Our world has COMPLETELY changed – in a matter of months, from something so incredibly microscopic! We didn’t see COVID-19 coming, and it snuck in like a thief in the night – unexpectedly! Now, the world’s stopped – and it’s very uncomfortable.
How does the world cope with such a sudden, drastic, life-changing event?
Well, some have chosen to cope by panicking and stocking up on mounds of toilet paper (toilet paper?!), others deal by pretending nothing is happening, others downplay it, and others cope by taking it one day at a time – with faith in God and His control.
While there are many different ways to manage this change emotionally, the best way we should be coping is to find a balance between panic and taking it one day at a time, trusting God. This balance requires us to be aware, prepared, and to take safety precautions very seriously! How WE cope, could save those who are at high risk for COVID-19. Panicking and not listening to warnings of social distancing is not going to keep them safe!
Our world has entered a new “normal,,” and we can look at this new normal as only a negative thing, or we can choose to look at it as a lesson and opportunity for our world, ourselves, and our relationships with each other and God. Why not make a positive out of a negative/lemonade out of sour lemons?
Below are 4 blessings we can see in this new normal:
Closer to God
The most important blessing that we the world should choose to see in all of this new change is our relationship with God! This virus has made all of us stand at attention and realize we are literally powerless to fix it! Some of us believe that the world and science can heal this, but those of us who know God know who is really in control and who can fix it – if He chooses to!
God knew this was going to happen before we ever did, and that’s such an incredible comfort! Those who already know God see His astonishing power in all of this! They understand how God is using His communion of saints to come closer together in a way like never before! We may not be able to be in a physical church building for our Sunday worship, but we can feel the closeness of communion virtually – and that is certainly better than nothing!
This sad, terrifying situation has brought many people closer to God – praying for Him to heal this sick world, to heal loved ones, to bless them with comfort and peace, and to just be there for them.
Ever More Reminded of Easter and Christ’s Resurrection
We’ve also been made more aware of just how weak and fragile we are. Because of Christ and His death on the cross, we are saved from our sins, and cherished! We see His promises more and that He cares for us and loves us. He doesn’t promise to answer our prayers the way we expect or need, but He does promise to be there for us and is always the same! God never changes, even when our world has!
More Intentional Time Spent with Loved Ones
Since the world has changed so incredibly much recently, many families and loved ones have been spending more time with each other! Why? Because they have literally nothing else to do! This tragic event of COVID-19, while it is very terrible, bodes a blessing in the chance to spend more time with those that we love – intentionally.
It amazes me how creative people have become when push comes to shove in our world – when it comes to trying new things with their families and loved ones to help them bide the time in isolation or lockdown. When the world was the way it was before, families and loved ones were always busy, scurrying around for the next “high” or happy fix, busting their mind and bodies at work, wasting their time and wishing they had more time.
Now that we have been forced to pause and be home with our loved ones, many of us have become grateful for this incredible and rare opportunity and are enjoying it immensely! A lot of the world has found their new “high,” focus, and commitment in what truly matters – spending time with loved ones, intentionally! Truly a blessing!
The “new normal” has many people looking to renew their relationships with people they put aside before all of this occurred. Such a traumatic and uncertain event brings many people to an awareness of how short life is – and this swiftly encourages people to try to mend broken relationships. What an incredible blessing and lesson in forgiveness that has been for others!
Easter and Resurrection Encourage Renewal and Rebirth
This Easter, we are again reminded of how Christ died for us, His children – how He sacrificed Himself because He loves us! This Good Friday, we are also told of Jesus’ resurrection so that WE could be reborn!
How much more should we strive to do the same? To sacrifice our bitterness and anger towards loved ones and try to renew our relationships with them?
We are commanded to forgive those who fix their ways, and when the world comes crashing down, we are ever more humbled to do this and to move forward in life, in peace and love, forgiving the past. Forgiveness is a process and doesn’t happen overnight, but with a spirit of forgiveness, we can accomplish this! Also, while some relationships may not be repairable, we should still always try to forgive – as Christ does!
Have you noticed that ever since the world stood still, that we all have fewer appointments, fewer chances to travel for work, and less stress to be everyone and do all the things? While this world has been dramatically and negatively affected by COVID-19, there is another blessing to be felt in this – a blessing of stillness and peace.
We don’t have a lot of the same obligations and commitments we had before this new normal hit our world – no soccer practices, no dentist appointments, no traveling for work, no rush to get kids on the bus, and so much more!
In fact, this is a time for the world to enjoy the break its been given!
So, enjoy this time of not needing to do it all! You have no other choice, so why not choose to see it as a blessing?
Take this opportunity to read more, to dance until your heart is content, to write that book you keep saying you’re going to publish someday! Take this quiet time to listen to music or your favorite podcast more, to play board games with family and loved ones (this can also be done virtually!), to try your hand at painting, to sort through all of your photos and put them in frames for your home, to learn some yoga – and so much more!
Studies have shown that when you take more time to do the things you love to do (not have to do!), you can become happier!
