Setting Examples and Exercising Control: A Guide for Separated Parents

Separation. Divorce. You only need to say these words and already people begin to conjure up images of volatile, hostile, aggressive environments. It’s not exactly the perfect environment for a child to be situated in. These times are hard for everyone, even if everything ended amicably. Children need a long time to process and come to terms with what’s happened, what’s happening and what’s going to happen in the future. The best way you can help is to be supportive, listen and shield them from unnecessary heated moments.

Exercise caution

Unfortunately, what you expose your children to during this time could seriously affect them, as it as a period in life of vulnerability and emotional uncertainty for everyone involved. People react to new circumstances in different ways, and you obviously want the transition to be as smooth as possible for the people you love!

Of course being careful of what you say and do in front of your children shouldn’t amount to lying to them. Honesty is still the best policy, and vital for keeping trust. However it’d still be wise to withhold certain details until they’re completely ready to hear it. Your explanations always need to be age appropriate. Another imperative point is not to do something that parents are often guilty of. Although it is something they usually subconsciously do, or at least do without intention.  Remember not to tell your children how they feel, or tell them they don’t feel something when they do. Don’t deny them their right to emotions and feelings.

Be aware of your behavior

This awareness will help you avoid potentially damaging situations. Check your conduct toward your ex-spouse when your child is present; the last thing you want is them seeing you shouting, disparaging each other or getting physical; even if it’s just a prod or aggressively pointed finger. Body language and non-verbal clues give a lot away and are easily picked up by the kids. If you want your child to be mature, respectful and kind you have to exhibit those same favorable traits in your demeanour and actions. As a parent, you’re are always the primary role model in the lives of your children, whether you’re divorced or not. You want to instil your values in your children, so act how you wish them to act.

Equally as significant is maintaining relationships with both parents. For the development of your children, it’s better that you never prevent them from contacting the other parent and don’t get too involved in or try to prevent their relationship from naturally growing. If you have an agreement with your ex, stick to it. Don’t deny visitations or change plans at the last second out of spite or emotion. Remember what’s best for the children. To avoid exposing them to disagreements between you as parents, it’s advisable to use a parenting plan template and draw up a specific plan – one that you can agree on and stick to, complete with necessary details in order to decrease the likelihood of future disputes. Once you have something in writing, it’s harder to argue about or deny.

Finally, if children see you managing your conflict well through negotiation, empathy, compromise and (age appropriate) discussion it can educate them and help them learn skills for the future. It can actually benefit them by teaching life lessons on ethics, responsibility and constructive conflict resolution.

This post was written for Revive Christian Counseling by Krishan Smith of Custody X Change, a custody calendar software program.

 STRUGGLING THROUGH A SEPARATION? Give us a call, message us on Facebook or schedule your appointment right here. Appointments are available in Owensboro, Henderson and Hartford. There’s hope and healing in your journey. It’s time to get your life back.

Five Practical Ways to Pray for Peace When You Have Anxiety

Anxiety is hard. One moment you feel fine, and the next you feel like life is falling apart. One moment it feels like you can conquer anything, but the next thing you know, worries of the past, present and future come rushing in, almost to the point of being debilitating.

These five practical ways to pray for peace when you have anxiety really do work. Try them out for yourself.

1. Pray one day at a time

We often get ahead of ourselves, worrying about things that haven’t happened yet (and maybe won’t happen at all). Worrying about tomorrow is useless. When we struggle with anxiety, it’s important to remember to pray every day for that day only.

“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34

2. Pray for an increase in trust

Anxiety comes from a place of fear and fear is a trap from the enemy. If he can keep us fearful, we won’t move forward in God’s plan for our lives. Trusting in God replaces fear and opens any trap the enemy laid for us.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” – Proverbs 29:25

3. Pray for strength

Following God and trusting Him always takes a measure of courage, so when we’re feeling anxious, praying for strength will give us courage to push past the trap of fear. Overcoming fear will lessen anxiety and give us strength for next time.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

4. Pray for gifts of kindness

God often gives us little gifts along our way, most of which we don’t notice. These are meant to be an encouragement to us. One of these gifts may be a kind word. Perhaps there’s someone in your life who is always giving you a supportive word. Maybe a stranger in the coffee shop paid for your coffee. Those acts of kindness are gifts from God to you. In our tough times, we can pray for encouragement and support in the form of kindness. Whenever it happens, remember that’s God’s way of saying, “Hey, I just want you to know that I love you and I’m here.”

