LIFE & STYLE

You Need To Have Quality Of Life In These 12 Areas

By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson and Ted Hagen
Tribune News Service.

Do you feel powerful in certain ways, but weak in others? For example, maybe you manage money well, but you keep failing at relationships. Or you might have a great circle of friends, but your bank account is always a mess.

You want a harmonious life that works on all fronts, but you keep missing the mark.

That’s because all of us need control in 12 major areas. You can find these areas on the website: www.usawellnesscafe.com.

Working on issues such as managing time, money and relationships can be enjoyable. Why? Because it’s empowering to figure out exactly what you do have control over.

“I’m somewhat of a control freak,” says a banker we’ll call James. “Yes, my condo is neat as a pin and my personal bank account and investment portfolio are both in good shape. But when my mother died, I had no one to call. I’d neglected to create a network of supportive, personal friends. No bank account in the world can make up for that!”

Imagine for a moment that you are feeling good about these six areas of your life: networking with supportive people, managing your time at home and at work, parenting your children, building relationships in general, sustaining a good marriage and improving yourself in all kinds of ways.

You’d be feeling your life was on track, if you were doing okay in these six areas of your life. Now, imagine that you were also helping your co-workers, friends, family members, and your children learn skills in these six areas. You would be affecting your world significantly.
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“As a single mother of three teenagers, I had to network like crazy when my husband died,” says a friend of ours we’ll call Maria. “There were huge gaps in what I could do, considering my three teenagers are macho males who play football and love all contact sports. I’m a petite little piano teacher who loves ballet. My friends’ husbands took my boys under their guidance, and it made a huge difference in our surviving as a family unit.”

The final six areas of life we all need to pay attention to are: having work/life balance, physical fitness, managing job stress, getting on top of money issues, doing some career planning and getting organized.

If managing a total of 12 areas seems like a lot of work, keep in mind that your stress levels go down when your control tactics go up. The payoffs will begin immediately. You’ll learn to enjoy the process of finding control in these areas.

“Take control of as many areas of life as you can,” says a psychologist we’ll call Karen. “I work with clients on the verge of giving up, because they feel overwhelmed by their problems.”

Karen encourages her clients to write down their three biggest problems. She asks that they keep a personal notebook for taking control of their issues.

“Once a client learns how much impact a small change makes, this individual gets very excited,” says Karen.

“For instance,” she says, “one of my clients found that getting up just 15 minutes early to sit down and enjoy her coffee helped her day go better. Another client sold his gas-guzzling car and is saving $1,200 per year. My favorite story is a client who vowed to brag on his wife every day in front of the kids. This stopped the quarreling that was pushing this couple toward a divorce.”
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(Judi Light Hopson is the Executive Director of the stress management website USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.com . Emma Hopson is an author and a nurse educator. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.)

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