Surviving the Family Drama at the Holidays

Christmas is a time when even normal families can feel extra stress. And what if yours is not a so-called “normal” family? What if you and your ex are fighting over who gets the kids, and when? What if both sets of in-laws expect you to spend the holidays with them this year? What if several generations in your family have very different needs during this holiday season?

The fact is, your family is probably far from perfect. Unless you’re one of the mythical Cleavers, Christmas probably won’t turn out exactly the way you might wish. Some people in your family may end up being very unhappy, perhaps with you. You may have to spend time around people you don’t like at all. Your efforts to try and make everything wonderful may fall flat, or even lead to more misunderstanding.

So here’s the important tip. …

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Why It Matters Who Is In Charge Of Your Life

Why It Matters Who Is In Charge Of Your Life

Taking ChargeWho’s in charge around here?”

That’s a very good question. For any endeavor to succeed, someone must take responsibility.

Yes, teams can accomplish so much more than one individual can, but there must be a team leader. In any military endeavor there must be a commanding officer in charge of each mission. A book written by a group of authors has an editor in chief. Great minds may think alike, but one of them must be “thinker in chief.”

If your life is a project, or an expedition, or a book, who’s in charge? If you are playing a part in some great drama, who’s directing? It makes a difference.

There are three basic choices when it comes to who’s in charge:

  1. Someone other than you is in charge. Early in life that someone is your parents. As an adult this roll could be played by a boss, church leader, extended family member, an institution such as government, or even circumstances such as education, poverty, or abuse.
  2. YOU are in charge. You know stories of people who have overcome incredible odds
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The Exhilarating Freedom NOT To Care

I Dont CareHave you ever come to the point where you don’t care? It’s one of the most powerful places you can be. And it’s exhilarating!

This is not about not wanting what is best for your loved ones, or not wanting to be successful. It’s about getting rid of the chains that your own fears create in business, personal relationships, and even your spiritual life.

It’s possible to care too much. Becoming too invested in the outcome puts you in a very vulnerable position, clouds your perspective, and removes all your negotiating power.

  • If you want a specific car or house too much you may agree to a significantly higher price than necessary.
  • If you have your heart set on a particular job position you may agree to terms that make your future much more difficult than it needs to be.
  • If you worry excessively over what people will think your judgment will be clouded in leadership and making difficult decisions.
  • If you want a relationship with a certain someone at any cost you will be blind to danger signs in their behavior and character.

This is a spiritual principle as well.

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18 Things To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day

18 Things To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day

Having a bad day? “Life is difficult.” So wrote M. Scott Peck at the opening to A Road Less Traveled.

Sometimes it’s a bad hair day. And sometimes it’s a whole lot more than hair that’s going bad! Sometimes everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Your stability feels threatened, and you’d just like to go away somewhere and forget everything.

I’m assuming you have thought through your life plan enough to know that you’re basically on track. You’re just in the middle of a major bump in the road. When you’re having a really bad day, here are some suggestions on what to do. Choose one, or two, or three, and see if you don’t feel more able to get through the difficulty:

  1. Take a walk. Exercise clears your mind, gets you away from the immediate problem, and may even increase those feel-good endorphins.
  2. Take a nap. Fatigue can make even normal stress feel overwhelming. A short nap can give you a you new perspective.
  3. Eat something. Not junk food – that may just clog your brain and make you feel even more stressed. But they don’t call it “comfort food” for nothing. Just choose thoughtfully.
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Managing Your Mental Health

Sad Teenage GirlThe National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that at least one in four adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness during any given year. That includes problems such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many others. Antidepressants are the second-most commonly prescribed class of medications. That’s a lot of people! If it’s not you, then perhaps it means your parent, child, spouse, coworker, or best friend.

Sure, there’s controversy over whether the one-in-four number represents an over-diagnosis. But what is absolutely certain is the pain and loneliness many of those affected struggle with. For many it may be an accomplishment just to get up in the morning.

What leads to mental illness? We know there are many factors. Genetics, nutrition, and substance abuse certainly play a roll. So does a history of being abused, or serving overseas in the armed forces for some people. Our human brain is a sensitive complicated instrument, and our world offers trauma much too often.

Added to the personal struggles of those with mental illness, our society often presents even more hurdles. Those with mental illness often face stereotypes and stigma from others, and significant financial challenges in getting the help they need.

There are a number of things you can do on your own to maximize your mental health. You don’t have to accept emotional or mental problems as your destiny. Here are recommendations that will make a difference in managing your own mental health:

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