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” – Proverbs 12:25

5. Pray for intimacy with the Holy Spirit

On our own, our minds are lost in a rat race, bombarded with selfishness and anxiety woven into the core of who we are. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit is the only way to have true freedom from our destructive thought patterns. Yes, counseling can teach us how to change our thinking. Sometimes, medication is necessary to help clear our minds to do so. However, for freedom, we need the Holy Spirit to teach us how to think with the mind of Christ.

As you begin to pray these practical ways, it’s our hope you’ll begin to feel the anxious and upsetting thoughts begin to fade away. Like anything else in life, it’s a long process, and not one that can be remedied all at once. It takes practice – and that’s okay.

 DEALING WITH ANXIETY? You don’t have to continue handling it on your own. Call us, message us on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. Appointments are available in Owensboro, Henderson and Hartford. Let’s walk this journey together. It’s time to get your life back.

Reduce Stress by Breaking Things Up

Y’all. It’s Christmas time. And we’re all stressed out.

The family’s coming over soon. You’re trying to get all the presents wrapped, and the food planned and prepared, and trying to make sure the house doesn’t look as messy as we all know it is the rest of the year. Needless to say, it can feel like we sometimes need a vacation from Christmas.

One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is to break things up. No, that doesn’t mean you should go out and smash things to pieces. Instead, take whatever issue is causing you stress and break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Yes, it’s incredibly simple. But usually the best things are.

For instance, if you’re facing a messy room that needs to be cleaned up, but you have been avoiding it because it causes you stress, then you need to think about that mess in a new way. Don’t think about it as a whole. Think about the mess in its smaller parts.

What’s one small thing you can do in the room to make the mess appear smaller? Is there some garbage that can be easily thrown away? Are there clothes or blankets that can be put away or moved to the laundry room? Are there books, movies, or music that could be returned back to their proper shelf? Simply pick one small task – the simpler the better – and get it done. Once that task is completed, pick another.

The same goes for large projects or assignments. Don’t avoid the situation just because it stresses you out. The longer you avoid it, the more stressed out it’s going to make you feel. Instead of getting stressed out, take some time to think about how you can break the task up into smaller, less stressful pieces.

Say your assignment requires you to write a detailed comparison of three different products. What are the steps you will need to take in order to complete the assignment? You will need to do some research on each of the products, decide upon their pros and cons, write up a rough draft, and then edit it to perfection. By determining the steps needed to complete the assignment, you can think about which small part you need to complete next instead of stressing over the finished product.

Don’t forget the most obvious solution, either. How’s your prayer life? Are you spending time with God? Often, when we allow our relationship with God to suffer or take the back-burner, other things in life start causing us trouble, too.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

As you can see, breaking things up into a series of smaller tasks will allow you to take a step back from the larger picture and look at things from a new perspective. And by focusing on God, your entire perspective changes. By only focusing on a smaller portion, you will feel less stressed out when faced with larger or more difficult tasks. This will make it easier for you to make real progress towards completing the task at hand.

 STRUGGLING WITH STRESS? Let’s talk about what we can do to get you on the right track. Call us, message us on Facebook, or schedule your appointment right here. Appointments are available in Owensboro, Henderson and Hartford. It’s time to get your life back.

10 Things to Give Up in Exchange for Happiness

With the stress and madness of the holiday season, it can be hard to find peace and joy. Ironically, those are the things the celebration of Jesus’ birth are supposed to bring us. Finding happiness can be a challenge this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider these ten things you can give up in exchange for happiness this year.

1. Caring what other people think

Many of us feel like we must live or die by the approval of others. Whether it’s someone at work, a family member, or a co-worker, fear of displeasing others can rule and ruin our lives. Whenever you’re in a situation where you’re struggling worrying what other people think of you, ask yourself, “Where does my true approval come from?”

That approval comes from God. He loves you, and cares for you, even if it feels like the rest of the world doesn’t.

2. Trying to please everyone

The simple fact is you can’t make everyone happy. Again, when you’re worried what others think of you, you’re going to have a hard time giving up being a people-pleaser. And if you spend your days trying to care only for others, how effective are you being at really taking care of yourself?

It’s really okay to say no. Worrying what someone will think? See #1.

