How to Help With Emotional Crisis

As we evaluate America today there are many who are hurting. Being out of work, not able to be with friends and family, financial crisis, uncertainty, and more have everyone off kilter. What always was, the things in which we have confidence have been removed. Governmental over reach, stolen elections, everything is up in the air and many are very upset.

How can we calm the waters and bring peace to the hearts of those in our lives? The following article gives suggestions. If you believe someone in your life is struggling speak with them. Let them know you are there for them. Often just listening relieves the stress level and brings peace. If you do this and do not see a relief of stress seek professional help. The actions of others are not your fault, but they so affect you. Help those who are going down a dark path find help from those trained to serve them. Call help lines, a professional therapist, a psychiatrist, or other professional. A pediatrician or obstetrician would have referrals for these. Do not feel you have to fix the problem yourself. Point your friend or relative in the right direction.

How to Help Emotionally:

Life can be difficult and painful. There are moments when it feels like we are being assaulted from all sides, with difficulties and challenges hurled at us time and time again.  In trying to get through it all, it can seem like we’re just slowly crawling through mud, trying to pull ourselves out and get ahead. Every single person will experience it at some point in their life.  That is why it is so valuable to understand effective ways to help the people around you when you are in a position to make a positive impact.  Helping other people is not only good for that person, but it’s good for your own soul. That being said, it’s a challenging world and there are some difficult people out there.

Kindness and compassion aren’t necessarily soft or gentle. It’s important that you ensure your own health and well-being in the process of trying to uplift another person.  Helping other people in their hour of need can be challenging and confusing at times. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that… You don’t need to have all of the answers. A person who is going through a difficult time may feel like their problems are insurmountable. Those feelings can be intense and overwhelming even in a situation that is relatively simple. Mental illness makes that kind of situation even more difficult. Depression and anxiety are becoming more widespread, which means that not all of a person’s emotions are necessarily going to be reasonable or rational. Sometimes, life can hand us problems that do not have clear and distinct answers. In trying to help another person, you must remember that you don’t need to have all the answers.

Some problems are so complicated that they require professional help to find answers to. Some problems should not have uninformed opinions foisted on them.  It’s okay to not have answers. You can always help guide the person in the direction of the answers they are looking for.  Presence speaks louder than hollow words.  Words mean very little, which is probably an odd thing to read in a written article. But how many times have you heard from a person that they would always be there for you? Or even that they loved you, and then when you needed them, they were nowhere to be found? The truth is that words are easy, and often shallow. It’s actions that speak loud and clear. People so often look for the right words to comfort someone they care about who is going through something terrible, but there are rarely good words for the worst of situations.  If you feel stuck, something as simple as, “I don’t know what to say, but do know that I’m here for you.” can be powerful. Your continued presence can offer more support and help than an encyclopedia of hollow words.Set aside any distractions and be present with the person. It’s a powerful way to demonstrate to them that they and their problems are important to you.

Anchor the person in reality with a tangible course of action.  A person who is going through hard times will be swamped with emotions that are likely to make it hard to see through or past their pain.  Think of it like a person who is physically drowning. Are they concerned with a boat in the distance? A shoreline? The people or buildings on the shore?  No.  They are in the moment, focused on trying to keep themselves above the surface.  They aren’t necessarily spending their time looking past keeping their head above the water or latching onto something nearby that can keep them afloat. Panic and a drowning response make it difficult to think clearly in such a situation. Emotional distress on dry land is much the same. You can anchor a person back into reality by helping them find a tangible course of action to approach a problem. That often comes down to convincing the person to talk to a relevant professional that can help them with whatever problem it is they are facing.  There is a common misconception about “suicide hotlines” that stems from people calling them suicide hotlines. Most are actually “crisis hotlines” and the operators can help in many more situations than just a person feeling suicidal. Sometimes they can connect a person with services or help that the caller didn’t know was available.

