Is Complaining Bad For You?

 

 

Proverbs 17:22 – A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

 

Is Complaining Bad For You

 

We’ve all been guilty of it!  Things don’t seem to be going the way we think they should.  We think, I just need to ‘vent’ and that will make me feel better.  Certain subjects have even become the social norm to complain about in our circles. Among the most popular subjects for the social complaint sessions: politics, the weather, work, finances, and other people.

The question is, are there any benefits to complaining?  Quite the contrary, complaining has negative effects not only on our attitude, but on our relationships, as well as our health.

Four Negative Effects Of Complaining

Complaining actually rewires our way of thinking, making it easier to complain in the future. In other words, you are setting yourself up to become a habitually negative and critical person.

Complaining can raise your cortisol levels. Excessive cortisol leads to increased blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as weight gain. Over time, this can weaken the immune system.

Negativity spreads. As you complain, you are spreading discontent to those around you. Vice versa, as you surround yourself with negative people, you find yourself in a toxic environment. The old adage is true, misery loves company.

Constant complaining is draining on even the best of relationships. No one wants to be around a constantly complaining person.

Alternatives to Complaining

Take a step back from the situation. Ask yourself, what you can  do to help the situation. How can you be part of the solution, instead of the problem?

Realize you cannot control everything. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you are constantly trying to control people and situations. This is not your job!

View your situation as an opportunity to build your character. Ask yourself what you can learn from it.

Contemplate your blessings, instead of focusing on the negative. We are abundantly blessed. Why focus on what is going wrong?   It is hard to be miserable when you realize how blessed you really are.

 

Realize it is one thing to confide in a friend when seeking advise for a problem you may face, and quite another to complain about our situations. If you are not taking personal responsibility and seeking steps that you can do to improve the situation, chances are you are complaining.

 

 

Think back to a time you faced something that stressed you out. How did you handle the situation? Did you complain, or did you seek solution? How did your reaction make you feel?

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on 2017

As another year draws to a close,  I reflect on the experiences that have shaped 2017.  There have been both good and bad.  If I had to pick one word to describe this year it would have to be CHANGE.

I would have to say the event that has had the most impact on my day-to-day life is the decision to step away from a career I had spent the last 7+ years developing. This has been one of the best decisions  made, as it was consuming all my time and energy. After much prayer and pondering, the decision was made that it was time to make that change. I haven’t regretted it since.

We were blessed with another granddaughter this year!  Her joy can be contagious! As you see her smile from head to toe, you find you can’t help but smile too! I treasure the time I get to spend with both of my granddaughters. It was probably the biggest factor in deciding to leave my job. 

I also, had to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends to cancer this year. Her departure has definitely left a void that I feel daily. I choose to fill that void with cherished memories and the knowledge that I will see her again someday.

The time I get to spend with family and friends is something I am extremely thankful for. It is not something that is lost on me, as it was very limited over the last 7 years.

I realize a career change is not feasible for everyone, nor maybe desirable for all. The only thing I wish to convey is spend time making memories with those you love to the best of your ability and cherish every second!

5 Free Things To Do With Young Children!

 

With summer coming, it’s a great time to stock up on ideas of things to do with your kids over summer break. If you have have multiple little ones and need to be cost effective be encouraged, there is a wealth of free things to do right in your own area. I have put together a list of some of our favorites from when my kids were little.

Visit Your Local Library

There is a multitude of things to do at your local public library, from story times for the little ones and clubs for your teens.  They will also be starting their summer reading program soon to encourage kids to continue reading over summer break.

Many library also lend more than just books and videos.  My local library also offers toys that can be checked out, as well as certain musical instruments. It is worth a visit to see what yours offers

Visit Your Local Park Or Playgrounds

This was a favorite when my kids were little! Who doesn’t love to go to the local playground! Meet up with a few friends, pack a lunch and make a play date out of it.

Start Your Own Playgroup

Coordinate with a few other moms and start your own playgroup.  Meet weekly, biweekly, or once a month with a different mom hosting each time. This is a great, cost effective to get out of the house and have something to look forward to on a regular basis.

Take A Hike

Hit your local hiking trail or walking path and go out for a stroll. If you don’t have one, perhaps you can take a walk around the neighborhood. Don’t underestimate the enjoyment of just getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

Read A Book

Sit down with your kids and read a book. It’s a great way to establish a love of reading in your kids. As they learn to read, let them read to you and show off their new reading skills.

Find some craft books that only require supplies you would find at home and incorporate a craft into story time.

Finding fun things to do does not have to be complicated, nor expensive. All it usually takes is a little bit of time and to plan these activities that your kids will enjoy!

What are some fun things you have planned for the kids this summer?

