The world has been affected by Coronavirus, and a lot of things have changed!
It’s essential to prepare now for the reopening of our workspace, schools, public spaces, and homes. Below are four ways to prepare for the reopening of America:
Hire a Professional Cleaner
The professional cleaning service is the frontline of defense against infection prevention and containment. It’s essential to have a professional cleaning service come in regularly to help with keeping your home, business, school, and public spaces safe! There are many reasons why hiring a cleaner is better than doing it yourself! Mostly when hiring a professional, they have the knowledge of processes to help BREAK THE CHAIN OF INFECTION!
Safe Up to Date Procedures
Professional cleaners should always be up to date on the safe, correct procedures and processes to keep you safe. It is vital that you, as the consumer, ask questions and do due diligence when hiring a service to disinfect your home, workplace, school, etc. by using a fogger or electrostatic sprayer. You also want to ensure that they will disinfect all the touchpoint areas in your home.
Some examples of frequently touched surfaces are:
doorknobs both inside and out
handles and cabinet pulls
faucets, and sinks
Another critical factor is to ensure that their processes and procedures are updated to the situation at hand and will protect you, your family and home against cross-contamination by either using your vacuum and/or sanitizing their vacuum between customers.
We feel that the best practice for our company is to use your vacuum and have the customer purchase the Maid For You kit through Microfiber Wholesale. Having your microfiber kit will ensure extra safety measures and help with your peace of mind that there will be no cross-contamination.
Dependable professional cleaners believe it’s essential to take any courses or classes to get adequately certified to give their clients the safest, cleanest experience!
They will ensure that they are cleaning for your HEALTH!
During this time, we at Maid For You, have taken measures to continue our education and work towards certification with IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification) and have become an Accredited Infection Prevention Exert through the Academy of Cleaning Excellence. We have also taken the Microbial Warrior Fundamentals Workshop through GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological threats and biohazard situations in real-time crisis.
Professional Cleaning Products
Look for a cleaning company that is confident in cleaning with microfiber cloths because they have more than 200,000 fibers for every inch of fabric, and are very absorbent! These make these environmentally friendly cloths more effective than using regular ones!
It is important to note that microfiber alone will not disinfect a surface. Disinfecting involves the killing of the pathogens. That doesn’t mean microfiber can’t assist in the disinfecting process. In fact, in an article by Infection Control Today, “microfiber was both laboratory and clinically tested and proven to remove up to 98 percent of bacteria and 93 percent of viruses from a surface using only water (no chemicals).”
When paired with a disinfectant product, microfiber can be a great weapon against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Please also note that Covid-19 is a virus and cannot be killed as it is not alive. Using microfiber and a disinfectant will help dismantle and prevent the Coronavirus.
When cleaning your own home, microfiber cloths save you time on cleaning and money because they last for a long time! We have partnered with our vendor Microfiber Wholesale to provide professional cleaning products, like microfiber cloths, to our customers. If interested, you can check them out and purchase them HERE.
We also recommend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for approved products for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your home or office. Your cleaning products should say EPA certified.
Proper PPE should be worn, and LABELS MUST BE READ AND DIRECTIONS FOLLOWED!
It is against Federal law to use any disinfectant other than stated in the Safety Data Sheet. If you are unable to find an EPA approved disinfectant, alternate solutions can be used, such as bleach or 70% alcohol solutions.
NEVER MIX BLEACH OR OTHER CLEANING/DISINFECTING products as this can cause a dangerous and deadly gas/fumes.
For up to date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website.
For more information on the recommended cleaning products, visit the EPA website.
The world’s learning that we take everything for granted. When we prepare to re-enter the world, we need to be careful not to continue doing this!
When you’re able, schedule visits with your grandparents, local elderly homes, your loved ones, and family. Be careful with how often, until we know that this virus is no longer imminent – but do visit!
Connect with People
Just as you plan to visit people you’ve missed, think of others who have had little to no connections during this time. Perhaps, medically unwell people, those who are disabled, elderly, etc. They need someone to reach out to them more than you realize – and they matter just as much!
Everyone’s been affected by this virus – people have lost their jobs, businesses forced to close, people suffer worse mental health. People are grieving, stressed, paranoid about the world, angry about government decisions, etc.
The next time you’re out in public and someone snaps at you – don’t take it personally – empathize that they may be having a rough time with this new world. Go out of your way to be there for others!
Important Reminders about Coronavirus and Breaking the Chain of Infection
We need to learn the lesson in safe cleanliness by using proper procedures when it comes to staying healthy and breaking the chain of infection! Even when this is all over!
Wash your hands often, lathering for 20 seconds, sanitize your touchpoint areas in your home, sanitize cart handles when shopping, cover your nose with your arm when you sneeze, stay home if you’re sick, etc.
Coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours to days, depending on the surface material. Warmer temperatures and sunlight exposure reduce the time the virus can survive on surfaces and objects. Thankfully, we are starting to experience milder temperatures! Open the windows and air out rooms as much as possible.