Boundaries are a necessity in trying to help another person.  There is a lot written about the importance of authenticity and closeness with other people. What tends to get brushed over far too often is the absolute need for solid boundaries.  Boundaries serve not only to protect oneself from the turmoil of other people, but they can also help guide another person in a better direction.  By having the ability to say, “What you are doing is not okay with me, and if you keep doing it, I’m stepping away.” you can spend less time worrying about another person taking advantage of you

You are not the other person’s therapist or savior. Ultimately, a person can only truly save themselves. Everything else is just a tool, method of support, or empowerment. Real change and uplifting come from hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. A tool is not useful if a person won’t pick it up and use it. Sometimes, the best way to guide a person into that course of action is by not putting up with repeated, toxic behaviorRepeated is an important word. Sometimes people go through low and difficult times. They make mistakes. Bad things will happen. What truly matters is that the person is actively working to improve their situation. And if they won’t, then your ability to reinforce your boundaries will help keep you safe and well in the process.  Avoid using the word “understand” when trying to relate.The word “understand” is an emotionally charged statement to people who have gone through some horrible things or are presently struggling.  Invoking this word is a tricky thing, because it can build some solid bridges if you can meaningfully demonstrate that you have been in a similar position, but it can also immediately shut the other person down. Why? Because if you say you understand someone’s pain and can’t actually show that to the other person in some way, their defensive walls are going to go up and they stop listening.  Avoid using “understand” when trying to be helpful or there for someone. You don’t need to try to relate to the person’s suffering to help them. Most of the time that will just fall short and make it harder for you to be there for them because they won’t be as open or trusting about what they are going through.

Openness is a major factor in helping others. Authenticity allows people to connect in a way that can provide inspiration and hope in dark places. Your actions demonstrate authenticity far more than your words ever can. Act with kindness and compassion and you’ll find that you can uplift the people you touch far easier than trying to find the right words to convince someone that you understand or relate. Whatever kindness and support you choose to offer and put into the world, do not forget to practice it with yourself. It’s tough out there for a lot of people. A thick skin and solid boundaries are two important parts of keeping yourself well and healthy if you want to help others.

18 Ways To Help A New Mom

“What Can I Do To Help?” This is the question we all find ourselves asking. What can we do for those who have a new baby, are dealing with a major illness, a move, or some other major change in life. This article provides many practical suggestions for friends and family who want to help.

“WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?” If you say this to a mama and she looks at you like it’s a trick question, don’t give up. Sometimes asking for what we need is tricky, you know?

After my oldest was born and my midwives crept away for some well-deserved sleep, I remember wondering if they’d noticed that I couldn’t figure out how to burp her. I loved my squishy little girl more than my own breath, but it took some time to feel confident as her mama.

Fortunately, my family and friends surrounded me with support, even when I didn’t know what to ask for. Apparently they had a new mom playbook I didn’t know about, and it went something like this . . .

Whether your friend is a first-time mama or a seasoned vet on baby #5, here are some ways you can help . . that ACTUALLY help!

1. Run A Couple of Errands

Text me the day before you’re scheduled to drop off a meal and ask if you can pick anything up on your way: toilet paper, bleach-free pads, natural laundry powder, etc.

2. If I Say No . . .

Text me again a few hours before you stop by. I may have remembered something!

3. Give Me An Afternoon

“Come over about 2 in the afternoon. Hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners.” (Gloria Lemay) Or if there’s no laundry to fold, offer to start a load.

4. Capture A Memory

Chances are I barely managed to get into presentable pj’s before you arrived and I’m not thinking about a photo shoot, but as the saying goes, “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.”

Whether it’s my beautiful squishy baby sleeping peacefully, or an older child dressed up in a makeshift costume, if you see something lovely ask me if I’d like you to photograph it. Use my phone, or use yours and send it to me later with a quick note telling me what a great job I’m doing. Even if it’s grainy and not at all professional, your photo may become a treasured memory of a time when not many photos are taken. (See Exhibit A here)

5. Spruce Up My Kitchen

Put a load of dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down my countertops.

