imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Handling stress during the holidays

Christmas is a wonderful season but it can also be a season of tremendous stress.  If you want to really enjoy the holidays, it is important that you take care of yourself and find ways to handle the added pressures that can take away any peace or joy.

  • Consider what Christmas is all about.  Why do we celebrate?  Is it just a holiday or is there something more important?
  • Don’t try to make everything perfect.  Nothing in this world is perfect so stop trying to do the impossible.  If something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, just make the best of things and enjoy yourself anyway.  A burnt pie or a forgotten gift doesn’t have to ruin the day.
  • Don’t spend all your money on unwanted or frivolous gifts and end up in debt.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Those wonderful gifts don’t seem so wonderful when you are paying for them months later.  Spend your time instead investing in the people you love and create some great memories.
  • Take time for yourself and don’t neglect your health.  Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well.  Relax with a good book, take a bath, listen to music and meditate.  If you don’t exhaust yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holidays.
  • Have a good attitude and be forgiving to the people around you.  Try to resolve any differences and work on repairing strained relationships.  Be a positive role model and express thanks for all the great things you have.
  • Plan creative but simple meals.  Get family and friends to help instead of doing everything yourself.  Share the load so you aren’t overburdened.
  • Try to include someone who is lonely in a family experience.  There are many people who don’t have family or friends to share Christmas with.

Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year.  It can be a time of peace and joy.  It can be full of love and warmth.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember what Christmas is all about.  Jesus came into the world to bring us hope.  Hallelujah!!

 

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A Christmas checklist

What is on your Christmas checklist?  Buying presents, preparing for guests, creating a tasty meal plan, attending special events?  These are certainly things that need attention but when we get caught up in all the excitement, we can end up feeling stressed and full of anxiety.

There are a few important things that you should have on your Christmas checklist.  These include:

 

  • HELP  Get family and friends to help.  Think of an aunt, cousin or friend who is bored and would like to help you wrap gifts, clean the house and prepare meals.  Things go faster and are more fun when you have help.
  • FAMILY TIME  Spend time with your family.  In our attempt to create a perfect Christmas, we often neglect our family.  This certainly won’t create a feeling of love and peace in the home.
  • GIFTS  Don’t buy gifts at the last minute.  Watch for special sales all year and pick up the rest early in December so you can get them wrapped and under the tree.
  • SHOPPING TIME  Organize shopping so you aren’t running around in all directions or going out every day for wasting time running out for just one item.  Combine gift shopping with your regular errands and make plans to go several places in one day.
  • DIET  Make sure you eat properly.  When you are rushing around, it is easy to grab fast food or go without meals.  Your family also needs proper meals, so take time to prepare something healthy.
  • RELAX  Book time to relax in your schedule.  Make sure you spend at least an hour each day relaxing.  Read a book, take a bath or just sit and meditate.
  • SHARE LOVE  There are so many lonely, unhappy people, especially at this time of year.  Spread some love around by smiling and saying hello to everyone you see.  You might just get a smile back!

If you want Christmas to be a joyful event, you need to make sure you are not focusing all your attention on gifts and glitter.  Focus on what is important and what the Christmas season is all about.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s the thought that counts! Really?

I’m not sure where this statement originated but I’ve heard it many times and have even used it myself without considering what it really means.  Dictionaries tell us that it refers to gift giving and that it isn’t really important how much a gift costs; the importance is found in the feeling or thought from the giver.

However, I’m not sure I totally agree with this idea.  I do believe that cost is unimportant when it comes to gift-giving and that someone can give me a gift that is right from their heart.  People spend way too much money on stuff they don’t need today and I certainly don’t like when someone spends a lot of money on me.  Yet, when I get a gift from someone, how do I know how much thought is behind it.  Unless someone shows me how they feel through their actions or words, I certainly can’t read their mind, so I obviously have no idea how they feel.  Maybe they did think a lot about the gift or maybe they didn’t.  People can easily pick up items without much thought or effort.

What we truly care about another person we need to express what we are feeling.  Just assuming that they know we love and care for them is not enough.  Our thoughts are just our thoughts and nobody will even know what is going on in our minds unless we express ourselves.  Children especially need to be reminded of our love or they will not build confidence or see their value.

So next time you give someone a gift make sure they know how you feel.  The thought doesn’t count – people do.

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What is the best gift under your tree?

the-best-of-all-gifts

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Are you ready for Christmas?

People are always in such a hurry, especially at this time of year.  We rush here and there trying to get everything ready for Christmas and it often seems like we are getting nowhere fast.  What we do get, is a lot of stress and frustration.

Christmas should be a time to create new memories with family and friends.  We should be able to stop our busy lives, take some time to relax and reflect on what Christmas is all about.  Christmas was never meant to be a mad rush to spend a lot of money trying to impress people with lavish gifts.   Consumerism has taken the joy away from this wonderful season.  We spend more time and money looking for gifts that people don’t really want or will soon lose interest in or even replace with something that is newer or more interesting, than we spend sharing memories with the people we love.