3. Participating in gossip

It’s easy when you’re at work to “stand around the water cooler” so to speak, and share the latest dirt you heard about someone. It’s important to ask yourself when engaging in these situations, “How is this conversation beneficial?” The stress of worrying what others are doing, or worse, getting upset over what others do, will only bring you down. Allow yourself to give up gossiping.

The same goes in church. Asking prayers for someone is one thing – sharing someone else’s dirty laundry is another. Is Aunt Patsy struggling? Could she use some prayers? That’s fine – share that with those who will pray for her. But they don’t need to know that Aunt Patsy has a drinking problem, is behind on her mortgage and is planning on leaving her husband.

4. Worrying

I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. However, remember that when you give up that worry and anxiety, you’re allowing God to work through your situation. If you continue holding onto those feelings, you’re telling God that you’re not ready to give up control.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27

5. Insecurity

Wanting to look nice in public is okay. Trust me, everyone around you appreciates that you shower regularly. However, constant fear of whether or not you look skinny enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, or happy enough will only drive your self-esteem farther down. When you’re feeling this way, ask God to show you the way He sees you. It’s a simple, yet profound request.

6. Taking everything personally

It’s incredibly easy to get offended if you feel you’re being attacked by someone. It’s also easy to allow that offense to build and grow, and replace your joy. Yes, there are rude people in the world. Heck, there may be rude people in your church. My encouragement here is to remember that people have struggles we never see. That rude person you passed on the street, or the guy who flipped you off in traffic may be having the worst day of their life. Instead of taking offense, take the opportunity to love them as Jesus does – even if they are being a complete jerk.

7. The past

Scripture tells us we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We’ve all made mistakes. We’re going to continue making mistakes. It’s part of being human. But the key to finding happiness doesn’t like in the past, it lies in your present. If you’re allowing yourself to feel bad for the things you’ve done, you’re never going to be able to move forward. Just as it’s important to forgive others, it’s equally important to forgive yourself. And after you lay down your burden, make sure you don’t pick it back up again.

8. Buying things you don’t need

We all have a God-shaped hole we’re trying to fill. Some of us try to buy stuff to shove in there, rather than allowing God to fill us with His love, grace, mercy, and peace. “Retail therapy” isn’t therapy at all. It’s a way to distract ourselves from what we’re struggling with. And I can promise you, the stuff you buy isn’t going to make you any happier.

Sure, for some, spending money can be fun. And I get it, it’s more comfortable to cry in a Lexus than a Corolla, but as it’s been said, “Stop buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.”

9. Anger

Ouch. That one can strike a nerve, right? Holding on to anger isn’t going to make you feel better. In fact, quite the opposite happens. The longer you stay angry at someone, the more distance is created between you. In some cases, this distance is inevitable. Boundaries are important, however, anger shouldn’t rule your life, nor should it be the reason you create boundaries in the first place.

Again, ask God to help you see others the way He sees them. Release your anger to the Savior.

10. Control

How can God be in control if you refuse to give it up? Giving up control to Him isn’t a simple task, but one of the most important. In reality, when you refuse to give up control, you’re just allowing the situation to control you. Ask God for His grace and provision. And, as you begin to work on areas 1-9, you’ll find 10 comes much easier.

Remember, you were never meant to carry the burden of hurt and anger. You are worthy of living in freedom – and it’s my prayer you find it this Christmas season.

 STRUGGLING TO FIND HAPPINESS? Call me, message me on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. Appointments are available in Owensboro and Henderson. It’s time to get your life back.

How to deal with your crazy family during the holidays

Let’s face it; a lot of us have at least one person in our family who we see only once or twice a year, and there’s a good reason for that.  Maybe it’s because they’re a little bit quirky, or they have a lifestyle you don’t understand.  Maybe it’s because you just don’t have a lot in common with the other person.  Or, perhaps, it’s because you just genuinely don’t like the other person.  No matter the reason, it’s probably safe to say these people in your family drive you crazy. 

Whatever the case may be, there are ways for you to get through the gathering without losing your patience (or maybe your sanity).  The easiest way to do this is to remember two things.

  1. Love God and love people, as Christ commanded
  2. Remember that loving people doesn’t mean you have to have a close relationship with them or condone their actions

Jesus made these points clear when speaking to the disciples:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”  – Mark 12:30-31

Christ wants us to love and care for one another.  He wants us to be the shining light in an otherwise dark and broken world.  He wants us to have compassion for others in their situations and struggles, and he wants us to earnestly pray for them.

