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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.

Take care of yourself!

Our health is very important.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can easily develop major health issues that will affect everything in our lives.

We should try to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get proper sleep and eliminate any negative stresses.  This isn’t easy in a world that promotes fast food and a fast life.  We fill our lives with so many activities that we are too busy to cook healthy meals, go for a leisurely walk or get to bed at a reasonable hour.  The sad thing is, we believe that our value is found in how much we can accomplish in a day and we keep adding more and more stress until we reach a point where our health fails.

My own lifestyle was certainly not the healthiest.  I didn’t really watch what I ate, I exercised very little and my sleeping patterns were terrible.  Stress was a huge part of my life and I kept driving myself to do more that I could handle.   Having a stroke was not something I expected at this stage of my life.  On a positive note, it has changed my thinking and I have no choice but to take care of myself.

Here are some healthy habits that you should incorporate into your lifestyle:

  • Eat a diet that is low-sodium, low-sugar and low-fat.  Lots of vegetables and fruits are important.  Never eat on the rush, take time to enjoy your food.  Frozen and prepared foods along with fast foods are unhealthy so try to cook at home as much as possible.  Eating healthy is a good habit to get your family and yourself into.
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes or more each day.   If you have an active job, this really doesn’t count.  Join a gym or exercise club.   Walking is the cheapest and most effective exercise.  Get a walking buddy and support each other.  I’ve been walking with my husband every day and it is benefiting both of us!
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time.  Of course, there will be times when events or activities get in the way but that’s okay.  As long as you develop a habit that works most of the time.
  • Try to eliminate as much stress as you can.  Positive stresses like getting ready for a exciting event are great but negative stresses will just drag you down.  Think about what is important and what isn’t important.  Spend less time with people who stress you out.  Cut down on your to-do list and make sure you add some quiet time each day.

You are an important person and you need to take care of yourself.  Don’t wait until something happens.  Start today!

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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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What kind of example are you?

Unless we are completely alone, everything we say and do has an effect on other people.  We can be a good example or we can be a bad example depending on what kind of words and actions we are using.  The best thing we can do is to lead by example and have a positive impact on everyone around us, especially our children.

  • If you want your children to show respect to others, you can’t call people names and run them down.
  • If you want your children to tell the truth, you can’t call in sick to work and then go and play golf
  • If you want your children to be kind to others, you can’t ignore that homeless person lying on the ground
  • If you want your children to be healthy, you can’t eat unhealthy foods or abuse substances yourself

If you want your children to grow up to become responsible adults, you have to show them what a responsible adult looks like.  You can’t just tell them or try to force them into a mold.   They will learn best from your positive example.

This doesn’t mean that you should try to be a perfect parent.  There is no such thing!  Do the best you can and aim for excellence not perfection.  You will make mistakes.  Don’t try to cover them up and pretend you are perfect.  Show your child that you do fail but that you learn from your mistakes and keep trying to do better.

What kind of example are you?

 

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Clutter creates chaos

Having too much stuff can create chaos in your life.  Stuff stresses us out.  It frustrates us.  It drains our energy.  It can make it hard for us to get organized.

Most of us collect things, like antiques, books, coins, cards and so on.  Collecting things is fun and we can display them so they can easily be seen and enjoyed by ourselves and others.  However, when we start collecting many different things and putting them in piles so we can’t even find things or have no idea where we put something, this is when clutter happens and chaos starts.

When we have so much stuff that it drags us back to the past or ahead to the future, we can’t really live in the present and enjoy our lives.  People keep things that remind them of important things that happened in the past (newspaper clippings, photos, something that was owned by a loved one, a child’s toy).  People also keep things that they may need in the future, afraid to part with anything that might be of some value.  It is certainly okay to keep memories and anything that may be useful to us but when it gets out of control, it results in an unhealthy living environment.

Clutter is unhealthy.  Dust, mold and animal dander collect and can cause breathing problems.  Bugs and mice are also attracted to cluttered areas where they can live and breed.  Clutter is also a fire hazard and could hamper rescue efforts, sometimes resulting in death for the inhabitant and also the firemen.

If you have too much stuff, ask yourself what kind of life you want to live.  Do you want your stuff to control you or do you want to control your stuff?  Create a new vision for your life that is calm and easygoing, one that has less stress.   Talk to yourself in words that are encouraging and hopeful. Tell yourself that you are far more valuable than your stuff and you deserve to live in healthy, stress-free conditions.  Make a promise to yourself that you will start making some positive changes in your life, starting with cleaning up the clutter.