6. Make Me An Uplifting Room & Linen Spray

Buy a dark amber 4 ounce glass spray bottle, fill it with organic lavender hydrosol (flower water) or organic rose hydrosol, then tie a bit of baker’s twine or ribbon around the nozzle to make it pretty. Although the shelf life will be about 3 months, which is shorter than this homemade air freshener made with essential oils, hydrosols are more gentle and therefore preferred for use in a home with a brand new baby.

Ask me if I’d like you to spritz my pillow. Oh, and make up a bottle for yourself, too. Let’s be happy together!

7. Don’t Assume

. . . that because I am on my second (or third or fourth!) baby that I don’t need help because I “know what I’m is doing.” I need more help! (Thanks Renee Kohley for this idea!)

8. Speaking Of My Older Kids . . .

Please take them to the park to blow bubbles or kick the soccer ball around. Please do not feed them junk – they turn in to gremlins, I promise! Here are some healthy snack ideas they’ll love.

9. Take Kitty For a Walk

Or if you really love me clean out Fido’s litterbox! (What, you didn’t name your dog after a cat and vice versa?)

10. Put A Sign On My Door

If I’ve shared with you that I’m feeling overwhelmed by visitors, offer to print this sign for me and place it on my front door.

11. Express Your Inner Type A

If you’re the organizing type, help me harness “Is there anything I can do to help?” into real-life results. Create a list of chores to put on the fridge so that friends know what is needed. (Thanks for this idea, Katy Scott!)

12. Invite Me To The Circle

Thinking about birth – mine, yours, or the totally different one down the street – is a great way to help me process my experience. Long conversations can be tiring, but I wouldn’t mind if you gifted me a copy of The Birth Next Door for me to read while I’m nursing in the wee hours.

13. Nourish the Nourisher

Organize a Meal Train and share it with my friends and family. Also send me a link that I can give to anyone who asks about bringing a meal.

If my family is on a restricted diet  – gluten, dairy, sugar, whatever – make sure that vital info gets listed. When you sign up to bring something, make sure to bring me a nourishing meal like egg drop soup and a huge salad with homemade ranch dressing. Here are 25 quick, healthy meal ideas I’ll love you for!

14. Close The Gap

Yeah, there are 3 states between us and you’re totally off the hook, but how awesome would it be if you made the miles vanish into thin air with a visit from a natural cleaning service or box of organic, fair-trade chocolate drop-shipped from Amazon?

15. Send Me This Article

And also maybe this one.

16. Stop By After All The Hullabaloo 

The first two weeks everyone is eager to help, but the adjustment period is much longer. Help around the house, or offer to come with me and hold the baby while I try on nursing bras or pick up some essentials.

17. Leave Quickly

I love you, I REALLY do, but welcoming visitors can be very tiring. So after you’ve done one of these amazing things for me, quietly slip out the door. Did I mention that I love you?

18. Make “Thank You” Taboo

Gifts are not necessary, but if you bring one make sure that it comes with a card that says “Don’t you dare write me a thank you note!

What are your favorite ways to help a new mom?

Is it something that was helpful to you after having a baby, or maybe something you wish someone had done for you?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

In years past Happy New Year wishes simply included joy and hopefulness for the incoming year. After 2020 there are many feelings of moving past and on to the future!! 2021 can only improve!! HA! HA!

As we work past this year, where everyone has experienced feelings of fear and confusion, there are different things to consider. Things are still up in the air in many states. If you are fortunate enough to live in one of the states opening up life should return to normal soon. Allowing schools to open and businesses to operate will bring a feeling of normalcy for your children. Our kids are older, dealing with these issues as parents. There have been many conversations about how to help little ones feel safe. Removing masks as soon as possible is essential. The science on the effectiveness of masks is questionable at best. Yet they instill fear in the hearts of kids for many reasons.

