Using Humor to Resolve Conflict in Your Relationship

By Roz Jones

As caregivers sometimes conflicts can brew all day between you and the one you are providing care. There are times when as a caregiver the combatants are at a crisis point, and it feels like the entire office is holding their collective breath waiting to see what happens next. At this point, they’re ready for bloodshed, or at the very least, some very strong words. 

The last thing they expect is for one of the key players in the conflict to open their mouth and… make a joke?

Maybe it doesn’t feel like a resolution to the conflict, but actually, laughter goes far beyond being the clichéd ‘best medicine.’  How? First of all, laughter takes the tension out of the situation, which exactly is what’s needed to regain perspective, build stronger bonds, and yes, sometimes smooth over the differences. 

How then do you effectively use humor to resolve conflicts?

1. Make sure that both parties are ‘in on the joke.’ By keeping humor wholesome – not at the expense of the other person, you’re focusing on inviting them to laugh with you, rather than laughing at them. How can you tell if you’re doing it right? Humor is tricky, and so your best indicator of getting it right is to gauge the other person’s reactions. If they’re not laughing, chances are they don’t find it funny. Stop!

2. Check to make sure that you’re using humor as a defensive weapon rather than as a positive tool. If you’re using humor to mask emotions that you’d rather not deal with right now, then it’s time to put a flag on the play. Stop immediately and ask yourself what it is that you’re not dealing with and why. 

3. Work on that sense of humor. Every good comedian knows how to read their audience. The same goes for using humor with another person, especially in a situation that’s already a conflict. Watch the nonverbal cues. What language are you using? Keep the tone positive and light, and mean it. That means don’t use jokes as a means of cruelty. Lastly, consider what you might use as an inside joke. Inside jokes not only keep the situation light but create a deeper intimacy with whom you conflict.

4. Most importantly, be Playful! A little bit of silly fun is a good thing. Not sure how to tap into that kind of fun and crazy side? Explore humor in other ways so that you always have a repertoire to fall back on. Watch things you find funny on TV or in movies. Listen to jokes. Read the funnies. Find that side of you that likes to play and encourage it with creativity and fun. 

And no matter what, cut yourself some slack. It takes practice to be funny. Keep at it, and you’ll find your natural sense of humor, and be able to tap into it when you need to. That conflict won’t know what hit it!

Sleep is the Antidote for Stress

The Lack of Sleep can also elevate stress.

There’s no avoiding stress altogether, but there is relief available every night. Sleep is an antidote for stress and provides the restorative help you need to face each new day.

Stress affects our mind and body and it’s important to unplug and refresh regularly so you can manage stress better. 

There are many strategies that can help you manage stress so that it doesn’t interfere with sleep. Taking time to relax and wind down before bed is important to sleeping well and eliminating the stress of the day. A period of quiet time before bed allows you to step away from daily worries and set them aside before sleep. Try taking a warm shower or bath, getting a massage or doing some light stretching before bed. Certain scents or teas can even help you relax. 

These peaceful activities can release physical tension and encourage the onset of sleep. If you find yourself struggling with stress and worry during the night, the following bedtime rituals can help.

  • Decide. Try to sort out worries and concerns before bedtime. Choose a time during the day to deal with the stress you’re facing, and keep bedtime a worry-free zone. If you find yourself carrying stress to bed with you, keep a notepad on the bedside table where you can write down your concerns and set them aside before sleep.
  • Stay organized. Keeping a clean office, home, and car can help you relieve some of the stress of your day. Clutter can lead to unnecessary stress when you can’t find an important document or the car keys.
  • Learn to meditate. Meditation has been known to relieve stress and improve sleep.
  • Be grateful. Taking time every day to give thanks for things that are good and comforting to you can help ease stress. Create a practice of giving thanks before bed for the great things that happened during the day.
  • Try breathing exercises. Breathing techniques can help you relax. Slow your breathing and start to relax by inhaling to a count of four, holding your breath for a count of eight, and exhaling on another count of four.

Let’s face it, there’s always going to be stress in our lives. And a little stress never hurt anyone. Cortisol actually helps you find food and run away from unsafe situations. You just need to take the time to find out what daily stressors are affecting your sleep and how to handle it. By taking steps in your daily routine to make sure you get the proper amount of rest, you’re already well on your way to dealing with stress in a healthy way. With attention and practice, you can break the sleep-stress cycle, both to feel better and sleep better.


When It’s Time For A Change

No matter where you travel to, God is with you!

