Posted in Parenting, Personal

Are Your Kids Resilient?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week of working and running, but sadly not writing, but I hope to remedy that this weekend. But enough about that. Today, I’d like to blog about building resilience in our kids?

It seems like mass shootings are on the rise, suicides are on the rise, and our mental health is declining. These factors tell me that we need to build resilience in our kids. Life is hard and we need to help them handle the curveballs life throws at all of us.

So, how do we create resilience in our kids? I did a little research and I found there are seven key components to building resiliency.

  1. Competence.  Building competence goes beyond getting good grades. One of the best ways to build competence is to ask your child to complete a chore. Have him or her help around the house. Being able to cook and clean for themselves makes our children have confidence in their ability to take care of themselves which is also an important element of self-care.
  • Confidence. In order to build confidence, we as parents need to praise them on their efforts as opposed to their intelligence. Kids who have a high level of confidence will be able to bounce back from failing a task. They are more likely to say they’re tactic didn’t work as opposed to they don’t have the ability to do the task. This is an important distinction.

  • Connection is another key component. Our children need to feel connected to the people around them, their family and friends. Disconnection is an element in mass shootings and suicides. We can help our kids feel connected when they’re struggling to master a skill by sharing our own stories of when we struggled. Knowing that it’s normal to struggle when mastering a skill will help them to overcome their frustration and accomplish their goal.
  • Secure in their character. Studies show that children are born with an innate desire to do the right thing. We as parents can help foster that by encouraging empathic behavior and helping them develop an internal moral compass.
  • Contributors. To help kids feel like contributors, show them how their efforts made the family event a success. Have them help with dinner or with the task of cleaning up, then tell them how their efforts made the task go faster or made it easier for you. Show them their actions matter.
  • Cope. The ability to cope is another key factor in building resilience. Kids may appear confidence, but when things don’t go according to plan, they fall apart. The ability to manage difficult emotions when faced with adversity helps them view the challenge as a stumbling block. Something they can overcome as opposed to believing the task is beyond them.
  • Control. The last factor is control. When a child is raised with consistent caregivers and clear boundaries and connected to the adults in their lives, they feel less stress when challenges arise.

For more information on Building Resilience, click https://www.whitbyschool.org/passionforlearning/7-key-characteristics-of-resilient-children

So, there you have it. The seven key components to building resilience in your kids. How do you build resilience? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Personal, Entertainment

My Thoughts on the New Avatar Movie

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week of work, writing, and running. The holidays are done and we’re settling in for a hibernation period at the Orchards. As I write this post, I’m sitting in front of the fire all snuggled in under my blanket. But enough about that.

Today, I’d like to talk about the movie I saw last weekend with my kids and some extended family. It was the new Avatar movie. It’s titled: “Avatar: The Way of Water.” It was amazing.

It’s three hours long, but it didn’t seem that long. There wasn’t a time when I was in the theater that I looked at my watch and wondered how much longer. I was able to see it in 3D, and it made the experience that much more vivid.

It’s the next chapter in Jake Sully’s life as a married man on Pandora. I must take a moment and say Pandora is a beautiful planet. The forests and the oceans are breathtaking, but I digress. Jake has a family. He has four kids, and he has to disappear in order to protect them from the sky people. I don’t want to give you to many more details because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

It was well written, and the storyline was believable. I would recommend taking your kids to this one. Mine enjoyed it just as much as I did.

So, there you have it. My thoughts on the new Avatar movie. Go see it! You’ll be glad you did! How about you? Any movie recommendations you can give me? I’m always looking for entertainment. 😊  

Posted in Personal

My One Little Word for 2023

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It has been a hot minute since I’ve written a post because of the holidays. For some reason, this year seemed busier, probably because I hosted Christmas for my side of the family. My mom has finally passed the torch to me. I must say, I enjoyed hosting, but enough about that. Today, I want to talk about my one little word for 2023.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been choosing a word for the year. In the past, I’ve chosen the words strive, perseverance, and resilience. I love these words because they illustrate strength to me. This year I’m choosing the word FOCUS. I intend to focus on my goals and aspirations and ignore those pesky distractions that pull me away from my goals.