Children are learning the meaning of facial expressions, innuendo, and voice fluctuation. Masks hide each of these things. Children are taught to stay away from strangers. With masks on everyone is a potential stranger. Children need smiles and kisses in mass. They need your touch to interpret your mood. They need it for encouragement and peace. When ever possible allow your children to be in the company of others with out masks. The risk of Covid for them is almost nonexistent.

I wish you wonderful things as 2021 unfolds. Have a lovely year!!! JUDY

Thoughts for Enjoying the End of this Crazy Year!!!!!

This holiday season is different in many ways. As new parents you have many more decisions to make. This is a challenge, take your time. Consider what you want future holidays to look like for your immediate and extended families. Newborns travel well, so if you have just one little one, this may be the last holiday you travel to others for a while. Every family is different. Expectations are different. It is important to discuss these with those making the holiday decisions in your home. It is late in the season to begin these discussions, but important to do if you have not.

QUESTIONS TO ASK: 1. What are the important traditions in the family of your other half? 2. When do they open holiday gifts? 3. What foods do they enjoy on Christmas or Hanukah? 4. Do all family members show up on Christmas Day, or is that for nuclear families and the extended family shares time together another day? 5. How would the two of you like to spend the holiday?

Be flexible. Be willing to consider changing the way you have always done things to accommodate others. When baby is very small it is easier for you to bring them along. Once they are mobile it is more difficult. Talk with your extended family and find out what they would like to do. Everyone will not get to do what they wish, but everyone should feel like their feelings have been considered.

Think about what is the most important part of the holiday for you personally. If it can’t happen this holiday, plan a special time later in the year where you are able to experience it. Christmas in March is not totally crazy, especially if you can have a mock celebration with those you love.

I wish you a blessed celebration, what ever it looks like this year. Take precious moments to share your heart with those you love, even if it ends up being through FaceTime or Zoom. Reach out and encourage those in your circle. Everyone is a bit off this year. We all need a little extra time and understanding. Hugs and Kisses in every way (virtually). Enjoy the season, smells, tastes, and beauty!!! JUDY

Thoughts on Celebrating Together

We have been providing ideas for Christmas/Holiday crafts for you and your little ones to make as gifts for fun together. In these crazy times it is so important to provide normality in the lives of your loved ones. The survival rate of Covid 19 is 99.06 %, unless you are over 75 years of age. Eighteen states have reported no deaths in those under 18 years of age. Covid has been introduced into our environment and will be here for decades. We have to individually decide how much we are going to allow it to interfere in our lives. Please carefully consider your plans. If you feel you should quarantine do so. We are each responsible to do what we feel is best for our individual situation.

We will continue to provide fun activities to do with the little ones in you life. We all need fun and relationships to be healthy people. No government representative can decide for you what that means! In America, these decisions are personal.

Fun projects to do with the little ones in you life!!! They don’t take much time, and will provide lovely memories of Christmases in the future!

FUN CHRISTMAS CRAFT: FAMILY HANDPRINT CHRISTMAS TREE

Family-Handprint-Christmas-Tree_thumb

This is a project every family member can enjoy. Have each person draw around their hand, either one, on green paper. Make 6 prints then cut them out. Begin at the bottom of your tree, placing your larger haprints as the lower branches. Layer them for two rows then begin adding smaller hand prints in the same manner. Work your way up, placing the smallest prints at the top. Use sticky glue sparingly to adhere the handprints to your tree. Depending upon your art acumen you can design a tree skirt, gifts to founder the tree, sequin decorations and popcorn strands to decorate your tree. Use these as decorations for the doors inside your home. The kids will love them.

Supplies needed: construction paper for a back (black?), green construction paper for the branches, pens to draw around your hands, scissors to cut out your branches, sticky glue, Decorations: sequins, pearls, colorful pompoms, jewels, popcorn strands, mini hanging ornaments, a star for the top. etc..

Glitter Ornaments. Ornaments with glitter in them, or sand, or shells, or tissue paper, etc. These glitter ornaments are simple to make and give your tree a little bit of sparkle. Fill clear plastic ornaments with glitter confetti of different colors. Try including white glitter to give the illusion of snow.

