Category Archives: Emotional Wellness

Your Pre-Lenten Wellness Retreat!

Reading time: two minutes.

Ash Wednesday is just two weeks away.  This is a good time to “get your own oxygen mask on before you take care of others.”

We’re heading into one of the busiest seasons of the church year, a time of extra hours, extra responsibilities and extra anxiety.  It’s a season we love, because of the extra opportunities to share the message of the Savior’s perfect love, His sacrificial death and resurrection.

Which is a good reason for us to be at our best.  This week and next I’ll focus on some of the preventive wellness practices that can help you to survive and thrive in this upcoming holy season! Continue reading

The Incarnation: An Emotional Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

This might be an ideal topic for the beginning of a new year.

I could look back over my many years and mark the best years and the worst years.  My rating scale wouldn’t be according to how much money I made.  My income has been pretty steady.  I’ve traveled to some wonderful places, but fun adventures only constitute a small portion of a year.  Same thing with Cardinal World Series years.  Fun, but it doesn’t make or break a whole twelve months.

It’s easy to identify the most difficult years from my past based on the state of relationships that were just not right.  One measure of emotional wellbeing is the level of the love and care, or the lack of it, in a person’s life.  It can upset your emotional life for months on end.

The Incarnation of Jesus is the key to good, healthy, loving, caring, grace-filled relationships. Continue reading

More Lessons from a Distance Runner!

Reading time: two minutes.

If you hike the length of the Appalachian Trail in record time, you learn some lessons about taking care of yourself.  Karl Meltzer shared some thoughts about his 46 day journey, and I thought they were pretty helpful.  I’ll cover three more today, and include our list so far at the end of the post.

We start today with Choose to be positive.  Fortunately for us children of the Lord, this is so much more than happy thoughts!

It’s the difference between Elijah and Silas. Continue reading

“You Might Be in Trouble If…” Emotional Edition!

Reading time: two minutes.

How about a quick scan of the emotional state of our relationships?

We’re so thankful for the meteorologists who, by assessing the state of the atmosphere, helped many, many people avoid an even worse disaster in Texas and in Florida.  Relationships have an atmosphere too.

Have you ever walked into a home and within a few minutes noticed, “Something is wrong here”?  It’s hard to hide tension and conflict between people.

Three warning signs of conflict in a relationship could include 1) a change of mood when someone you don’t really want to see walks in the room, 2) thinking about a bad relationship the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning, and 3) a desire to see someone else suffer.  Let’s take a look. Continue reading

Hurricane Recovery Edition: Self-Care Isn’t Self-ish!

Reading time: two minutes.

Our hearts and our prayers are with all in the Hurricane Harvey recovery zone.  They are far too busy to be reading this, but it’s an opportunity for all in the caring professions to reflect upon the need for self care in times of trauma.

Pastors and congregations in disaster areas are called upon to serve every kind of human need: spiritual, emotional and physical.  When the needs are so great, it’s easy to become exhausted ourselves and thereby become unable to serve as we’d like.

The Lutheran Wellness Wheel considers all of these needs.  Let’s review the basics of self-care in times of crisis. Continue reading

Emotional Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Rid!

Reading time: two minutes.

What a great little word: Rid!  “Disencumber” is maybe more poetic, but I like the forcefulness of rid.  If it’s got to go, it’s got to go, so get rid of it.

I’m referring of course to Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (4:31).

None of that can help a church.  Emotional wellbeing is about a clear, fresh, welcoming, joyful atmosphere among the people of God.

How well are we doing at rid? Continue reading

Calm Waters Bless Everyone!

Reading time: two minutes.

The best water analogy I can think of for Emotional Wellbeing comes from Psalm 23: “He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.”  Emotional wellbeing is about managing the turbulence that surrounds us so that it doesn’t penetrate the inner life.  Quiet waters in the soul are good for everyone.

Today I want to suggest what I’ve found to be the greatest cause of my own internal anxieties when it comes to managing conflict. Continue reading