Posted in Family, Health

Dealing with Toxic People

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope you had a wonderful Easter and you were able to spend it with family and friends. I’m back today and I’m talking about dealing with toxic people. Sometimes you work with them, sometimes they’re in one of your social circles, and sometimes they’re in your family.

They’re hard to deal with because you have to constantly keep re-establishing your boundaries because they keep trying to push past them and take control. They view you as a means to their ends and that’s it. Unfortunately.

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The only way to deal with these kinds of people is to firmly establish boundaries and not let them past. They will continue to try and when you’ve had enough, they’ll retreat, but they won’t apologize or change their behavior. Instead, they’ll wait until enough time has passed and then they’ll try again. Don’t fall into this trap. When you recognize the pattern, try to get out of it as fast as you can.

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It’s unfortunate when the toxic person is in your family because you can’t avoid them at family functions and they can make life miserable for you during that event but stay strong. They’ll eventually get the message, and when you don’t respond to their manipulations, they’ll get frustrated and leave you alone. Hopefully.

I’ve found avoidance is the best way to deal with these people. They have no clue they’re unhealthy. Self-awareness isn’t their strong suit, and they have no clue how they affect other people. They don’t care. They’re only trying to achieve their goal, and their goal is manipulating  you to do what they want.

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When you get trapped around these people, though, remember they’re the unhealthy ones and don’t let them past your boundary. Stay strong. It might be exhausting, but you can do it. If you do find they’re wearing you out. Leave. That’s what I do. When I’m tired of putting up with their bad behavior, I go home, and you can too.

What other ways do you deal with toxic people? Leave a message, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Reading

I’m back and I’m talking about Self-Care

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I have to apologize, I’ve been hit with the Bronchitis bug and have been too sick to post on my blog. So, I apologize for my long absence and I’m finally back with a post.

Because I’ve just gotten over a bad case of Bronchitis, I thought I’d write a post on the importance of self-care. I tend to put myself last because I’m a mom and that’s what a lot of us moms do.

The thing is if we don’t have our health, we don’t have anything. Health is our wealth. It’s not money. You can have all the money in the world, but if you can’t enjoy it because of failing health, it’s worthless.

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So, take the time to cook yourself healthy meals. It’s a great way to bond with your kids and teach them healthy eating habits. In my opinion, good health starts with good food. Your diet is so important. Food fuels your body and builds it up to fight disease and sickness. If you’re filling it with empty calories and no nutrients, you’re not giving it what it needs to keep you healthy. So, start this habit while your kids are young and it’s never too late to take better care of yourself.

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Another element of self-care is exercise. Yeah, going to the gym is a great way to get those miles in on that treadmill, but if you can get outside, that’s even better. Getting out in the sun is so good for you. We all need our vitamin D and the best way to get it is from the sun. I believe a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine is good for all of us. Heart and Soul.

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And if you can somehow get out to the woods or walk near the beach, that is the best for you. Remember the trees in the forest emit tiny microbes that help us fight disease and the fresh air from the beach has many health benefits as well.

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So, diet and exercise are two of the key ingredients to good health. Another ingredient is stress reduction. Exercise is a great way to deal with stress, but there are others.  One of the activities I like to do when I’m too stressed is read. Yes, reading can drop your stress level within minutes of opening your book. It gets your mind off your stressful situation, your heart rate will decrease, and you’ll begin to relax. Reading is a perfect way to de-stress when you can’t make it to the gym or just don’t feel like exercising.

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So, there you have it, the three elements of self-care. What do you do to take care of yourself?  I’m always looking for new ideas, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Public Service Announcements

Does Social Media create Narcissists?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and writing. I’ve reached a spot in my revisions where I have to do a little research, and I can’t do that until tomorrow, so I figured I’d write out a blog post for everyone!

So, I was thinking about what to write and I came up with the question, does social media cause people to be narcissistic?  As I pondered that, I thought I should explain what a narcissist is.

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A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. They are extremely selfish and use people to meet their own needs. For example, a man who needs his ego constantly stroked by a woman is a narcissist, and they go through a string of women because they exhaust them with their constant neediness.

Social media is another tool narcissists use to get their needs met. It’s just like using a woman to stroke their ego, or a trophy, or making a lot of money so the world will recognize them and respect them, but the question is does it cause someone to be narcissistic when they otherwise wouldn’t be?

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In my opinion, the answer is no. Social media makes it easier for a narcissist to express their narcissism, but it doesn’t make them more narcissistic. Everyone has a little narcissism in them. A healthy dose helps us take care of ourselves, allows us to not put ourselves last all the time.

I guess what makes a person a bad narcissist is the degree of narcissism they have. The more predominate it is in your personality structure the more a person falls into the narcissistic personality disorder category.

