Wednesday Links List

I’m implementing a new feature called Wednesday links. Each week, I will post 5 good links related to self-care, stress, mental health, life coaching or other related topic relevant to ministry, coaching, counseling or life as a small business owner.

Today will be the first set of links:

1. Eight Ways Leaders Make Themselves Vulnerable to Spiritual Attack by Thom Rainer

2.Chronic worriers can’t switch brain off by the by the Press- Enterprise

3. Back to Campus Mental Health Resources by Mental Health America

4. 8 Fascinating Facts About Anxiety by Psyblog

5. Keep up with all things “Fully Alive Life Coaching,” with my daily paper that features over 200 contributors but most importantly my feeds on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. Here is the link: http://paper.li/f-1381598529

Time Management and Priorities : Finding Time for Self-Care

 We are all only given 24 hours in a day, everyday. That is an equal for all of us, no matter what the situation is, no matter how successful or unsuccessful, rich or not as fortunate.
  It can be challenging to find time to take care of yourself, especially when you have enough things to do already! Your 24 hours quickly disappears! Many people are great care takers of children or of their elder parents, there is not enough time in the day to serve everyone that needs to be served or earn enough money that needs to be earned. So the main skills that are correlated with self-care are priority-setting and also time-management.
This box demonstrates a simple way blending these two elements: time management and priority-setting. The four boxes center around two thoughts: Urgency and Importance.
            1. Urgent, Important
            2. Important, Not Urgent
            3. Urgent, Not Important
            4. Not Urgent, Not Important
With these two ideas in mind, I can replay every action, that I did in my mind and categorize which box that action goes in.
For example, activities that go in the first box are: Putting out stressful “fires,”crises or deadlines. Work deadlines, family emergencies, project/homework is due, major complaint from large company,  
             The second box is my “Creative pro-activity.” Here is quality time/production, Preparation, prevention, planning, career development, long-term strategy, relationship building, personal fulfillment, quality family time and taking care of myself by going to gym or reading a self-development book. The third box may be my least favorite box. These activities are red herrings (plausible but not important or relevant) , Interruptions like phone calls, some office meetings, some mail, chose of colors on a wall, etc.  The fourth box is time wasting: TV, Internet, Video games, fun, relaxing, does not add much of any other value, distractions, trivial activities and “escapes” from reality. We need to spend some therapeutic laughter and pleasure time in life, but we need to limit this category or we will become its slave. 
 Here are a few more of these charts to help bring home the point:

Self-Care is for Everyone

Self care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.

Self-care is taking care of your own self, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually so that you are fully alive and able to truly fulfill all of your purposes and callings. 
I believe that self-care is for everyone.

Let me briefly run-through some examples and maybe you will be able to relate. Often times individuals get really busy in life through a number of scenarios  Unfortunately, we all only have 24 hours in a day.

  • Business owners and C.E.O.s work hard and work long hours to maximize their reputation  business and profits. 
  • Single parents work three jobs to provide for the family.
  • 40 and 50 year old parents who have their own children also take care of their older parents, sandwiched in two roles of care.
  •  School teachers with children of their own, once they wake up they turn on the teacher mode and even when they get home they have to be in mom/teacher mode.
  • Pastors who give and give and give might be neglecting their own care or their family’s care.
  • Doctors and nurses working in 12 or more hour shifts. 
  •   Let’s not forget our Heroes (Military men and women, E.M.T. workers, firemen and police men/women) who see trauma first-hand.
These are all examples of challenging scenarios, where self-care needs to be evaluated. But honestly self-care is for everyone. We all need to take time out of our busy schedules to take care of our own needs and care. We will not be as effective or healthy if we neglect our own care and health. We all have times in life when caring for our self is not our main priority, we have a balancing act between jobs, kids, spouses, institutions and those in our social network that need our attention and time. But what is one thing you are going to do to this week that is for you and your own well-being?

Live Happier, Less stressful, Live Balanced

Living a life of balance is extremely important for a life with less stress and more happiness. We have a tendency to get caught up in our worries and our routine that we forget to take care of our own self. Here are some simple ideas to “change up” your regular stressed out routine for something that will help you de-stress:

1. Make time for yourself and family, leave your work at the office.
Pull a Doctor Bob Kelso. Each day as soon as he stepped out of the hospital and took his first step onto the parking lot, his face shifted from stressed out disdain for his job to happy and smiling. He was off the clock and ready to relax at home with his wife.

