The Purpose of Creativity, Not What You Think.

The Purpose of Creativity, Not What You Think.

Creativity is for everyone. I’ll never forget the time when I was 10 years old; I reached for the flour in an overhead cupboard. My fingertips were millimeters away from the canister. One… more… bit… CRASH! I was successful in getting the flour down, but it wasn’t in the canister. I stood there and sulked as my older sister laughed at me. She called me “Casper” as in the friendly white ghost. Creativity can get messy and it isn’t just for baking cookies or making crafts. It’s way more than that.

Your dream is a gift God gives you. What you make of it is your gift to Him. Holley Gerth

How to be creative isn’t meant to be hard, it’s meant to be yourself. Taping into our passions helps us naturally be creative. A big part of how to be creative is permitting yourself to let go of the world and unlock the abilities God gave you. Doing that can be scary, however, getting the right frame of mind might help ease you into your creative side. Holley Gerth, the Christian author, said it perfectly, “Your dream is a gift God gives you. What you make of it is your gift to Him.” This involves creativity!

Don’t get discouraged in how to be creative

Back then my dream was to become a baker. I loved baking cookies, muffins, and quick breads. Mixing simple ingredients with my signature twist was so fun. Unfortunately, it’s harder for me to bake these days. Not being able to eat gluten puts a damper on the baking. But I still try and experiment with what I got. 🙂 My baking dream might have gotten messy with my diet restrictions but it hasn’t terminated my need to create.

How to know if you’re being creative

One way to know when you are using your creative side is when you lose track of time. It’s those moments in between clock numbers when you truly feel alive. Whether it’s cookies, a garden, a writing piece, or simply drawing a picture on your child’s lunch sack. It is gratifying to see what your creativity can create.

Why creativity is important: don’t miss this!

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Creativity isn’t just for fun. Creative thinking can solve problems, help us perform better at our jobs, help with depression, and it can help make a difference in people’s lives. Look at music, art, dance, and literature… what are those talents trying to do? Matthew Barnet has a great answer from his book, The Cause Within You.

He says, “Fulfilled artists do not paint or sculpt for the sake of creating more art. They do it to move people and challenge them to see the world differently. “

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The scary part about creativity

From CreatingMinds.org they say our creativity fades away when we don’t use it. As in the Bible, it says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything…” Matthew 5:13. (NIV)

In our busy lives, it’s important to take a time out to be creative; and to take a small step in becoming the unique person we were intended to be not just for ourselves, but for the sake of others. More importantly, using our creativity is an excellent way to love God! He gave you the ability and talent, use it to give thanks to Him.

All in all

The creativity flame still glows in us. Feed the fire within. There is no better time to get our hands busy; our minds will love it, our hearts will feel good, and we may spark something in someone’s minutes.

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

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By CT Copyright © 2016 Do More Than Exist All Rights Reserved.

How to Work Hard – 4 Tips

How to Work Hard – 4 Tips

There have been recent conversations in our home about what it means to ‘work hard’. Different generations have different definitions, and I get that, but I think we can all agree that hard work takes four things: integrity, sweat, humility, and sacrifice. In this post, you’ll learn 4 tips on how to teach your kids how to work hard.

APJ Abdul Kalam All of us do not have equal talent. But all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents
Pa from Little House on the Prairie

When I put an image of a hard worker in my head, I picture the Brawny Man in the red flannel shirt with sleeves rolled up. Another picture is Pa from Little House on the Prairie; again he had his sleeves rolled up. Why do I associate rolled sleeves with hard work? It seems I’m not the only one. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, roll-up-your-sleeves signifies a person is ready to work.

Are your kids missing out?

When I was a teen I was taught to work first, then play. I also was taught that having a job was important and that you had to work for what you wanted. There has been a lot of chatter about different generations not knowing how to work hard. This is concerning because there is a lot of happiness and gratification in putting in a hard day’s work! When it comes to knowing how to work hard, think of mental health management.

Working hard gives me pleasure. I feel good about myself and I love the feeling of accomplishing something. At the end of the day, I can say with a smile on my face, “I put in a hard day’s work!” But are some generations missing out on this natural high?

In a study by Vanderbilt scientists, they discovered that people who were willing to work hard had higher dopamine levels than those who were not keen on the idea. Remember dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and good. In other words…a University of Connecticut researcher, John Salamone states, “Low levels of dopamine make people…less likely to work for things. So this work-hard-bit has to do with your brain.

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Teach how to work hard: 4 Tips

1. Make realistic attainable goals.

This is a small example; my young son was shooting hoops. He wants to be a great basketball player, so I said he couldn’t come in for dinner until he made 5 shots in a row from where he was standing. I gave him a realistic goal, one that challenged him, and one that would give him great pleasure. So what happened when he made his goal? He jumped up and down and cheered! But along with a goal plan, know what trips you up. Learn more about how to get unstuck.

2. Focus on your dreams. What drives you?

If you want it bad enough, you’ll naturally work hard to get it. How bad do you want “it”? That diploma, that promotion, that certification, that house, that small business, that weight loss? Ask yourself what motivates you. Believe in yourself that you can make it happen. Reach for the courage and confidence that will help you to keep moving forward. First and foremost, learn more about yourself, when you understand a little bit more about who you are, and what you identify with, then being motivated is a lot easier.

3. Exercise and eat healthy foods.

Getting your body and brain in a healthier state is an amazing way to perform and to know how to work hard. When you feel good, you do better…in everything. A healthy body and a clear mind will give you more confidence, wisdom in decision-making, more energy, and you will have more creativity. It’s not just weight loss, but it’s eating a cleaner diet, getting to know Jesus, and feeding your mind with positive things. You are in control of what you put into your body and mind, you can heal, exercise, and work hard on the things that matter to you. Reduce stress in your life and get your vessel, the only one you get, ready to make things happen. Be strong and keep moving forward!

4. Integrity.

Simply having strong moral principles, being honest, knowing what is right from wrong, and following through with commitments will help you live an amazing life. It’s hard work to have integrity, but when you do the right thing you again trigger the dopamine. Keep your promises, it will pay off.

Wrapping up how to work hard

Let’s hold each other accountable to use our talents, gifts, abilities, and morals to work hard, make a difference, and be driven to be part of the bigger picture. I hope that you take these four tips and weave them into the lesson of how to work hard. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to roll up your sleeves.

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

How to Get Motivated: 4 Critical Tips to Start Anything

10 Inspirational Quotes You Don’t Want to Miss

5 Important Ways to Measure Success Without Numbers

How Cookie Dough Gave Me Super Powers

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By CT Copyright © 2017 Do More Than Exist All Rights Reserved.

5 Stress Fighters Most People Forget About.

5 Stress Fighters Most People Forget About.

Stress got you? Stress can make us do funny things with our actions, words, and even our bodies. But I’ve found some stress fighters that are packed with a punch. They’re so simple that ANYONE can do it TODAY.

