Who Needs a Teddy Bear?

teddy_bear

The bear pictured above is MY bear and I’m not going to apologize for him. He’s actually my Reiki bear, but every now and then, I’ll grab him just to touch it and it always makes me feel better when I happen to see him!

As it turns out, almost everybody benefits from having a teddy bear! I think we all know our bear just makes us feel better, but did you also know that there are proven benefits to having a teddy bear?

There are lots of articles written about the positive impact that stuffed animals have on our children. This can also include other special things like blankets, dolls, etc. One of the articles describes how many different ways these objects can affect our child: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-guest-room/201407/more-just-teddy-bears

Most times, this bear or blanket will be the first object that your child experiences that is not mom or dad. It will be there whenever they need it to be. It represents security, it’s familiar, and it makes them feel safe. Surely  there’s nothing wrong with that!

Another great article explains the value of teddy bears to children in so many different ways and why we should encourage them to bond with their bear:  http://blog-en.famosa.es/the-benefits-of-playing-with-teddy-bears/

Most kids end up gravitating toward a stuffed animal, whether it’s a bear or an elephant or something else. They do this because the kids feel like the stuffed animals are their friend. They can talk to them and hug them and the bear listens to them, even when the rest of us are too busy. By playing with stuffed animals, kids are able to express their feelings and emotions even before they can talk!

Your child’s teddy bear can help him through the transition from baby to toddler, to going to new places, and being in unfamiliar situations. His bear can teach him the social skills that he needs to learn like being polite, sharing, and how to speak to others.

As a parent, you can use your child’s bear to show him things as well. You can use it to show him how to treat others, how to communicate, and how to express emotions. You can use him to show your child life skills (like brushing his teeth, getting dressed, etc.) by practicing on his bear.

As proven in so many different studies and written about in so many articles, the teddy bear is good for your child and interaction with the bear (or blanket or whatever else they are attached to) should be encouraged.

Oddly enough, most of the articles that I read were geared toward babies and children. I’m not sure why because I think teddy bears make EVERYBODY feel better! I still can’t go through a store aisle that has bears without touching them, finding one with “just the right face” and holding it before putting it back. Teddy bears just make us feel good and that’s enough reason for me! I don’t care how old you are, go ahead and hug that bear.

 

Keep Looking UP!

keep_looking_up
keep looking up!

Even though the eclipse is over, keep looking up! Look around you!

Stop looking down at your phone, stop looking at the t.v., stop looking at your computer. Look around you instead. Look at the people who you pass on your way to work. Look at the people in the office that you’re walking past and say hello instead of rushing by. Really look at the person at the coffee shop that is giving you your order.

Sometimes that person that you’re used to looking past can become an important part of your life. You’ll never know if you’re busy looking at your phone. I think we’re all so used to rushing that it’s sometimes difficult to just stop and look around us. We might see some unexpected things that are right in front of our face if we just take a minute.

Maybe that coworker is going through some difficulties and you could make them feel better. Maybe that person waiting on you has just had something happen that is making her sad or angry. You can change that person’s day by being kind. Conversely, being kind or thoughtful to other people can change YOUR day and make you feel better too. It’s part of our humanity to reach out to people, to be kind to each other, not just ignore each other.

Looking up can also mean putting down your phone when you’re with other people. It lets them know that you care about what they’re saying and that you care enough to give them your undivided attention. It’s a sign of respect that’s too often overlooked.

Sometimes we need to look around us just to take a breather. Being in nature, surrounding yourself with the sounds and sights of the trees, the wind, the animals, can make you feel better. Take some time to look around at the world, not just rush through it. Look up at the sky, at the birds, and just enjoy the peace and quiet.

No matter how you choose to enjoy looking up or looking around, just keep doing it! Make it a habit and not an exception. You will be happy that you did.

 

How Do You Get Yourself Out Of A Funk?

mood

I think we all have days where we just don’t feel like being sociable, being polite, or dealing with people or problems. I don’t know how you deal with that, but most of the time I recognize it, acknowledge it, and go with it. Frankly, I don’t have the patience anymore to try to hide it or pretend it’s not happening. Sometimes I’m just plain crabby and I own it.

We all have our reasons to get cranky or out of sorts, but I think how we deal with it varies. I know some people are embarrassed that they get crabby and try to ignore it. Other people revel in it and feel like it’s their due to just treat people poorly or take out their temper on unsuspecting people in their path that day. I think it also depends on the reason for it and the length of time that you’re in a funk. Continue reading “How Do You Get Yourself Out Of A Funk?”

