Clergy Assistance Program Blog
For many, the holidays are a time to share in the joy of family traditions and create new special memories. But for some, these expectations can make holidays stressful, especially for those that feel disconnected from family or friends, those that feel alone, or those that may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Regardless of your situation, some degree of stress and tension around the holidays should be expected. Consider some of these suggestions to help prepare you for this busy time of year and make the holidays a special time in your own way.
There is no way to completely avoid crossing paths with irritating or frustrating people. Your best strategy is to learn how to deal with them without losing your cool. Follow the tips below so you can gain the necessary skills to handle difficult personality types.
Don't despair if the same frustrating problems shackle you at work time and time again. Perhaps you're bored with your job or concerned because the competition is passing your company by. Be aware that you can solve these problems with creativity. Whether you realize it, you already have creative ability. "Ninety-eight percent of people are creative, but our socialization process causes them to put it on the back burner. The fastest way to tap into your creativity is to learn how to use creative problem-solving techniques," says James M. Higgins, author of "101 Creative Problem-Solving Techniques."
"It's easier to balance a simpler life," says Odette Pollar. "For a life worth living, eliminate the unimportant, whether it be relationships, tasks, responsibilities, possessions or beliefs."
Because these T cells are a major weapon in the body's defense against illness, the "laughter stimulus" they receive may be a crucial factor in staving off the next flu virus that comes your way. But the mystery of exactly how laughter strengthens the immune system continues to puzzle researchers. Is it simply that the physical exercise of laughing helps to "condition" the disease-fighting system, in the same way that exercise "conditions" an athlete? Or is there also a mysterious psychological component at work?
The end of one year and the transition into the next offers time for reflection as well as hope for what the future holds. However, the holiday season, traveling, projects, and other demands for your time may seem overwhelming. The good news is that something as easy as being mindful can help you trudge your way through.
Our behavior is driven by our belief system. If we believe we MUST be loved and accepted by others and it is unacceptable to NOT be loved and accepted our beliefs will motivate us to bend over backwards in order to avoid rejection. To change our behavior we must change our negative pattern of thinking.
Unfortunately, churches are not immune from the painful, uncomfortable, and difficult situations of life. In fact, sometimes it feels like the church attracts people who are difficult on many different levels. Often, those people end up in your office. Handling difficult people begins with having healthy personal boundaries. When dealing with difficult people, remember that it is always appropriate to refer them to a licensed professional counselor. It is not a failure on your part to refer them elsewhere. In fact, it is often the best mode of treatment for them.
Healthy relationships are essential both within the church with your fellow clergy, as well as outside of those doors with your close friends and family. Many of us may feel we already possess the qualities needed to maintain our existing relationships.
Gratitude can be powerful and life-changing. Research has shown that it leads to feelings of optimism and enthusiasm. Forgiveness also plays a role when it comes to gratitude. When you learn to forgive, your levels of depression, anger and stress will decrease. The beauty of gratitude is in its simplicity. What will you do today to show your gratitude?
Perhaps you may be fearful because of future uncertainty? Maybe you feel powerless and frustrated with the pending change? This is normal. Find resources to help answer questions you may have. Embracing a new opportunity rather than rejecting it will ease doubt. You can make future changes a positive rather than a negative by simply having a positive outlook.