work burnout: the minute you return from a vacation, the joy, happiness, and relaxation you felt are instantly gone, and you can't even manage to come back from lunch on time.

Another sign: procrastination is your new middle name.Dr. Alan Shelton, author of Transforming Burnout, studies worker burnout. He notes that you shouldn't feel alone if you're feeling this particular burn. Some three-quarters of all workers are hit with this feeling from time to time.

According to Dr. Shelton, vacations, days off, new hours and outside interests don't always help.

Professional counselors can help, especially if you're a workaholic who is stressed out by a desire for everything to be perfect all of the time.

The important thing is to find balance between work and other pursuits. Then work isn't the only focus. Dr. Shelton also suggests the following:
  • Get a physical to rule out more serious health problems.
  • Take care of the spiritual side of life. It will give you focus. Meditation and prayer can help with burnout because they take the focus off work. Make relaxation a priority in your life.
  • Remind yourself that each morning is a new day to be appreciated. On the way to work find two or three things that make you happy, even if it's just a beautiful forest preserve on the side of the road or watching your kids.
  • Exercise helps beat job burnout.
  • Sleep helps beat job burnout.

[Research by John Tesh]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sleep Better

Besides prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, try these easy solutions for a good night's sleep:

Start by exercising more. Experts tell us if you want to get a good night's sleep, you need to have a good day's workout. Why would exercise help you sleep better? Exercise places physical stress on the body, and the brain responds by increasing the amount of time we spend in deep sleep.

Avoid eating one to two hours before crawling into bed. It is difficult to stay asleep if you your body is trying to digest the food you ate for your late night snack.

Avoid napping during the day. This can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. You may be creating a vicious cycle, as a lack of nighttime sleep leads to the need for daytime naps.

Reduce your levels of stress. Be sure to have an active social life, interesting hobbies and anything else you can do to give yourself a sense of well-being. You want to go to sleep at night without having excessive worries and depression. Counseling can help.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Husband Appreciation Day

You've heard of Mother's Day, Father's Day, and even Grandparents' Day. But did you know there's a Husband Appreciation Day?

The third Saturday of April (this year, April 19) has been designated a day for wives to reflect on the various ways their spouse enriches their lives.Some ways to show your appreciation:
  • Bring him his favorite breakfast in bed
  • Treat him to a day of fun (movies, mini-golf, hiking)
  • Take over some items from his "to-do" list
  • Dine at his favorite restaurant

Still stumped? Ask him, "If you were crowned king for a day, what would your perfect day look like?" (Warning: Be prepared to make it happen!)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How healthy is your family?

How is your family doing relationally? Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Am I closer to my spouse today than I was a year ago?
  2. Have I read God’s word with my family this week?
  3. Have I prayed with each member of my family this week?
  4. Do my children know they come before the people in the church?
  5. Are my children joyfully experiencing Christ at church or do they resent the church?
  6. Does my spouse feel close to me spiritually?
  7. If my spouse could have me change one thing about me, what would it be? (Why haven’t I changed in this way? What am I going to do about it?)
  8. Are we honoring the Sabbath as a family?
  9. Do my wife and kids enjoy being around me?
  10. Can my family clearly articulate our family values and vision?

If you need help, contact the Relationship Clinic at 256-418-0620.

Why is my marriage in trouble?

In my experience, it has to do with one or more of the following issues:
  1. Unrealistic Expectations - When a person goes into a marriage thinking the following… there is trouble on the way… “I know he/she isn’t exactly what I want right now – but marriage will change them.” (Hint – if you aren’t ready to commit to them as they are – DON’T COMMIT!) “This person will make me happy.” “I know he/she cheats on me now, but when we get married they will stop.” “I know he/she talks to me like I am garbage right now, but when we get married they will see the value in me.” “We’re going to have sex ALL OF THE TIME!” (Singles – marriage is about A LOT more than just sex!)
  2. Ignoring The “Gut Check” Before The Marriage - I have counselled with lots of people who have unfortunately experienced divorce – and nearly every single one of them, when I pressed down on the issue, has said that they knew before they got married that they should not have – but wanted to go ahead and go through with it to save themselves from the embarrassment. If you KNOW it’s wrong – better a little embarrassment now than a lot of pain later.
  3. Unwillingness To Work Through Issues - Married couples have their issues – that is just the way it is; however, the people you know that have strong marriages work through their issues. They talk honestly and openly with one another–they hold true to Ephesians 4:26-29. Once again – they talk TO ONE ANOTHER, not ABOUT ONE ANOTHER. They don’t go to their Bible study, accountability partner to bash their spouse … they sit down like a real man and woman and work it out!
  4. The Other Person Becomes Unimportant - When work, hobbies or the kids replace the importance of the spouse then bad times are sure to follow. It’s work … but the marriage MUST remain the most important relationship on the planet.
  5. The Greener Grass Syndrome - When a man/woman begins looking at “other options” and fantasizing about them – THAT is always trouble. The line between fantasy and reality become blurred … and often lines are crossed because a person will think, “I’ve done it wrong in this marriage … but he/she is my chance to start over and it will be wonderful.”
    Hey, guess what – the grass IS greener on the other side – but ONLY because it happens to be over the septic tank!
  6. Money - I have seen more couples have the dumbest arguments over money. A couple will “fall in love” with each other and then “fall in love” with stuff, thus going out and accumulating debt in massive amounts so that they can have in three years what it took their parents 30 years to accumulate! If a couple isn’t doing the budget thing and having honest discussions about financial priorities – it WILL wreak havoc on the marriage.
  7. Church/Godly Influences Are Pushed Out Of Their Lives - I’ve seen it so many times … a couple will be doing wonderful … involved in church, establishing solid friendships – until, one of them (usually the man) gets “busy” with work … the lady tries to hang in there without him for a while – but eventually become discouraged and gives up. Next thing you know they have absolutely NOTHING in common and wind up being strangers sleeping in the same bed. There is something absolutely amazing about connecting on a spiritual level – going to church and praying together, having godly friends that will encourage and support you. I just don’t think we were called to do life alone. (Hebrews 10:24-25.)