5 things that fight stress

Stress happens

Stress can be sneaky or it can be a slap in the face. My face stung after I accidentally deleted my entire website. The uninvited hot, prickly stress wave crashed on my face when I saw ‘File Not Found’. It’s in these stressful moments when we start talking out loud to ourselves, “WHAT THE? NO!!”

Building my own website and blog was my choice. I wanted the challenge. Doing something like this requires time, perseverance, learning, and creativity. It has been a journey of gratifying moments and ‘oh crap’ sessions. That night was one of those “Why am I doing this?” sessions. One accidental click, GONE!

Stress is like a leech that won’t detach.

Stress saps the life out of us. So how do we manage this life-sucking Jabba the Hutt from our bodies? First of all, I hate leeches. Years ago I went on a fishing trip in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. It was an amazing trip, but guess what we used as bait? Leeches! I screamed every time I TRIED to bait my hook. The leech latched onto my finger…not cool! Do you think vigorous shaking of my hand and screaming got the leech off? Leeches don’t have ears. My husband had to pull it off for me… every time.

What if we could see stress attached to our bodies? We’d probably do a better job at managing it. Stress is the cause of many ailments. It’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, has a heyday in our bodies. Chronic high levels of cortisol contribute to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), heart disease, anxiety, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disorders, sleep disturbances, and the list goes on.

Are your stress fighters working?

The way to detach stress is to naturally fight back with things that decrease those levels, right? Easier said than done. So get this…some people will use things to manage their stress that causes MORE stress! I’m talking about eating a pint of ice cream, sugar-filled gluten-rich desserts, a bag of salty snacks, alcohol, smokes, or pills. Sure, in the short run, those things might help; but in the long term, the leech is feasting off those inflammatory substances.  All those foods inflame your innards. Without awareness or portion control, that inflammation can lead to physical issues = STRESS! It’s a vicious cycle. Believe me, I know!

I wanted to fix my website immediately.  But all I could do at that moment was intertwine my fingers and pray. I needed someone to pull the leech off. So why not ask God? As calmly as I could I prayed, “Dear Gracious God…wait a second, OH GOD. AH! I DELETED MY WEBSITE!! HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT. PLEASE! AMEN.” Not the best prayer, but who is judging?

My Awakening

beauty and the beast hand

It felt as if my fingertips went numb. Whoa, what is happening to me?  God is that you? An angelic song filled my house as divine power struck my body. Light beams shot out of my fingertips. I started levitating. Wait. Wait. That’s Beauty & the Beast. See how stress can make you think of funny things. As much as I wanted the Beauty and the Beast resurrection, I knew it wasn’t in the plan.  God did answer my prayer; but in a way I didn’t expect.  He nudged me to move.

Christy, manage the stress, before managing the problem.  I closed my eyes. Inhaled a deep breath and exhaled slowly. I was afraid to touch the keyboard, so I took that as a sign to step away. My desire to go outside to sit next to my favorite tree was unstoppable. Strange? Eh. Kind of. But with good reason…

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Why nature helps reduce stress

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, spending even just five minutes around trees or in green spaces helps lower blood pressure, reduces stress, improves mood, instills focus, accelerates healing, increases energy, and improves sleep. And you wonder why I craved to get outside…

The article goes on to say, “Numerous studies show that… simply sitting looking at the trees reduces…stress-related hormones… Looking at pictures of trees has a similar, but less dramatic, effect.” Get outdoors and if you can’t sit imagine you are in nature.

I trusted that instinct and sat next to my blue spruce. Its soft yet firm pine needles combed my sweaty palms. The sky was black and peppered with stars. My body relaxed. Heart quieted. I was reminded of how big our world was and how I was making this little mistake bigger than the world! Within a matter of minutes, a calm came over me. “Hi God, it’s me again… thanks for getting me outside. I needed that.

Here are 5 stress fighters most people forget about

#1 Admit it. Say, “I’m stressed out. ___ is causing my stress.”

#2 Say a prayer… Your Creator may need to remind you of something.

#3 Find your happy OUTDOOR place and go there… the beach, woods, prairie, park, yard…Go barefoot a.k.a “Earthing” and SMILE.

#4 Create an environment that promotes peace. Pictures of the beach, mountains, trees, sunrise, a garden…whatever nature scene speaks to you. Put a picture or two in your office, cubical, or wallet. Have it handy.

#5 Incorporate an outdoor recess at work or home, whether it’s exercising, reading the paper, walking the dog, playing with the kids, a lunch break, just get outside.

In conclusion

This may sound too simple, but you’ll find it’ll make a BIG impact. The next morning I mended my website mishap. It so happened, I found a backup on the server. But I wouldn’t have been able to figure that out without a clear head, a good night’s sleep, and a little time outside with my trees. Do your existence a favor, get outside. What is one thing you can do this month to make that happen?

Before you go, check out these other posts about stress:

4 Simple Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

How to Help your Digestive System: 10 Triggers to Watch For

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2018 Do More Than Exist All Rights Reserved.

5 Simple Stress Management Tips: Habits to Break free

5 Simple Stress Management Tips: Habits to Break free

Stress has touched everyone; knowing how to manage it is something we can all get better at. Just look at our world in the early 2020s. Ouch. Let’s get this straight from the get-go, stress management is a skill. Managing stress is something we learn and practice over and over again. Whether we need help with managing work stress, health stress, stress with parenting, social stress, or stress when moving; let’s hone in on how to get better at it with 5 of my favorite stress management tips!

5 stress management tips woman looking at stars

Fix it, please

Years ago I accidentally deleted my entire website. Yeah, ‘File Not Found’ stared at me in the eyes. My stress level went from three to a hundred in a matter of milliseconds. As a result, about 5 seconds later Worry settled in, and in a matter of 60 seconds, anxiety settled in.

Furthermore, because I did my own website work, I couldn’t just call a web person and say, “Fix it please”. All this hard work…GONE. The “undo” button or back arrow was pointless in this case. I tried it. Do you ever have times like these? When you ask yourself, “Why did I just do that? Did that happen?” Wishing there was an “undo” button?

It’s funny when these stressful mistakes occur and we believe for a split second, maybe it will go away and fix itself, or everything will go back to normal if I just close my eyes. Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Winston Churchill quotes

Hubby? Are you awake?

Above all, what really put the icing on the cake was that this website disaster occurred right before bed. Like sleep was going to happen! My brain was fried. Knuckles locked. Fingertips deaden. The courage to push the keys on my keyboard was in deep jeopardy. As a result, when I did find the strength to push buttons, I immediately checked my backup. Well, guess what, it wasn’t working! My ears got hot and my gut started to cramp. Stress management tips to the rescue, please!

Talking this situation out with someone is a great stress management tip to start with. My husband was sleeping already…not that he knows anything about websites…but I needed someone by my side, to listen to my predicament. Through the years I’ve found healing when I talk to someone about an issue. When we “vent” it’s like we release the problem from our minds and put it out in the world for the world to figure out. Maybe the listener can relate to how to deal with the subject. I see stress as a pressure cooker. When there is too much pressure, we need to open the cap to let some steam out.