Enjoy this stillness and plethora of new opportunities because you don’t know how long this “new normal” will last. And please, let’s be careful to never take it for granted!
Use this New Normal to Grow and Transform Your Life
You can choose to worry about the future, you can choose to worship fear and not trust God, you can choose to miss being busy and more – but why would you when you can CHOOSE to see the blessings in the storm we’re going through?!
Use this new normal, even though it’s so uncomfortable and terrifying, to grow and transform your life to be a better child of God, daughter, mother, son, father, grandparent, leader, and more! The opportunity is NOW – allow it to CHANGE you for the better!
Share in the comments below: What is ONE blessing that you have seen in this world’s new normal?
So many women have changed this world for the better, and it’s with a grand celebration that we commemorate International Women’s Day this March 8th!
These women are warriors who have fought a long, hard battle to be able to speak up for themselves and others and to position themselves as experts and equals in this world. The Equality Rights Movement allowed somany doors to open for women, and we’re so thankful they did!
It’s so important to be reminded of what women in history have accomplished and how, because of them and more, it enables all of us more in this world! The way I see it, an equal world, means an enabled world.
Below are three women who have empowered others, left their mark in this world, and who have made a significant impact on the lives of others.
Women Help Show the World Compassion and Make a Difference
When women were granted the ability and permission to be equal in the world, many women took this opportunity to show incredible compassion and kindness to other people!
One very honorable mention that has demonstratedinsurmountable kindness for this world is the woman commonly called a saint – Mother Teresa. At the very early age of 12 years old, she committed her life to serve the Lord through her services in helping the poor, sick, especially children, outcast, abandoned, refugees, formerly prostituted, diseased, lepers, people with AIDS, the elderly and so many more!
She ran soup kitchens and programs where she taught children from off the street and helped the community in any way she could! All of these services were at no charge!
In servicing others, she spread the beautiful Word of God and furthered His kingdom as her life’s purpose.
She did ALL of this without discriminating against a single person! She trusted God fiercely and in His plan for her life, despite the many struggles she encountered while caring for the sick and needy.
Because of compassion, outcasts, and different people were given a chance to be included and loved!
When we think of royalty, we often think of crowns and high stature. The late Princess Diana certainly fit this profile; she, however, defined the word royalty in a completely different manner.
Aside from being one of the first royals to break protocol as well as speak her mind passionately, unlike other royals, she helped many people that others would turn a blind eye to or treat differently in more than 100different causes.
Princess Diana used her power and high position to help several sick and hungry people, including children. She banned landmines to prevent deaths and injury to innocent people, and she raised awareness about mental health.
More than that, though, she was an incredible advocate for those who suffered things that no one else talked about or that people treated differently.
For example, she stood up for those who had leprosy and HIV/AIDS when no one else would! She would make a stand by sitting on their beds against other people’s comments and warnings – she even shook leper’s hands and touched their sores. She went to battle for those who couldn’t fight for themselves, personally visiting many patients and treating them like REAL people when others wouldn’t.
Her boldness changed so many things! She was a benevolent icon and one that the world will never forget!
Furthermore, equality for women changed so much in history, including movements that changed the world!
The African Americans suffered so much discrimination years ago, and when Rosa Parks took a stand for them and herself, she changed the world!
Rosa was an African American civil rights activist who didn’t typically break the rules, until one day when she did…
She sparked the life-changing movement, The Montgomery Bus Boycott, which in turn led to approved racial segregation laws. This all started in 1955 when, on a city bus, Rosa was commanded to move from her seat and let a white passenger sit there instead, as was the law back then. She stood her ground and resisted the command and didn’t budge – which even led to her arrest.
She broke the law for hercommunity, and her bravery got E.D. Nixon’s attention, a longtime civil rights leader, who posted her bail. The next day, Rosa, along with Martin Luther King Jr and E.D. Nixon, purposely sat in white people’s seats on a bus – in the front! This action encouraged the African American community to follow suit in taking a stand against the white population.
Knowing that the bus system relied heavily on black passengers for their business, Martin Luther King Jr. asked every African American to stop taking the bus and any other means of transportation. This happened at the same time as the trial for Rosa, and many African American commuters refused public transportation in protest to her trial.
Rosa’s actions caused the Bus Boycott, which lasted 381 days, despite many atrocious actions and events that resulted from it. In June 1956, all the efforts, sweat, blood, and tears resulted in victory when the district court approved racial segregation laws!
While a lot of the African American community unfortunately suffered and even were killed for this movement, the Montgomery Bus Boycott movement launched as one of the most prominent and most prevalent mass movements that African Americans ever faced in history! All because of the brave Rosa Parks, who decided to take a stand and change history!
When equality for women became legal, women were able to show the world that disabilities were, in fact, ABILITIES.
Another woman who impacted history significantly is the former First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. She believed in supporting people who lived with intellectual disABILITIES and advocating for women with Alzheimer’s.
