Relationships

‘Tis the Season to Help Your Loved One_Pevonia

Winnie the Pooh: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart… I’ll stay there forever.”

Dr. Elaine: “And let me remember, through and through, these three little words “I love you”

As working women, our own health and well-being are paramount to our everyday success. Each day that we wake up and smell the flowers, or the brew of fresh coffee, (or in my case chamomile tea), and see the sunrise or the sunset, we get to be grateful for another day.

As an Amazon best-selling author of 7 Strategies for Raising, Calm, Inspired, & Successful Children, and a communication specialist, a nugget of coaching information is to look at the words you are using in your daily lives, in your business, with your family, or at the corner store. Words can elevate you or bring you down. Words have started wars or have ended them.

By using your gift of communication, you can alter your neurochemistry that affects your mental, physical and spiritual health.

Three simple words “I love you” can make you whole when you are feeling down trodden. “I love you” can set your heart beating, and pounding like the rhythm of a thousand drums, and saying “I love you” can melt the hearts of adults and children, alike.  Hearing someone say to you “I love you” can make you believe in humankind and yourself, again.  When you are feeling alone, hearing the words “I love you” can make you feel, you are worthy. You are special. You are appreciated. You are respected. You are wanted. You are divinely connected. You are loveable! You are loved!

The importance of saying “I love you” is a way to acknowledge all you have to give to others and to yourself. It is a blessing. The harmonics of “I love you” are enmeshed in your brain which can bring you visions of when you were younger and your mother or dad would hold you on their lap and lovingly looking at you say, “I love you!” and a sense of belonging and value came over you.

The English language has more synonyms per word than are found in any other language. Yet, so many people have deficiencies in ways to express love. Saying “I love you” in any language means so much more than the sounds that make up the phrase. These three little words can make you feel upbeat when you are down, can make you feel connected when you are feeling isolated, can make you feel warm and fuzzy all over when you are feeling unwanted, or unsure of yourself.

Try these little “I Love You” Tips throughout the day to set your neuro-transmitters on a sound footing, and light up your brain cells and warm up your heart, for as much as you benefit from being told that you are loved, you reap the benefits by telling others that you love them, too.

Self-Affirmation: Each morning before you head out your bedroom door to face your kids, or your significant other, or exit your front door and head out to work, look yourself in the mirror and affirm, “I love myself so much!” This is not to be a selfish statement, rather it is to acknowledge your own worthiness. Say” I love myself so much” three times, with conviction, looking yourself in the mirror, and then say thank you, three times, to acknowledge your affirmation. Remember, that it is important to love yourself, before you can truly love others. “To say I love you, one must first know how to say the ‘I'”said Ayn Rand.

Affirmation to Significant Others: When you see your significant other, and/or family members, say good morning and “I Love You!” Watch the people in your household, smile, and light up as they say “I Love You!” back to you. Sense this connection throughout the day. “Immature love says I love you because I need you. Mature love says I need you because I love you,” said Erich Fromm.

Offer a little hug, too, Ask permission to offer a hug, which increases endorphins and lowers cortisol, the stress hormone in addition to your “I Love You” mantra.

Affirmation to your pet: For those who have pets, each day remember to tell your pet, “I Love You!” For many, it is easier to say “I Love You” to a pet than it is to say “I Love You” to a person).

Affirmation of Love as Gratitude: For those who do not have any pets, saying aloud, “I Love You” (with conviction and joy), as you look at a photograph of those you love, or look around your home and acknowledge your gratitude for all of your blessings, can increase your endorphin levels, too.

Whether you say “Jet’aime”, “Te quiero”, “Jag älskar dig” or “I love you,” the importance of saying “I love you” as a daily affirmation to yourself, or saying these words to others, alters the neurochemical reaction that affects your mental, physical and spiritual health.

