Life Lessons

8 small ways to Ease your Stress

a.jpgSometimes the easiest way to ease your stress is to do small manageable things to simplify your life. You will be amazed at how those small things add up to make one feel overwhelmed.

So here are some things you can do to ease your stress.

  1. Focus on one thing at a time. Sometimes we feel stressed because we tend to try to juggle too many balls at once. Rather sit back and write out all the things you need to do. Then decide what to tackle first, and give it your full attention. As you tick each thing off the list you will feel your stress start to ease up
  2. Pack your lunch or the kids school bags the night before. This will enable your mind to rest while you sleep instead of thinking of a million things you still have to do when you wake up.
  3. De-clutter.  Throw out things that you haven’t used in a year. You will be amazed at how getting rid of the junk around you keeps you stress free.
  4. Keep your house tidy. And here I mean tidy and not just clean. Having things laying around adds a level of stress that you cant even imagine. So keep it tidy, and that includes that messy cupboard.
  5. Say less. When you are angry, say less. That includes the emails you may write at work. There are things we say in anger that we can’t take back, and it causes bigger problems when people start to react and it blows out of control. So listen more and say less.
  6. Don’t assume. There is a stress that comes when we start to guess what someone meant or what someone thinks. We tend to build castles in our minds around these assumptions. We stress over them, get sad and angry over them, and yet if we just asked for clarity we might see that what we assumed is wrong.
  7. Do a random act of kindness. You will find that if you do a random act of kindness a day, you will remove all the negativity and frustration from your life, as your focus shifts away from you and your stress and instead you get the gift of joy that comes with kindness. So whether you buy the person behind you in the Starbucks line a cup of coffee or if you bake muffins and give it to the beggar on the street, or leave a note in your husband or child’s lunch telling them how you love them. Be creative. Be kind.
  8. Stop doing what you hate to do. If its a job you hate, make a plan to find a way to go into a new career path. If its doing things to please people, then stop and see your own worth.

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Remember there is a calm that comes in simplicity. So keep things simple. Do what’s small and manageable, and soon the mountain will disappear.

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Taryn Leigh

Parenting

10 Gifts your child will never forget

gift2.jpgIts amazing how when we look back at the memories of our lives, there are very few things from our childhood we actually remember.

Most times the memories that seem to stand out are the things that at some point defined who we are. Most of the times, the memories do not involve a physical gift from our parents, but rather something they did. Memories like playing together, or them shouting at us when we made an innocent mistake. Memories of us learning something they taught us. These things define who we are, our outlook on the world, our confidence in society.

I have stated below some ‘gifts’ you should give your children to ensure that the memories they have, are ones that will shape them to be the best version of themselves they can be.

  1. Always be happy to see them. This may sound like a strange statement but we fail to realise how after a stressful day at the office, or taking care of the chores in the home, our faces do not tell a happy story. You may have had a bad day that has nothing to do with your children, but your lack of a smile tells them that they aren’t your source of joy. Always make them feel that they are your source of joy. Smile.
  2. Be quick to encourage. When you see they are struggling with their maths homework. Don’t jump in to tell them how their lack of effort is why they are failing. Instead tell them why you believe in their ability to succeed. Tell them what potential they have. How they can do whatever their minds desire. Your words influence who they are. Encourage.
  3. Love your spouse. Marriage is tough, but your marriage is the best example to them of what love should look like. Let them see you laugh with your spouse, and let them see you hug and hold and kiss each other. Let them know the joys of marriage, and not only the complaints and frustrations. Love is a beautiful thing. Put the best version of your love for your spouse on display to your children
  4. Appreciate the beauty that is life. Take your child to beautiful places, to lay and look at the stars, to explore caves, to appreciate the birds and flowers. Let them know that there is beauty to explore, beauty to appreciate, and beauty to enjoy beyond that which the world tells them in magazines and on television. True beauty is in nature. True beauty is timeless.
  5. Live generously. If you teach your children generosity, you teach them how to share and to love others as much as they love themselves. You teach them that their value is not found in their possessions but in the hearts and lives of people they change. Show them generosity. Let them see you being generous to each other and to strangers.
  6. Imagination. Allow your children to imagine, to dream. Tell them stories of wild imaginations, let them live in hope of a better future, of a world where anything is possible. Let them sit on your lap as you read and talk and imagine.
  7. Eat together. Its so important to connect after a day apart. To give your child and even your spouse an opportunity to open up and tell you about your day. Sitting together at a table, with no television on, is a great way to have these moments to give your child the platform they need to tell you what’s on their heart. Big or small, it all matters.
  8. Listen. I mean truly listen. Not to just what’s being said, but to what’s not being said. To the body language that tells another story, to the hint of something you might overlook. Most times they want to tell you the truth. But they want to know they have your full attention. So stop and listen
  9. Grace to make mistakes. Don’t be so quick to shout at them when they make a mistake. Even a small thing like spilling water on themselves, to bigger things. Allow them to explore, to learn, to grow. I remember someone told me once of when their daughter learnt how to open the juice, and in her efforts to open it, all of it spilt all over her. Her first reaction was to shout at her for messing her dress, instead of praising her for successfully learning to open the juice, and for managing to do it on her own. Some moments can either be a learning experience or a bad memory. Be patient. Slow to shout, and quick to celebrate.
  10. Make memories don’t buy things. Its important for us to make memories with our children, and not to plonk them in front of the television or buy them expensive toys. Build a kite together, bake together, go fishing together. Those are memories that will last a lifetime. Memories that will bond you closer together, and remember, the same applies for your spouse. You need to build memories with them. Spending time together does not count if its in front of the television. Go for a walk, talk, go have some coffee and cake, or an afternoon picnic. Lets make memories that will be stories to tell for generations to come.

 

Lets rear children who place more value in people than they do in things.

Children who are kind, caring, compassionate and know they are loved.

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Taryn Leigh

Parenting

Playdough Recipe

playdough

So recently I was thinking of things I can do that are cost effective to give my son to play with, and playdough came to mind.

When I went looking in the shops, I was shocked at how expensive it was to buy. That got me looking for a recipe, as I recall my mom making some when I was younger.

I must say it only took me literally 5 MINUTES to make!

So I thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

Coloured Playdough

Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food colouring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  1. Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food colouring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour.
  3. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don’t have it on hand.
  4. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.

 

Any there you have it. Nice soft squishy playdough, for hours of fun!!

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Taryn Leigh