Posted in Holiday Posts, Parenting, Personal, social media

Be Present This Holiday Season

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing and Christmas shopping. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and this year, I’m hosting Christmas dinner for my extended family. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but I do enjoy these family events, and the shopping! I love picking out gifts for my loved ones. But enough about that.

Christmas, Be Present This Holiday Season, Lisa Orchard
Photo credit: Trey Ratcliff on Visualhunt

Today, I’d like to talk about being present this holiday season. I’ve noticed over the past year that many people take selfies when they’re out with loved ones and post them on social media. I know this is important when you’re building your brand, but we are so much more than our image on social media.

I challenge everyone to be present with your family and friends this holiday season. Make sure this season is about them and not building your brand. Take pictures for the memories and don’t worry about social media. You can always go back to building your brand after the holidays.

Really enjoy the moment whatever it may be. If you go to a Christmas parade, don’t just take a selfie and be done with it. Put the camera away and be present with your companions. We won’t get these moments back, and they’re so much more satisfying than getting hearts and likes on social media.

Christmas Parade, Parade, Lisa Orchard, Be Present this Holiday Season
Photo credit: jackoraptor on VisualHunt.com

This is how we get our connections back. This is how we strengthen our bonds with our families and friends. This is how we fight disconnection. We can’t afford to become more disconnected than we already are. Research has shown that increased amounts of screen time can be associated with anxiety, depression, and leads to social isolation which in turn leads to lower self-esteem.

I’m not a therapist, but aren’t these all ingredients for mental health issues? What if we increased our ability to be present and strengthen our bonds with family and friends off of social media. Maybe we’d see a decline in mass shootings and suicides.

Social Media, Be Present this Holiday Season, Lisa Orchard
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee on VisualHunt.com

So, let’s make sure we’re present this holiday season and strengthen those bonds with our loved ones. Maybe start some new family traditions or hold up some old ones. My family has started a new tradition of playing cards during our time together, and while we’re playing, we reminisce and laugh about our antics growing up. It’s a great way to foster that connection we all need.

How about you? How do you strengthen your family connections? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Holiday Posts, mental-health

Dealing with a Narcissist during the Holidays

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing. We’ve had a snowstorm hit our area and the kids had a snow day on Friday. The storm continued through the weekend, so now we have a winter wonderland in our yard. Hubby put out some bird seed and my family of cardinals has returned. I’m so glad to see them. Something about their consistency gives me joy, but enough about that.

Today, I’d like to talk about dealing with toxic relationships. Now, I’m not a therapist, but since the holidays are coming up many people don’t have a healthy family to celebrate with, and the holidays can bring these relationships to the forefront.

For example, what if you have a narcissist in your family. These people are extremely difficult to be around.  They manipulate unsuspecting family members by playing the victim or by piling on the praise. They also try to ostracize family members they can’t manipulate. The reason they do this is because they need to be the center of attention.

These people are hard to be around. The best way to handle them is to detach so they can’t manipulate you. If you have a narcissist in your family, try to keep your distance and get through the holiday. You might be the only one who knows they’re a narcissist. So, any kind of confrontation could end badly with other family members taking the narcissist’s side.

Trust me, if you detach from them and accept them for what they are, you’ll be better off in the long run. There are other toxic relationships in families, but the narcissistic one seems to be the most devastating. Once you let go of trying to change them or your family members, you’re a long way toward alleviating the narcissist’s negative effect on your life.

On that note, let’s be kind to everyone. We don’t know what kind of family dynamics they’re returning to, and we don’t want to make the holidays any harder for them.

How about you? How do you handle toxic family dynamics? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Holiday Posts, Personal

Save the Bee Day!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today is May 20th and it is “Save the Bee Day.” A very important day indeed.

Did you know that without Bees and other pollinators we wouldn’t have flowers or food? What a hefty responsibility for such a tiny insect. The UN says 90% of all flowering plants depend on pollinators to survive and they also affect 35% of global agricultural land. So, saving the bees also fights world hunger.

This type of symbiotic relationship shows how we’re all connected and that one living thing is not more important than another. So, plant some flowers and leave a bowl of water out for the bees. They need sustenance as they go about saving the world.