When no one is there

Since my husband was sleeping, I didn’t want to disturb him; he has enough sleeping issues as it is. With no one available, I folded my hands and closed my eyes tight, “God, I’m freaking out. I made a mistake and I’m not sure how to fix it. Please help me dig deep and figure this out.” And then I prayed again. God is always awake and He’s available.

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What’s next? The size of my problem.

After giving it to God, I needed to do something else for a minute. All I wanted to do was escape, to get out of the room, away from the keyboard. In the black of the night, I slid on my slippers, grabbed a towel, and walked outside. The dark sky was peppered with a twinkle. It was a welcoming reminder of how small my problem was and how big the world stands. “Was anyone else in their backyard stressing out like me? Probably.

As I folded my towel into a neat square, I anticipated sitting on it to just be. The shadowy trees surrounded me, but not in an intimidating way. No bugs, no noises, just stillness. I watched my breath let go. The quietness blanketed my shoulders. The earthy air filled my nose. And I felt a peace embrace my soul. There at the moment was God telling me all was going to be okay.

fall trees quote

Selective Perspective

The value of this stressful night revealed to me the power of perspective. If I didn’t get stressed out, then I wouldn’t have prayed, I wouldn’t have felt the nudge to go outside, I wouldn’t have encountered nature in its nightly glory, and I wouldn’t have experienced the healing powers of my backyard.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, spending even just five minutes around trees or in green spaces, like your backyard, helps lower blood pressure, reduces stress, improves mood, instills focus, accelerates healing, increases energy, and improves sleep.* And you wonder why I craved to get outside…

The article goes on to say, “Numerous studies show that… simply sitting looking at the trees reduces stress-related hormones.” Nature can heal and soothe the soul. Going outside isn’t just for kids to play in, but for us to pray in. You’re going to want to check out my post on Nature Quotes: the power of the outdoors.

Focus on the calm

Consequently, I know this is hard, but when you encounter a stressful situation, I challenge you to focus on calming down immediately. In doing so; you will gain a better perspective of the issue and will respond more wisely. After a good 15 minutes, I wasn’t worried anymore. Whether I had to start from scratch or come up with a different solution, it was going to be alright. That night in my backyard I stood up, shook my towel out, and walked back inside. My feet slid out of my slippers and I went to bed. I actually slept.

5 Stress Management Tips

#1 Talk it out.

#2 Pray without ceasing

#3 Go outside and take a breather

#4 Rest to be your best

#5 Back up everything that’s important to you.

My take away

The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, I got up extremely early to mend my mishap. With a well-rested body and mind, I was diligent in figuring this out. Hence, venturing into the back end of my website was scary but I succeeded and found an older backup. Thank the Lord! Later that day I took a long walk amongst the trees while being grateful for my state of being. Practice how to manage stress. Next time you’re stressed out, take out these 5 stress management tips and see how you do. You may be surprised at how simple it works.

Before you go, check out these other great posts on stress.

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

4 Simple Reduce Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

How to Manage Stress in a Healthy Way: 4 Tips

3 Simple Anger Management Tips: Lion to lamb

5 Stress Fighters Most People Forget

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By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved

5 Easy Ways: How to Build Confidence & Courage

5 Easy Ways: How to Build Confidence & Courage

In 2007 my confidence collapsed and my heart panted for fullness. My independence, which I held on to so tightly, attached to others. The attitude to do more than exist went to merely existing. I desperately needed to know how to build confidence and courage once again. Have you ever felt this way? Our adversities are not only confusing but paralyzing. However, there are 5 antidotes to help resurrect us.

how to build courage and confidence

A little background

My hardship started in September of 2007 with a pregnancy disease that birthed at five weeks and proceeded to torment me for 31 weeks thereafter. During that anguish my skin was pale green, my mind a twisted mess of nausea, and relief was too far to be seen; I was fighting to just exist. Being dependent on others to help me function, let alone trust, made me feel like a failure. Things like I can’t even take care of myself swarmed my thoughts. Any physical excursion or consumption, or even water, was a cautious and fear-provoked decision. My ribs pierced from wrenching, and dehydration was the foremost threat.

The instant my healthy 7.1-pound baby boy was born, the sickness disappeared. Yet, the mental anguish was far from healing. Have you experienced an event like this in your life? Was it an illness, an unexpected break-up, a massive hit to your bank account, or a loss of something that meant so dear to you? I think the worst of it all is when it’s done, when we think we made it through, after-shocks sucker-punch us with unforeseen triggers we didn’t see coming.

When things don’t go our way

Those days still impress on my psyche today, how can it not? Yet immediately following the birth of my son, the fear of pregnancy halted our family plan. Two years later I knew I had to fight it. I knew I had to give it one more try; after all, every pregnancy is different. This is where I’d like to tell you the second time around was easier, but friend, it was far from that and left our arms empty. I have a post on infertility if you want to read it.

Answers to ‘how was I going to recover my confidence and courage’ slowly inflated my hope. Those answers didn’t come from a special diet, therapist, or medical doctor. The true answers came from one source, Jesus.

You see when I prayed before our second pregnancy, I didn’t hear a “Yes” as I did with our first. With our first baby, my husband and I waited eight years before I drummed up the courage to even pray about it. And when I did pray, I heard a clear “Yes!” But the second go around, I heard a solid “No”. Of course, I didn’t want to believe it, a no to another child? That doesn’t make sense! So I took my destiny into my own hands. And it didn’t turn out as planned…

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Subtle answers

Bit by bit I had to rebuild my confidence and courage using my anguish as building blocks and my faith as mortar. Jesus didn’t come down from a cloud and profoundly say, “You are healed, child”. I certainly would have accepted that if He did! It was through His followers who physically passed His love on. He used other people in subtle ways to comfort my broken heart and body. Jesus equips us to love, and honestly, that’s all he wants us to do, is love. In 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 Paul says, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (NIV)  

I needed to not only learn to love who I am now, but I needed to learn how to use love to become the confident and courageous person I sought to be. Moving from just existing to living a life of fullness isn’t about accomplishing amazing feats or earning a special degree, and so forth; it’s about loving others the way Jesus does. It sounds easy, but it’s the doing that’s hard.

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5 easy additions to building confidence & courage

Since God is love. Who do you think we need to connect with to learn how to love? Rick Warren says, “When you are disconnected from God, you’re not really living; you just exist.”

So, how do we connect with our Heavenly Father? How do we hear clear answers? I go to church. I pray. Isn’t that connecting? Yes, friend, it is. But there are some easy additions which can lead us to live a do-more-than-exist kind of life that will naturally build confidence and courage. Let me share with you what I have learned so far in this journey:

1. Emotion

When clarity is the question, I don’t hold the emotion back. I pray with strong emotion, whether it be anger, sadness, joy, or excitement. Expressing it to Him helps keep things real. Emotion develops a relationship with Him, a trust.

