Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: February, 2016

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Take Stock

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March will be here next week and with that, we’re thinking of spring! This is the time of year when we like to purge our homes of all that “winter clutter”, take stock of what we have and finish up any indoor spring cleaning projects. We will soon want to be outside in another month or so. Making way for a new season prepares us for that change.

We both have home offices that easily accumulate clutter quickly. If you’re like us, that paper pile seems insurmountable if left to grow over the winter. While it’s still cold outside, we are determined to get those piles under control! Here are a few ideas that we are doing that help make a seemingly unmanageable task manageable:

* Pick a day or two to tackle the project and write it down on your calendar. If you have the time and want to finish the task quickly, make it a “weekend warrior” project. If not, choose an hour or two on a day you can spare and work a little at a time.
* Get help. Enlisting another person to assist you can be a great motivator.
* Put on music while you work. It is a natural mood booster.
* Purge, purge, purge. Do you really need that receipt? Or that cookbook you’ll never use?
* Make piles of what you want to keep, donate and trash.
* Invest in a good shredder.
* Buy clear plastic bins to store items you are keeping. You will always be able to see what you have.
* Take a before and after picture. You will feel so accomplished!

Taking stock of what you have and keeping only the essential items is a wonderful, freeing way to live! Good luck!

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Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Try, Try Again

 

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For many people, this is a season of change. Uncomfortable, awkward but necessary change. The changes we make in our lives are supposed to help make us better people – giving up things or ways of being that are harmful to our well being. No one said it will be easy, but what is that’s really worth it?

Sticking with a resolution might be difficult for us but we can turn it into a learning opportunity. What is so hard? How can we reflect on that struggle and overcome it? For us it means don’t stop trying. One little set back can make us think that we are failures; that we should give up because the goal is impossible. But the journey is worth the effort. And who knows, maybe the goal will change mid-way through the trip? And maybe the self-discovery along the way is really what it’s all about?

Take these next few weeks to fight the good fight. Keep trying despite your set backs. Whether you are embroiled in the season of Lent or your own path towards a life change, follow the signs along the road of peace and wellness.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Change for the Better

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This week began the season of lent for Christians around the world. We are practicing “self-improvement” if you will, ultimately in an effort to be closer to God. Sacrifices have been made for us so it helps us to make our own for a period of time to better understand how much we were and are loved. Of course most of us make sacrifices big and small everyday, from giving up our time to giving up that last doughnut to our child! But we like to think that instead of giving up something, we are gaining something, in the long run anyway.

Instead of making a change just for the sake of experiencing a sacrifice, like giving up sweets, try a change within yourself that will help you promote love and peace.  Possibly saying a new prayer each morning or stopping an old habit that is really inhibiting your happiness is a good way to start.  The goal is to remember why you are doing this, and to keep it going long after the season is over.  No matter your religious beliefs, the spirit of this season is great for everybody. The message is all about changing yourself for the better, being thankful, and spreading the love to others.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Walk Away

 

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We would guess that most of us have had the experience of being taken aback by someone who had an issue with us that we were totally unaware of.  Or maybe we were aware that there was a growing feeling of discontent in the relationship but it felt very one-sided and we weren’t quite sure what to do about it.  When someone chooses to vent all over us at a time when they feel they need to, it can catch us off guard and leave us feeling like, “What’s their problem?” or “What did I do?”.  We like to call this “being thrown up on”.  Maybe the person really has a legitimate concern but doesn’t know how to bring it up in a way that’s helpful to the situation. In their eyes, maybe they feel like they are justified in throwing up on us all their perceived hurts and wrongs they have endured with no thought of the receiver’s feelings.  Have you ever experienced a situation like this?

Here are some things we have learned about these situations and helpful ideas to try to implement for the sake of peace:

*If you know there is a negative situation in a relationship – work, family, friend – try to plan out your response before the person confronts you.  If you are caught off guard by the person, you will know right away what coping strategies you will use.  Sometimes, however, it is hard to think of something to say when the situation is heated and in that case, being honest and true to your own feelings at the time can be the best response.  It is ok to say nothing except how the person is making you feel in the moment.  Even saying, for example, “I can see you are very upset right now.  Let’s talk another time” is truthful to you and may help diffuse the situation.

*You are not obligated to answer the phone every time it rings, respond immediately to every text or say yes to every invitation you receive.  If you are not mentally ready to deal with a certain conversation, wait until you are.

*If you feel like you are being verbally attacked, getting defensive or justifying any thought or action you’ve had is usually not helpful.  Sometimes just being quiet is better.  There is a time to say your point of view, but not now.  Let’s face it, the other person probably isn’t even listening.

*Walking away and thinking through how you want to deal with the relationship can help to clear your head and remind you of what’s most important to you.

Sometimes we try to remember that although we strive to be good people, we can’t make everyone happy or make everyone like us.  And that’s ok.  That’s not what it’s about.  In fact, it may have nothing to do with us at all.

 

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