It’s Sunday – Do THIS Today!

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We can look at Sunday two different ways. It’s either the end of the weekend and you’re already planning your upcoming week or you’re still enjoying your weekend and haven’t yet thought about the week ahead. Either way, think about doing THIS sometime today.

Real quick, think about something that makes you happy. Don’t think about whether or not you can do it; don’t think about the logistics of it. Just real quick…what makes you happy?

What are the first few things that you thought of?

Pick one of these and, sometime in the upcoming week, do something to support whatever it is. It can be as small as talking to a friend or as big as taking a vacation. It can be whatever makes you happy. Many times, it’s the act of just doing anything at all that makes us happy.  It’s the feeling we get when we’re planning a vacation; just the process is exciting.

If it’s a smaller, easier goal like meeting up with a friend, going for a walk, or reading that book you’ve wanted to get to, that’s great. It’s still important to take it seriously and make sure you get it done! Many times, we just assume that it will get done during the week so we don’t make a plan for it and we don’t make it a priority. I don’t know about you, but I always have things like this that just don’t get done and it rolls over from week to week on my list of “wanna’ do”.

Sometimes we’re not able to achieve our big goals, but we can do something similar to it, something that makes us happy. For instance, if your dream was to take an exotic vacation and you’re not able to do that because of time or money, can you think of something similar that would make you happy THIS week? Maybe read a book about your desired location, listen to some music that is central to your theme, or visit a local park and just enjoy the nature that’s available to you. Maybe you can put together a plan to reach your ultimate goal. The point is that you’re always able to accomplish something that is relative to your happiness. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small; the point is that you’re doing something.

Life is too short to just get through it taking care of what you have to do. It should also be about what you want to do. What are some things you can do? If you enjoy nature, take a walk, go to a park, or take some pictures. If you enjoy cooking or baking, try out a new restaurant or make that recipe you’ve been wanting to try. If you enjoy exercise or fitness, make it a point to schedule a workout or yoga session, meditate, or do something similar that you enjoy. We have a tendency to put these things off, just assume they’ll get done, or think we just don’t have the time. Make the time, make an appointment with yourself. Pick a day and time between right now and next Sunday night. Write it down, put it in your phone, do whatever you need to do to make sure it happens. Make this time count. Your happiness is as important to your well-being as your to-do list is. Treat it like it’s important and schedule it in.

Make the time, make a plan, and be happy!

 

Who Needs a Teddy Bear?

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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.

 

Getting Through the Storm

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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”

What Makes Something Go Viral?

are_we_supposed_to_be_happy? cause_we're_not
are we supposed to be happy? ’cause we’re not.

Nowadays it seems that the goal of anything you write, take a picture of, or post is to have it go viral. What does this mean and how does it happen? Well, According to Urban Dictionary, “an image, video, or link that spreads rapidly through a population by being frequently shared with a number of individuals has ‘gone viral’.”

So, what do you think? Do you think that’s the actual goal of some people or do you think that it’s the unintentional consequence of something that they did? It’s either and both! I’ve seen videos that are clearly intended to be distributed as a viral video simply to garner followers. There are several benefits to putting things out there. I think some people just want the fun or challenge of seeing if they can get something to go viral. It can also drive people to their site, inspire people to follow them, and get their name out there. These are all good reasons to share something with the intent of going viral. Continue reading “What Makes Something Go Viral?”

Who In The World Are We?

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I don’t even know what to say today.

I’m so confused, disappointed, frightened, and angry at what we’ve allowed our reality to become. When and why did we allow this to happen to us, as a people? It seems to me that it has evolved over time to the point that we are now accepting of the fact that hate is normal and there really is no minimum expectation of behavior anymore. Anybody can say anything they want to with no repercussions. This growing tolerance of unacceptable behavior has evolved into violent action and increasing and overwhelming incidents of hate.

I feel that, during this time of political upheaval and discourse, it’s been easy to blame politics (and politicians). I am embarrassed to admit that I, too, have developed feelings of disappointment, disgust, and yes, even anger, over the past year. I don’t care which side you were on, you had a reason to feel these emotions.  We do NOT, however, have a right to act on them, other than in a positive way.  We should be taking those feelings and looking for positive ways to get involved and effect change. We, as human beings, do not have a right to violence, to hate, to intolerance. Each one of us is a human being entitled to an opinion, a behavior, and a lifestyle of our own choosing. Not one of us is a perfect human. How dare we think we are better than anybody else or that we, alone, are right about everything? Yes, we’re entitled to feelings, but we are not entitled to say or do anything that we want. I don’t care who you are. You can be the guy next door or the president of the United States. We seem to have lost respect for basic human interaction. We need to hold each other accountable again. Continue reading “Who In The World Are We?”