Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: February, 2013

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Unplug

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Electronic media pulls at us incessantly. That constant need to check our e-mails, text messages, Facebook page, etc. and reply, respond, comment; it all gets a little overwhelming sometimes. The thing is you don’t have to keep up with any of it minute by minute or even hour by hour.  We are advocating for you to unplug from your electronics every now and then. We do it all the time – limited or no computer on the weekends, cell phone off at 9 every night. It feels great and if anyone needs us urgently, they will call on the house phone. When you unplug from the outside world for a few days or even a few hours it relaxes your mind and lets you de-stress. That message waiting for your reply can just about always wait a day or two. People have their cell phones in their hands constantly (we admit to being guilty of this!) and it can be a distraction to being truly engaged with those around you.  Sometimes gadgets are used to “check out” of a social situation and more often than not, it’s rude to whomever you are with. Give others your full attention; your time together is precious. See how good it feels to let go of it all for little bits at a time. To anyone who may think, “Why have they not responded to my message?”…we will.  We have just unplugged for a little while!

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Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Sometimes We Put Up Walls

Do you put up walls? We’re not talking about the construction, build a room in your house kind of wall, but an emotional wall. An internal wall that closes you off just a little bit. It may have been put up recently or years ago. Something sparked it, a feud with a friend, hurt feelings left by a family member, a co-worker’s demeanor. You are a little closed off toward that individual, guarded maybe. Not your complete, authentic self. Is that ok? Some would say a resounding “no!”…you have to work out that problem or bad feeling. If it’s a beef with your spouse, we totally agree. But here’s an argument for keeping up that wall: What if you’ve been emotionally hurt so many times by someone or even a situation, that you just can’t go thru it anymore? Isn’t it better to say to yourself, “I’m not going to let that person do that to me anymore”? And we’re not talking about an abusive situation where ending the relationship is absolutely necessary.  These are slights that just bring you down one too many times. So to maintain your well being in the midst of it, you put up a little emotional wall, a wall of protection of your feelings. You wish that person well, you are still kind, but you are guarded.  Trying to change a bad situation or work out a problem with someone is always the best solution but sometimes, no matter how hard you try you can’t change a person’s thinking.  So you change your own.  Maybe that makes you a little jaded, but hopefully not.  Hopefully it enables you to live more peacefully, surrounded by people and situations that raise you up to the fullness and happiness your life is meant to be.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Love

LOVE.  It’s a powerful word. It drives us, motivates us, it’s the reason we are on this earth.  Live life loving.  Love God, love each other. That’s all you have to do.  Wouldn’t that be great if we could just focus on that?  How peaceful our lives & world would be!  So today, throw your arms around your spouse & kids, friends, family & pets and tell them you love them. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Parenting Musings….

We are both the parents of wonderful children.  As cousins, our kids couldn’t be closer.  We enjoy them so very much!  But, in raising children, there are many every day struggles to deal with when you have many people sharing one roof.  In keeping with last week’s blog, we offer some thoughts on how to get through those ordinary days with your kids, regardless of their age.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Yes, it’s a phrase we’ve heard so many times but so true it’s worth repeating.  Don’t start the day of sourly by getting all bent out of shape when the morning doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d like.  They’ll be at school in a blink.  Avoid that morning discontent.

2. This goes along with number one:  Make up your mind to keep a positive attitude when you wake each day.  Try really hard during the day to remember that no one can make you “feel” a certain way – good or bad.  Remind yourself that you wish to stay joyful!  Especially during homework time!

3. Make sure each family member has their own space at home even if it’s a small one.  This is important especially if you live with a quiet, more introverted family member.  And also if you live with a more extroverted one in the same house 🙂

4.  Try to have some time each day where you can come together as a family.  Maybe it’s dinner time or an evening routine.  We live with kids who love to share each and every part of their day and ones who tell us nothing.  Try to find time to be together in ways that suit everyone’s personality.  An occasional game night or movie is usually something that all of us can enjoy.

5. When your children grow older, don’t force them to do things they really don’t want to.  It makes it hard for everyone to have a good time.

6. On the other hand, do encourage outings and new activities to be tried at least once.  You never know who will like what.

7. We make ONE meal each night for dinner.  If they are hungry, they will eat it.  If the meal can be easily tweaked to meet everyone’s taste (i.e. after draining pasta, some can be put in a bowl to be eaten plain with butter or some with tomato sauce).  If not, a nice bowl of cereal is fine too.

8. Try hard not to over schedule your children’s after school and weekend time.  Leave days for sleeping in late and having down-time.  Why create extra stress on everyone?

At the end of each day,  even though everyone’s bedtime seems to be different these days, we always tell each other good night and that we love them.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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