Think about the time you spend shopping versus the time you spend with your families and friends and ask these questions:

  • Do you spend more money or more time with your loved ones?
  • Do they really need those items you are madly searching for?
  • Can you afford those items or will you be paying for them months and years down the road?
  • Are you feeling relaxed or stressed?
  • Are you happier before, during or after Christmas?

We all need to slow down and stop rushing through life.   We all feel pressure to want things to happen immediately and we don’t want to wait for anything.  The problem is, we are often disappointed with our lives and in our busyness we miss a lot of what is going on around us.  There are so many little, important things that happen when we are too busy to notice: the smile of a child, the chirp of a bird, a beautiful sunset, laughter, acts of kindness.

Are you ready for Christmas or are you still rushing around doing things that are not really that important?   Take some time this Christmas to slow down, relax and reflect.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  Luke 2:11

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Do you have integrity?

Can people count on you?  Do you keep your commitments?  Are you honest?  Do you do what is right?

People with integrity have strong values, beliefs and principles.  Their character is consistent and they always try to do the right thing even when it is hard or it goes against what society believes.

How can you tell if someone has integrity?

  • they are truthful
  • they keep their promises
  • they are there for you even in tough times
  • they are more concerned with giving than receiving
  • they always do their best and care about what they are doing
  • they accept responsibility for their mistakes
  • they are forgiving
  • they don’t blame others
  • they don’t try to hurt others, instead they try to help others

Do you have integrity? Are you teaching your children to have integrity?

 

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What are you passing on to your kids?

Sometimes we inherit something from our parents, like the same colour of eyes or hair or maybe the same shaped nose.  But were you aware that we can also inherit their character traits and tendencies?

Children are born with their own personalities but these can be influenced greatly by the behaviour and actions of their parents.

  • If we are angry, bitter or negative people, our children can also become angry, bitter or negative.
  • If we are self-centered and focus on ourselves more than others, our children will become selfish and lack generosity.
  • If we have an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, our children are more likely to develop an addiction.
  • If we don’t have solid moral values, our children will not learn to respect themselves and others.

As parents, we have a profound affect on our children and we should ensure that we are influencing them in a positive way.  This isn’t an easy task and we will make mistakes.  However, we should carefully look at our own lives and try to make any necessary changes so we can become  to be the best possible role model.

What are you passing on to your kids?

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Are you raising the child you want or the child you have?

We are all different.  Everyone is unique and special in their own way.  No two people on this earth are exactly the same and we should celebrate our differences.

When we have children, we often expect them to be like us and when they aren’t, we either try to mold them into a “mini-us” or we constantly battle with them because they don’t act the way we want them to and they drive us crazy.

We should raise our children as they are and not try to change them into the person we want them to be.  They are not us and they never will be.  We can force them into our mold and have them become an unhappy, unfulfilled adult.  Or we can encourage them to use their abilities, guide them through difficult situations to achieve their potential and support them when they fail.

Children are a gift.  Allow them to be themselves.  They are not perfect and neither are we.  Just love them.

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Life is not a dress rehearsal

We do many things in our lives that we wish we hadn’t done or wish we had done better.  Too often we put off doing something with the intention of doing it someday but that day never comes.  Or we do things quickly with little or no preparation, thinking that we can do it better the next time.  Even worse we do something knowing that it isn’t right and it may even cause problems but we still do it anyway.

Time is precious and we should never waste it.  We only have so many hours in a day and we really don’t how many of those days we have.  In the big picture of life, we should try to focus on what is important and invest our time wisely.

When a loved one passes away,  we are reminded that we can’t go back and do things over again.  Our lives are NOT a dress rehearsal for some future event.  Our lives are happening RIGHT NOW!  We can’t go back and tell that person the things we forgot to say.  We can’t go back and do the things we wanted to do with them.  We can’t watch the movies that we said we would watch with them and didn’t. We can’t buy that gift that we always thought about getting them.

Are you living your life like it is a dress rehearsal?  Stop rehearsing and start living!  Time is precious.  If you waste your time, you are wasting your life.  Make some positive changes:

  • spend time with the people you love
  • go to your children’s school play or special event
  • take that trip you have been planning (just don’t go into debt to do it)
  • build meaningful relationships
  • take that course you always wanted to take
  • tell your spouse that you love them
  • manage your time wisely

 

 

 

 

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Are you teaching your children to worry?

Let’s face it – life IS difficult and there are so many things that we can worry about – our families, our jobs, our friends, our finances, our future.  However, what value does worrying have?   The answer is – absolutely none! Worry doesn’t make anything better and it won’t resolve any problems.  Worry is just a major cause of stress and we know that stress can kill us.

So if we are worrying about everything in our lives, then we are impacting everyone around us, especially our children.  Think about it – our children are watching everything we say and do and will likely pick up any bad habits we have, like worrying!  We are giving them a terrible gift, one that will harm their health and possibly destroy any close parent/child relationship.

Are you teaching your children to worry?  If you are a worrier, take some steps to change this bad habit.  Write down your worries and try to change your perspective on them.  Ask yourself why you are worrying so much.  Try to focus on a positive solution and have faith that things will usually turn out okay.  The fact is, about 95% of the things we worry about never happen!

 

 

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