These Are So Cute I Just Couldn’t Pass Them Up!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Fingerprint Twinkle Light Painting

Fingerprint Light Painting
 Crafty Morning

A twirled, swirly marker line acts as the cord for a string of painted Christmas lights in this festive artwork. Little ones press colorful fingerprints and thumbprints sporadically along the wire, and can finish with a written holiday message. Details like a shiny white glint on each bulb (puffy paint or glitter glue are perfect) bring this piece to the next level. This handmade artwork makes a great personalized Christmas card or gift tag.

Fingerprint Twinkle Light Painting from Crafty Morning

Footprint Reindeer

Footprint Reindeer
  Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Embrace getting a bit messy with this craft! Press a bunch of kid-sized footprints onto plain paper, let dry, and add reindeer features. Opt to draw a pair of eyes, antlers, and a red nose, or use plastic wandering eyes and fuzzy pom poms for a three dimensional effect.

Footprint Reindeer from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Cotton Swab Snowflakes

Cotton Swab Snowflakes
  Little Passports

Cotton swabs bring the magic of a holiday snowstorm indoors with this festive snowflake artwork. Adults should trim a handful of cotton swabs at various lengths, then preschoolers can work on puzzle solving and symmetry skills by arranging snowflakes. Regular school glue adheres cotton swabs to card stock, then these are ready to hand around the room.

Cotton Swab Snowflakes from Little Passports

More Fun Holiday Creations!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Yogurt Cup Rudolph

Yogurt Cup Rudolph
  I Heart Crafty Things

Turn empty yogurt cups into an art supply with this adorable reindeer DIY. Kids can paint the clean, empty, yogurt cup Rudolph-brown, then glue on a set of eyes and a glowing red nose. Metallic pipe cleaners work well for Rudy’s antlers, and a few of these recycled reindeer clustered together make an especially lovely centerpiece.

I have made the following popsicle ornament into darling frames for photos. They are so much fun to view each year as baby grows!!! wonderful memoirs for grandparents and you!!

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree
  One Little Project

If you start with colored craft sticks, this quick project doesn’t require any messy paint or markers. Parents should hot glue Christmas tree triangles together, and kids can add flair with glitter, pom poms, and mini jingle bells. Make a whole set to display as homemade decor; these popsicle stick Christmas trees look darling strung together in a homemade garland.

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree from One Little Project

Everyone loves the candy cane reindeer. They make great small gifts for neighbors or classmates! Darling decorations on packages! So fun!!

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Cane Reindeer
 Elizabeth LaBau

Another great option for a low-cost craft, these candy cane reindeer will add a touch of kitsch to your Christmas decor. Simply glue on teeny red pom pom noses and googly eyes, then twist a length of brown pipe cleaner antlers around the candy cane curve. If you’d prefer to keep your candy canes totally edible, swap out the craft glue for royal icing.

Candy Cane Reindeer from The Spruce

Paper Bag Reindeer

Paper Bag Reindeer
 The Chirping Moms 

When little ones can spend a crafty afternoon creating their own playthings, that’s a parent win-win. Use a brown paper bag as the base for this hand puppet, then add eyes and a red nose face. Trace kids’ hands onto construction paper, then cut and paste onto the bag for antlers. This project is so simple, kids will want to create a whole team of reindeer to play with.

Paper Bag Reindeer from The Chirping Moms

Fun Holiday Projects for Little Ones

At this time of year Little ones and their friends are underfoot looking for something to do. I love projects that use household items and allow kids to use their own creativity!!! Stocking snowmen, glittered pinecone tree ornaments, and hand print plaques are just a few of the darling ideas in the article below.

Pull out the popsicle sticks, glitter, old socks, pipe cleaners, tacky glue, and get started!! I keep a small box on a shelf in the garage and add these items through out the year when find them. God spray paint is a great addition as well a googly eyes and any pretty things to glue on for decoration!

