written by Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C
In honor of the New Year, I would like to share one of my favorite affirmations. I believe it comes from Louise Hay, but I have been saying for a while now and don’t honestly know the origins. However, I find it particularly fitting for the New Year. It is fairly simple and goes like this.
I am willing to let go of old, painful patterns that keep me feeling unhappy. I welcome new and fulfilling experiences into my life.
I love this affirmation because it rightly implies that you do not need to figure out how to let go of old patterns, as much as you must be willing to let them go. Just the simple act of being sincerely willing to let go of old, painful patterns, can open up a new experience for you and for your family, since your willingness to let go will impact them as well.
It is my hope for you that this year brings your happiest family experiences ever. Thank you so much for traveling with me through the past year, my first year of blogging, and for your support as I entered a new learning experience. I am looking forward to many more years spent together.
- Parent Affirmation Monday- being present- 12/3/2012 (help4yourfamily.com)
- Parent Affirmation Monday- Empathic- 11/17/2012 (help4yourfamily.com)
- Quick self care for parents (help4yourfamily.com)
Written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C
Many parents get into the habit of believing that in order to nourish ourselves, we need a grand gesture or a day away from the children. While that is nice sometimes, we also need to find smaller moments throughout the day to fit in body and soul nourishment. Especially around this time of year, when we find that we are doing more for others, it is important to fill our own tank as well.
One of the issues I hear from parents when it comes to self-care is that there is no time or money or that when you do start taking care of yourself it just reminds you of how little care you have been getting. Well, the last issue is for another post on another day (I am planning on writing that post), but in the meantime, here is a list of quick and easy self-care ideas that even a parent with a small child can find a moment in the day to do. Most of them cost little or no money. Please feel free to use the ones that work for you and lose the ones that don’t. I want to include this list in the book I am writing and would love it if you would share any other quick and easy self-care tips you have. You may notice that you already do some of them, like drinking water. For this list, the idea is not to just drink the water, but to enjoy doing it and to mark it in your mind as something you did today to take care of yourself.
- Put lotion on your feet before you put your socks on.
- Take a deep breath, hold it for a slow count of two, then let it go. Repeat two more times.
- Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to enhance the good feeling you are having, or to clear away a difficult feeling. Here is a video of Cheryl Richardson teaching this technique in five minutes, but if you want to really take care of yourself, you can get the book by Jack Canfield and Pamela Brunner Tapping Into Ultimate Success (you can find this book quickly on amazon by clicking the amazon link on the top left of the screen).*
- Set a timer for five minutes and start clearing off a surface of your home that has been bothering you. Stop when the alarm goes off. Look at what you just accomplished for yourself!
- Sit and drink a glass of water. If you want to get really fancy, cut a slice of cucumber, lemon or apple and put it in the water. Allow yourself to enjoy the water as it cleanses your body.
- Light a candle that you have been saving for a special occasion. Now is the special occasion.
- Get the app on your phone called Quick Reminders (it’s free) and type in an affirmation for yourself then tell your phone to remind you of your affirmation regularly.
- Take a moment and stretch your body. Start at your head and slowly and gently circle your head around clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Circle your shoulders around, circle your wrists and elbows. Circle your hips around, clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Bend your knees. Circle your ankles around. Wiggle your toes. Bend and touch your toes, then reach up to the sky. Open your arms to the world and breathe in happiness.
- Imagine your body filling with a colored light that feels like the right color to you right now.
- Take a shower and enjoy the feeling of the water on your skin. Even better, take a bath.
- Treat yourself to reading an article you have been thinking about, or an extra chapter in the book you have next to the bed.
- Close your eyes for five minutes and take a power nap.
- Put your hand on your heart, close your eyes, and thank yourself for the good things you have done to make your life good in this moment.
- Say a prayer of thanks for the gifts that you have.
- Listen to a song that puts you in a good mood.
- Look up a funny video on YouTube and get a good laugh.
- Find a picture of yourself from when you were little, and tell the child in the picture some of the good things that are coming his or her way.
- Purchase a deck of gratitude cards, angel cards, etc, and pull one for yourself. Remind yourself of the message on the card.
- Give yourself a mini manicure or pedicure.
- Step outside and look at the sky. Touch a tree or feel your bare feet on the ground. Take a moment to enjoy nature.
I am certain that I have not covered every self-care tip out there, this was just the first 20 I could think of. I am so curious to know what it is that you do to take care of yourself quickly during the day. Please share!