I’m going to focus on my family. We’re at a milestone this year with my oldest. He’s graduating from high school, and he’s ready to start moving into adulthood. This is a scary time for him. There are a lot of unknowns right now. He’s not sure what he wants to study in school and that weighs on him, but he’ll be all right. We’ve all been there and he’s strong and resilient, I’m sure he’ll find a path that works for him.

I’m also going to focus on my friendships and extended family. I am blessed to come from a large, loving family, and I want to extend that love back to them. When they say we can never repay our parents, that is so true. I’m also blessed with a great creative family who’ve encouraged me on my writing journey, and I appreciate them as well.

When I say focus for 2023, the thing that springs to mind is the story I’ve been working on for the last few years. It has morphed several times, and this year is the year to make those revisions and create my final draft. I’m confident the changes I’m making will bring about the results I’m striving for. I’m going to use my laser focus to accomplish that.

So, there you have it. My one little word for 2023 is focus. How about you? Do you have a word that’ll encompass your year?  Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

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 mass shootings, Personal

Mass Shootings: When Are We going to Address the Problem?

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you were able to enjoy your holiday with family and friends. The Holiday season has begun and I’ve already started my Christmas Shopping.

But enough about that. In the last week before Thanksgiving, we’ve had two mass shootings. One in Colorado and one in Virginia. This saddens me. What is going on in our country?

The shooting in Colorado is being investigated as a hate crime because the gunmen opened fire on a LGBTQ night club. The one in Virginia was an employee of Walmart who opened fire on fellow employees. Both incidents are under investigation, but like I’ve said before, I feel the root of all these shootings is disconnection. The shooter has lost his connection with family, friends, and community. No one wakes up one day and says, “I’m going to shoot up Walmart today.”

There are signs something’s wrong. The shooters may have a history of violence in their past. In fact, The New York Times conducted a study and found that seven out of ten mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. Either they are the abuser, or they grew up in an abusive household. This is where we need to start. Let’s take a hard look at domestic violence.

We have to stop sweeping it under the rug. Did you know that a woman is five times more likely to be murdered if her partner has a gun? So, if you combine the disconnection the shooter feels and add domestic violence to the mix, you’ve got a bomb ready to go off, and there’s no telling when it’s about to explode.

But what can we do? That’s a pertinent question. There’s no way to predict when someone’s going off the deep end. We need to educate people and where there’s a disconnect create a connection. We can do this by community outreach programs and through our schools. I hate to put any more responsibility on our schools, but it is a place where kids come together and a place of connection for them.

We need to study other countries that don’t have a mass shooting problem and emulate them, then go above and beyond to create avenues where victims of domestic violence can go and be safe. Next we have to take a hard look at domestic violence and stop tolerating it as a society. It has to be punished and not swept under the rug.

I don’t like to get political on my blog, but there is another reason the United States has so many mass shootings and that is we have an astronomical number of guns. In a study conducted by The New York Times, Americans make up 4.4 percent of the population but own 42 percent of the total number of guns. We need to change this. Kids don’t need assault weapons and neither do adults. The only people who really need this type of weapon is someone in the military. I know there are some second amendment people out there, and I agree with you. We do have the right to bear arms, but the constitution was written a long time ago, and I can guarantee you, they weren’t even thinking about assault rifles when they wrote that amendment.

So there you have my action steps to the problem.

  1. Create connection through our communities
  2. Stop tolerating Domestic Violence as a Society
  3. Limit access to guns and assault weapons
  4. Emulate other countries who don’t have a mass shooter problem

What are your thoughts on Mass Shootings? What would you do to stop them? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

For more information on Mass Shootings, check out these links:

Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

The Mind and Body Connection

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work, writing, and running. I’ve broken down and joined a gym so that I can keep up with my running during the long winter months. It’s cold today, so I’m sitting in my recliner writing this post in front of a nice warm fire.

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about the mind and body connection. I’m no doctor, but I feel there is a strong connection between how we take care of our bodies and how healthy we are in our minds.

I know this because when I’ve had to stop running because of an injury, my mental health droops because I’m not exercising. I also believe eating right also has a positive effect on our brains and mental health. These are two things we can control.

