20 Life-Changing Habits to Make Now

Every new year do you make resolutions and promises for a better year? While most of us might make some form of a New Year’s resolution, carrying it through is an entirely different story.

But if you are to make any kind of promises to yourself for 2021, start by taking care of your health and lifestyle. The choices we make and the actions we take all cumulates to an end result we can either be proud of or wish we could have done better.

Below I’ve gathered 20 tips you can begin now to help improve your life. We don’t have to be perfect or do perfect things. But we should do whatever we can to improve ourselves.

1 – Practice self respect. No one truly knows you more than yourself. Remember that no matter how old you are and where you are in life, taking care of your mind and body will help you through many obstacles.

2 – Slow down. In the fast-paced digital world, are we not mostly staring at our screen every few seconds? Or perhaps our minds are constantly thinking about one thing or another? Take time to slow down so that you can act and think appropriately.

3 – Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. We all know by now that eating an equal balance of fresh fruits and vegetables can help our minds and bodies. Vitamins, minerals, and supplements are essential to a healthy lifestyle. Invest in organic and local fruits and vegetables that can help prevent certain illnesses and diseases.

4 – Appreciate nature. We are all born from nature, therefore we must protect nature itself. What is nature? It is our environment, which includes the air, the trees, water, and our atmosphere.

5 – Don’t be wasteful. Buy less and use less.

6 – Achieve higher learning. Don’t let learning new skills stop you from growing. You can always achieve a higher form of learning no matter your position in life. But most importantly, learn about things that make you a better person.

7 – Be kind. Children are taught at a young age to be kind to their friends and teachers. Sadly, many people grow up forgetting that very important skill. To be kind to others does not mean weakness. In fact, it takes a bigger person to show kindness when there is adversity.

8 – Be humble. There are situations in life where you need to speak up about yourself, and situations where it’s best to stay silent of your achievements.

9 – Be adaptable. In a perfect world we would all get along and agree on everything. But life will bring you many challenges so be prepared to change and adapt to the situations.

10 – Learn to cook. My father used to always tell me that if you can cook at least 5 dishes, you’d never starve.

11 – Learn a new skill. When we were in school, we had many choices to learn a new skill whether it was an instrument, a new language, or a new sport. Learning new skills that go beyond your comfort zone helps your mind and body grow.

12 – Learn compassion. We’ve all seen some form of tragedy whether it’s our own or someone we know. Compassion comes from a deeper understanding of another person’s perspective.

13 – Have 3 trustworthy friends. When we’re young, friends can come and go. But as we get older, life experiences teach us who we can trust, and keep away those that will do us harm.

14 – See character not color. Young children have the innate ability to not judge others by the color of their skin. They choose friends based on similarities and compatibilities.

15 – Try vegetarian for a week. Not choosing to eat animal protein can do wonders for your health and your livelihood. You’ll feel more energized and you’re helping prevent the unnecessary slaughter of animals for food.

16 – Wake up each day with a positive confirmation. Life can have many ups and downs. But if we remember to count our blessings, we can have a better outlook each day.

17 – Cleanliness. Cleanliness goes hand in hand with a clearer mind. When we see clutter and junk around us, our mind has a harder time processing clarity.

18 – Have faith. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, it’s important to have some form of faith that can guide you to healing and recovery.

19 – Learn from your mistakes. We all make mistakes whether you’re young or older. But learning from mistakes that we make ourselves or watch from others, we can also learn to outgrow those mistakes and try not to repeat them again.

20 – Invest in quality. With most things in life, you do get what you paid for. Invest in some higher quality products in life, whether it’s a great pair of shoes or a must-have watch that can last for many years.

*photo from thriveglobal.com

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

The Kids Will Be Okay

Homeschooling, Studying, Zooming, Building, Crafting, Drawing, and er…Complaining? Yes, unfortunately all the homeschooling has turned kids into little monsters. Gasp! What?!

But never fear! Your children will be all right. Unless your child was originally home-schooled, there was a lot of adjustment since school campuses had to close. In the beginning, my friends and I laughed, joked, and then intermittently cried over all the math lessons, the essays, and the assignments that had to be turned in on time or we’ll get an email from the teacher. I’ve always had a deep respect for educators, but having to teach children that are not of their blood for seven hours straight, five days a week is definitely not the easiest job in the world.

As a parent, I’ve learned the hard way that kids are actually more resilient than adults. And they are quite forgiving. You can get mad at them, yell at them, even ground them. But a couple hours later, everything is forgotten and forgiven. That is why, as a parent, it’s our sole duty to protect our children and teach them to do the right thing so that when they become adults, they will hopefully learn from all the life lessons that we taught them.