However, Christ is not commanding us to allow these individuals to have negative impacts on us.  It is okay to set and keep boundaries with others to keep our spiritual life protected.  It is okay to say no.  It’s okay to keep your distance if necessary.  It is okay for you to only say a few words to a family member you need to keep a boundary with and then walk away.  It’s also okay to remind them of these boundaries when they’re crossed.

This can be a difficult task, but during these potentially tense moments with family members, it’s important to remember where your approval comes from:

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”  – Psalm 16:5-9

Seeking forgiveness in your family.

When seeking forgiveness for others, their response may not be what you want or expect.

Perhaps your situation is the opposite.  Perhaps you’re the family member trying to make amends to relationships you’ve damaged and you’re hoping this holiday season you’ll be able to solidify those relationships.  This act is encouraged and commendable, but it can also be painful, and sometimes uncomfortable.  Remember, when you’re seeking forgiveness and reconciliation from others, they may not react in the way you want them to.  It’s important to remember to have grace and understanding with others.  Taken into consideration Max Lucado’s words in Just Like Jesus:

“The world has never known a heart so pure, a character so flawless.  His spiritual hearing was so keep he never missed a heavenly whisper.  His mercy so abundant he never missed a chance to forgive… Jesus is the ultimate model for every person… God urges you to fix your eyes upon Jesus.  Heaven invites you to set the lens of your heart of the Savior and make him the object of your life.”

How can you be just like Jesus to your family this year?

 STRUGGLING WITH FAMILY OR BOUNDARIES? Give me a call, message me on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. Appointments are available in Owensboro and Henderson. It’s time to get your life back.

 

Keep Calm and Remember God’s Promises

It’s that time of year. Around the holidays many of us begin feeling anxious. Whether it’s worries about dealing with family members who drive us up the wall, or concerns about the end of the year, fear of what’s ahead in the new year, or dealing with the loss of a family member that undoubtedly makes the holidays that much harder – this time of year is hard on a lot of people. And you’re not alone in these feelings.

However, there are some simple ways to manage the anxiety you’re feeling. I can’t promise it makes everything go away. I sincerely doubt you’ll wake up tomorrow morning with all your problems solved. But I can tell you these tips can help you to manage what you’re dealing with and handle it appropriately.

1. Breathe

Seriously. Just breathe. (I told you this was simple.) Focusing on our breathing helps us to refocus and shift our attitude. It gives us a moment to sit back and relax. Focusing on your breathing also helps in the physical sense. When we get overwhelmed and begin feeling anxious, our breaths become shorter, and our heart rate rises. When it rises, it causes more anxiety, which causes us to breathe even more shallow breaths. See how the cycle works?

Take a moment, sit back, and just breathe. Focus on the lengths of your breaths. And exhale completely. Push all the carbon dioxide out of your lungs. And breathe again.

As your breathing gets under control, remember what Scripture tells us:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 CSB

2. Focus on the Blessings

It’s easy to get caught up in fear and worry about the future, or in the dread of things you’re going to have to deal with. However, I encourage you to remember that God’s mercies are new every morning – and so are His plans for us. One of the best things I’ve ever seen to illustrate this is one of the entries from Sarah Young’s devotionals, Jesus Calling. In one entry, speaking from God’s perspective she writes, “My grace is sufficient for you, but it’s sufficiency is for only one day at a time.”

Remember that God gives us time that he separates into days and nights so that we have manageable portions of life. Focusing on the worries of tomorrow goes directly against His instruction for us.

Instead of worrying about the troubles of tomorrow, focus on the blessings of the present. Look at the things He has given you, and the things He is providing. It might feel like a small list, but start writing those things down. You’d be surprised at how long that list can become.

3. Keep your eyes on Jesus

The more we continue focusing on our problems, the less we see God’s promises in our lives. When we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on our circumstances, then little by little, layers of negativity harden our hearts, and our love for God grows cold. As we remember to keep Christ as our focus, we find that our problems become peripheral.

“I always let the Lord guide me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 CSB

 HAVING A HARD TIME KEEPING CALM? You don’t have to go it alone. Call me, message me on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. Appointments are available in Owensboro and Henderson. It’s time to get your life back.

