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?
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?
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?
Let the changing seasons be your cue to evaluate what’s in your clothes closet. Expert organizer Monica Ricci of Catalyst Organizing Solutions (www.catalystorganizing.com) gives her 10 tips to keep you and your closets organized for each season.
Don’t switch everything.
Seasonal switch-out time is the perfect opportunity to evaluate every piece of clothing you wear. Does it fit you like a dream? Do you love the cut and color? Do you wear it at least twice a season? Is it still a current style? If so, it’s a keeper. If not, donate it.
Clean the closet.
Vacuum your closet and watch for signs of insects. Be sure that the closet or area is also clean and free of anything that bugs might find delicious. Dust, other insects, crumb or food and beverage stains on your clothing are all attractive to pests.
Clean your clothes before you store them away.
Clean clothing resists pests better, plus invisible spots on your clothing can oxidize and become permanent stains during the time the item is stored. Launder each item or dry clean it, and be sure to remove dry cleaning bags because they can trap moisture and cause permanent stains. Tip: When cleaning before storage, avoid using bleach, fabric softener, sizing or starch. These items are a virtual buffet line for insects.
Toss the wire hangers.
Hang lightweight clothing on quality hangers and store them in breathable garment bags to keep them wrinkle-free. A rolling garment rack is an easy way to store hanging clothes and the wheels make it a breeze to move from room to room if necessary. It’s best to fold and stack heavy and knit items.
Don’t use cardboard boxes.
Avoid storing clothing in cardboard boxes because they can break down and attract insects. For short-term storage, cardboard is fine, but for more than a few months, use plastic containers with lids. Be sure these containers aren’t airtight. Air cirulation will help avoid mold and mildew. If you’re concerned about air movement in a plastic container, you can always drill several small holes in the top and sides of the container prior to filling them.
Keep clothes out of the basement and attic.
Climate control is key. Store clothing in the main areas of your home or in a climate controlled storage facility. Basements and attics are too humid and are an invitation to mold, mildew and insects. Consider storing out-of-season clothing beneath staircases, extra closets, under beds and even in your main closet if you have space.
Preserve precious clothing.
When storing items long term — such as wedding dresses, baby clothing or other special clothing that you won’t be accessing for years on end — consider having them professionally preserved. Another option is to make sure they’re spotless (remember, no starch, bleach, fabric softener or sizing), wrap them in acid-free tissue and store in an archival storage box.
Be careful with delicates.
Fold delicate items rather than on hangers to prevent them from sagging, stretching or otherwise becoming misshapen. Remember, when stacking clothing, heaviest items should be on the bottom and lighter items on the top of the stack.
Take advantage of free services.
Remember that most dry cleaners will store anything you have cleaned for no charge. If you’re short on space, this is a terrific option.
Be aware that cedar stains.
If you are storing clothing in a cedar chest or another wooden container, be sure to line it with acid-free paper, muslin or even old, clean, cotton bed sheets. This will keep the wood from contacting the clothing directly, which could stain or damage the item.
Article from HGTV – http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/how-to-switch-out-seasonal-clothing