Getting Through the Storm

storm_clouds
storm clouds

I’ve been thinking lately about how chronic illness affects people and was going to do an article about it. This is not about that though.

I realized when I first started thinking about this topic that the first two things that popped into my head were how all-consuming it can be and how people deserve compassion. Then I realized that these two things are not exclusive to people with chronic illness. They are, in fact, common to everybody and something that we should think about and be aware of when dealing with our own situations and when dealing with other people in any circumstance.

Think about it: everybody that we encounter throughout our day, from the cashier at the coffee shop to the person on the other end of the phone that we speak with, all have individual lives with problems of their own that they deal with.

  • New mothers are dealing with life-changing issues while being sleep-deprived.
  • Many of us have problems at work, either person- or issue-related that may be troubling.
  • Lots of people have financial problems that they are trying to resolve.
  • There are so many people with health issues ranging from acute and immediate to chronic and debilitating.

All of these, and so many more, are problems that keep us awake at night. We all have some type of problem that we’re working on. Some are obviously more critical than others and they may come and go, but the one thing we have in common is that we all have to get through something. We all have problems that require our attention.

Additionally, people all handle problems differently. What one person considers minimal, somebody else may interpret (and react to) as a monumental problem. Stress also affects each of us differently and would affect our reactions and behavior. Our individual history may also affect our situation. Who is to say that one problem is worse than somebody else’s? There is absolutely no grading scale on problems, reactions, or situations.

There are a lot of factors that can influence how our problems affect our situation. The one thing we have in common is that we all have problems that worry us, can sometimes consume us, and that can affect how we live, how we think, and how we act. Since we know this, we should also have more in common with each other: compassion and understanding for ourselves and for each other.

For ourselves, it’s important that we cut ourselves some slack. Many times, we tend to be harder on ourselves than on other people. We expect a lot from ourselves. Allow yourself the time and patience to heal, to grieve, or to work toward resolution of the problem that you’re dealing with.

When dealing with other people, no matter who they are, be generous with your time, compassion, and patience. They, too, are going through situations and problems that we are unaware of, situations that are consuming their time, attention, and patience.

I’m not trying to be negative in saying that we all have problems, but it’s a reality in our fast-paced world that we’re all stressed and experience negative thoughts or experiences. I would like to think that, by taking the time to remember that everybody else we talk to or interact with has similar experiences, we might be a bit more kind or thoughtful to each other. If we could do this, it might just make somebody’s life a little bit easier and, after all, how much more positive could that be?

Our Friendships in Life

friends_for_life
friends for life

When you’re little, your parents are your world and they are the ones that choose the people that surround you. As you grow, it starts to be your own choice as to who you let into your life and who becomes important. Your friends gradually start becoming a bigger priority.

As you get older and your friendships take on a larger role in your life, you’re convinced that your best friends will remain your best friends forever. You depend on them to get you through the oh-so-dramatic happenings in your teenage years when your parents don’t understand you. You spend all of your waking hours together. Sometimes your best friend remains your best friend, but things can change as well. Continue reading “Our Friendships in Life”

Me & My Coffeepot

rip_mr_coffee
RIP, Mr. Coffee

Serious coffee drinkers will appreciate this. I will admit it; I still have a coffeepot instead of a Keurig (or I did). I killed it. I got up as usual this morning and blindly fumbled my way into the kitchen. I filled it with water, took a nice big sniff of my Dunkin’ Donuts ground coffee as I filled it, and turned it on. Nothing happened. Nothing at all. I unplugged it, plugged it back in and it beeped at me and then just sat there. That woke me up!

Let me explain a little bit. I have a very healthy (from my perspective) relationship with my coffee. Throughout the years, it’s gotten me through a whole lot from babies up all night (where’s my coffee?) to dealing with my chronic illness (need coffee to function) and now, simply, to manage my life. It’s become more than just something to wake me up or make me more alert. Now, as it turns out, it’s more along the lines of a security blanket for me. It’s dependable. It’s there every single morning to cheer me on, to let me know that I can get started and make it through the day. It’s like an old friend that you can count on. I know that sounds crazy to those of you that either don’t drink coffee or view it as a treat or an occasional indulgence. For those of us that depend on it, though, there’s nothing worse than waking up expecting that first cup of coffee and getting nothing…zip…zilch. Continue reading “Me & My Coffeepot”