Advocating for so many different people who lived with such disABILITIES, she continued her mother’s work by becoming a co-founder of the International Board of Special Olympics. She changed how the world saw those with disABILITIES!
The Special Olympics allows people with different disABILITIES to receive training, participate in sports, and activities that were part of the Olympic competitions.
In addition to this, Maria has hired a lot of people who have intellectual disABILITIES with her First Lady privileges, allowing disabled people to be able to do their part in the world and make a difference as well!
She also supports people who live with intellectual disABILITIES by raising millions for them with her bike ride program, Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle.
Maria also has a passion for helping women who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She founded The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement – a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness regarding women’s considerable risk for Alzheimer’s, and she educates the world on lifestyle changes that were necessary to really protect the health of the brain.
She continues to raise awareness by holding campaigns and events every year in which she raises millions of dollars, which are donated to research for women’s Alzheimers. She wants the world to really understand the horrible disease, how to prevent it, possibly cure it, and how to support those who live with it.
Maria’s passion is to give special people the ability to feel truly special and included – both physical and intellectual – and in doing so, she changed so much for those who suffer or live with disABILITIES.
In my new anthology, Dust to Salvation, and my children’s book, Anthony’s Way, I AM ME!, I share more about my own story and experience with a child with special needs and how it has impacted my life.
So many different women have changed the world and impacted it significantly! It is truly amazing how much of an effect women have had on this world and continue to do so.
Consider Greta Thunberg, whose passion for saving the planet led to her bravely speaking out assertively with confidence about what is killing the Earth and what to do about it – all at the early age of 17.
Another important modern woman to consider who is continues to change the world is Oprah Winfrey. She has helped many people with selfless gifts and gave them hope with the actions she did in her heart-warming show. People admire and feel uplifted by Oprah.
She changed America by courageously and vulnerably sharing her story of being molested as a child, which then encouraged and prompted other women to do the same – which helped free them emotionally. She was there for others in a way like no other talk show host ever has!
And that’s just a handful of incredible women who have made history and continue to make a difference in the world!
You see, God has chosen to work with many different women in this world, and in doing so, the world has been shown hope, love, inclusion, and so much more!
God created us all equally and unique in our own way. He has shown the world that women have a lotto offer to be the change that needed to happen in the world! He allowed them to be the change the world never expected!
The change isn’t over – women have more to give to the world in ways that we haven’t even considered yet!
Share in the comments below: Who is ONE woman you admire because of how they changed the world and why?
Do you ever feel like as a Mom you have to do everything in your home? Do you feel like you’re a one-person team and need to take it all on?
Most of us Mom’s feel a strong desire to be Wonder Woman, and because of that, we take every single thing on by ourselves! We do this without asking for help, and then find ourselves overwhelmed, drained, and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day – only to start it ALL over again tomorrow!
Are you one of those Moms?
It’s okay to Ask for and Accept help!
When we live our lives and take care of our families with a, “I can do everything” complex, that’s what we end up doing – everything, and before we know it, we’re struggling to breathe because of all of the endless tasks that we have piled on ourselves!
Are we showcasing we’re the best Mom or partner to our loved ones if we end up losing ourselves and our priorities in the process? Are our kids and significant others enjoying how stressed and frazzled we are or do they want something more out of you that you’re not giving them? In any case, I know most of us don’t want to live like this, and we want to change how much we take on and to lower our stress levels that surround our daily lives working as a Mom and wife/partner.
With all of this in mind, our first step in changing our mindset is to believe and accept it’s okay to ask for help!
That’s right; I used the “H” word – help! I know as Supermom’s and wives/partners that we turn the other way when we hear the word “help” because we feel that if we were to ask for or accept the help that we’d be considered weak – but the opposite is true! Asking for help and taking it can lead to less stress! Ask your husband/significant other or your older children to pitch in more!
Below are five ways for Mom’s to alleviate anxiety naturally so they can be the best woman and Mom in their home:
Cut Your To-Do List in Half
One positive step to being the best Mom and wife you can be, without losing your mind and momentum is to look at your to-do list for your week and your day and cut it in half! Put a star behind the tasks that have to get done to help your family live and stay happy, such as washing dishes, doing laundry, or driving your kids to their soccer practice. These are all needed tasks because your family needs to eat, they need clothing to wear and to have a social life.
However, dusting the living room or cleaning the stove every day or every week isn’t a necessity. Sure it makes things look better in your home and makes you feel like you got a lot done, but to be honest, they can wait for another time. Trust me; your family will survive if they have to look at a greasy stove or dust in the home now and then. With these lower priority tasks put aside for another time, you allow yourself to have more time to spend with your children and husband/partner as well as taking care of yourself!
When you take the time to look at your tasks, you may even realize that you are doing chores or errands that you don’t need to do!
Choose a Certain Number of Tasks to Do
As a Mom and woman wearing many hats, the tasks we need to do pile up significantly, and not only does this cause us to delay completing a task we assigned ourselves but can also cause us not to do our best -which could lead to feelings of not feeling well or productive enough. We need to avoid this, and one way to make completing tasks easier on ourselves is to choose up to 10 tasks to do in a week – instead of the 30 jobs we put on ourselves!
