Tag Archives: women

Happiness for the Holidays

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happy holidaysJust like adults, children sometimes have stress, anxieties, or get overly excited during the holiday season.  Here are a few strategies to help yourself and your child enjoy the holidays and each other:

Be sure to do a self-check. If you are getting nervous, stressed or frustrated trying to “do it all”. It will surely trickle down to your children. Don’t be shy to ask for help! It’s okay to ask for help because it will strengthen your relationships.

Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by keeping what is truly important in mind, your beliefs in the holiday your family celebrates, your family, and helping or appreciating others as well. It’s a great time of year to show appreciation to others who help your family in some way. Also, it is a time to help other families who may need it during the holidays.

Make lists and keep a journal. Making lists of items you need to buy or things you need to get accomplished. Be sure to write down a day you would like these tasks to be done. I also started to keep a journal of holiday giving to help me remember from year to year what we have given.

It’s also a good time of year to give to charities, food pantries, and shelters. Schools and stores usually have toy or gift drives. Wal-Mart, for example, has a giving tree with gift requests on it. You can select a tag off the tree, buy the request, and then give it to the customer service staff member. This is a good thing to do with your children so that they understand the importance of giving, even to other families they may not know.

A side note regarding donations. There are organizations in your area that need families to make donations which help your own community.  One way to make donating easier is by making a payment monthly for one year. Small monthly donations can be given automatically through your bank to the recipient.   This commitment is actually better for the recipient.

Strategies For Kids:

Give kids age appropriate “jobs” to help with holiday preparations. One idea is wrapping gifts. Cut paper to size of gift. Give your child sized paper, pieces of tape (or if old enough, the tape dispenser), bows, and a bag to place when finished. Here is the big tip for you: Love however they wrap the gift! Sometimes we have to “let go” of how we might do something because it’s all good. 🙂 The recipient will enjoy your child’s wrapping abilities no matter what. Other jobs may include: help with cleaning (socks on hands to dust is always fun), decorating, cooking, and making gifts.

Deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) and exercise daily.  Kids need to be taught how to take a deep breath. Elementary teachers sometimes  explain to their students, it is like smelling flowers and blowing out  birthday candles. Be sure to tell them to only do one deep breath, but remind them a few times during the day. If you practice this daily, your children will be able to use it more effectively when they really need it to calm themselves. Exercise is very important for your children to keep calm as well. An easy indoor activity is Freeze Dancing. Turn on your favorite tunes, but when the music goes off, you freeze! The kids really like this and they get some exercise.

Read and discuss holiday traditions along with their usual favorite books. (Bedtime is a great time for this. Kids are very open to conversations at this time. Especially if they get to stay up a little late. 😉 )

Emphasize Giving Make or buy gifts together for others. Include them in buying for the toy or gift drive you donate to. It will get your child thinking about how others need our support.

Teach expected behaviors for giving and receiving. For example, when receiving a gift always say “thank you” and something kind about the gift. When giving a gift watch the person open it and respond to a thank you with “you’re welcome”. This not only gives them the words to use, it provides the opportunity to learn about gratitude.

If you are visiting another home for a holiday party be sure to tell your kids beforehand the usual sequence of events and what is expected of them during the party. Remind them that expected behavior is important for everyone to have fun and stay safe. If you have a child who has difficulty in these less structured events, be certain to respect any concerns they have and help them to feel comfortable. It’s okay to request information from the host or bring something with you to help your child feel more comfortable. Don’t put your feelings or anxieties on them, however. Don’t ask or suggest anything negative, simply listen if they bring up a concern and reassure them that you will help them if needed.

Older kids need support, too. They would benefit by your sharing the above strategies with them (in your own words) and ask them what they might like to try this year. It may just be the conversation starter you are looking for. (Don’t forget…bedtime is a great time to ask and listen.)

Hopefully, you are also working on your happiness with visualizing, family cheers, exercise, getting rest, being thankful, being mindful, meditating, self-compassion, and thinking positive thoughts. Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to create amazing memories for your family and others. I hope this helps you and your children enjoy this special time of year. Please share some of your own strategies that have helped your holidays be happy in the comment section. I look forward to learning from you!

More to come……

 

 

Do You See My Twitter Feed?

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bird

boy looking through binoculars

Blogging has led to tweeting on Twitter and following tweets! If you haven’t tried this yet, please do! Even if you are a bit shy, it is such a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people. Happy, positive, fun people!

First of all, you can “tweet” about what is important to you or simply about things that make you…..(you know what I am going to say, right?) happy! Others can “like” your tweets and follow YOU.  Another fun feature is when you find something you like, you can “retweet” it! Maybe your friend’s tweet, or something you want your friends to learn about, or just something that made you laugh and you want to share it. 😀

Secondly, you can find people or groups on twitter that you are interested in and follow their tweets. They don’t have to be your friend. If you really like one of their tweets, you can click on their link to learn more!

