Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Happy Easter!

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This year, we are celebrating with a wink and a nod to our heritage – Greece. While we were not entrenched in rituals and customs from our ancestors growing up, many traditions were passed on including, you guessed it, food! So while we will go to church, color eggs and embrace the season in many ways, we will also be serving up dolmades (vine leaves) and baklava (dessert) along side the Easter ham. Christos Anesti! Happy Easter! We will blog again in two weeks!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease

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April is Parkinson’s Disease awareness month. We have a few family members who are fighting the disease, fighting hard, we may add, including our dad. What does it mean to bring awareness to it? Hopefully is brings attention to people who may be able to help in some way. That could be made manifest in many ways such as: fundraising for research, praying for a cure or just in understanding for those afflicted.  Maybe you see someone who has a handicapped sticker on their car and they get out of the passenger side in a parking spot walking, albeit very slowly, and you are angered thinking they don’t deserve that special spot.  Give it a little compassion – their balance is off, they’re concentrating on picking up their feet so they don’t fall and medication they are taking to manage the disease throws off their reaction time.  Like many illnesses, symptoms are not always obvious.  We are hoping to bring awareness through our blog.  There is also an event in NYC this month that may be of interest to you.  If you would like to find out more about Parkinson’s Disease, there’s a lot of information on the internet including the foundation’s web site at pdf.org

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Thinking Differently

Image result for ant strengthWe’ve blogged before about handling life’s disappointments.  Sometimes things happen that just don’t seem right or fair. It’s not always easy to make lemonade out of lemons (but that’s a great outlook) so here’s something to think about that’s a little different.  When something upsetting happens in your life, there might be something larger at work.  Perhaps a lesson to be learned for some reason maybe by you or maybe it doesn’t even have to do with you at all.  Maybe someone is watching you go thru a hardship and they have something to learn. Or maybe you will have to help someone with something difficult years down the road and this is preparing you.

Every time we face a pain, we are building strength and resilience we might not even be aware of.  If, as we think, life is about love – loving others, loving God, loving yourself – then maybe a roadblock on our journey is there to help us build strength for ourselves or to help others.  When we face life’s disappointments, maybe there’s a bigger picture, a lesson we perhaps don’t see immediately.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Welcome Spring!

 

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We might still have some snow on the ground in our part of the country but this week we welcomed Spring with open arms! Even with some cold temperatures around, when Spring officially arrived it was a happy event, more so psychologically if not physically. We can look forward to longer days with sunshine and warmer weather with a change in the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the activities we enjoy.

So how did we welcome Spring this year? A good house cleaning started things off – putting away scarves in the closet, mopping floors that seemed to endlessly track in ice melt this winter, and pruning indoor plants of dead leaves among other things. It is still too cold to pack away turtleneck sweaters, coats and warm comforters but changing out and washing curtains is in order. And with the psychological shift came talk of Spring and summer planning – coming up with vacation ideas, where to spend Easter and saving for new purchases that crop up.

How did you welcome Spring this week?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Relax

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Take a deep breath, right now. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Feel anything happening? Take a few seconds for yourself and relax. It’s no good to keep up a stressful pace, for hours at a time. Numerous studies have been done to show that when you are at an elevated stress level for too long…hours, days, weeks, it takes a toll on your body. High levels of cortisol constantly running through your veins regularly is not good for your nervous system. It is also linked to a host of medical problems from high blood pressure to being overweight. Our bodies are not designed to be in a constant state of “on” all the time. Personally, sometimes we don’t even realize that our shoulders are hunched or our jaw is clenched. Even if you can’t avoid a high stress job, a personal problem or are always just on the run for home and family, it’s vital to take some time each day to be at peace.

Here are some helpful things to do, whether you have a few seconds, minutes or an hour:

* Sit still in a comfy chair, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths.

* Drink a cup of tea, chamomile is calming.

* Make yourself a warm bath with a nice scented soap.

* Try mediation. There are lots of apps that guide you from 1 minute on up, with relaxing music, right in the comfort of your own space.

* Take a yoga or stretch class.

* Go for a massage (even just a foot rub is peaceful).

You get the idea, it’s all quiet, mostly alone, peaceful things.  And it’s very important for your health and well-being.  Pick one thing and see how you feel!

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