2. Music

Listening, singing, humming, and dancing to music that is good for our souls, brings us closer to our Creator. In this day and age Christian music isn’t just hymns. It has developed to feed all our genres. The writers and bands have done a great job at helping us fend off the Enemy and open our hearts for answers and comfort. Give it a try. I really enjoy praying and listening to instrumental music. My favorite is Soaking in His Presence.

set yourself free

3. Nature

Our beloved Anne Frank says, “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy amidst the simple beauty of nature. …I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” 

Numerous studies show that… simply sitting and looking at the trees reduces stress-related hormones. And the University of Minnesota says there’s “a growing prevalence of depression caused by ‘nature deprivation.” Maybe we should think about spending more time in God’s creation. Here are some nature quotes to get you in the mindset.

4. Church

There is something to be said about being around other Christ-followers. It’s kind of like a family reunion. Being surrounded by a common denominator encourages us, comforts us, and brings us closer to Him. We all have the same goal so to speak. The hard part is finding a church that fits you and your worship style. Keep hunting until you find it, you’ll know when you found it.

5. Gratefulness

Being grateful changed my game. For me to love myself and to pass the love on to others, I had to learn how to be grateful even when it didn’t make sense. Gratefulness brought me out of adversity. Before we move forward, understand I’m not grateful for the hardships we face in life. I’m talking about the little things that surround us, those things we don’t even notice; like clean water out of our faucets, cozy beds to rest our bodies, medical help at our fingertips, and grocery stores to feed us. I’m talking about the love He gives us in delicate ways like music, flowers, and comforting smells.

Yet, what about those moments when you step out and help someone? When you smile at someone even though you don’t feel like it…and they smile back? Sometimes to get what we want we have to give it first. I’m grateful for those promptings where we use our gifts to brighten someone’s day even when our life is a mess. It takes courage and confidence to make those things happen. And I’m grateful for the time He gives us and the freedom to choose how to use it, especially if it involves our calling.

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In conclusion

If you’re hurting for confidence in a specific area of your life I encourage you to begin with being thankful for each comfort you receive every day. When we recognize the little things, the small achievements, the flickers of love passed hand to hand, then our courage and confidence surface and we begin to see what life is all about…love. 

Don’t miss out:

Download my favorite affirmations to help make you stronger. You can get them here.

10 Amazing Courage Quotes + 3 Tips

9 Easy Ways to Learn More about Yourself

5 Important Ways to Measure Success Without Numbers

How to Get Motivated: 4 Critical Tips to Start Anything

No More Money Problem: 9 must do steps

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected
By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved. 

5 Simple Mental Health Tips for Teens. Don’t Miss this!

5 Simple Mental Health Tips for Teens. Don’t Miss this!

Mental health tips for teens coming right up! Mental health is just like taking care of our physical health. The term “Mental Health” is not a bad word, it’s not “crazy”, and it isn’t something to take lightly. How to manage mental health is daily exercise, just like going for a walk or drinking water for our bodies. I’ve got five valuable tips you’re going to want to check out to get on the road to genuine joy!

mental health tips for teens

Hey Parents! Children are resilient, do you really think?

As parents, we are told to feed our children a variety of foods, to get enough sleep, and to exercise. We want them to learn how to read, do chores, and be responsible. But what about their mental health? No one told me as a parent to teach my child how to deal with stress, depression, or low self-esteem; we were told children are resilient. Yet, are children really resilient?

In some instances, yes we all are resilient. But with traumatic events that cause deep wounds, resilience isn’t going to work. From a loss of a friend, a major illness or injury, physical or verbal abuse, or embarrassing events, some experiences or words, for that matter, will stick with them and affect their psyche. Heck, it happens to us parents! No one wants to be depressed, let alone their child or teenager. But how do we help them know how to manage mental health?

There are many things we can try at home before jumping to a therapist and prescriptions. **Please know I am NOT a professional counselor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things.**

Mental health tips for teens: the beginning

For young children knowing how to manage mental health starts with them watching you do things. They aren’t going to naturally know how to manage depression, they need you to encourage them, show them, and walk alongside them.

My parents were big outdoor people. My mom gardened and my dad worked in the yard; we were outside doing projects and playing all the time. I learned at a young age how to develop a relationship with nature. It was not until later in life I realized how important that relationship was going to be. Nature is my #1 go-to for mental health because that’s what my parents did. For instance, gardening is essential for my mental health. There is something about putting your hands in dirt that helps reduce stress. I learned this from my mom.

Martin Luther King Jr. quote walking
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The brain and nature balance

Get a load of this. National Geographic wrote, “Nature provides us essentials like clean water, food, medicines, even recreational retreats… it also helps regulate our weather and climate. But these systems are extremely fragile…we know that once they are gone, there are no replacements.” We didn’t need National Geographic to tell us this about nature. However, isn’t that statement similar to our mental health? Our brains need clean water, good food, and recreational escapes to help normalize our well-being. If we don’t get these things, our minds, too, are fragile and will break.

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What’s next?

Probably the biggest step in helping ourselves and our teens with mental health management is to digest that we have something going on. Upon discovery, many may experience anger at first, but others will feel relief that they finally figured a piece of the puzzle out. Does that make sense? All in all, when we can embrace it and understand it, we’ll have a better chance of managing it and living that amazing life we always envisioned.

5 Mental health tips for teens

1. Get outside

Remember that relationship with nature I started talking about? The National Academy of Sciences performed a study that shows a simple 90-minute walk in nature {a place with trees} decreases negative thinking about oneself. Taking a walk in an urban area like a city or industrial park has zero effect. This study reveals that there is a “…pathway by which nature experiences may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health…”

We may not have 90 minutes to take a walk but I’m sure we can do 20 minutes. The University of Minnesota says there’s “a growing prevalence of depression caused by ‘nature deprivation,” which is largely due to screen time… Push your kids outside. Yes, even your teenagers. Go with them. Just last night my son and I went outside and played with our dog.

Sometimes when you feel alone...the best thing is to be alone in nature. It is there where unexplainable hope penetrates your heart and brings healing to your soul. Christy Troy
More nature quotes & the power of the outdoors

Other outside activities for teens and kids

As for other ideas with your teen, start an outside sport together like tennis, pickleball, or throwing the baseball around. Do a project together outside, like a garden, build a hunting blind, do yard work, or have a campfire. Don’t have a yard? Head to the park. Go for a walk. Take up fishing together. My personal favorite is gathering the family together (all ages) and doing The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt Challenge. This is so incredibly fun and inexpensive, perfect for teens to let loose and have fun! You can download the instructions in my Freebies.

Plant trees or volunteer in a park or nature event. If nature goes away; so will our sanity.