Lastly, even when you’re not actively finding others, they can find you! I have made connections with some wonderful people and groups.  Some of which I searched for and some I connected with when they found me.

You never know, you might have fun if you give it a try. Please, though, look at my Twitter Feed conveniently located in my sidebar  under Blog Hits.  You do not need to be registered with Twitter to read my feed. I will be bringing tweets to your attention, but anytime you see a tweet that is interesting, you can easily click on its link! “My Happy” posts will appear as tweets, but other tweets will be information that is similar or supports  “My Happy” content.

I was prompted to share my feed on “My Happy” when I found some great links. If you like what I have been blogging about, I know you will really like them.

Please take a look at the December 4th retweet  The Power & Science of Social Connection: Emma Seppälä TEDx . It is about compassion, kindness, and of course, happiness! Emma Seppälä  brings our attention to current research regarding compassion and why it is important for us to have it for others and ourselves. Hoping this video reminds you to be  kind to yourself and others.

Thanks for reading!

Thankful

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Thankful

This was my first Thanksgiving as a blogger. In fact, my blog is about happiness, positive thinking, social thinking, emotional intelligence and being grateful! It is the perfect opportunity to write about how much we need to have gratitude to be happy, how our children need to be taught how to be thankful and why, that studies are showing happy and resilient people are the most grateful people! Unfortunately, I was stumped. I let the holiday slip by without a terrific post about having an attitude of gratitude!

I researched and found many wonderful posts, articles, studies regarding this special holiday and it overwhelmed me. I felt an obligation to give my readers something they have not seen elsewhere, something special. Instead, I started to feel like I wasn’t doing enough anywhere in my life. I didn’t make super cute crafts with my kids, I didn’t have them write any thank yous, I only read one Thanksgiving story.  I was caring for my sick kids (colds being passed to each other), trying to figure out how to balance my family’s needs with my needs during these last few weeks, stay well myself, not to mention trying to be a supportive wife, friend, and sister.

So, I took a deep breath. I decided to take my own advice and be kind to myself. Instead of feeling badly about what I didn’t do, I thought back to the memories of Thanksgivings past with my family as a child. I tried to do some of the things we had done then that made the time together seem so special. Little things, like celery with cream cheese, using little leaf dishes, and turkey napkins. Once we were seated for dinner, I said a blessing and my husband asked each of us to name one thing we were grateful for. We, then, simply enjoyed each other for the rest of the day.

I do hope my readers who celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday. Whether it be this holiday or another that you might share some of my experience, I would love to hear about it.

Thankful for friends, family,  “My Happy” readers, and all who care for my family

Happy for each new day

Always hopeful
Never sad for too long
Kindness is appreciated
Say I love you, often
Give even a little
Invest in your loved ones
Visit every chance you get
I am wishing everyone peace and love
No worries
Get some rest

🙂 ~feeling thankful

 

Kindness For You, Not Excuses

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Everywhere there are acts of kindness taking place. Our local channel for children has a kindest kid contest, teachers have kindness walls, counselors are telling of kindness as the key to successful relationships, I want to bring your attention to one of the most important ways to be kind that you might be missing.

I’m sure you are kind to your children or children you care for, I’m sure you are kind to your husband, wife, extended family, friends, colleagues, church groups, sales clerks, and I could go on. My question is, are you kind to yourself?

You are a very important person in your life, you are your first best friend, have you appreciated yourself lately? Are you chuckling to yourself right now reading this? I hope it is because you know I am right! It is called self-compassion. Be sure to take time to nurture yourself, create your happiness (of course, I had to say that), take a break, smell the roses, and appreciate yourself. We tend to be our own worse critics. We will judge ourselves where we wouldn’t judge or criticize another.  This is a current area of research because so many of us have difficulty with this. However you treat and see yourself, others will too.

This is especially important if you do have children. Your children will learn about self-compassion by the example that you set.  I discovered inspiring books for my children by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer which help them to understand self compassion, self-awareness and  improve their self-confidence. Dr. Dyer wrote “Incredible You” and “Unstoppable Me”, among others.  These, like many children’s books, are wonderful to read over and over throughout your children’s childhood. Because my children liked  these books, I looked for another. I then found, “No Excuses!”

no excuses

“No Excuses!” is a story of a young boy who loved sea turtles and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. My oldest son and I refer to this book often as a reminder to stay focused on our goals.  The first time I read this with my son, I learned a lesson myself!

Dr. Dyer writes this story to increase children’s understanding of what excuses are, where they come from and not to let excuses stand in the way of their dreams.  I had never really thought about my own excuses in the way he described.  At the end of this book I noticed that Dr. Dyer had written a more in-depth book for adults titled “EXCUSES BEGONE!”  How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits. Got it, read it, and I would recommend it, if you find yourself holding back because of excuses. This was where I first realized how strong our mindsets are but, how possible it is to change them. When I asked my children to believe in themselves that they can do anything with effort, a good support team, and positive thinking….why was I not telling myself the same?