Social media might be a good thing, we as the unsuspecting victims of narcissists, will be able to see them coming if we happen to inadvertently connect with them via social media.

Whatever you do, don’t let the narcissist get their hooks into you. I’ve had my own experiences with them and they drain you of your energy. The relationship becomes about them. Meeting their constantly changing needs and the fact that they always up the ante. They need more attention, more admiration, and more proof of your love for them.

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This exhausts you, but the hard part is when they start to devalue you. When they’ve used you all up, they start finding fault and criticizing you. This is dangerous for you because you’re vulnerable. They’ve exhausted you. It’s hard to see this cycle when you’re emotionally involved with a person like this, so you may need to reach out to a professional and get some guidance on how to handle this type of person.

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Sorry, I got a little off topic there.

The question was, does Social Media make a person more narcissistic?

The short answer is no, it helps us see them coming. 😊

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

 

 

Posted in Health

Are We the Indoor Generation?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It has been a dicey couple of weeks what with ice storms and power outages and there seems to be more on the way. Sigh. I’m done with winter, how about you? While I was snuggling under my blanket during one of these storms, I saw a short video on Facebook, and I was introduced to a term I hadn’t heard before describing our generation. That term was the “indoor generation.” Are we the indoor generation?

 

According to statistics, we spend ninety percent of our time indoors. We exercise indoors, work indoors, and socialize indoors. When we don’t let fresh air into our homes, that indoor air becomes more polluted than the air outside. This isn’t good for our families and the lack of sunlight can affect our children’s learning.

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Living in a damp and moldy home increases the chance of asthma by forty percent. That is a scary statistic. We need to let fresh air into our homes by opening our doors and windows and not rely on air conditioning so much. I know during the winter this is hard to do because it’s so darn cold, but the more fresh air we have the better off our families will be.

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So, we’ve drawn the conclusion that living solely indoors isn’t good for us physically, but what about mentally?

Depression is on the rise, especially in the teen demographic. Could it be possible that spending time outside in the fresh air and sunlight would help people struggling with depression? I’m drawing the conclusion the answer is yes.

Why do I draw this conclusion? Because it’s been scientifically proven that walking in nature is good for us. It relieves stress and boosts our immune system. Plus, everyone knows we get vitamin D from the sun, right?

There’s this new term called Forest Bathing and when we walk through the forest we inhale phytoncides. The trees in the forest release these compounds into the air they boost our immune system and help us fight cancer. I’m all for that! For more information on Forest bathing, check out this link.  https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/the-benefits-of-forest-bathing/

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Also, being near the beach is good for us, too. It reduces stress levels and blood pressure, and of course being out in the sun allows you to get that vitamin D we need, and it increases the level of serotonin in our brains, which helps with depression. So, you can’t go wrong spending time in nature. We have to slow down and take care of ourselves. That means taking the time to hike through the woods and head to the beach.

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Let’s not be the indoor generation anymore. Let’s be the generation that turned our health around and taught our kids the importance of getting out into the fresh air, nature, and sunlight. Our planet has everything we need. If we take care of it, our planet will take care of us.

Thanks for reading my post today. How do you feel about being the indoor generation? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health

The Ripple Effect

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy holiday. It was a Happy Thanksgiving for the Orchards and I hope it was for you as well. Now, the Christmas season has officially begun, and I’m excited. It’s my favorite time of year because I love shopping for Christmas and finding gifts for everyone and the lights! All those awesome Christmas lights!

 

 

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But enough about that. Today I want to talk about the way women view their bodies. We’ve been conditioned by society to believe we need to fix our imperfections and the only way we can do this is by buying what “they’re” selling, whether it’s clothes, makeup, or exercise equipment.

Instead of focusing on our supposed imperfections let’s focus on how our body feels. Does it feel healthy? Does it feel strong? Can I do all the activities I want?

If we focus on how we feel instead of how we look, we’ll be happier. For example, when I run, I feel awesome afterward. I have a lot of energy and the endorphins are bursting through my body. I feel good for hours afterward and I feel healthy and strong.

 

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When I’m taking care of my body in this way, I’m not worried about how I look because I feel so good. I accomplish more, my mind’s clearer, and I feel great.

I don’t pick at my imperfections because I’m focused on what I want to accomplish and my relationships. Which is where my focus should be. Then my relationships grow stronger and I’m happier. All because I’m taking care of myself.

Taking care of myself causes a ripple effect. It affects my relationships with my hubby and my kids. Because I’m healthier, I’m less reactive. I’m more proactive and focused on my goals. I accomplish more and that makes me feel better about myself, too. It’s good for my self-esteem when I set goals and accomplish them. This all stems from the fact that I started taking care of myself.