The Art of Breathing (help4yourfamily.com)
Parent Affirmation Monday- Being Present (help4yourfamily.com)
*See disclaimer page
written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C
As we approach a new year, and get closer to seeing people we might not see all the time, who we might have a history with that remains unresolved in some way, it is time to think about putting aside past grievances. Most of us, at some point, have had an argument with a person we cared for that turned into something much bigger than it needed to be. So often the conflicts we have are not about what we say they are about. More often they are about a perceived slight, belief about the other person, or some other story we tell ourselves about things that have happened in the past. When you look at the person you have an old, unresolved grievance with, perhaps one that gets activated this time of year, I’m going to suggest that it is time to ask yourself whether it is worth it to you to carry around this grudge anymore.
I am reminded of an email I got a long time ago that I wish I had saved. It was about a professor talking to his students. The professor filled a cup with water. He held the cup up in front of the class and asked the students how much they thought it weighed. The students guessed with a fair amount of accuracy. The professor then asked, “How much do you think this cup would weigh if I held it up just like this for five minutes?” Well of course it would weigh the same amount, but it would feel a good bit heavier. Imagine holding a cup up in front of you for an entire day…an entire week…a month…a year. That’s one heavy cup. Imagine the water is a grievance you have been carrying around. Think about the relief of putting down our cup of grievances.
Often we think we are going to hold onto a little grudge. It won’t weigh much. We only pull it out a couple of times a year when we see a certain individual. We minimize the energy it takes to carry the grievance inside of us until we wait for the right moment to pull it out and apply it.
In the car, on the way to see people you have not seen for a while, or maybe even people you see all the time, take a moment to listen to your thoughts. Are you dreading some aspect of the upcoming encounter? Why? Imagine what it would be like to let go of your expectations for what that person “should” do or how they “should” be according to you. A big part of this will be forgiving yourself for believing you knew how someone “should” be or what they “should” do. On the way to see anyone who you hold hurt or angry feelings about (including your children), try saying the following affirmation to yourself:
I am letting go of past grievances and looking toward a brighter future for myself and for this person.
I want to strongly emphasize that looking toward a brighter future does not necessarily mean that you are looking to become best friends. It does not even mean that you spend time together- ever. Letting go of grievances does not push the reset button for healthy boundaries. It is simply deciding that you are putting this memory, this contentious story you tell yourself about the issue to bed. Wishing happiness for those around you, and letting go of old grievances help us all create a more peaceful, loving existence and models for our children how to rise above old, unhealthy family patterns.
- Parent Affirmation Monday- being present- 12/3/2012 (help4yourfamily.com)
- Parent Affirmation Monday- Forgiveness- 6/25/2012 (help4yourfamily.com)
- Parental Reframes When Things Don’t Look So Good (help4yourfamily.com)
- 4 Reminders to Help the Holidays Go Smoothly for Everyone (help4yourfamily.com)
Since I have been busy preparing a book proposal to send off (please wish me well), I have missed a few posts. Well, the proposal is sent, and I would like to share with you three posts:
1. Sometimes you read something that just sticks with you and you want to keep referring back to. Kristen Barton Cuthriell over at Let Life in Practices wrote just such a post. It is called How to Become a Happier Person. I think we all need to read it. To get to it, you can click here.
2. In the spirit of the holiday’s Leah DeCesare over at Mother’s Circle invited me to do a guest post about a family tradition we have for this time of year. I would love to invite you to check it out now by clicking here.
3. Lastly, Karen, over at Familosity, was kind enough to mention me in a post she made about finding our true mission. I wanted to send her my appreciation for recognizing that I am working to live my life’s mission and to share her lovely post with you all. You can find the post by clicking here.
Have you read any recent articles or research that you think need to be included on this site? Please feel free to share in the comments section:
- This is your brain on attachment
- Last Chance for Two Great Opportunities
- Mother’s Retreat Weekend- It’s Really Happening!
- Stopping the Parent Shame and Blame Game
- Making Peace With Your Inner Critic
- Putting together something fun for you!
- Quick Jobs for Kids
- Staying Strong as a Couple
- Letting Go of the Parent You Thought You Would Be
- Add a Little Awe to Your Life
- Upcoming Trainings
- Older Kids with Bathroom Issues: Why Does it Happen? How Can You Help? Part 2