It can be tempting to work on work stuff at home. It is easy to respond to another email or sort through your work stuff for a document. Instead, you will be happier to forget about all your work stuff. Think Bob Kelso, as he says, ” Who has two thumbs and doesn’t give a care…..Bob Kelso.” Dump your work stuff physically and emotionally and forget about it.

Get comfortable at home. Take a bath or a shower, if this helps relax you. Get into PJs or whatever clothes that you are most comfortable in.

2. Spend time cleaning and straightening up. Clutter is stressful. Calm your life by calming our house and canning the clutter. Keeping up with chores, sounds painfully odd, but if you slowly step-by-step clean up after your self and your home, it will be a more calming place to be. After you come in the door, give yourself time to unwind and have dinner, then tackle one chore. Get it out of the way so you can really relax when it’s done.

3. Enjoy one of your hobbies:
A. Have a drink.
B. Read a book.
C. Listen to music.
D. Get outdoors for some light exercise: jog, run, walk, hike, play with the kids or sports.
E. Call a friend
F.Play a game: cards, video games, apps on tablets/phones, crosswords, ect. What ever is stimulating and fun for you.
G. Laugh more. Watch a funny TV show, movie or comedy routine.Laughing 100 times a day is equal to doing a 10 minute rowing exercise!

4. If you don’t feel like cooking, don’t.

5. The old Bob Marley song, “Don’t worry, be happy” comes to mind here. Plan one night a week or every other week to do bills and errands this way you don’t have to worry and stress over finances every night. Relax the rest of the month, you will be happier.

6. Maybe the most important thing to do is to Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed earlier if you have to. You will want to make your bedroom as comfy as possible. If you need absolute dark to sleep well, invest in blackout shades for the windows. If you need total quiet, put in earplugs before trying to fall asleep. Set the heat or air conditioning to the perfect temp for restful sleep. Study after study continue to show the importance of sleep!

7. My expertise: try a relaxation method.
For some people, yoga is extremely peaceful activity. It combines a lot of other great techniques such as meditation, breathing and light exercise. read this blog to get more ideas for relaxation methods. Today I am going to offer a few:

A. Throw your negative thoughts into the trash (literally)
Write them onto a piece of paper and then throwing it away!

B. Use your imagination to imagine a world that is different, one where you are happier and relaxed.

C. Stop buying possessions, start buying experiences. Spend quality time with those that you love. These earthly possessions do not last anyway!

D. Give/Help People
Volunteer, pay for the person behind you at a store, cook a surprise meal for someone, or give someone a gift outside of Christmas or their birthday. Doing kind acts/helping people, helps you feel better.

E. Train your brain like a monk. Do yoga or some form of mind training. Spend time in meditation. Slow down and learn to relax your body. Meditate on Scriptures!

F. Focus. The age of multitasking is wearing thin on our minds. And science is showing that multitasking does not work as well as we first imagined it would. Did you know that being distracted makes you unhappy? There is a powerful direct connection between focus and happiness. It makes sense though, because to focus is to live in the present moment, which cuts out worry, guilt, and other past regrets or future concerns.

G. Accept life difficulties as a challenge for growth and gain instead of seeing it as an impossible negative situation. This was the focus of my last blog post.

H. Breathing technique: belly breathing.

I. Smile more. Actual practice smiling, real smiles that include your eye socket.

J. Be Thankful for what you have. Be grateful and appreciative to everyone that treats you kindly. Tell people how grateful you are and journal every night about all of your blessings and thank God for them!

References/Resources to check out:

6 Scientific Ways to Live Happier

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Be Happier, Backed by Science

17 ways to Relax

8 Easy Bodily Actions That Transform Mental Performance

anti-intellectualism in the church

In the book, Love Your God With All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland writes that the growing anti-intellectualism in the church has resulted in the marginalization of Christianity in society and the emergence of the most secular culture the world has ever seen. The real problem for us shows up when tough times hit and our house-of-cards belief system tumbles down because we’re used to “putting our hands together” but not our heads.

Some theories why this is happening:

Christians are reading less, in general. Busy doing life. More time on internet. More time pursuing selfish ambitions.

One of the main reasons. Christians are reading less Bible! Without the Bible, Christians are not loving God with all their mind. They are not able to be ready at any moment to give a defense in what they believe.

The average reading level in America and the church is general is going down.

What do you think?