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I should add, that another part of taking care of myself is eating a healthy diet. I don’t feel I need to go into a lot of detail about that because you all know what a healthy diet is. 😉

So, if you don’t have a self-care routine, develop one and see what kind of ripple effect it could have on your life.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What are some of the ways you take care of yourself? Do you see a ripple effect happening in your life because of it? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health, Personal

Be Kinder to Yourself, You Deserve It

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of work, writing, and fighting a cold. Yes. I have a horrible cold and a horrible cough that’s just starting to loosen up. Hopefully, by the end of the week my seal bark will be gone, and I’ll be able to breathe easy again, but enough about that.

Today I’d like to talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart. This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine.  She was complaining about her weight one day. You see, she has been trying to lose weight and she had been doing well until she hit a plateau. She stalled. She upped her exercise program, and nothing changed. She was frustrated, and she spouted off to me.

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“I’m never going to reach my goal.” She threw up her hands and dropped them on her thighs.

“Mary, (I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent) stop focusing on your weight.”

“I can’t help it. I just have ten more pounds to go. I feel like such a failure. I can’t drop these last pounds for the life of me.”

I told Mary to stop focusing on the one negative thing in her life. Her weight. There are so many other more positive things to focus on, like the fact she has an incredible sense of humor. That she’s kind. That she’s brave. That she’s empathetic. I mean the list literally goes on and on.

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I told her you have all these other positive, wonderful qualities and your weight is a tiny fraction of who you are. It’s not the only thing that makes you, you. Sometimes we’re so busy hyper-focusing on the one aspect we want to change, we forget about all the other amazing aspects that make up our personality and physical body.

When I look at Mary, I don’t see her weight. I see how kind she is to people who need a helping hand. I see how funny she is and how she makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants. I see her warmth. I see how she can brighten someone’s day with one of her radiant smiles.

When you add all that up, her weight isn’t a glaring negative. It’s just something she has to work on, and she is. She’s moving in the right direction, and that’s all she can expect of herself.

So, the next time you’re hyper-critical of yourself, take a second and take a broader look and include all the positives you see. I guarantee you, the positives outweigh the negatives. We need to make this a regular practice and we’ll be happier in our lives. Wouldn’t you agree?

Be kinder to yourself. You deserve it.

 

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How about you? Do you see yourself falling into this trap? Do you have any other suggestions on how to avoid it? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Health, Personal

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. I’ve started a new job and it’s great to be back to work full time. I’ve missed it. However, I’m still committed to my writing. I’ve got two manuscripts I’m committed to finishing and a third one that I started a while back that I want to finish as well.

Today, I’d like to talk about self-care. Taking care of your health should be one of the most important goals an individual has. In my younger years, I took my health for granted and picked up some bad habits, like drinking too much pop. It’s bad for your bones and your body needs water. So, I’ve made a conscious effort to drink more water and limit the amount of pop I drink.

That’s just one example. Through the years, I’ve tried to be consistent about exercise as well. Exercise is so important for our body. It’s great for maintaining our mood and managing our stress.

So, when I think about self-care, I think about the basics. What does my body need to be healthy?

  1. A healthy diet

For me, a healthy diet is more salads and less sugar. I’ve tried to cut down on sugar, but I haven’t eliminated it all together. I’ve also developed a plan where I eat carbs only in the morning and at night, leaving my noon meal for proteins and vegetables. I’m trying to work with the changes that occur in our bodies as we age. I still need carbs, but I don’t need as many, and I feel the time of day I eat these things is also important.

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          Our bodies also need water. Lots of it. 😊

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  1. Exercise

Our bodies are designed to move so the more movement you can get, the better off you’ll be. It can be anything like walking, hiking, or cycling. I run, but I also change it up with hiking and walking so I don’t get bored. I also work out with free weights to keep my muscles strong. Exercise is also an excellent way to relieve stress.

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  1. Stress relieving activities

Besides exercise there are other stress relieving activities we can participate in, like yoga or reading or getting together with friends. All of these activities are important ways to maintain both our mental and physical health.

 

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  1. Setting boundaries

I list setting boundaries with people as a part of our self-care because we can get wrapped up into taking care of other people. This includes our spouse and children. Sometimes Mom needs a time out and that’s okay because you’ll be a better parent if you take care of yourself. Not only that, but your setting a good example for your children on how to take care of themselves without feeling bad about it. Go you!

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  1. Setting goals

I list setting goals because part of taking care of ourselves is managing our time. If we set goals we know where we want to spend our time and how much time we want to devote to that activity. By doing this, we can eliminate all that unimportant crap that can demand our attention. We learn to say no to things without guilt.

 

So, there you have it. A blue-print for self-care. It looks easy, I know but, it’s hard to do. It’s hard to find the time sometimes for exercise and stress relieving activities when your family is demanding your attention. It’ll take some practice and some juggling, but I’m sure you can do it.

 

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What do you do for self-care? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!