Routine cleaning with soap and water can remove germs and dirt from surfaces lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The use of disinfectants kills germs on surfaces. They must be appropriately used to do their job. Always make sure to read the label and follow instructions. A DWELL time is required and is usually up to 10 minutes. Merely spraying a disinfectant on a surface and instantly wiping it down is not the proper process. CLEAN first then disinfect. A rinse of surfaces is needed after the use of some disinfectants.
Always store and use disinfectants as intended. Be sure to read the label. Also, never mix any cleaning products as they create toxic and sometimes deadly fumes. Always make sure all disinfectants are out of reach of children and pets.
The use of disposable gloves is required as proper PPE, personal protective equipment when working with chemicals. Some even require more PPE as shoe covers, Tyvek suit, goggles, and face shield.
Continuing to social distance, wearing face masks, and following proper hand hygiene procedures are still very much important.
Be Prepared and Have a Plan
It is crucial to continue following these steps and safety guidelines as the world, and the United States begin to reopen. As more states open and the stay at home orders lifted, everyone needs to realize that the daily life of most will not be the same as it was before this pandemic. Following safety precautions will still need to be followed to prevent the virus from further spreading. Hopefully, this will prevent another lockdown.
Before going out in public, wash your hands, reduce your risk as much as possible by touching as few surfaces as possible, wipe down surfaces before and after touching them along with washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.
If working in a building for an eight (8) hour day, you must wash your hands ten times, once upon entry, one time every 8 hours and one time before your leave for the day.
All of these safety recommendations should reduce your risk significantly. Check out this CDC resource to Prevent Getting Sick.
Remember, Maid For You is here for you and the community. We are proud of our commitment to continuing education and being an Accredited Infection Prevention Expert. We are proud of our commitment to cleaning and disinfecting your home or business for health. We will continue to follow CDC/EPA for up to date recommendations when servicing your home or business.
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?
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?
Finding time to clean our homes is a difficult task in and of itself and one that many of us struggle with. Another thing we find hard to do is to clean our homes with a “green” thumb.
I am talking about “Green Cleaning.” Wikipedia refers to “Green Cleaning” as “using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality.”
It also states, “If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term “green” or “eco-friendly” may apply.”
So, do you Green Clean? Let’s look at the opposite of this!
The opposite of Green Cleaning is by use of chemical cleaning products that are very harmful to our lungs, our eyes, our skin, and our overall body.
Considering how many terrible germs and bacteria cloud our earth and homes and how tough some cleaning jobs can be, it’s no wonder why we choose to clean with powerful, active chemicals! Not to mention, we cater to products that offer convenience and affordability these days, and these chemical cleaning products provide just that!
However, while we want to protect our health, our loved one’s health, our time, energy, and wallets by using these cleaning agents, we equally endanger our loved ones as well because of the toxic chemicals these cleaning products contain.
Thankfully, there are a lot of safer alternative cleaning products out there that are entirely safe, toxin-free, and get the job done well! Let’s look at 5 of safer cleaning alternatives that are much safer for you and your family.
DIY Cleaning Products
DIY Cleaning products are a fantastic choice because of how safe they are, how affordable they are and how you can custom make your products to suit your needs. If you browse Pinterest, you can find a host of different DIY cleaners that you can easily make in your home. Plus, your kids can help because it’s all safe!
What is so fun also about this method is you can experiment with different essential oils to give your cleaners a fresh, clean, beautiful scent! Popular choices are Lemon, Orange, and Lavender Essential Oil. Just 2-3 drops per your DIY cleaner will do the trick!
One example of a DIY cleaning product is an all-purpose cleaner that works on multiple jobs. Here’s a great recipe:
Using equal parts vinegar and warm water with 1 TBSP baking soda, mix really well and add to a spray water bottle, ready to use on any messy surface with a clean cloth when you need it! Add some essential oil for a fresh scent. Use this with a newspaper or paper towel for squeaky-clean mirrors and windows!
Toss the Bad
To effectively safely clean your home, you need to start with a clean slate by getting rid of any toxic house cleaners. These can include bleach, Lysol Wipes, toilet bowl cleaners, laundry soap, shampoo, and more.
Know the ingredients
There are so many dangerous, toxic ingredients to look for when adding any house cleaning product to your home. In Experience Life, Jessie states what harmful ingredients to look for, and they are:
Perchloroethylene or “PERC”
Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”
She also states that there is something called “Greenwashing,” which means that a company or product can claim to be a Green/eco-friendly cleaner but actually isn’t. That’s why it’s imperative that you carefully check the ingredients on every cleaner you purchase!
Now that you know the ingredients to avoid, toss any cleaners that have them in them! Be careful not to pour them down the drain or in the garbage but instead take them to your nearest municipal household hazardous waste center where workers will get destroy them safely.
While it is at your own risk, if you choose to clean with toxic cleaners, these next steps are critical to your health!
Reading Labels is Crucial
Always, ALWAYS read the labels on every bottle and container and make sure to follow the safety precautions as mentioned on each cleaner.