Ask yourself why you are keeping certain items.  One of the big items people keep is old newspapers because they might read them someday.  Chances of reading them are slim to none and why would you want to read old news anyway?  Besides, half of the newspaper is ads and they have absolutely no value once the sales are over.  Keeping them is just creating a mess and a possible fire hazard.  Another big item is keeping plastic bags for garbage.  We can only use so many garbage bags and they also just create a mess and possible fire hazard.

Pick one area and spend an hour or two a day working at it.  You can’t do it all at once, so don’t even try.  It will take time and patience but if you are committed to having a better life, you WILL be able to do it.  If you need help and you can afford it, contact a company that does organizing/de-cluttering.  Let’s face it, if you could afford to buy all that stuff, you would be better off using your money getting rid of the clutter instead of bringing more into your home.

Put things where they belong. If you have dishes or groceries in the bedroom, move them to the kitchen.  Books should be in a bookcase, not piled on the floor.  Clothing should be in a closet or dresser.  Clutter tends to become a pile of anything and everything as space gets limited in the rooms where things belong.  Then when you can’t find things, you go out an buy more to replace stuff that is lying in a pile somewhere.

Make a promise to yourself that when you get something new, you will get rid of something old.  Of course, this doesn’t apply to things like food unless you are keeping expired cans or food that is rotting.  If you enjoy reading, you don’t need to keep hundreds of books; go to the library and save some money.  If you like new clothing or fancy jewelry, donate your old items to goodwill.  You don’t need a new outfit to wear every day for the next 20 years.

Make an appointment with yourself to de-clutter.  It can’t be done all at one time so do it in small time frames that are manageable.  Do one or two hours a day and soon you will start to see some progress.  If you want more ideas, check out some sites that help with clutter removal.  There are lots!

Remove the clutter in your life and you will start to feel better.   As someone who helps people de-clutter, I can tell you that when the job is done, we almost always see a smile on their faces and there is an obvious sense of relief.  Happy de-cluttering!

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Relax…Breathe…Take it easy…Slow down

People are such a rush these days!  Christmas should be a time when people can enjoy the season and anticipate being together with family and friends.  Unfortunately, many people don’t have time to enjoy Christmas because they are rushing to buy gifts and get all those last minute errands run.   I could never understand why so many people wait until the last minute to get things done.  I start early in December so I don’t get caught in all those crazy crowds.

Just this morning, I was driving down the street and had to stop for a red light.  I looked to the left to see if any cars were coming so I could make a right turn.  This probably took my eyes away from the traffic light for about 3 seconds and I heard a beep from the car behind me.   The light had just turned green and she was obviously very impatient for me to start moving.  Wow, she had wasted 3 whole seconds!  I felt so bad that I made her wait for so long!  (Not really)

People need to slow down and stop rushing through life.  Where is everyone rushing to anyway?  Is anything that important that we can’t wait for a minute or two and take a deep breath.  We are all programmed to want things immediately.  We don’t want to wait for anything.  We want it NOW!!

The reality is, everything is not an emergency!  Trying to rush through life just stresses us out and we miss out on a lot of important things.  We miss what is happening around us, those special moments with our families, especially our children.  We miss the beauty in nature.  We miss all those little, important things that happen when we are too busy to stop and look.

Take time this Christmas season and just relax…breathe…take it easy…slow down.  Enjoy the blessings of the season.

 

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We don’t need a new diet, we need a new lifestyle

People are always looking for a new diet, a faster and better way to lose weight.   They listen to promises that they will look better and feel better in just a few days or weeks.  But if these promises were true, how come so many people are continually on diets?   The sad fact is, about 90% of people who diet will gain the weight back and sometimes will gain back more.

We don’t need a new diet, we need a new lifestyle.  Dieting doesn’t work in most cases.  People want their weight to drop quickly and will try almost anything that promises a quick fix.  They don’t think realistically.   The math is simple – you can’t lose 100 pounds in a few weeks when it took years to put on.

Don’t listen to all the crazy promises that you hear.  Companies will tell you anything just to make a buck.  The only way you can lose weight and keep it off, is to eat healthy foods and exercise daily.   Drink water, eat fruits and vegetables and consume smaller portions.  Cut out junk foods and only have a small ‘treat’ once in a while just to keep you motivated.

Your health depends on what you eat and how you take care of your body.   You only get one body for life, so treat yourself with care.  You deserve it!