For little kids, show them how to build a fort, climb trees, make an obstacle course, look for birds or pretty flowers, or play in the snow. When my son was little I liked to grab a camera (a camera separate from a phone) and ask for certain pictures to be taken, for instance, anything that was yellow, rocks, funny-looking sticks, and things like that. My son absolutely loved it!

2. Do something kind for the body.

Our bodies take most of the brunt of stress. So instead of cursing your body, bless it! As much as my body and mind are not getting along, I’m still kind to it. When you feel good, you are kinder to yourself and others around you. Do you need to go for a run, have a yoga session, a massage, a hot bath, or a cup of tea on the couch? Do something that makes you feel better that is good and pure.

Teens, understand your love language. Parents, know what your teen’s love language is, and yours for that matter. If it is gifts you can encourage them by getting them a simple gift that brings comfort, you can get some comfort gift ideas here. Words of affirmation are powerful, these aren’t just compliments, this is speaking truth into their minds. I have a list of affirmations in my freebies you can download. First things first, understand each other’s love language. You can grab the book: The 5 Love Languages to learn more.

Pray together

And don’t forget the power of prayer. Simply giving it all to our Heavenly Father to sort out, gives us natural peace. God is in control, he loves us and wants us to live a life of love. There is nothing better and going to the source to ask for help, clarity, and healing. I also encourage prayer for protection over the Enemy. Body, mind, and spirit are all connected and affect each other.

John 14:27

3. Eat foods for your brain

Food matters! Your brain needs fats, good fats. And getting the clean kind in your body helps your body and brain fight off free radicals…those are the guys that destroy the good stuff. Here is a post about Omega Oils that will help you out. And don’t forget the avocados. I’ve got a great recipe here. Berries are an amazing ‘happy’ food. Stock up on blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Your brain also needs to be hydrated. Drinking more water does help with mood and clarity. There are many water benefits. Stick with filtered water, there is no need to add sweetener or bubbles, your body knows what to do with plain water. Get a cool-looking water bottle and fill er’ up with some H2O.

4. Journal

I know this sounds like old news, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Journaling works. When our thoughts are written down on paper, more so than typed, it’s like you’ve permitted yourself to let the hurt get out of you. Writing about your journey helps process what’s going on. Journaling is a great exercise to help express emotions yet feel like they have privacy. When asked the right journaling questions, there can be a lot of healing. Plus it’s fun to shop for a fun journal.

5. Head to a hobby

A hobby can do loads for mental health. It keeps your hands busy and your mind focused on being creative…and being you! Here’s a post on hobbies with a list of different ones to try. It’s time to get creative and feel the goodness enter your heart.

Anger Management 101

I could end on that, but it’s important to reiterate that a ‘lack of understanding’ usually gets us upset in the first place. Why? Because we don’t understand! That’s why fights happen and judgments lash. We don’t know why people act the way they do, because we don’t live in their shoes. For all we know, they could be sick, have a chronic illness, be abused, have social issues, or be on drugs. And when we don’t know how to manage those things, a mess of emotions implodes and then explodes on others.

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When we have anger about something, we usually want to do something about it. I’m not talking about anger towards a person when you want to lash out at them for saying something stupid, that’s a different post. The anger I’m referring to is about how we react to either ourselves or a cause that affects other people. Some call it anger, others call it passion. You can take it a step further and call it uniqueness. There is this great book by Matthew Barnett, “The Cause Within You”. I highly recommend this book to not only inspire your own life but to motivate how to help others. Super good! And your teen would love it and find it motivating.

Moving forward- mental health tips for teens

I’d have to say the majority of people try to ignore their mental state or try to numb it with something else like drugs, alcohol, shopping, or eating. You don’t need me to say those things just leads to other issues. You can also look at these things as signs that your teen is going through a tough season.

If you have tried some natural ways to manage mental health and it’s not helping, another route would be to find a therapist, a Christ-follower if possible. The only true healer and protector is Jesus. Your church would know of someone, or you can ask some friends. Be sure you straight-up ask them if they know Jesus, if they hesitate with their answer, walk out and find a new one. For more ideas, this post from Mental Health America is a good one! I hope this post about mental health tips for teens was helpful.

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

17 Road Trip Essentials to Simplify Your Trips

How to Make Camping Comfortable: 7 Critical Tips!

9 Easy Ways to Learn More about Yourself

The Purpose of Creativity: Not What You Think

How to Build Self-Esteem: 3 Tips to Be Yourself

5 Best Pieces of Advice for How to Simplify My Life

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

No More Money Problems: 9 Smart Must-Do Steps!

No More Money Problems: 9 Smart Must-Do Steps!

Want no more money problems? Listen up to these 9 must-do steps. There is no way to predict tragic storms, destructive earthquakes, virus pandemics, wars, house fires, the sudden death of a loved one, or unemployment. If we could tell our money ‘a tornado is coming, hang on tight’, life would be so much easier. We can tell our money to do that, but what if we weren’t ready? In knowing how to fix money problems you can do some simple steps. To get started, I’ve got 9 easy-to-do steps to help you manage money wisely starting today!

No More Money Problems

First things first

First and foremost, remember these times of despair are just that, a time. It’s not forever, it’s not the end of the world; it’s just a season that is visiting for a while. It may seem like an eternity but it will pass like all our other seasons IF you want it to. The hard part is getting through it without much pain. But you must get through it, keep moving forward! Want to know more about motivation? Check out How to Get Motivated: 4 Critical Tips to Start Anything.

Your 1st priority

Your priority is to take care of yourself and your family. If it’s a spreading sickness, do everything in your power to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Did a storm hit your house? Then get your family to a safer shelter. If you lost your job, then start looking for a replacement job, even if it pays less than the work you had before, just get something going so you have a little income.

When the overall shock has faded, this is usually about a week to 10 days depending on the severity, you can start working on these 9 must-do steps to get your life back on track and put your money problems behind you.

9 Steps to Manage Money Wisely

1. Clean up the unnecessary subscriptions

Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions: magazines, the gym (unless you’re using it), weight loss programs, email subscriptions that you’re not using every week, and might I even say cable TV? When you add all these things up, you will be surprised at how quickly things add up! It will make you sick. Stop giving your money away to companies you’re not using! Again, look at the numbers and the amount of time you use these things. Is it worth it? Is it distracting you from accomplishing your goals?

2. Work on your budget

Having a budget is the BEST tool out there to manage money wisely. Money problems happen when a budget is not in place. What I love about a budget is that it can help you find the holes and see what holes need to be filled. For instance, my husband and I recently redid our budget and found that we were spending way more than we thought on eating out. Ouch! I like to think of a budget as a treasure hunt or a crime scene. It lays it all out so we can solve the case.

A budget doesn’t need to be restrictive, tedious, or confusing. Keep it simple. Paper and pencil work great. Or step it up to an Excel worksheet. I already created one for you that you can use for free. Go to Freebies to get yours.

If you want something beefier that has printable reports I highly recommend Quicken or Quickbooks. We use both for different accounts.

