Tag: Positive Relationships

Experience a Low-Stress Holiday Season

As you gear up for the holiday season, take a moment to think ahead about possible stressors. Explore and practice healthy management strategies. Positive strategies can help you find more enjoyment throughout the holiday season and limit the ways stress exhausts your health and wellness. Contact Nora Rhoades at 785-346-2521 or nrhoades@ksu.edu to discuss your experience and to explore healthy strategies that can work for you!

By:  Nora Rhoades

Love Maps

A “love map” is information you know about someone’s likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, joys and fears. Much like being sure you have an up-to-date road map, you need to be sure your love map also stays current.

“Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.” – Bill Watterson

This is a great activity for couples who are beginning their journey together or for those who have experienced a lot throughout their partnership. The activity also opens the door to great conversations with children and grandchildren of all ages. Discuss a question over family dinnertime. You can also have a “love map” conversation throughout a walk.

Answer the questions below about yourself. Then answer the same questions about your partner. Compare your answers. How well do you know each other? Did you learn anything new?

Life Experiences and Memories:

  • Who is your best friend?
  • What do you like most about yourself?
  • What relative did you feel closest to as a child?
  • What person has had the greatest impact on your life?
  • If you had a nickname as a child, what was it?
  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • What song reminds you of your relationship?
  • What is your favorite memory of an activity, event, or vacation you and your partner share?

Interests and Favorites:

  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • What is your favorite sport? Favorite team?
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  • What is your favorite television show? Favorite movie?

Preferences

  • Where do you like to go when you need to relax?
  • Are you a morning person or an evening person?
  • Do you prefer dinner out or dinner at home?
  • Do you prefer hugs, gifts, or when your partner says “I love you”?
  • How do you prefer to spend your free time?

Source: Elevate: Taking Your Relationship to the Next Level developed in collaboration between Auburn University and the University of Georgia.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Farm Stress

Ag producers’ stress management is the focus of two September workshops in Dodge City and Manhattan.

Stress levels continue to climb in agriculture: Several years of low commodity prices, slipping farmland values and potential trade disruptions take a toll not only on balance sheets but farmers’ well being.

To help farmers, family members and others manage stress, K-State Research and Extension is hosting two one-day workshops.

North Dakota State University extension specialist Sean Brotherson will present “Managing Stress and Pursuing Wellness in Times of Tight Margins” on Thursday, September 20, at the Western State Bank Expo Center, 11333 US-283, in Dodge City. Lunch will be provided.

The next day, Friday, September 21, Brotherson will present the workshop in Manhattan at Kansas Farm Bureau, 2627 KFB Plaza. Lunch will be provided.

“You don’t have to be a farmer to benefit from this workshop,” said Debra Bolton, K-State human ecology extension specialist based in Garden City. “All are welcome, including farm family members, businesses, and anyone who wants to learn about managing stress.”

Each workshop day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. The cost of the workshop is $20, which covers meals and materials.

To register online go to https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8H7DrdrHNhHWaNL. Contact Nora Rhoades at your local Post Rock District Office with questions.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Enough with the “Blame Game”

We have all dealt with a spouse, friend, child or co-worker who has a behavior or attitude that drives you crazy. Sometimes these behaviors and attitudes break policy or laws while other times they just bring negativity into the environment. Simply ignoring these annoyances is not the answer, especially if they reoccur on a regular basis. Addressing differences can be stressful, but not addressing them can result in unproductive work environments, strained relationships, and many bad moods.

How you address behaviors and attitudes that ‘push your buttons’ is very important in gaining the outcomes you desire. Blaming language brings out defense mechanisms, often steering the conversation away from the concern. Avoid using the word “you”. “You” statements accuse actions, ideas, and people to be in the wrong. Blaming language not only takes longer to reach a resolution, it rarely makes a relationship stronger through the process.

Instead, use “I” statements. “I” statements keep your responses focused on how the concern affects you. Meanwhile, the other party will feel invited to explain how they are affected by the concern. “I” statements seek to understand and respect both party’s opinions and experiences. These types of conversations may provide values clarification, likely pointing towards a compromise that will benefit everyone.

                         Communicate with “I” Statements

I feel: (label your feeling: betrayed, proud, anxious, vulnerable, etc…),
When: (give specific example)      _                                              .
Because: (briefly explain ‘why’)                                                    .
What I want/need is: (describe what would make you feel better)    .

By:  Nora Rhoades

Why Family Communication Is Important

We rarely think about our communication with loved ones. However, family communication is very important and determines our relationships with each other, setting the tone for family life. Family communication is not simple. It has many parts. Communication is more than what we say and do. Our messages depend on how we think the other person will react, so we communicate differently with individual members of the family. Each of us has several different communication patterns that develop over time. It depends on who is communicating.

K-State Research and Extension’s, Essential Living Skills: Basic Family Communication is a curriculum that guides participants toward improving everyday communication in their families. This educational program emphasizes skill-building and mindful communication techniques for improving family communication and interaction.

To access the curriculum, visit https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/S134E.pdf. For assistance, using the curriculum to improve your own family communication, and/or to explore ways you might be able to effectively use the curriculum as a teaching tool in a learning environment, contact Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent in the Post Rock District.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Family Fun & Learning!

Join the Post Rock Extension District at the Lebanon Community Library for Family Fun Night! Through playful learning activities, each child and adult will grow and learn together. Activities will be focused on young children ages 0-5 years; however, all children are welcome. Each child must be accompanied by a caring adult throughout the entire program. Questions? Contact the Lebanon Community Library at 785-389-5711. To learn more about this and other upcoming experiences, check out our website at http://www.postrock.k-state.edu/events/.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Stress Management

Everybody experiences both good and bad stress, and we need strategies to cope and manage it in our daily lives.

Nora Rhoades, Post Rock District Family and Youth Development Agent, is featured on Nex-Tech’s Extension Ed Talks discussing stress management. She provides insight about what stress is and how it influences us both positively and negatively. Nora shares practical strategies to improve your wellness through positive stress management. You can also learn about stress management through the K-State Research and Extension resource, Keys to Embracing Aging: Stress Management.

By:  Nora Rhoades