Make the connection between your heart and your words and feel free to express those words to those you love. Sometimes people hold back and wait until they feel safe to say “I love you.” People may feel vulnerable when they are saying “I love you,” and become afraid that others will see their “softer side.” Acknowledging your feelings for another person is soul satisfying and something that may set the stage for others to tell you how much they love you, too!

As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “We love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving. Saying “I love you” continues the flow of life, and makes us know we are alive, and united in a power greater than ourselves.

teach-kids-the-value-of-kindness-by-making-it-their-job-pevonia

According to a study by Harvard University, 80 percent of kids say their parents care more about their achievements and happiness than about whether they are being kind. Teaching children to be successful financially and learn good work ethic does not need to be exclusive of being kind though. All of these lessons can be integrated into a well-rounded learning experience by tying them everyday situations with kids. Kick things off on World Kindness Day, November 13th by following these tips from Gregg Murset, CEO of BusyKid.

  1. Reward your kids for acts of kindness. Give your kids a “job” of being nice. Ask them to do one kind act a week and have them tell you about it. Offer a small reward for the good behavior like extra time on digital devices or watching television. Or let your kids pick what to eat for dinner one night.
  1. Get involved in charities.It can be hard for kids to be excited about charities because many limit their availability to volunteer and most do not have income they can donate. Create chores your kids can do to earn money to donate to a charity of their choice.
  1. Encourage empathy. Offer to double the allowance your kids earn for doing chores around the house if they promise to use the extra money to help out a friend or stranger in a moment of need. Have kids use their own allowance money to pay for a drink, lunch, or breakfast for someone around you who looks like he or she is having a bad day. They could even surprise someone at the movies with a bucket of popcorn.
  1. Give your kids chores. Assigning chores to your kids not only teaches them responsibility and work ethic it also teaches teamwork. By giving your kids jobs to do at home, you will be teaching them that helping out keeps your home more organized and creates more time for everyone to relax and have fun together. By teaching your kids how to help out you can also encourage them to take on jobs they weren’t assigned just because they notice they need to be done or because they want to help another family member finish their work faster.

What’s BusyKid? Formerly known as My Job Chart, BusyKid.com is the first mobile-website that helps parents teach children about work ethic, responsibility, accountability and managing real money.  Even though the website lets kids learn real life lessons surrounding earning and spending money, it also encourages strong character traits, good behavior and supporting charitable organizations.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes

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A new school year means new after-school activities, which can lead to a balancing act of schedules for parents. Between sports, music lessons, youth groups and other activities, it is easy for parents and children to quickly become overcommitted.

“Busy schedules have become a part of our culture,” says Josh Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “As much as we would like to keep our children active and engaged, overscheduling is simply not good for them or parents.”

An overbooked family spends little time together, is usually worn out and stressed, and tends to argue, creating a fine line between being busy and overdoing it. Klapow suggests setting house rules, educating kids about activities and their choices, balancing adult and kid activities, establishing family time, and recognizing that down time is important.

If you have a busy schedule and your kids are displaying any of these signs, there is a good chance they are being stretched too far:

  • Tired
  • Irritable
  • Nervous
  • Easily distracted
  • Headache and/or stomachache complaints
  • Having a tough time keeping their grades up

The question for many parents becomes “How do you keep your busy schedule in check?” As a parent, ask yourself a set of questions:

  • How many hours per week should be spent on extracurricular activities?
  • What activities is your child interested in?
  • What will your child’s homework load look like?
  • Is it practical to have more than one activity per season?
  • What are the means for transportation to and from each activity?
  • What activities are your other children involved in?
  • What are your activities, and how do these play into scheduling?
  • What are your commitments professionally?

Klapow recommends laying out ground rules before making commitments, such as playing only one sport or activity per season or no more than two practices per week. Set priorities and expectations for schoolwork and obtaining good grades.

Having a conversation with children about activities is important. Make sure they know what they are signing up for and the expectations for coaches and peers. Conversations about time commitment are important, specifically expressing how this could cut into their social time with friends.

