His & Hers Survival Kit: how to bug-out when you’re feeling stressed

His and Hers Stress Survival KitThe other day I was sitting at the table recounting all the current and upcoming events that were making me frazzled. Upon hearing my complaints, my husband grabbed a piece of paper and pen and began to write. After a minute of silence, my curiosity got the best of me.

“What are you doing?”

He slid the paper across the counter and grinned. I glanced down and laughed as my eyes caught hold of the first line: Eat a donut.

In a matter of seconds, my action-oriented husband had created a little go-to list for when I’m feeling blue.

Brilliant.

Wouldn’t it be grand if we had a bug-out-bag full of ideas on how to get out of dodge when our days go south?  Continue reading

4 Ways to Hijack Your Stress Response

4 ways to hijack your stress responseOur current season of life can be summed up in one word. Stressful. We barely meet ourselves coming and going. Come to think of it, this season has been on repeat a lot lately. As in the past four years.

When words like “exhaustion” and “burnout” become part of your normal vocabulary, there’s a problem. “When we are overwhelmed with excessive stress, our life becomes a series of short-term emergencies.” We live from one crisis to the next. We lose our ability to be present and enjoy the moment. Go at full speed for too long and the crazy train is sure to derail.

The good news? You don’t have to live this way.

Stress is a choice. It’s optional.

Sound crazy? I thought so too. Until I did a little research and was shocked by what I discovered. Continue reading

3 Secrets to Finding Meaning in the Mundane

find meaning in the mundaneI’ve been a little frazzled these last 2 weeks. The culprit? Those perpetual little tasks I finally check off the to-do list only to find them on my list again…an hour later. You know the ones. Dishes. Laundry. Incessant cleaning. Why are there still clothes on the floor??

And what is that monstrosity of clutter doing on my counter again? For the love of all things organized, can the mailman please stop drowning me in a mountain of papers to sort?! Can things just stay frozen in time (preferably after I’ve deep cleaned) so a girl can get some peace around here?? The futility of the mundane is about to make me go crazy.

At times I wonder, Am I just wasting my life? Continue reading

12 Must-Reads that will Change Your Life

12 must reads that will change your lifeI’ve been told that if you’re a writer, you should write. And when you can’t write, read.

My four-year old nephew devours books. He asks us to read the same one countless times until he memorizes it and can “read” the book himself. A chip off the ol’ Aunt block. As a kid, I would press my nose into books. Wild with imagination, I traveled to other worlds from the comfort of my own home.

But somehow our love for reading dwindles in adulthood. Those well worn pages start collecting dust on the shelf. We go to college. We get a job. We start a family. We get busy. And tired. At the end of an exhausting day the last thing we want to do is read something. So we browse Facebook or flip on the TV. But honestly, when has TV (or Facebook) ever changed my life? Continue reading

1 Unique Way to Uncover Your Purpose in Life

one unique way to discover your purpose in lifeYesterday I sat by my fireplace wrapped in three blankets. And a bathrobe. Drinking coffee. And it was 50 degrees outside. Yeah, I’m cool like that.

All snuggled and warm, my mind drifted to memories of last year. My first winter on autoimmune meds completely changed the way I functioned. The cold weather suddenly presented an entirely new problem for me: sick season. I was scared straight with the never ending list of risks and side effects, creating a bout of anxiety for my compromised immune system.

So every year when the weather begins to chill, I give a half-hearted wave to the world and tuck myself in for a long winter nap. I spent the majority of last winter in self-induced hibernation, away from the public, reluctantly canceling plans with friends who had a sniffle. I felt like I had to screen guests with a “symptom questionnaire” before they were even allowed to enter my home.

That first winter was a very lonely season. But it was also a surprising season of transformation. Continue reading

Forgiving Often: 6 things you need to know

6 things you need to know on how to forgive oftenForgiveness is that fuel that keeps your marriage (or any relationship) going. If you don’t forgive, your marriage will tank. It’s as simple as that.

But how do you do it? What does it look like? Why is it so important? If you missed the first half of this post, click here to find out what forgiveness is not.

Correcting our understanding of what forgiveness is not paves the way for what forgiveness isContinue reading

4 Things Forgiveness is Not

how to forgive often in your marriageLove requires risk. If you’re in a relationship, you will get hurt. And when you get hurt, you must learn to forgive. But how do you do it? What does it look like? Why is it so important?

Well, I’m glad you asked. I had way too much to say on this topic so I divided it into two posts for your reading sanity. There are a lot of wrong ideas floating around on what it means to forgive. My hope is to help you understand what it is and what it is not so that forgiveness will become a powerful discipline in your life. In fact, your health and the health of your relationships depend on it.

So first, let’s take a look at what forgiveness is notContinue reading

7 Ways to Correctly Apologize in Your Marriage

How to apologize correctlyMost of the apologies that come out of our mouth are bad ones. If you ever stop to listen, our go-to apologies sound something like this:

“I’m sorry, ok?” so get off my back.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were so sensitive” this is your issue.

“I’m sorry if you were offended” because I didn’t really do anything.

“I understand that mistakes were made” but they sure weren’t mine.

“I’m sorry but you…” my behavior is your fault. 

Guilty as charged. How about you? Making mistakes is just part of being human. But when you are confronted, what kind of message are you sending? Are you apologizing completely? Or is your sorry just a quick attempt to escape the conflict altogether?

A bad apology can create just as much conflict and hurt as the original offense. If you don’t do it effectively, your apology can lose its value over time. Don’t let your words become meaningless. Get good at the “I’m sorrys” and stay fit in your marriage! Continue reading