Again, you’ll need to decide what are high priority tasks and which ones can wait when doing this. Look at your week in advance, every week, and determine what chores or errands need to get done in the week. Write them down in your calendar, notebook, or elsewhere and then make sure you commit to it! You’d be surprised how choosing which tasks you do instead of doing everything without a plan can help you have a productive week without making you exhausted!
BONUS – Choose How Many Tasks to Do Per Day Too!
A better way to make all of your tasks easier on you is to also choose up to 5 of them to do per day, from the selected weekly tasks. Breaking things down more, allows you to determine what needs to get done and what can honestly wait.
Set a Timer to Complete Low Priority Tasks
Since we still will need to tackle the low priority tasks, we need to figure a way to do so without exhausting us physically and emotionally. One way to accomplish these small tasks easier is to set a 10 – 30-minute timer every day for one specific task.
Setting a timer per task can result in you feeling like you did something productive and being okay with the fact that you don’t need to take all day on your tasks. It’s hard for us, Mom’s, to not clean or do something we think is perfect, but the more productive we feel, the easier that need will diminish. Yes, it can take time, but practice makes progress. Remember – we’re not aiming for perfection anymore!
In addition to asking your family to help you out in your day to day tasks, consider hiring help! You take on SO much already, and it’s completely draining you – to the point where you likely feel you desperately need a vacation!
Hiring a cleaning company, like Maid For You, can do wonders for your emotional health and can help rejuvenate you for when you’re more able to take on your daily tasks again! All of us need a break in life, but asking for help is something most of us refuse to do, but again, let me remind you, asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather that of strength! Admitting you need help to alleviate your anxiety shows that you know what’s best for you and your family and that how you’re carrying on in life is not working.
Imagine how you’d feel if you hired someone, like Maid For You, to come into your home to do ALL of the laundry for the week – washed, dried, folded, and put away? I can hear your sigh of relief already – and why not?
You already do SO much for your family in the insurmountable tasks and chores you have to do every day – a break like this would only feel heavenly! Consider hiring the same company to do some light cleaning for you as well – things that need to get done every week! Take a week off of home cleaning – with everything you already do; you deserve a break and help!
Ask for Help as a Gift from Your Significant Other
With Valentine’s day around the corner, why not tell your significant other that the only gift you want from them is to consistently help you around the house, or to pay for a home cleaning service for yourself to indulge? A Year Of Free Time is the perfect gift, 1 year worth of cleaning service, ($3900 value biweekly cleaning at $150.00 or ) a gift certificate to Hand and Stone ($100.00 value) bath salts and a natural candle $50.00 value) to alleviate your stress. Can you imagine the release of stress you’d experience with such a gift?
Another great thing you can do for yourself to help lower your anxiety and stress levels from all the things you do in a week is to practice self-care! No one can get things done while running on empty – so take time to stop, breathe, and treat yourself to free time to yourself! Yourself will thank you!
Take a much-needed break or mini-vacation! A break doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money on vacation but to find creative ways to give yourself that break! You could soak in a bubble bath once a week for an hour or more. Instead of tackling chores after supper, go to a class or out with a friend for a night. Or even go to the mall for a whole day!
There are many different ways you can partake in self-care, and all of them will help you feel more relaxed, less overwhelmed, and will give you more energy! Once you start to implement self-care into your routine, you will begin to realize and accept that you already are enough and that keeping a perfect home or being the perfect Mom will not make you the best – taking care of yourself will!
You Already ARE Enough!
If you don’t get everything you feel needs to get done, know that you are STILL enough! Your loved ones believe that -now it’s your turn!
Avoid Burnout by Knowing When to Say “When”
You don’t need to reach burnout as a Mom or significant other! You have the choice to decide how much you do in a week or day, and if you will ask for help from others or hire help – the decision can be your greatest asset to defeating burnout!
Get to know yourself well enough through self-care to be aware of when you’re approaching that dreaded feeling of exhaustion and drowning. Awareness of approaching burnout can be your saving grace in saving your sanity! Follow these five steps to help alleviate your anxiety and see your life change!
Share in the comments below: What is ONE thing you can do today to start help alleviate your anxiety as a Mom and partner?
Goal setting is a popular topic, especially towards the beginning of every new year when people come up with their new year’s resolution. There is a reason why so many people want to make goals around this time – because it works! Giving that they stick to their goals, setting them can certainly work!
There are many different goals one can come up with, and you can either choose to do one at a time or a bunch at a time. Regardless of which healthy goal(s) you wish to set, there are so many benefits to having them! It doesn’t matter when you start them either – as long as you START!
Below are 5 reasons why goal setting is healthy:
It Helps Give Your Life Purpose
Having a goal means that you have something to work for and towards, which can help give your life purpose and focus! That’s an incredible benefit! In fact, it’s one of the best!