How to be thankful, every day

Thanksgiving is upon us. And it’s the time of year where we begin seeing the “thankful” posts on Facebook. That’s all well and good, but what about after Thanksgiving? Shouldn’t we be looking for how to be thankful every day? That’s exactly what God calls us to do.

 

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.” – 1 Chronicles 16:8

By living a thankful life and with a giving attitude, we’re following God’s call to share His grace, love and mercy.  He’s not calling us “fake it”; even Christians have bad days and tough times.  He’s not expecting us to have it all together or to not share our struggles.  But He is reminding us to be thankful, even during the tough times.

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” – 1 Timothy 4:4-5

Being thankful in all circumstances doesn’t have to be difficult.  All God is asking for is for us to live a life of grace.  When we’re willing to extend and receive grace to and from others, we’re practicing the art of thanksgiving with the gift of understanding, love and forgiveness.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas draws near, I encourage you to think about your own life, situations and circumstances.  How can you be thankful in the midst of struggles?  How can you extend grace to others who need it?

 STRUGGLING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? Schedule your appointment here, call me, or message me on Facebook. It’s time to get your life back.

That pastor only wants my money!

For many, especially new church-goers, the idea of tithing is uncomfortable. Scripture calls us to give back 10{460a05741454e6ac9b6c5260f0917ccdb6f72f2e4f6ff1b7d94317b392275d0e} of all we bring in. There are several places in scripture where the tithe is mentioned. In the book of Leviticus, we see it introduced as God’s law:

“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”  – Leviticus 27:30-34

But seeing it written still doesn’t make it sound all that great, does it? Many churches will also remind you of the line in 2 Corinthians, which tells us God loves a cheerful giver. However, more often, it’s displayed on a screen, church newsletter, or brochure with a graphic.

“Seriously?” I used to think. “Great.  So now on top of not wanting to throw more than 20 bucks in the plate/basket/bag/etc. when it passes by, God’s not going to love me if I don’t do this with a smile on my face?”  When I first started going to church, I loathed the idea of tithing. I, along with a lot of others, have come up with so many excuses as to why we can’t and/or won’t tithe. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • The pastor only wants it so he can buy a new car
  • I have too many bills and I don’t have enough to give a tenth of my salary
  • I can’t tithe now because what if something breaks/needs to be repaired or replaced?
  • I just don’t make enough money right now; I’ll tithe when I start making more
  • I don’t have enough money to pay the bills as it is, so how could I give that much away?
  • I disagree with something the pastor said in his sermon about three months ago, and I just can’t financially support the church because of that.
faith-giving

To increase your faith, increase your giving.

There are so many excuses that we make so we can justify not tithing. We make our offering sound like something bad, as if it’s going to crush us if we don’t keep the money for ourselves. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: God doesn’t care about those excuses, and you shouldn’t either. God isn’t calling you to financially support the ideas of the pastor, and He’s not asking you to make yourself poor for the sake of the church. But He is asking you to trust him – not only with your spiritual, emotional and physical health, but with your financial health as well.

In most churches, the pastor isn’t concerned about making you tithe to get a raise (there are exceptions, but by and large most church pastors have a heart to see you serve God, trust God, and develop a relationship with God). The fact is this: God will still be able to work without you. He doesn’t need your ten percent to keep the lights on, pay for nursery supplies or do an outreach event. But what He wants is your faithfulness. And here’s the thing:  Wal-Mart wants your money. Amazon Prime wants your money. The bar wants your money.  God and your pastor just want you to be faithful. He’s not concerned about how much money you make, but the heart in which you give:

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on’.”  – Mark 12:41-44

Listen. I understand the thought of a full ten percent is scary. So, why not start with something smaller. Begin with 5, 3, or maybe even 1 percent. When you realize how God blesses you in that 1{460a05741454e6ac9b6c5260f0917ccdb6f72f2e4f6ff1b7d94317b392275d0e}, move to 2 or 3{460a05741454e6ac9b6c5260f0917ccdb6f72f2e4f6ff1b7d94317b392275d0e}. Then go up to 5, 6, 7, and so on. Soon, you’ll understand the heart of truly being a cheerful giver.

 STRUGGLING WITH FAITH OR TRUST? Call me, message me on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. It’s time to get your life back.
Christian Marriage Counseling Owensboro

7 Ways to Begin Managing Your Anxiety

Managing your anxiety can sometimes feel like a full-time job. I’m not talking about that occasional knot in your stomach over a situation at work or at home. No, I mean that overwhelming fear, concern and worry that overtakes you and takes you from hopeful to helpless.