Grama and Grampa love these happy creations on their trees to remind them of the younger years of their grand babies. You will too!!!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree

Sock Snowman

  All Free Sewing

Given up on finding mates for a couple of odd socks hanging out in the laundry room? Put them to work as wintry snowmen with this easy tutorial. Little ones will love meticulously filling their sock with uncooked rice, rubber-banding it into a snowman, and decorating with buttons and paint. An adult can help by sewing (or gluing) everything securely shut.

Sock Snowman from All Free Sewing

Pine Cone Ornament

Pine Cone Ornament
 Lovely Indeed

Head out to the yard to gather supplies for this tried-and-true Christmas craft. A clean pine cone works great as a rustic base for glue and glitter. Set kids to work glittering in a shallow plastic container to simply cleanup later. Wire ornament hooks attach pretty easily to one of the upper pine cone scales, but a partially unbent paper clip or bit of yarn would work in a pinch too.

Pine Cone Ornament from The Spruce

Handprint Ornament

Handprint Ornament
  The Imagination Tree

Capture a moment in time by printing your toddler’s palm into a mound of homemade salt dough. This project is perfect for the littlest crafters—they can help with everything from mixing up the dough, pushing their hands in, and painting the piece once it’s dried overnight. Tie a piece of string through to turn these into ornaments, and add them to the tree or wrap them for the perfectly DIYed grandparents’ gift.

Handprint Ornament from The Imagination Tree

‘The Five Love Languages’ by Dr. Gary Chapman

As you become acquainted with people their differences are amazing! Some are quiet and reserved, some are the life of the party, some enjoy time alone, and some seem not to care. If these people are acquaintances, you might pay attention and observe or it might not really matter. If they are ones with whom you spend much time, family members, co-workers, or dear friends, how they perceive you becomes more important.

Dr. Gary Chapman discovered a way to observe and tailor specific qualities to relationships. He entitled them ‘Love Languages’ and describes them in his book of the same name. Love Languages are ways in which the people close to you appreciate you most. For some, a kind word makes their day. For others it might be a hug or sitting together talking. A small gift is appreciated by many and a kind act is the best for others. Here is an explanation of the ways to show love in Dr. Chapman’s book. I hope it blesses you.

Words of affirmation

One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew Wisdom Literature, wrote, “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). Many families have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming each other.

Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:  “You look sharp in that suit.”  “You are such a loving son!”

“I really like how you think of ways to help me.”  “You can always make me laugh.”

Words of affirmation are one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects. All of the dialects have in common the use of words to affirm your family. Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.

Quality time

By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. When you spend time that way, Netflix or HBO has your attention — not your child. What I mean is sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, devices put away, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other and talking.

Time is a precious commodity. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day. We can make the most of those hours by committing some of them to those we love. If your child’s primary love language is quality time, she simply wants you, being with her, spending time.

Receiving gifts

Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. All five love languages challenge us to give to our family, but for some, receiving gifts, visible symbols of love, speaks the loudest.

A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him or her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money. What is important is that you thought of him or her. And it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts but the thought expressed in actually securing the gift and giving it as the expression of love.

But what of the person who says, “I’m not a gift giver. I didn’t receive many gifts growing up. I never learned how to select gifts. It doesn’t come naturally for me.” Congratulations, you have just made the first discovery in becoming a great lover. You and your loved one speak different love languages. Now that you have made that discovery, get on with the business of learning your second language. If your child’s primary love language is receiving gifts, you can become a proficient gift giver. In fact, it is one of the easiest love languages to learn.

Acts of service

Michelle’s primary love language was what I call “acts of service.” By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your child would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her.

For adults consider actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition — they are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.  For your child it can be as simple as reading a book, playing peek-a-boo, taking a walk together, going to the park, playing catch on the floor with a big ball, the possibilities are endless!

A willingness to examine and change stereotypes is necessary in order to express love more effectively. Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of those you love. If your spouse’s love language is acts of service, then “actions speak louder than words.”