If you continuously strive after things without setting goals for them, you run the chance of not succeeding and could be left feeling useless with no purpose or plan for yourself. Setting goals is a tool to get your life on track and to start living with purpose!
For example, consider that you love helping people but never have time to fit it in. If you keep using the excuse that time is the culprit, you’re never going to be able to help people and will continue to stay stuck in a lifeless dream!
However, if you set the
goal to help people via baby steps that are reasonable and achievable, you will
see that you do have the time for it (in fact, you always have!)- you just have
to learn how to make the time for it! Goals will help with that!
Imagine if you intentionally set a goal to reach your dream – what purpose you would feel!
It Helps with Success
One of the best ways you can ever achieve success in your life, career, relationships, health, and more, is to set specific goals. The most successful people in the world practice this healthy habit often because they know it helps!
Think about it – are you more likely to succeed with losing weight if you only think about it when the mood strikes or, could you achieve more if you set up a goal to get into shape to help you lose weight, planning to do it in a specific timeline? The latter option is your best!
If you have a goal set, it becomes more realistic, and when something becomes more real, it becomes a large part of your life – sometimes the focal piece of your life! You will find yourself thinking of your goal every day, which will prompt you to go for it more than if you were merely “thinking about it” now and then.
It Helps with Self-Confidence
How often do you take the time to look at where you’ve been in life to where you are now, and what you all accomplished? It’s not often that we do if we don’t set goals. Setting goals can help improve your confidence – especially if you reach the goal you put out there!
Doing something without a goal is possible, and it can leave you feeling happy, but imagine you had a goal that seemed impossible to achieve, and for weeks and months, you fought hard, determined to reach that goal, and finally, you reached it!
Knowing you passed your own test, despite any obstacles that got in the way, gives significant boosts of confidence! Confidence, being a result of you knowing you worked hard for something and crossed the finish line!
Not only will you feel confident right after you accomplish your goal, but even after you’ve celebrated your victory, that goal automatically became a positive, healthy habit in your life that powerfully changed your once-stale mindset! You’ll start to think of life differently and realize that you are worth the goals you set and achieve! You will remember that you set a goal and made it every time! You will feel so incredibly happy and proud of yourself!
It Helps with Staying Organized
Another healthy benefit to goal setting is that it helps you stay organized! Being organized is an incredible benefit for those who struggle with keeping their house tidy and organized. Do you know the added benefits keeping a clean and orderly home provides? Lots!
Being Organized Improves Mood and Much More
When we live day by day in a messy, disorganized home, it can significantly affect our mood, our motivation, our time management, our finances, and definitely our sanity!
If you were to simply just set a goal to clean one room a day for 10 minutes, imagine how good you would feel – how organized and clear-headed! Not to mention – how your family would feel!
Once you feel an improvement in your mood by keeping up with your house cleaning goals, this will enable you to set and achieve more goals!
And of course, if you don’t feel like cleaning or decluttering your home, Maid For You can help! Contact us at (215) 370-7993 or request a free quote.
We would be thrilled to clean your home and allow you to destress!
It Helps with Motivation
That feeling of confidence, pride, and happiness with yourself after accomplishing a goal is an incredible motivator to want to do more and go after new things!
Motivation not only occurs after you reach a goal but also after you achieve it because, during the time where you are trying to accomplish something you set out to do, motivation kicks in and helps you get there quicker!
Motivation is a great benefit to have because it can help in so many areas of your life and as a person!
Be S.M.A.R.T. with Your GOALS
You may have noticed in this post that I frequently talked about goals only working when followed in a specific way. – when setting goals, always make sure to follow the “S.M.A.R.T” rule!
Specific – Make goals that are well defined and targeted.
Measurable – Make goals that you can easily measure your progress with.
Achievable – Make goals that you know are possible.
Realistic – Make goals that are relevant to your life.
Timely – Make goals that have a timeline for you to follow.
If you follow the “S.M.A.R.T” rules for goal setting, you are off to a great start to become someone who can be successful in achieving what you want!
As previously mentioned, there are many more reasons why goal setting in incredibly healthy and beneficial, but these are the core reasons to consider.
You have the power inside of you to change your life, your world, and your future by setting goals – so why not start today?
Share in the comments below: What is ONE goal you can set for yourself this year?
The Christmas season is here, and it’s a special time of year – time of year many look forward to!
It’s a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the Christmas season while feasting on scrumptious foods, drinks and giving and receiving gifts!
While this can be a joyous occasion, this season can be especially hard on a lot of different people. Some people struggle if they have lost loved ones, are sick and can’t make the festivities, are going through relationship or marital difficulties or changes, don’t get along with their family, and many other reasons involving heartache. The heartache that is felt deeply around an otherwise joyous occasion as a reminder of what they had.
Whatever the reason, this happy occasion can cause some hearts to hurt more than they do regularly because the reminder of joy and gathering is very imminent during the Christmas season.
The Christmas season is a reason to spread joy and kindness to one another. Below are 5 essential traditions to add to your holiday season to help everyone feel the gift of kindness that surrounds us all this holiday season!