I hope YOU know that with effort, a good support team, and positive thinking  you can do anything! Are you telling yourself the same? Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t let your excuses stand in the way of reaching your goals, big or small. 🙂

Another Look at “The Power of Style”

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Aaahhh…finally. I think this was take 7. I’m not sure, I didn’t count. It seemed like every time I tried to video post it went wrong for one reason or another. This video went mostly well with only a few, hopefully unnoticeable, mistakes. 🙂 My goal here is to encourage folks, like myself, who would like to learn, review or update their knowledge of beauty, style, makeup and fashion.

“The Power of Style”The Power of Style is a great place to start! Of course, it all begins with the beauty within. Please be sure to read my post,  She Had Me At “Style Speak”. You can see more from Bobbie Thomas at http://www.Bobbie.com

This is something I wanted to share from the book

Bobbie's Stress Busters

I am trying to include video posts because it is sometimes easier to sit back and listen, like when you are just hanging out with a friend sharing your interests.

 

Please forgive my lack of knowledge regarding the beauty products I mention in the video. Here is better information: I like and use these products because they work, they include healthy ingredients, they are not tested on animals, and there are no Parabens, Phthalates, or Petrochemicals. These are a few examples of some I have tried and liked.

Burt’s Bees  Intense Hydration Day Lotion with Clary Sage (I also like Burt’s Bees bath and body products for kids)  http://www.burtsbees.com

PIXI Shea Butter Lip Balm Natural Rose  http://www.pixibeauty.com

Origins tinted moisturizer with White Tea and sunscreen  http://www.origins.com

The following links are blogs that I enjoy looking at for more beauty and fashion tips:

http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com

http://www.aprettypennyblog.com

http://www.lizandlifestyle.wordpress.com

http://www.erinsnotions.com

 

Here are some of my past style choices….ha ha.Style Over The Years

 

If this is your first visit to “My Happy” be sure to read the previous post, She Had Me at “Style Speak”,  my “Happiness Page” and the post, “Back to School” For You.

Thanks for visiting “My Happy”!

 

She Had Me at “Style Speak”

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My hope is to pleasantly surprise, not confuse. Creating happiness is unique to you, but there are some things we all need to focus on. Even if you might not think this is important to you, I hope to change your mind by the end of the post.

As I was saying in my “Back to School For You” post, I found myself reflecting on my life and trying to get back to things I used to enjoy.  One of those things for me was beauty, style, and fashion.  I wondered why my style and fashion sense seemed to have escaped me. Rarely did I get a chance to watch t.v., however this one particular  morning I grabbed a laundry folding chance to watch a morning show.  I happen to catch Bobbie Thomas being interviewed about her new book (at that time) “The Power of Style”. I decided to buy it that morning. What I got was so much more than makeup and fashion tips.

The Power of Stylee

“Style is the way we speak to the world without words.” Bobbie further explains how important it is that we really understand ourselves inside and out.  Her first career began as she pursued graduate studies in marriage, family, and child counseling.  She begins the book by explaining the significance of our feelings and view of ourselves.  She writes how women (in particular) tend to look in mirrors and focus on the flaws instead of appreciating the beauty. Focusing on flaws leads to feeling sorry for yourself which usually leads us to lifting our spirits with sweets and treats (not a healthy coping skill). On the other hand when people feel great they are motivated to take care of themselves which leads to confidence and self awareness which strengthens us to make the changes in our lives that we need to make.

This is so similar to the point Shawn Achor makes in “The Happiness Advantage” regarding the importance for us to try to focus on the positives. In both instances we need to focus on both the positives occurring in our lives and about ourselves.  I would like to address the negatives here. There are experiences in our lives that are negative which do need our attention and respect. In that you don’t want to deny some of the happenings in your life because they are sad or frustrating. There are moments you need to feel the sadness or the anger, but don’t allow it to be the only thing you can think about. Also, help yourself move through it without it always casting a shadow on your present.

Back to “The Power of Style”. Bobbie includes simple strategies, like leaving yourself a sticky note with inspiration where you will see it daily.  I liked this idea of writing song lyrics, quotes, or a simple reminder to smile. Remember the simple act of smiling sends chemicals to our brain which help us to feel good? She included a quote by George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself”.  This quote is one of my favorites and it turned up in my life again, very randomly, on a magnet which is now on my fridge.  I try to live that one.

She also very genuinely and honestly reveals that the reflections in our lives don’t just come from mirrors, but from the people around us. The people in our lives reflect back what they see in us, sometimes accurately and sometimes inaccurately.  Just like those fun house mirrors, people in your life who might be concave or convex themselves, may reflect back their own imperfect idea of you. It is important to take in what the people in your lives reflect back to you. Once I began to do this and really listen, I usually found something about myself I could work on and improve. This, I think, helped my relationships. Of course, there have been times when I knew the reflection was not accurate, then I took time to figure out whether to work on that relationship or let it go. Surround yourself with positive people who see you and reflect back your true self.

To be continued…..