Sometimes, pursuing healing means doing something different. You might have to travel to a different country, be around a different environment, or see a doctor you’ve never met. It can be scary and stressful to do these things.

But we can rest in the fact that God is with us in these new places. Consider what He said to Joshua right before the man embarked on the biggest journey of his life…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

God is with you, no matter where you’re going or where your journey takes you today.


Women and Obesity

Mahlia working out and feeling good about herself and changes she is making.

As a woman, you know that your body is your temple, and you need to take good care of it. After all, this is the only body you will ever have. A part of having a healthy body is maintaining a healthy weight. If you need to lose some weight, this article is going to be very useful for you.

How to Know You Are Obese

Many women know when they are a little overweight, based on how their clothes fit or how they look in the mirror. However, in terms of obesity, it is a different level of being overweight. This is when you face certain negative side effects and potential complications as a result of your weight. Obesity is generally determined by your body mass index, or BMI. This is a measurement that is determined by your gender and height, as compared to your weight. There are plenty of calculators and tables online to help you figure out what your BMI is. For women, if your BMI is 25-29, you are overweight. You are in the obesity category if it is above 30.

Common Risks of Obesity

While it might seem obvious why you are obese, this is not true for everyone. Some women exercise regularly and follow a relatively healthy diet, having no idea why they keep gaining weight, or why it is difficult for them to lose weight. Your diet can definitely play a factor in your weight, even if you think you have a healthy diet. You may be taking in too many calories, a high amount of fat, or too many carbs. Lack of proper exercise to burn fat is another issue. There are also genetics that play a role, along with medications and certain medical conditions, like thyroid diseases and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). You might want to see your doctor before you try to lose weight to figure out how you gained it in the first place.

Tips for Overcoming Obesity

If you are in the obese category according to your BMI, now is the time to start losing weight. You can make small changes at first until you get into the groove of weight loss. You really want to develop a new healthy lifestyle, not just try to lose weight for the sake of it. Follow a healthy diet, track everything you eat, drink plenty of water, and exercise 3-5 days a week to start with.


Today I Choose Joy

Choosing Joy is a choice!

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul gives these instructions to believers everywhere: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

It’s HARD to rejoice when you’re struggling with a chronic illness. It’s frustrating to watch as your body betrays you, as doctors scratch their heads, and as all your prayers for healing seem to go unanswered.

But Paul’s instructions are clear—God’s children are to rejoice in every circumstance. Keep in mind these words weren’t written by someone living an easy life.

They were written by Paul, who was imprisoned, blinded, beaten, persecuted, and deserted by his friends. He knew suffering and he knew it was possible to still choose joy.

Can I pray for you today, friend?

God, help my friend choose joy today. Let them look for reasons to rejoice and give thanks, no matter what they’re facing. Help them to pray always, leaning deep into your sweet Presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


What You Should Know About Menopause

Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

As women age, they go through various life phases, including teen years, the childbearing years, and then menopause. During menopause, you can no longer get pregnant and will not have your menstrual period for an extended period of time. Here is more information about what it is like to go through menopause.

Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause can often sneak up on you, where you don’t realize what is happening until you see your doctor about odd physical or mental symptoms. Some women do get perimenopause first, where you experience some menopause symptoms prior to actually having menopause. This is actually a good thing because you have this for about a year before menopause, giving you plenty of time to adjust to the changes in your body.

When menopause arrives, you may have any combination of symptoms. Some women have severe hot flashes, while other women don’t have them at all. Aside from the hot flashes, you will have no more period and your PMS symptoms should be much different than they were before. You might have a little weight gain, especially around your midsection. You may also have vaginal dryness as a result of the decreased hormone levels in your body. While you can no longer get pregnant naturally, you may still be able to carry a baby through in-vitro fertilization.

When You Will Go Through it

You can go through menopause at different ages, but the majority of women will have it occur between 45 and 55. Some women have it much younger, starting with perimenopause first. Other women luck out and last until 60 or older before going through menopause. The average age for experiencing early stages of menopause is about 51 years of age. It takes a while for your body to adjust fully to menopause, but seeing a doctor early on can make it a lot more comfortable for you.

Potential Complications

While menopause is completely normal and something most women will go through, it does have some mild complications. First of all, with the vaginal dryness and changes in your mood and physical health, you might experience a steep decline in your sexual interest. This often goes away once you get used to the changes your body is going through. You are also at a risk for medical conditions like osteoporosis when you go through menopause.