Budget tip

Start your budget out simply. Scale down and only focus on your necessities. This may be hard but look at it from a survival perspective. What can I, or we as a family, live without for two months? Do we have an emergency fund?

There’s another post about budgeting to checkout. #1 Cause of Money Problems, plus 4 tools to solve it

3. Make extra money

Wipe your money problems away by making extra money. There are some amazing side gigs out there that I’ve even done! For instance, you can grocery shop for others. This is a fun job if you like the grocery store. Numerous delivery services are desperate for people to work. I suggest searching online using keywords like “work-from-home jobs”, “part-time jobs”, and “best side hustle jobs”. There are a lot of opportunities.

Heads-up: Many bloggers say to start a blog. FYI – You’ll be spending more money on starting it than making any money on it. They are only telling you to start a blog to sell their blog-building tools or to exercise their affiliate programs. Building a profitable blog takes time and money, it’s not impossible, but it is a lot of hard work, especially starting from scratch. Just being honest here.

Simply look at what businesses are booming in tough times and then go there and inquire about opportunities. For instance, health care during a pandemic, delivery services, construction workers, or restaurants. Search with an open mind and ask yourself what you would enjoy and be willing to try.

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4. DIY (Do It Yourself)

Do things yourself. Ideas in this arena include selling your crafts and creations on Etsy, cleaning your own house, mowing your own yard, and for minor fixes around the home getting on YouTube to find ways to fix things yourself. Doing things yourself can help save you money and give you gratification and confidence!

5. Cut Costs

Cutting back on costs can be kind of fun to figure out yet still be content. Things to look at are the number of visits to: the hair salon, getting your nails done, trips to the grocery store, and the car wash. Other ways to cut back are to shop at a lower-priced grocery store, and to be mindful of your utilities: shower or bathe once a day instead of two, turn off the lights when not using that specific room, turn the thermostat down one or two notches, ‘when it’s yellow let it mellow when it’s brown flush it down’, turn the faucet off while scrubbing those pearly whites. Things like that. Here’s a great post on how to save money grocery shopping that you should check out.

6. Sell stuff

Sell stuff through Facebook Marketplace, Mercari, or other trustworthy platforms. This is a great time to declutter your home and ask yourself if you need certain things. Selling your things is a lot easier these days too. If you don’t want to hassle with a garage sale, sell things online. I have done well using both methods. In my last garage sale, I squashed a money problem using my profits. It felt so good!

7. Be smart

Make smarter buying decisions on the necessities. Okay, toilet paper baffles me, unless you have an underlying condition like Crohn’s, colitis, or cancer, cool your jets on the TP. Simply take what you need for two weeks then manage the toilet paper you have in the house.

Ask yourself if you NEED a particular item before buying it. Look for deals or coupons. Opt to never buy full price for anything! Always keep your receipt in case you have buyer’s remorse and want to return an item.

The solution to your money problems isn't more money; it's new habits. David Bach

8. Whoa-back on large money deals

It’s human to be uneasy during uncertain times, but only allow yourself one day to ‘freak out’. After that, get your battle face on and make adjustments. However, the one caveat to making change is to not make any major financial decisions in the first 7-14 days. For instance, don’t cash in your 401K buy a new car/house, or rank up your credit cards. Put your mind to work and figure out some ways to adjust in ways that help you and not hurt. Put together a budget and get a plan in place.

9. Emergency fund

When all is back up to speed, start to build your emergency fund for the next time something like a pandemic or war sucker punches us again. One way to do this is to put a little bit away every paycheck. Some people do 10%, others 5%, and so forth. You will be amazed at how quickly this adds up, especially if you put it in a savings account that accumulates interest.

In closing

I believe in you. You got this. Just remember your priority is to take care of yourself and your family with the necessities. Work together as a family. Working together will not only bring you all closer together and working as a team, but it will be a lasting memory and bring more happiness into your home.

Before you go, check out these great blog posts:

Stuck? 5 Essential Tools To Break Free

How to Teach Your Child to Use Their Head

5 Important Ways to Measure Success Without Numbers

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

7 Simple Ways to Improve Lung Health

7 Simple Ways to Improve Lung Health

With viruses penetrating our bodies, seasonal allergies clogging our sinuses, and the normal colds circulating in our environment, keeping our lungs happy can be stressful. Our lungs give us energy and life. When we’re breathing well, our minds are clear, our sleeping is solid, and we don’t really think about breathing. Learn seven great ways to help your lungs.

7 ways to take care of your lungs

Viruses

The Coronavirus attacks our lungs. It takes a completely healthy human and preys on our breathing source. I understand this virus reacts differently in everyone depending on age and underlying conditions. We tend to think it’s out of our control. But we can be in control of how we are preparing our bodies for viruses or seasonal allergies.  

walking 6000 steps a day will improve health and 10000 steps a day will help lose weight

7 Lung Health Builders

Exercise

Simply walking every day is a great exercise for your lung health. If you start walking try increasing the speed or distance every once in a while to give your lungs a workout. A slow jog will also do the trick. Aim for at least 20 minutes. Try breathing in your nose and out your mouth.

Breathe clean air

We can clean our air. During allergy season it’s not a bad idea to try an air purifier. Here is an economical air purifier option. This is a great option to improve lung health.

**I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share the information I have either experienced myself or am extremely interested in, and then I keep things simple and give you the nutshell version. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things. This article is for information purposes only.**

Humidify

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Humidify while we sleep. A morning bloody nose is usually what I had for breakfast at least twice a week when I was a kid. There were three causes to this: dry winter air, seasonal allergies, and me picking my nose. My fix was a humidifier.

A humidifier keeps nasal passageways moist. Meaning with viruses, when the surface is moist it has a harder time sticking and penetrating through our body. Similar to a sore throat regime; keep the throat moist to flush out the virus. Here’s my humidifier. I absolutely love it!

water

Drink Agua

Drink lots of water. Keep things slippery in your body. Remember that viruses like to stick to things. Don’t give them an opportunity. Get a good water filter. Water is the source of everything, so make sure it is clean water.

No smoking, please

Steer clear of smoking. There is no proof that smoking is good for your lungs. It may feel good for a little bit, but it’s not worth the long-term effects. I’m talking about cigarettes, vaping, marijuana, and cloves. I understand that pipe (as in tobacco) and cigar smoking is slightly different…, but those have problems of their own.  

Roll up the car windows

Roll up the windows on diesel. Some people love the smell, others despise it. If you’re behind a truck or diesel-driven vehicle your nose will tell you, especially if they don’t have Def in the line. Short-term exposure to diesel can cause people to feel dizzy, get a headache, or have irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. Long-term exposure can result in cardiovascular and respiratory disease including lung cancer.

apples bananas leafy greens for healthy lungs

Eat for your lung health

Eat lung-healthy foods. Foods for your lungs? For healthy lungs you’re going to want to eat:

Apples. Apples might slow deteriorating lung function down over 10 years according to The European Respiratory Journal.