Physical touch

We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: Babies who are held, stroked and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.

Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating love. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their family members.

Implicit love touches require little time but much thought, especially if physical touch is not your primary love language and if you did not grow up in a “touching family.” Sitting close to each other as you watch your favorite television program, sit in the car, or wait at a restaurant requires no additional time but may communicate your love loudly. Touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he is sitting takes only a moment. Touching each other when you leave the house and again when you return may involve only a brief kiss or hug but will speak volumes to your spouse.

Once you discover that physical touch is the primary love language of your spouse, you are limited only by your imagination on ways to express love.

Dr. Gary Chapman is a family counselor, radio host, associate pastor and author of several books, including The Five Love Languages and One More Try.

Practice Thankfulness!!!

As we move into the holiday season finding peace is a major topic. Why is this? Schedules become hectic, there are activities to attend, projects to complete, and gifts to purchase. If we are not careful we have forgotten the reasons we do these things and become crazy people. Especially this year as there have been so many interruptions in our lives. Stress and frustration are lying just under the surface to sabotage us!!

Memories are what we are going for here. How will our kids remember the holidays in our homes? Will there be visions of homemade cookies, fun games, family? Or will they think of sitting in the car waiting for us to complete our lists?

Developing a grateful attitude will literally change you life! It will infuse hope and joy into your days. It will open up your life to positive happy thoughts. You will be amazed!!

Tips to fit gratitude into your life

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/10-ways-be-more-thankful-person

Ready to begin? Here are ten ways to become a more thankful person

Every day, say aloud three good things that happened. This can be a fun activity to do with your kids when you tuck them in, or around the dinner table with family, but it’s also extremely powerful to express gratitude aloud when you’re alone.

Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down the small things from your day that mattered to you, like the few minutes of quiet time you had on your drive to work, or the fact that this afternoon’s rain storm didn’t flood your basement. If you’re having a particularly rough day, you can look back through the pages of accumulated blessings in your life.

Say thanks to your partner. Couples who express gratitude toward one another set up a powerful feedback loop of intimacy and trust, where both partners feel as if their needs are being met.

Cool a hot temper with a quick gratitude inventory. One of the quickest ways to dispel the energy of a stormy mood is to focus your attention on what’s good. So when you’re about to lash out at someone, take a moment to do a quick inventory of five things you’re thankful for in the moment. It could be your good health, clean air, or even the recent switch to a cheaper cell-phone bill—these details will help you relax and avoid saying something you’ll later regret.

Thank yourself. Gratitude doesn’t always need to be focused on what other people have done for you! Make sure you give yourself a thank-you for the healthy habits you’ve cultivated in your own life, such as eating plenty of veggies or giving yourself enough time for rest each night.

Use technology to send three gratitude messages a week. Find yourself tethered to your cell phone or the internet for hours each day? Harness the power of this technology to send out some good vibes, such as a text or Facebook comment, to tell your friends why you appreciate them. Savor the good moments. If you notice you’re feeling happy, stop what you’re doing and pay attention for a few minutes. Notice exactly how you feel, including the sensations in your body and the thoughts you’re having. Later, when you’re trying to inspire gratitude, you can remember this moment and experience the benefits all over again.

Check for silver linings. Even the most difficult life challenges come with some benefit—you just have to look to find them. Being sick draws the compassion of friends. Making a mistake teaches you a lesson. When things feel hard, ask yourself: What’s good here?

Look outward, not inward.  Robert Emmons says people are more likely to feel grateful when they put their focus on others, rather than getting caught up in their own inner narratives about how things should have gone. Empathy for others can trigger a sense of gratitude, and people who have an outward focus tend to experience stronger benefits.

Change your perspective. If you struggle to come up with something to feel grateful for, put yourself in the shoes of someone who is experiencing misfortunes greater than your own. Recalling a colleague who has a debilitating physical condition, for example, will inspire gratitude for your own healthy body, which you may have taken for granted otherwise.