Once again, as I started writing this a week ago, I was going to shed some insights and tips on kids ending the school year and going into an uncertain summer. But as we were faced with the tragic results of police brutality and the injustice faced by people of color – in particular the black community – I wanted to share something that we can do to help our children. Whether you are a parent or not, you should realize that everything starts at childhood. Children are not inherently evil. They do not inherently know that one person’s color of skin should be treated differently than another color. Evil. Cruelty. Shame. Those are just a few injustices that almost everyone faces at one time in their lives. And as children, they learn from what is around them, whether it’s through their parents and family members, at school, on television, or what they see on social media and video games. I am by no means a professional psychiatrist, but I can speak frankly as a mother, an educator, and as a minority.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

How true are those words spoken by Nelson Mandela all those years ago. But sometimes as parents, we forget that what we say or do directly affects our children. They see what’s around them. They hear what’s around them. And they react to what is shown them. Even if we are most careful to hide certain acts and thoughts from them, children will inevitably pick something up. Even if we do not mean to shame someone or put someone down, our children will pick up those innuendos. And eventually, if we don’t let our children know that what we did was wrong and try to make a change, then they will think it’s okay. If mommy and daddy did it, it must be okay to do it. If my friend did it, then it must be okay to do it. If my teacher did it, it must be okay to do it. It’s tough being a kid, and because they are so innocent and naive, their little sponge minds can pick up on almost anything they see and hear.

So let’s go back to the resiliency I mentioned. Yes, kids are pretty resilient and tenacious. They fall, they get up, and they move on. And they do so because it’s what they know inside them. They haven’t yet learned that it’s scary to fall or that it’s painful to have a scraped knee. Pain might be an instinctual reaction, but fear is usually learned and taught. So let’s take their most progressive years of learning and teach them only good things. Teach them about compassion. Love. And common respect.  Because only through the eyes of compassion and respect will be bring meaningful change.

If you need some help in how to guide your kids on coping with tragedy and trauma, below are some outlines from the Orange County Department of Education.

Be understanding.

Not everyone reacts the same way in times of crisis. Some children may become more quiet or withdrawn, while others may become irritable or act out. These are all normal reactions, and adults need to respond in a calm and caring way. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network says how children experience traumatic events and show their distress will depend largely on their age and level of development.

Take time to connect.

Sometimes adults can become preoccupied with disturbing events and managing their own responses. They can forget that children are aware of what’s happening. Take a moment to check in with your child and let them know they can talk to you and ask questions.

Limit their exposure.

As our friends at CHOC Children’s have noted, parents should consider the proximity of an event and what information a child truly needs to know. Be aware of televisions that are on and showing news coverage in common areas. Talk about the child’s feelings and concerns, provide reassurance, and offer age-appropriate information — more on that in a moment — to help clarify misunderstandings and reduce fear. We can also teach children to use their own coping skills, such as talking to a trusted adult or doing activities like playing with friends, reading, praying, singing, dancing or creating art.

Promote self-care.

In time of crisis, many of us become the caretakers of those who are most affected. These selfless acts of kindness are greatly appreciated, but adults must also remember to take care of themselves. Promoting self-care will ensure you do not burn out or experience higher levels of compassion fatigue, allowing you to care for others for a longer period of time with greater efficiency.

Show patience.

Just as individuals may have varying responses in times of tragedy, they will also have different timeframes for healing. Try your best to be patient with those you’re caring for, as they may have a shorter or longer response time to the crisis.

Make sure to follow up.

Check in periodically to make sure children are continuing to cope in healthy ways. If additional support is needed, reach out to a school counselor or clinician. The majority of schools have counselors who can meet with students to check in, help them process what they are experiencing and teach them about healthy coping strategies. If you would prefer seeking services outside of school, most medical insurances offer coverage.

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Keep explanations appropriate.

Meanwhile, the National Association of School Psychologists offers these suggestions for keeping explanations of school-based violence developmentally appropriate:

  • Early elementary school students need brief, simple information that is balanced with reassurances that their schools and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety that remind children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills being practiced so they are prepared if somethings happens.

  • Upper elementary and early middle school students will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools and provide concrete examples.

  • Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines — for example, not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, and reporting threats made by students or community members — communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.

In the end, you are the parent or caregiver. You know your child best. But right now, most kids will see and hear about the recent events. They already know about the pandemic crisis so to add their fears and doubts about what they might see on television or hear from their family and friends could be quite traumatizing and confusing.

 

*photo rights -OCDE.US

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

Lessons of Compassion – And why kids need to learn it

Compassion comes in many forms. Whether it’s saving an injured animal, helping an old lady carry her heavy grocery bags, or getting to know the new kid who’s being ignored. It can be considered acts of kindness, but compassion goes way deeper than every day kindness. It’s an innate ability to understand the other side and to not judge. It’s hard for a lot of people to feel compassion but children are the starting point to learning why it’s such an important trait.