If you feel any pain or irritation in your eyes, throat or nose, stop using the product immediately! Also, always wear protective gloves when cleaning to avoid chemical burns.
Let Fresh Air in
Open the windows and let the air in! A lot of hazardous cleaners contain ingredients that can cause dizziness, fainting, headaches, and worse health problems. Open a window nearby to let in the healthy air to combat the harmful air you’re inhaling. If you don’t have a window nearby, wear a mask and walk out of the room often! You don’t want to risk falling and hitting your head while cleaning!
Don’t Mix Cleaning Chemicals
You may have heard recommendations from a friend or family member to combine different cleaning products with one another for a more effective clean. However, this is extremely dangerous and should be avoided because mixing different chemicals can create a hazardous gas that you could inhale.
Just because it’s more effective, doesn’t always mean it’s safe!
Safer is Always Better Than Sorry
While a lot of the chemical cleaning products sold in stores are effective on the toughest germs and jobs and are generally affordable, they are also effective in destroying the health of the environment, your health and the health of your loved ones.
When it comes to cleaning your home, safe is always better than sorry! In fact, we highly recommend you follow these safety tips very carefully and incorporate them into your life immediately to avoid more toxin exposure.
Share in the comments below: What is ONE change you can make in your home cleaning routine, immediately, to create a safer environment for you and your loved ones?
Spring is here, and it’s time to think about spring cleaning and decluttering! Let’s adapt to the mindset of – out with the old, in with the new!
With the sun shining, the longer days, the singing of the birds and the blossoming flowers, it’s the time of year when we’re all ready to relive. I’m very grateful to spring for finally showing its face! It has been a rather hard winter, and it seems that we have passed the dark and stormy days of that season.
Time to Plan and Prepare
Now is the time for planning and preparation, time for dreams, and time to take steps towards them.
First, we must clear the way to our dreams. We must free ourselves from the darkness of winter and, literally, make room for the new things we want in our lives. It is the natural cycle of the seasons, and spring is the season of rebirth, growth, and expansion.
Now that you’ve opened up to the power to free the old to make room for the new, I have some Spring tips to help you declutter and organize your home.
Here is a list to help you start decluttering your home from room to room.
Declutter Your Home
Decluttering the Garage, Basement, and Attic
It is said that spaces like your basement reflect the subconscious. It is these hidden areas that we often throw things that we no longer need but do not have the strength to face or eliminate.
With these areas, it’s best to start with one place and one element at a time, making sure to complete it first before moving on to another. For example, if you are going to do your garage, I suggest you start with the workbench area first before tackling your storage containers.
Get Rid of Excess or Unused Tools or Instruments
Do you ever struggle to find that one tool you need? It’s a sign you need to declutter your toolbox!
Chances are, you own more than at least one of the same tool. I understand that decluttering your workbench is a difficult thing to do, especially for men, but it’s even harder when you have to dig good and hard around the extras to find the one tool you need.
Get rid of the clutter by minimizing how many tools you actually need and how many you use. Prepare a small tool bag for the car, one for the garbage drawer at home and then carefully weed things out to keep on your workbench.
Dispose of Old Paint, Oil Cans, Containers, Newspapers, and Boxes
Some places accept donations of paint, oil, and chemicals that they check and then give to someone else who could actually use them. Keep only a limited number of boxes and newspapers if you use them for projects or packing. Once the area or shelf is full, do not store more than the assigned amount.
Sell Your Old Exercise Equipment
If you haven’t already used it, you won’t use it. Go for a walk instead! Going outside for a walk will help you get some exercise, more fresh air and will give you a more pleasant-looking basement that’s not cluttered with unused equipment.
Declutter Your Home Office
Everyone has a place to keep documents. Even in this age period without paper and digital material, it seems that there is still a load of paper that enters our lives, and that needs to be dealt with regularly. If you continue to do so, you will be grateful later.
It is necessary to bring together all the paperwork together in one place, so go around and get all the documents together. Then separate them into the categories such as “reading/files,” “read/recycle,” “read/do something” etc. Try not to get distracted and do them until you have decluttered your documents.
Declutter the Bedrooms
Be ruthless with decluttering your clothes. This is an especially hard one to do too! Throw everything away that is old, torn (and that you know you’re not going to fix), that you don’t wear, is obsolete or too small.
Do the same with accessories like jewelry, bags, scarves, shoes, and ties. Be picky! So many of these things are outdated, or you are saving for “just in case.” Go ahead and get rid of them! Many of them no longer fit into your lifestyle, and you need to face that fact and get rid of them.
Remove anything in your bedroom that you don’t use for sleeping and dressing. Do not use the bedroom as a spare room. Your bedroom is particularly essential while decluttering your home.
In decluttering your home, you will find you make mental room for yourself to take on the tasks that are a high priority. Decluttering is like giving your brain a cleanse, and it’s completely worth it and is incredibly freeing!
Please share in the comments: Which of these decluttering tips are you going to start implementing this spring?