Give Back to Others with Kindness
The Christmas season is all about giving and sharing love, so it seems only fitting that giving and sharing love to others would be a paramount tradition to add to your holiday season!
Helping to spread the joy to others during the Christmas season doesn’t need to be elaborate, expensive, or complicated! Set up a Christmas advent calendar where you spend 31 days before Christmas by giving back to others with kindness! Some ideas can include:
Sponsoring a Family in Need
There are many less fortunate families out there who are not financially able to celebrate Christmas, let alone enjoy everyday life, and who face dangers of poverty and sickness.
Choosing to sponsor a family in need is an incredibly kind way of letting someone know that you are there for them and are committed to helping them! Imagine the change you can be in their lives by gifting them the opportunity to be helped and loved by a stranger!
Volunteering at a Soup Kitchen
Another way to give back in kindness to others during the Christmas season is to volunteer at a soup kitchen. This way, you’re able to help prep, cook and serve a healthy, hot cooked Christmas meal to those in need, and also be a friendly face to wish them a “Merry Christmas”!
Many suffering people in shelters don’t have the luxury of eating a home-cooked meal with their loved ones or even themselves, so this is where those of us whocan give back, should!
When your children are old enough, suggest this idea to them as well, to help them learn more about those who need help and how to help!
Paying off Someone’s Layaway or Debt
Give the gift of giving by paying off someone’s layaway account they may have in a retail store, or another kind of debt that they may be in! This act can make someone incredibly happy and can help relieve a lot of stress for them! Do it for a loved one, or better yet – someone you don’t know!
If you have the financial opportunity to purchase a gift for a loved one or a stranger, consider this option as well, because sometimes, not needing to pay off debt is a more thoughtful gift than a physical present!
Gifting a Child or Senior from the Angel Tree
Another loving way to give back in kindness during the Christmas season is to participate in the Angel Tree for children or seniors.
This act of giving back is done by removing one or more Angel gift tags from a Christmas tree that provides the “Angel Tree” program and purchasing gifts for the selected child or senior that match their gender and need category written in the tag.
This act of kindness can really help the following:
A child who is struggling without their parent (or parents) during this time of year
An underprivileged child
A child or family that is hurting or struggling
Someone who is lonely and heartbroken
There are innumerous and creative ways to give back to others with kindness this Christmas season, and you can find out and participate in many more with our Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar, just click on ‘Download’ to save the image AND join us on our Facebook Page to join in on the fun!
This tradition goes back many years and is still a favorite among many people! Caroling isn’t about giving monetary value or help to someone, but instead about spreading joy and the meaning of Christmas through beautiful, joyful song that becomes pleasantly contagious upon hearing it!
There’s something so magical about hearing people sing Christmas carols and feeling that true spirit of Christmas well up in our hearts in a shared celebration!
Gather some friends, family, church members, youth groups, and anyone else who wants to join and go out caroling some night in your city or at a local senior’s home, etc. Watch people’s faces light up as you joyously sing Christmas songs – who knows; they may even join you!
Participate in the Seven Fishes Feast
There’s another fascinating tradition you can add to your Christmas list to do, and that’s to participate in La Viglia dei Natale. Enjoy eating seven different kinds of fish dishes with your family, while commemorating the birth of Jesus – the meaning for Christmas.
What an incredible way to share the love with others in celebration of Christmas!
Set up a Cookie Exchange
Gathering with loved ones while eating delicious food is par for the course when it comes to celebrating Christmas, so why not consider adding a tradition of a cookie exchange? Tell a bunch of people that you’re hosting a cookie exchange in your home and tell them they need to bring a dozen cookies or baking of their choice (handmade is always best!), and everyone swaps their baking goodies with each other.
Exchanging cookies is a fun way to get new recipes, share your delectable recipes, socialize and share in the Christmas season!
Christmas Meals and Gift Giving with Family
Another tradition to add to your Christmas “To Do” list is to spend time with your children and family – intentionally.
Make an effort to bake Christmas cookies, put up the Christmas tree together without fussing and complaining, and to cook a Christmas Day breakfast, lunch, or supper (or all three!). Last but not least, enjoy the moment of giving gifts to your children or loved ones and watch as their faces light up with excitement and joy!
This tradition doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on anyone, but rather, give them intentional gifts – gifts you know they will love – not what you want them to love! Tell your children the focus should be on the gathering and giving the most and less on the gift receiving. Teach your children through this friendly gathering the true meaning of Christmas. This tradition will help your children get into the true Christmas spirit!
Choose and Spread Joy with Kindness this Christmas
There are so many traditions around Christmas time, so it’s essential to choose the ones that will spread joy and the meaning of Christmas to other people!
While sharing and giving love at Christmas time is valuable and thoughtful in sharing the joy and the true spirit of Christmas, consider doing things that give back to others in kindness all year round as well!
The spirit of Christmas will linger in your heart, soul, and mind whenever you give back to others in kindness and with intention, so make sure to follow your Christmas tradition list and go out and have a safe, enjoyable and joyful Christmas season!