“Be upfront with your kids,” Klapow said. “If the activities require that the child be at practice right after school, note that this will cut into their play time with their friends, as homework will need to be completed when they get home before dinner.”

Parents have to balance activities for their children and themselves. As a parent, consideration for a child’s activity should be taken from a personal perspective, including getting the child to and from practice, attending games or recitals, and making sure the child is performing the activity well with additional practice at home.

In addition, parents should carve out time for their own activities they enjoy, as well as opportunities to stay healthy. And yes, going to the spa is not only good for the body, it’s good for the soul.

“Driving your health into the ground in order to accommodate your child’s schedule is simply not a smart thing to do,” Klapow said.

Family time is also important. Parents should set aside family time at the very least, one night a week. Eating dinner, coloring (your adult book and their kiddie book), or playing imaginary travelers is a time for everyone living in the house to enjoy, together.

“It’s critical that everyone in the house be a part of family time,” Klapow says. Down time offers a chance for parents and children to relax, reflect on the day or just do nothing. “We live in a very busy world, and we want the best for our kids,” Klapow says. “Sometimes the best means less.”

Photo by Aaron Burden

Want Extraordinary Friendships - Pevonia Blog

Did you know numerous scientific studies show that developing friendships is an essential ingredient to a healthy life? But, few people are intentionally trying to avoid the stress of, or stumble into, new friendships. Instead, they just want someone to hang out with, confide in or trust in times of trouble, says Darlene Quinn, author of Conflicting Webs. Where do you stand?

“Friends can start out from a variety of places, but still share the same incredible bond,” Quinn says “Sometimes that bond can span a lifetime. Other times, the bond is just for a short period. Either way, friendships are a vital part of life.”

As she researched for her novel, Quinn became fascinated by the motivations behind friendships. Not all friendships are equal and, over the long haul, not all turn out the way people might like. “Having a mutually beneficial relationship is crucial,” Quinn says. “If only one person is willing to put in time and effort, that friendship won’t work.

Quinn said she found at least six factors that can lead to great friendships, three that bring people together and three that keep them together. Ready to digest?

Similarity. The phrase “birds of a feather flock together” has been around at least since the 16th century, and it’s no wonder it became such a well-worn cliché, Quinn says. “We surround ourselves with people whose style, attitudes, personalities, likes, dislikes and mannerisms are similar to ours,” she adds. “Those similarities help to build an instant bond. We feel comfortable around those people and easily slide into conversations about topics that interest both of us or schedule activities we both enjoy.”

Intrigue. Sometimes people are so fascinating that we can’t help but be drawn to them. “We can build a great bond of friendship with someone when we are genuinely curious about their stories, their lifestyle or their backgrounds,” she says.

History. Growing up together, or going through the same or similar experiences, can lead to a lasting connection between two people. “Other people may not be able to have a good understanding of, or empathy for, a situation you went through,” she says. “But this person understands you because they went through it, too. Sharing a past with someone definitely can create a special bond.”

Positive influence. A great friend will be someone who is a good influence and will support you and your goals, Quinn says. “They should inspire you to live up to your highest potential so you can be your best self.” The world has enough negativity, she says. You don’t need that in a friend.

Your happiness. True friends want to see you happy. “The best kinds of friends are the ones who have your best interests at heart, even to a fault,” she says. “They may tell you something you don’t want to hear at the risk of fracturing the friendship, just because they know it is in your best interest. At the same time, a true friend will never ask you to compromise or jeopardize any part of yourself in order to be their friend.”

Loyalty. A loyal friend will have your back no matter what, she concludes. “They will stand up for you and with you when the need arises,” she says. “They won’t speak ill of you to others and they don’t let others speak bad about you either.” Loyalty is not an easy trait to find, but it’s essential to any really good relationship, Quinn says.

In every point, yes, we agree with Quinn. And, as we get older, we realize it’s no longer the quantity of friends that matter, but the quality. Do you agree?