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to help get your anxiety under control, especially those times when you’re feeling the most vulnerable.

1. Journaling

It may feel silly, but there is healing in getting those feelings “out”. Write down those anxious thoughts. Getting them out of your mind and onto paper can reduce anxious feelings.

2. Support

Create a list of people who can help you through the struggle of anxiety. When anxiety is getting the best of you, ask yourself who can help challenge those thoughts and replace them when reality and hope. (And yes, a professional support through a counselor can help in this area as well.)

3. Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important skills that can help manage your anxiety. Self care is what you implement to make yourself feel better. It can be anything, such as taking a nap, going for a run, eating well, spending time with friends and family, art, and the list can go on and on. Implement what self care works for you.

4. Sleep

Catch those Z’s. Anxiety can deplete your energy. Sleep not only helps you to rest and recharge, but it helps to replace the energy you lost due to the anxious thoughts.

5. Exercise

Physical activity helps reduce anxiety and stress. It allows you to exert the energy that’s used toward anxiety and stress, and instead place it into a healthy lifestyle. Try heading out for a brisk walk, jog or run when you’re feeling anxious.

6. Breathing

Yes, breathing really does help. Practice breathing exercises to help slow down anxious thoughts.

7. Listen

Find a great Spotify or Apple playlist to help you relax. Put your earbuds in or headphones on, close your eyes, and relax.

While these tips can help bring your anxiety down, it doesn’t mean they’ll always go away. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t make your anxiety go away completely. It’s okay to ask for help.

 STRUGGLING WITH ANXIETY? Call me, message me on Facebook, or schedule your appointment online. Appointments are available in OwensboroHenderson, and Online. It’s time to get your life back.
coping with stress

Coping with Stress: Healthy Ways to Feel Better

I kid you not, the other day I was driving and saw Christmas decorations sitting in someone’s front yard. Seriously. CHRISTMAS. DECORATIONS. In the first week of October. A few days before that, I was walking through a local store watching my wife stare in wonder at all of the Christmas decor on the shelves. It got me to thinking about the stresses that come with preparing for the holidays, and how many times we try to mentally prepare for the stress we’re going to endure.

Luckily, there are healthy ways of coping with stress that can help you make it through the holiday season, or any other situation you may be dealing with in life.

1. Take care of yourself

coping with stressThe goal of coping with stress is that hopefully your anxious feelings will subside in a few days (or at most a few weeks). To do so, you have to remember to take care of your body. The Centers for Disease Control recommends:

  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out

Many times, when we feel stressed, we tend to either overeat or under-eat. We can become lethargic or develop insomnia. Or, we try to just “push through” without taking the time to understand what our body is trying to tell us. Most often, we ignore the signs.

2. Talk to others

Find other people who you can talk to and trust. Learn what they do to help alleviate their stressful situations. Share your heart with a parent, friend, pastor, or yes, even a counselor (hint hint – you can easily schedule an appointment with me online). Working through these challenges and feelings with a trustworthy helper can help to alleviate a lot of what you’re feeling.

3. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Drugs and alcohol will lie to you. They’ll tell you that they’ll make the stress go away and help you to “forget” about what’s happening. In reality, they typically create additional problems and increase the stress you’re already feeling. And, you run the risk of addiction and challenging health issues down the road. Seriously. Just say no.

4. Take a break

coping with stressThe longer you remain in a stressful situation, the longer it will take to relieve the issue. I realize that may seem obvious, but how often have you known exactly what’s causing you stress and still don’t move away from it? If your stress is caused by family members, consider looking for ways to put up healthy boundaries; If it’s caused by a work situation, consider taking a mental health day if your have the vacation or sick time available (yes, those are really okay), and if you’re struggling with a local or national event (politics anyone?), consider taking breaks from listening to or reading news stories.

Finally, remember that God is ready and willing to help you through your stressful time, no matter what you’re going through. All you have to do is ask Him and invite Him into your situation.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” – Psalm 34:17-19
 HAVING TROUBLE COPING WITH STRESS? Let’s work together to help alleviate your stressful situation. Call me, message me on Facebook, or schedule your appointment here. Sessions are available in Owensboro, Henderson, and Online. It’s time to get your life back.
Page 1 of 512345