Share in the comments below: What is ONE tradition you can do this Christmas that will lend kindness to others?
Life is busy – for all of us! Life can get so busy that we forget to smell the roses – literally and figuratively. While being active can be a good thing, being too busy is not.
When was the last time you intentionally took the time to take in the gifts that life has to offer and felt gratitude? Most of us don’t take the time we need to enjoy and appreciate life because of how crazy our schedules are, but we should!
Gratitude is an essential key ingredient to living a healthy, happy life. Below are five benefits of practicing gratitude:
Improved Mental/Emotional Health
The mind is a powerful thing and can change your life significantly! Daily groaning about what we don’t have, or wish we could change speedily results in developing depression and anxiety. When you practice daily gratitude, you lower your risk of prolonged depression and anxiety, or at best, it will be less severe.
Think about it – when you feed your mind unhealthy thoughts, it will create an unhealthy mind! But, what if you were to turn it around and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts? The same would happen – your mind will receive positive thoughts and will create a positive, healthy mind!
The Power Lies in You
YOU have the power to switch that mindset to be more positive than negative significantly! When you start to be thankful for what you have, you will begin to appreciate the good things in life, and you will derail your focus off the bad things in life. When you think positively, your mind follows suit, and your mind and body will work beautifully together to help you live your best life – so practicing gratitude is essential!
Remind yourself that a mind is a powerful thing, and it reacts to what we feed it!
Improved Physical Health
While feeding your brain with positive thoughts to aid it being healthier makes sense, practicing daily gratitude to improve our physical health isn’t a benefit most of us would consider. However, being aware of what you’re grateful for is exceptionally healthy for your physical well being as well!
In a 2015 Psychology Today article, Amy Morin wrote, “Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.”
Here are different physical health side effects you can experience when you practice gratitude:
Improved Immune System
Practicing daily gratitude increases our immune systems; therefore, our bodies get sick less. When we think healthier, we become healthier!
Higher Pain Tolerance
When we add more positive thoughts to our brains, this often results in what’s called “analgesic effects,” which is something in our brains that mimic the relief we get from taking pain medication. When we experience this effect by practicing gratitude, we learn to be less sensitive to pain.
Improved, Natural Sleep
When your physical body is taken care of by practicing gratitude, you increase your chances of getting a great night’s sleep (which typically, most of us don’t understand!), which also carries a host of other health benefits!
Improved Empathy and Care for Others
When we wallow in our self-pity and focus on the things we suffer with or don’t have, we leave no time or room to focus on others and how they are feeling! When we take the time to practice showing thankfulness daily, we become aware of the beauty that life has to offer, and in doing so, we allow our head more room to care for other people.
Also, when we practice gratitude, we give ourselves the option to feel less revenge and aggression towards people who may have hurt us or are hurting us. Our focus becomes on what we’re thankful for, not what we want or think we need.
Improved Self-Esteem and Likeability
Focusing on what we are grateful for every day is a significant boost to our self-esteem! When we are aware of what we’re thankful for and appreciate what we have, we love ourselves more and aspire to be better than we have been! When you realize what you’re grateful for, even if it’s just about who you are, you give yourself grace and love in areas you never did before – and it shows to other people!
When your self-esteem increases, your likeability meter does so as well! People want to be that which they see, so if you show them something positive and healthy, they will want to be around you more! Now, I’m not saying that popularity and being accepted is the goal here. But it should be about loving and accepting yourself for you, first, but think of the people you can positively impact how you go through life – humble, confident and likable!
Increased Life Span
When we practice gratitude daily, intentionally, we reap all the benefits mentioned in this article, and more! In turn, all of these healthy, positive, life-changing benefits allow us to live our best life – LONGER! That’s right, practicing gratitude will enable you to live longer!
The less physically and emotionally sick we are, the better chance we have to survive this life a lot more! That’s quite an incredible, “life-changing” (pun intended) benefit! Knowing this benefit it helps us to see just how impactful and critical being grateful daily is!
Practice Gratitude Daily to Live and Love Your Best Life
We truly genuinely take practicing gratitude for granted in our busy lives, but when we are aware of the tremendous benefits being thankful has to offer, we can’t deny how crucial it is to include in our daily lives!
Do you want your chance at your best life? Less stress and depression, less self-hatred and alienation, and less pain? Of course, you do – we ALL do! Practicing gratitude daily can change all of that for you and can quite literally change your life for the better! Take time to smell the roses of life, intentionally!
Take the time each day to sit down and reflect on what you are grateful for, and write it down. Writing it down will have a bonus effect because it will be imprinted in your brain, allowing you to remember that which you’re grateful for often! Change your life by changing your mindset!
Share in the comments below: What is ONE reason why you want to practice daily gratitude?
PS – We’re participating in a #30daysofgratitude challenge for the month of November. Come join the fun by visiting our Facebook Page for daily gratitude prompts. Feel free to invite your friends too!