Growing up, my mom and my grandmother were model citizens of compassionate beings. They would not only tell me about being compassionate, but they would show me in their daily acts. At first, I didn’t truly understand it – I just thought it was normal to be kind to the “weird-looking” kid at school or to help an injured butterfly away from her predators. Then again, I was a child and I didn’t know a lot about how the world worked and why. But as I grew older and wiser, I remembered the lessons of compassion that my grandmother showed me and explained in story form – after all, it was easier for a child to understand through storytelling then saying “why you have to do this, or that”. Kids are born kind and innocent and it’s that innocence that can be so magical and wonderful and yet can be completely exploited. That’s why it’s doubly important to have good influences around your children since children are basically like sponges – soaking everything up around them.

So how do you teach compassion, you may ask? First of all, you have to understand it yourself. Compassion isn’t usually rewarded or praised or even recognized. Compassion comes from within and no one should really tell you to feel it or do something compassionate – it should be learned through important life lessons. Many adults nowadays don’t even know what compassion is – since the daily stress of life can put a toll on your kindness meter. Sure they may think of Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama as compassionate individuals and they truly are – but their compassion was innate and learned through hard lessons in life. We can all learn how to be more compassionate and more understanding. It may not be easy to do in this day and age, so that’s why it’s incredibly important to teach kids about it now.

For the most part, I became a vegetarian because of my compassion for animals. I witnessed at a very young age the abuse that was inflicted upon an innocent animal and from then on, my instincts told me not to eat animals – because I didn’t want them harmed. And back then, a vegetarian kid wasn’t necessarily the coolest thing to do. But I didn’t become a vegetarian because it was cool or uncool. I just became one because I felt the compassion for innocent animals being harmed for no particular reason.

I was reminded of an occasion when being compassionate would have been the better choice. Several years ago I had a co-worker who was overly demanding, complained constantly, and was always grouchy at work. To say the least, she was very hard to work with and she had problems communicating her needs without being rude and abrasive. When I told my mom about how my co-worker was affecting my work and life, my mom reminded me to try to find out if there were problems in my co-worker’s life and that’s why she was so difficult to work with. Well, it was either her or me, so I decided to heed my mom’s advice and tried to get to know my co-worker better (although I admit it wasn’t easy to do). As I found out, my co-worker was often ignored growing up and her parents doted on her brother all the time, thus causing her to be bitter and very unhappy as she grew up. I realized that maybe that was why my co-worker was so hard to work with and as I got to know her better, I noticed a change in attitude in her. She became nicer, more accommodating, and even smiled when she talked. I thought to myself at the time – was this a result of my being more compassionate to her and trying to understand her? Maybe. Either way, I looked at it as helping her getting out the better side of herself rather than her being stuck in her destructive shell.

We don’t always realize when a situation arises where our ability to be compassionate takes over. It could be helping a stranger stand up from a bad fall. It could be helping those in need. It could be watering a dried up plant. It could also be understanding an obnoxious co-worker. No matter what, the best ways of teaching others about compassion is to show it yourself. It may not always be easy but it will come out when necessary. I try to teach my son to be compassionate whenever possible. My mom always told me that teaching your children important life lessons are best when they are not in that situation, rather when they are calm and in a learning state. Whenever my son and I are walking around our neighborhood or at the park, sometimes we’ll see an injured bee on the ground and I’d tell my son that we should not hurt it further, rather, move the bee somewhere safe if possible. I wanted him to understand that it wouldn’t be right to further injure someone who is already hurt – rather, help them if possible. After all, it could go both ways: either he learns to help the injured bee or step on it. I’ve seen other kids older than him torture animals and I often wonder where they learned to do that. Was it instinct or learned?

Sometimes I wonder if bullies become bullies because they weren’t shown compassion or they never learned about compassion. Bullies don’t consider other people’s feelings and they project their own anger onto others. Perhaps if  they were shown some kind of compassion at a point in their lives then the turning point from good to bad would never have happened. After all, we learn from our own personal experiences and from what others show us. It saddens me when I see school-aged kids finding joy in torturing and bullying other kids their age. And then they wonder why they have no real friends – only other bullies who end up in trouble along with them.

So when is a good time to learn and teach about compassion? First of all, I believe it should start at home with the parents. If parents are good examples of not deliberately being hurtful to one another and to their children, then their children will see that form of kindness and respect. Then, parents should make it important that their children hang around other good examples – people who do not hurt others for sheer pleasure and personal gain. When we’re too selfish or want something for personal reasons, our good judgement flies out the window and feelings eventually get hurt.

Although it’s not easy to always know when to use compassion, we should always try to remember that although there are weaker beings out there, it does not mean that we must weaken them more. Instead, we should show compassion to their hindrances so that someday, hopefully, they can become better beings as well. So whether it’s an injured animal that needs our help or an old lady with her grocery bags, compassion comes in any form and can be tested upon us at any time. Being compassionate doesn’t mean we have to be softies or bend to the will of others. It simply means that we can transcend beyond what is considered good or evil and do what is cosmically moral.