Bananas. These rich in potassium fruits help the lungs contract and expand, hence preventing breathing problems.

Leafy Greens. These delicious yet scary-looking plants are packed with vital nutrients to support the lungs. Studies show that consuming these leaves could be linked to a lower risk of COPD, adult asthma, and lung cancer. Choose kale, spinach, and arugula. Salad here we come! I’ve got a kale salad recipe you should check out!

Garlic and Ginger. These antibacterial powerhouses can lower the risk of developing lung cancer (garlic) and decrease lung damage (ginger).

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Salmon. This omega-3 fatty acid is a great lung-cleansing food. This fights inflammation and increases blood flow. Here’s a post all about omega oils. And check out my salmon in a skillet recipe!

Turmeric. Of course turmeric. This is one of the best foods for your lungs. It’s filled with curcumin, which is what makes it a bright color. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help with asthma, COPD, and lung injury. This is a great one I recommend. Turmeric.

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Wrapping up Lung Health

I hope that these simple quick lung health tips will make a big difference in your overall health and energy. May this help your body get ready to fight off viruses, improve allergy symptoms, and be a happy human.

Stay well.  

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

Omega Oil Benefits: Why I am picky

4 Amazing Tips for Weight Loss

Food Combining Does What? Manage stomach acid now!

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips!

Hobby Ideas +13 Reasons Why You Need a Hobby NOW!

How to start Volunteering: 4 Tips to Succeed

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

How to Stay Healthy: 15 Simple Ways

How to Stay Healthy: 15 Simple Ways

How to stay healthy is a skill. To keep our immune system functioning at top speed during ‘sick season’ there are a few things we can do to ward off illness and increase health. I’ve got 15 simple yet powerful ways you won’t want to miss in preventing sickness. However, it’s first important to understand where our immune system resides.

Our body is absolutely amazing! When the Lord created our bodies He did a fantastic job to teach us a few things about how it works, but He also left some mystery. Some of the things we know about our immune system are that the thymus, bone marrow, and spleen have a say in how things function. With that said, before I get going on the 15 simple ways to stay healthy, some more in-depth ways to stay healthy would be to research and do some self-exploration on how to feed our thymus, bone marrow, and spleen, no? We’re not going to get into that, but I wanted to put that out there for you to look into if you want to know more.

ways to stay healthy

Germaphobe, not so.

Please know I am not a full-blown germaphobic. Yes, I pay attention to my surroundings and am aware of the little buggers, but I also know it’s important to develop our immune systems by offering hospitality to our bug friends. Throughout life, I have learned a lot about germs and how to care for myself, and I certainly want to pass this knowledge on to you. Whether you’re on medication treatment or just want to remain healthy during outbreaks, keep these things in mind in caring for yourself and your family.

**First off, I’m not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I share the information I have either experienced myself or am extremely interested in, and then I keep things simple and give you the nutshell version. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things. This article is for information purposes only.**

15 Ways: How to Stay Healthy and Boost Immune System

1. Exercise

I read an article about longevity. And the number one action we can take to live longer is to move our bodies. Exercising keeps the blood flowing and pumping. It keeps us young and helps the joints loosen up and work like they’re supposed to. It’s also good for regularity, which is key to rid of toxins. Aim for at least 20 minutes, 30 minutes is ideal. Try breathing in your nose and out your mouth.

2. Use a humidifier.

In the winter months, my humidifier is my best friend. I LOVE my humidifier. In my book on how to stay healthy during the sick season, I use a humidifier to keep nasal passageways moist. Meaning with viruses, when a surface is moist it has a harder time sticking and penetrating through our body. Keep things slippery. Sleep with a humidifier and drink a lot of water. The noise of the humidifier will rock you to sleep as well. Here’s my happy little humidifier.

3. Drink lots of water.

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Remember, keep things slippery in your body. Viruses like to stick to things. They like dryness. Don’t give them a foothold. Because our drinking water out of the faucets and plastic bottles is somewhat questionable, it’s more cost-effective and valuable to our health to install a water filter on the kitchen sink. My family uses this kind of water filter. If you can’t do this with your sink, get one of the water filter pitchers or a Berkey

IBD Triggers and what to do
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4. Wash your hands.

This is common sense, but many of us forget to wash our hands with soap! Ever since my son was a toddler I have drilled into him to wash his hands every time we walk in the house. Now I don’t have to ask him to wash his hands because he automatically does it!

This goes along with hand sanitizer. There are a lot of opinions on hand sanitizer. I get it. But if you have a compromised immune system, my opinion is to use it. Put a squirt or a spray on your patty cakes. Especially so if you’re in a place where you just shook someone’s hand who is clearly sick, use hand sanitizer when they’re not looking.

5. Keep your humor.

Keep the mood light. There have been studies about how humor can help heal and how to stay healthy. The mind and body work together, and when one is off it usually affects the other. Being funny isn’t that hard around the family. One idea is to tell a corny joke at the dinner table or in the car. Kids love these things, even tweens and teens! To help you out I have 120 family-friendly jokes ready to go!

Lunchbox Note Jokes
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6. Wipes.

The hand wipes (not the cleaning wipes) come in handy in traveling situations or times when a bathroom is not available. Similar to hand sanitizer they clean up most germs but wipes also get the dirt off.  When we’re on a road trip, I use wipes to wash our hands before biting into our burgers. Or when I hop on a plane, I always wipe down the armrests and table in my airplane seat. Simply look at the surfaces you’re touching and wipe.  

7. How to stay healthy, keep fingers off your face.

This is one of the main causes of sickness. Picking our noses without thinking, rubbing our eyes, putting our pen up to our lips, and picking our teeth can be a welcome mat for germs. To keep our digits from messing with our face it’s best to train yourself to not touch your face. Simply make it a game to see how long you can go without touching your face. If you have an itch, use your arm, tissue, or sleeve.

9 easy to find foods to ramp up your immune system

8. Eat immune-boosting foods

Here are some simple foods that increase your odds of how to stay healthy.

Broccoli. This green veggie is packed with vitamins A, C, and E. It has amazing antioxidants and is full of fiber.

Bone Broth. Bone what? This is broth from boiling chicken bones or beef bones for long periods of time. The collagen and amino acids is cooked out of the bones. And it’s these hidden gems that help repair the gut lining and reduce inflammation. Not to mention help our joints.

Garlic and Ginger. These antibacterial powerhouses have the ability to be like a hand wipe but for inside our bodies. The list of benefits is way too long to list here. These yum-yums also boost up our lung health.

Vitamin C Foods: citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, tomatoes, spinach. I don’t think you need an explanation of vitamin C. Just know your body doesn’t accumulate it, so you’ll need to consume it every day.

Vitamin E. This vitamin is equally important as vitamin C. It is a fat-soluble vitamin which means it needs to have fat to absorb properly. Sources of vitamin E include almonds, avocado, butternut squash, and wheat germ.