 

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National Girlfriends Day

Have you  heard about National Girlfriends Day?   I didn’t realize there was such a day until someone brought it to my attention.   Apparently it is an annual celebration of friendships between women that is commemorated every year on August 1st.   I tried researching this to see when and where it originated but couldn’t find much, so if you know any further details, I would really be interested in finding out.

In our busy lives, we often forget to think about what is important to us, so it is good that we are reminded by special days set aside like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day and now Girlfriend’s Day.   We should celebrate the special people in our lives every day, so we need to try to focus on the people who are important to us each and every day.   Nothing in life is certain and we can lose a loved in an instant through illness or injury.

Tomorrow is National Girlfriend’s Day so let’s remember to cherish all the women in our lives.   There are many things we can do to celebrate:  have a party, go for lunch, go shopping or plan some other event, but let’s also consider thinking about our health and how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle.  Women often are so busy taking care of their families and other people, that they ignore looking after themselves and this can result in serious health issues.   We should start having regular conversations about the importance of having regular checkups, eating healthy foods and daily exercise.

Let’s encourage and remind each other to stay healthy and take care of ourselves properly. Oscar Health Insurance has created a list called “The Woman’s Roadmap to Health”.   Use it as a guideline to keep track of important issues. Oscar is also a great resource for all health information. They have a team of trusted nurses and professional on call for any questions or concerns you may have. Check out more on their New Jersey and New York health insurance plans.

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What do you do for fun?

I just watched a video that was very upsetting but didn’t really surprise me.  3 generations were asked the question,  ‘When you were a kid, what did you do for fun?”  Of course, when they asked the younger generation, it applied to what they did for fun right now.  The answers cut right into my heart.  Watch the video and then ask yourself these questions:

  • How does this make me feel?
  • Am I personally allowing my children to develop these behaviours?
  • What can I do to be a better role model?
  • How can I help make positive changes in  my children, grandchildren and other children around me?

 

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ARE YOU LOGICAL ABOUT DIETING?

Gaining weight is a problem with many of us.  We like to eat and we aren’t always careful about eating healthy.  Why is it that junk food tastes good?  And then when we gain a few pounds, we feel bad and try to figure out how we can lose it as quickly as possible.

The problem is, we don’t look at dieting in a logical way.  Deep down, we know that we can’t lose months or years of added pounds in a few weeks but we still try anyway.  We look for the quick fix, the promise of looking good in a short time.  Then we try all sorts of stupid diets and buy equipment that doesn’t meet our expectations, which is just a waste of time and money because it won’t work.

If we took some time and set some realistic goals for healthy eating combined with regular exercise, we would soon start to notice some weight loss.  Of course, when I say soon, I don’t mean in a few days or weeks.  It takes months of commitment, patience and living a healthy lifestyle to lose any excess weight and maintain it.  Positive change does not come instantly no matter how much we want it to happen.

In setting realistic dieting goals we first need to determine what our ideal weight should be depending on our height and body shape.  Society tells us that we should strive to be skinny but this isn’t logical when people come in all shapes and sizes.  Everyone cannot be a size 5!  Then we have to create an action plan that includes healthy eating and daily exercise.  Meals should never be skipped and should include fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and grains.   Anyone with health issues or allergies should work on a diet plan with their doctor.

It takes discipline to lose weight.   Companies that sell diet products and equipment will promise you a quick fix knowing that it will likely not work, just so they can make money.  Don’t fall for their empty promises.  The fact is, 95% of the people who go on diets are NOT successful, so why waste your time and money on something that WILL FAIL and make you feel worse about yourself.  Eating healthy and exercising daily is the ONLY successful way to diet.

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CHANGE YOURSELF

Most of us spend our lives trying to change something thinking that if this person or this situation were different, than we would have a better life.  We think that if our husband or children would change, we would be happy.  We think that if we got a better job or made more money, life would be easier.  We think that if we could just make ourselves look better or lose some weight, we would have lots of friends.

The problem is…..we can’t change anyone else and often can’t change anything about our life situations.   We can’t change our family, our friends, our work/school situation or things that go on in the world around us.

However, if we make positive changes to our own lives, it will often influence the people around us and we will be able to see life from a positive perspective.   Change is possible, but it has to come from within ourselves before we will find any happiness or success in our lives.  Family and friends won’t change unless we change first.  Life around us won’t change unless we change first.  Our future will never change unless we make a decision to change.

Start working on making positive changes in your life and then go and change the world around you!

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