We must learn to listen to our bodies. They’ll tell us when we need to take a break and go for a walk. I try to get outside a couple of times a day to get some fresh air and exercise. I also run and do yoga. Both have a dramatic effect on me. If you’ve ever heard of the runner’s high. It’s true. My attitude is so much better for the whole day when I go for a run in the morning, and this usually extends into the next day.

When I do yoga, I’m so relaxed while at the same time, I’m more aware. There is scientific proof that Yoga is beneficial to not only our minds but our bodies as well. When we do Yoga, it increases the levels of GABA in our brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps relax your mind, which reduces the physical effects of anxiety on the body. For more information on this click this link:  https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/mental-health/understanding-the-mind-body-connection/#:~:text=Physical%20health%20and%20emotional%20health,our%20stress%20and%20physical%20health.

I know you’ve probably heard this before, but I believe our diet also affects the way we feel and think. We need to stay away from sugar as much as possible. We can do this by eliminating processed foods out of our diets. All processed foods seem to have added sugar in them, and I’m sure you’ve heard the fact that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine and other drugs. I don’t think we’ll be able to totally eliminate it, but we can certainly lower our intake of it. For more information about this click this link: https://bernalinstitute.com/2020/07/28/is-sugar-the-new-cocaine-does-sugar-have-the-same-effect-on-the-brain-as-cocaine/

So, there you have it. What we eat and how we take care of our bodies has a direct effect on our mental state. What do you do to maintain your mental health? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Building Resilience

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing. I was also able to sneak in some gal pal time and hang with one of my closest friends. She is a sweetie.

She’s also an artist. She is incredibly talented and supportive of all other artists whether they write, paint, or sculpt. I’ve found this type of support in the writing community as well. Creatives need to hang with other creatives. That’s all there is to it. We immediately understand the passion and drive to create and perfect.

My friend is teaching me how to paint, and I must say I’m learning in spite of myself. LOL! This winter while I’m hibernating, I’m also going to be writing and painting. I’m looking forward to winter. (A little bit 😉 I’m not a big fan of the cold anymore.)

But enough about that. Today, I want to talk about building your resilience muscle. All creatives need to build resilience in the face of rejection and criticism. We need to teach our children how to be resilient, too. But first, let’s define it.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

According to Dr. Ginsburg a child psychologist there are seven C’s to resilience. They are listed below:

  1. Competence
  2. Confidence
  3. Connection
  4. Character
  5. Contribution
  6. Coping
  7. Control

We need to teach our children self-care skills such as cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning. They need to be able to take care of themselves and their environment. Not only do they need to learn self-care skills, but skills that will help them to be independent and earn a living. By doing this they will develop confidence in themselves.

We also need to teach them that it’s okay to ask for help and to help others. That’s where the connection part of all of this comes in. It’s important to make connections with other people within our community. To know we can reach out if we’re in need. I feel a lack of connection or disconnection is the root cause of our school shootings and mass shootings, but that’s another blog post for another time.

Character is another component. We need to be strong role models for our kids, and it must be genuine. Kids can tell when someone’s being inconsistent. Our words and our actions have to match.

Another component of resilience is contribution. It’s important for our kids to contribute to the household. This is where you can teach them cleaning skills. My boys contribute by vacuuming and dusting once a week. They also have learned to cook, and they clean up after themselves when they do cook. On a side note, it’s important that we as parents don’t criticize or find fault with their efforts. Remember they’re learning. They’re not going to do it perfectly the first few times, but with practice they’ll get better.

Learning to cope with life’s ups and downs is another building block of resilience. We need to teach our kids good coping skills for when they’re in adverse situations. They need to learn how to assert themselves and speak their truth. They also need to learn how to cope with stress. We can model this behavior ourselves by dealing with our own stress in healthy ways.

The very last factor in building resilience is control. As long as we know how to control our emotions, we’ll build our resilience. This is hard to achieve, but it’s not impossible. I don’t mean we have to not feel our emotions or try to stuff them down deep. I mean we feel our emotions, but don’t act on them.  For example, let’s say your boss says something that makes you angry, but expressing that anger will hurt your career, so you choose to stay silent. That’s the kind of control that if mastered can help you build your resilience muscle.

Each of these components are a building block for resilience. We all need to be resilient in our daily lives. How do you build your resilience? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!