More great options

Yogurt. Bust into the probiotics. For yogurt to be effective choose Greek PLAIN yogurt. If there is sugar added to the yogurt it defeats it purpose. I know there are delicious flavors out there, but save those as a dessert, not for your daily probiotic. Use berries or honey to flavor your yogurt.

Turmeric. It’s filled with curcumin, this is what makes it a bright color. Turmeric has massive amounts of anti-inflammatory properties that help with all sorts of inflammation. It’s like a superfood. Check it out here.

Zinc. This micro-mineral is essential for a healthy immune system, although it is touchy. If you have too much you could get sick, and if you have too little you can get sick. It’s best to get your zinc through foods. High sources of zinc are found in chicken, chickpeas, clams, crab, eggs, grass-fed beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, and plain yogurt.

Does a Body Good for Kids
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9. Sleep.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to recharge your body. It’s when we’re sleeping that our body does the most of the healing. Have a bedtime routine. And get your room ready for slumber. Things you’ll want to consider are room temperature, the number of blankets, humidifier, pillow comfort, and sound machine. These are my must-do’s for sleepy time.

10. Clean your home.

Clean your house. Seriously, I know this can be a drag, but a clean home is a healthy home. I’m not just talking about vacuuming, I’m referring to wiping things down with disinfectant wipes or sprays. You’ll want to do countertops, kitchen cupboard knobs, faucet handle, refrigerator/freezer door handles, microwave handles, stove and oven knobs, all door handles, and more. I have a checklist for you to download right here: Disinfecting Checklist. You can also find it in Freebies along with some other amazing tips.

11. Vaccines.

This is such a touchy subject. Again everyone has their own opinion of vaccines, so I’ll leave this one up to you.

12. Steer clear of smoking and limit alcohol.

I know these are fun things to indulge in but if you’re serious about becoming stronger and healthier, these can’t be ignored. Pay attention to how much you’re using and consuming. Remember less is more.

13. Facemasks.

Again, this is a touchy subject. Do what you want, but in my experience, I have found these helpful in highly contagious situations. Herd immunity is a great thing, but if you just got done being sick with something and need a break before joining the herd again, wear a facemask to give your immune system a time-out. You can make your own mask at home. Here is the pattern on YouTube. And here is a great article on what type of fabric is the most effective. It’s very surprising! I made this silly video when COVID first hit the planet.

14. Cover hands after the bathroom

 Do you know that door handles in public restrooms? After you wash your hands, keep the paper towel you dried your hands with and use that to open the door. No paper towel? Use your sleeve.

15. Gargle salt water

If you feel a tingle in your throat or have a hunch you may be coming down with something, gargle saltwater. Salt can kill those pesky bugs and viruses if you get at it in time before it’s too late. In how to stay healthy, this trick is a great yet simple weapon. It may not be task pleasant, and you may accidentally swallow a little bit, but gargling salt water helps.

How to gargle saltwater starts with warm water and table salt. I mix 2 tablespoons or 1.5 tablespoons of salt with 1 cup of warm water. Make sure you stir it. Take a small sip, tilt your head back and gargle for about 20 seconds then spit it out. Repeat this until all the water is gone. You want to make sure you’re getting the back of the throat, but try not to swallow. I repeat, DO NOT swallow the saltwater.

In conclusion our immune system

Out of all these 15 suggestions on how to stay healthy during the sick season, there is one that is super important: keep your fingers off your face. I know that sounds ‘toddler-ish’ but it really is the most important factor. Use common sense too. Drinking from someone else’s drink or using the same spoon for a taste is not a good idea. Neither is kissing a sick person. Use the brain to protect the body, and the body will then protect you. Stay healthy, be mindful, and teach your family how to stay healthy.

Before you go, check out these other great posts:

Food Combining Does What? Manage stomach acid now!

First Step to Losing Weight: 5 Effective Questions

Quick Healthy Meals On a Budget? 5 Criteria

How To Be Less Busy: #1 Mistake People Make

Do More Than Exist Stay Connected

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

Cleaning the House: 5 Simple Factors to Understand

Cleaning the House: 5 Simple Factors to Understand

Cleaning the house has been one of the most toxic yet healthy tasks in life. Sure we could pay someone else to do it but stay humble friend. Living in a clean house is not just healthy for our bodies but for our psyche. Learn how to make cleaning less stressful by understanding 5 key factors.

how to clean the house, 5 factors to understand

There have been numerous times my husband has suggested hiring someone to clean our house. Each time he brings it up three reasons keep me from saying yes:

1. I would still clean the house before they came to clean!

2. It’s hard to find a good cleaner, let alone one you can trust.

3. It’s one more thing to add to the budget.

Someday I will probably get there, but I honestly don’t have any excuses for why I can’t clean my own house. If you’re like me, listen up to loosen up about cleaning the house.

Why cleaning the house matters

First off, living in a clean home does a body and mind good. When we don’t dust or vacuum as often as we should, dust mites build up and can lead to allergies. Not to mention lingering smells and sticky surfaces. It’s like a welcome mat for various germs and bugs with large bodies and little legs…that will motivate me to clean!

Like mowing the lawn, cleaning provides that same kind of instant gratification. Accomplishing a clean house is a huge win, especially if you put your sweat into it. Don’t let pride get in the way of cleaning. Everyone should clean. Some top CEOs are known to clean a restaurant bathroom.

When I’m cleaning I like to think of all the money I’m saving from paying someone to do it, not to mention all the calories I just burned! Cleaning the house has benefits, two of which are weight loss and money management.

5 factors to determine how often I clean

I’m not a deep cleaner every time I clean my house. Deep cleaning and the number of times to clean will depend on your situation. I’ve found there are five factors to determine how often to clean your house.

Pets

If you have a shedding dog or other messy pet, cleaning is probably going to happen more often. To easily clean fur off of furniture, use a dryer sheet, rubber gloves, or a lint brush.

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Kids

The number of kids determines how often to clean. With kids, you must consider their ages. Starting a child out at 5 years old with an easy cleaning chore helps them understand you’re not their servant. The older they get the more they should help period.  

 

Allergies

If your husband’s allergies flare up, dusting and vacuuming will be more frequent. When my husband sneezes in the morning, I know it’s time to clean. My son has the same issue. I’m getting a lot of miles on my vacuum!

Location

Where you live plays a factor in how often you clean the house. Do you live in a dusty field, near a construction site, or a pollen-invested forest? Again, in these instances, allergies could attack.

Personality

And lastly, don’t forget about your personality. Ask yourself these questions: Are you a ‘Laidback Jack’ or an ‘Anal Andy’? Do you like to do things yourself or are you a delegator? What about how you were taught? How often are you entertaining? Understand who you are and how you want to move forward.

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All in all

When it comes to cleaning the house, get in the right frame of mind. Schedule a cleaning day and make sure your kids or husband understand what cleaning is and what their responsibilities are. Remember your cleaning schedule depends on where you live, who lives with you, and how you’re living!

Before you go check out these amazing posts:

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