Back to school season in Pennsylvania is just around the corner! Teachers and students are rushing like mad to get their things organized to prepare for the new season.
For those of you who have kids at home that will be starting school for the first time or going back to school, you’re going to need to get back into the swing of things shortly!
Get your tasks and preparations in order as soon as possible, and start right, because if you don’t, you can get stuck in the trenches of having to rush and you run the risk of not being well enough prepared. Not being prepared is a horrible feeling for starting off a new school year – so start off ready!
We need to also keep in mind those who help
with the unofficial start of the school year, particularly the administrators.
This is also a time of high stress for them as well, and just like the
teachers, students, and parents, they
need to be well prepared too!
Below are 4 things to keep in mind for preparing for back to school season:
Create an Amazing Experience for the Kids
Starting school for the first time or going
back to school is a stressful time for kids, and for some, it can even be scary. It’s essential that those who
help in decorating and preparing the school building, classrooms, and hallways
need to do so with the intent to create a fantastic,
fun experience for the kids. In helping to set up an exciting atmosphere,
the kids can jump into the school year with excitement and eagerness to learn!
Don’t forget to say and show a big
to those who decorate and prepare the school building for the students, because
a lot of their hard work goes into making sure your child starts the year off right and ease!
Check-in on Your Stress Levels
While back to school season can be an exciting time, we shouldn’t deny that it can also be an incredibly stressful time as well! While we need to tend to our children to see how their stress levels are, it’s equally important to ensure we have a good handle on our OWN stress levels. Whether you’re a parent, guardian, or a teacher, you will also be feeling the stress that preparing for back to school can hold and you need to be in tune with it and manage it.
When we are stressed in our lives, the person we forget about the most is ourselves. We often hear about the topic of “relationships” and how vital creating healthy relationships are to our mental and physical health. What we need to remember is that our most important relationship is internal! When we have a positive, healthy internal relationship with ourselves, we have a better chance of being able to have positive relationships externally as well! So, make sure to take great care of yourself because you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Delete, Delegate, Defer, Do
As mentioned above, you can’t pour from an empty cup and therefore you should not expect to do everything yourself. Now is the time to create a to-do list in preparation for the school year and determine where you can solicit for some extra help.
What tasks can you delete that aren’t important?
What tasks can be delegated and to whom?
What tasks can you defer to a later date?
What tasks are ones you can do?
While getting your family ready for the changes coming because of the school year, oftentimes, parents neglect their home. Once the kids are off to school they take a look around their home and it’s as if a tornado went through it.
Don’t let that happen!
Contact your local maid or cleaning service to check off a few tasks on your “honey-do” list. This will ease your mind, reduce your stress, and allow you to get the much-needed rest.
In fact, give Maid For You a call! We’ll gladly clean up the mess while you put your feet up, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet before the kids get home!
Note: For new customers only, during the month of September 2019 receive $30 off your cleaning and receive 10% off at Classic Rock Auto Detail. Cleaning must be booked and used in September.
Empathy goes a long way when a new school year
starts because while there may be stresses you’re
not necessarily feeling, it doesn’t mean others aren’t feeling anxiety in other areas, and they need your
care and compassion.
The start of the school year brings an array
of different emotions for various educators, parents, and students alike, and
all of those emotions need to be accepted as OK!
Many people can get very anxious about starting school or going back to school, and the
change to their routine can be very stressful. Whereas other people can’t wait to start the new school year and
they embrace the routine they had to put on hold in the Summer.
Some parents may feel the excitement that their child is starting a new school year, and yet another parent may feel sadness that their little one isn’t going to be home with them during the day anymore. Some are even faced with the fact that their kids are getting older. Other parents may feel relieved that school is starting up again if they have unruly teenagers in their home, whereas another parent is upset because they had such a great Summer with their child and they hate that the routine has to change.
Some teachers may feel stressed about a new year because they are a new teacher or because
they will have a classroom full of brand new students, and other teachers may
feel exuberant about the adventures
the new school year holds.
One student may be very despaired about school starting because they will miss spending
time with their family and friends as they did over the holidays, or they are fearful of being bullied in school.
Another student may be very excited
about going back to school because of the new friends he or she can make or to
hang out with their old friends they didn’t see over the Summer.
Consider that everyone is going to have different emotions and try your best to
put yourself in their shoes so that you can be there for everyone.
Have a Successful School Year
A fantastic way to ensure you or your loved one has a great start to a new school year is to try very hard to enjoy getting ready for going back to school. Also, plan to have an exciting, successful year for yourself or your child by following a healthy food, sleep, and stress-free lifestyle.
Preparing for the new school year and acknowledging
that it’s going to have some impact
on you and your family is the best thing
you can do to start the back to school season off right and helping the rest of the school year to go smoothly! Try to
build excitement for yourself or your children and practice having a positive mind-set!
Wherever you fit in going back to school this season, take care of yourself, and have a fantastic start to the school year!
Share in the comments below: What is ONE thing you can do today to help you prepare this month for going back to school?