 

Steps To A Clutter Free Home

Have you ever looked around your home and wonder where  all the stuff come from?  I have! I’ve also thought about all the time and energy it takes to keep it cleaned and organized and the money I wasted on it!

They seemed like a good deal at the time but the contentment   is short lived. The cute shoes that we on sale aren’t as cute strewn by the door.  The legos you got for the kids lose appeal as you step on another one in your bare feet for the third time in one week.

 

 

Here is a process that will help you win the battle of clutter and keep it under control for good!

 

THE PROCESS

Take an Inventory

  You are literally going to have to go through your belongings and decide what you are going to keep and what you are getting rid of.  Be ruthless about it, the more stuff you keep, the more you have to maintain.

Get rid of those things that you are not using, they are cluttering your space. If you haven’t used something in the past year, chances are you are not going to need it.

Purge yourself of things that you have duplicates of.  Figure out what quantity you actually need and get rid of the rest. For example, how many jeans do you need? Or how many towels? We tend to accumulate large quantities of certain thing.  Be realistic and only keep what you need.

You may also run across some sentimental items, you will have to use your discretion for this. Be realistic about it, if you are going to regret getting rid of an item that is sentimental and cannot be replaced, its better to hold on to it a little longer.  Just remember its the memory that is bringing you joy, not the item.

Go  through this process until you have completed each room. Some people decide to complete this step in a day, some in a weekend or a month.   Personally, I find it easiest to go through the whole house in a day and repeat the process in a week or two if needed.

 

Decide What to Do With Items That Must Go

As you are going through this process and have identified the items you will be parting with and sort them into three piles: Donate, Sell, and Trash (for items that are no longer usable.

Donate – Consider donating your items to charity. Local animal shelters are usually always looking for towels and blankets. Call them to find out. Some charities have local drop off locations and some will even pick your items up curbside.

Another option for donating is to people you know personally that can benefit from your items. Let someone else enjoy it for awhile.

Sell –  Sell some of your items to recoup some of your hard earned cash.

  • Have a yard sale
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Ebay
  • Take your items to a consignment shop
  • Rent space at a flea market

 Organize Kept Items

Everything you keep should have its own place.  You should be down to only the items you use and love.  Further purge if you are finding this is not the case.  You are going to continue to have clutter if you continue to keep stuff you don’t have a place for.

 Clean Your New Found Space

Once you have finished the process of purging and organizing you should find you have much more open space than previously.  Clean thoroughly, it will be much easier without the clutter.

 

After Decluttering

Implement A System to Prevent Future Clutter

You are going to have to implement a system to prevent this from happening aging. Your future self will thank you for it.  It could be something as simple as making a rule that prohibits bringing an item in without sending one out.  Really think about your purchases. Do you really need it? Can you do without it?

Lastly, find fun and creative ways to spend your free time other than shopping. These are the things that make memories!

 

 

Cherish each other, not things!

Please share any tips or methods you have tried by commenting below. I would love to hear from you!

7 Steps To Start Saving Your Money

 

Who doesn’t want to save money? I would be surprised (and concerned) if you actually found someone who wants to remain in debt!

Imagine being free to devote your time and energy on the pursuits that are important to you with out having to worry about debt! We will always have some sort of financial responsibility but the more debt we eliminate the less likely we are to be stuck in a job we hate just to make ends meet.

To make this happen you need a plan.  It will take a little work and some patience, but so do most things that are worth your time and effort.  Below I have outlined some steps to start getting your finances under control and start eliminating  debt.  I am by no means a financial expert, but by applying these principals, we have been able to once again live on one income.

 

7 Steps to Saving Money

Total Your Debt

Take an inventory on how much you truly owe. While we may have a general idea how much we owe, it is important to have an accurate total. Make a list of all your financial responsibilities, along with their due date and percentage rate if applicable.

 

Track Your Spending

The next step can be rather eye opening, but it is imperative. This may be as easy as viewing your account online. We want to get a clear picture of where are money is going. I suggest doing at least 2 to 3 months to get an accurate picture of where your money is going.

Categorize Your Expenditures

 Once your list is compiled, go through and label each item as a need or a want.  As you label, really think these through. Are there things we are currently viewing as needs that we can temporarily do without while we paying down our debt. The more needs you have the less you will have to pay down debt.

Eliminate Wants

Temporarily eliminate wants. This does not need to be forever,  make it work for you. It all depends how quickly you want to get out of debt. If you want to plan in some “wants” to your budget that is also an option. This is not to be an exercise in deprivation, but a way to make our finances work for us, not vice versa.

Review Needs List

Examine your needs list and begin finding ways to save. For example, there are many ways to save on food, from buying the store brand to shopping sales. We will be looking further into this in future posts. Be creative, it’s your money, why spend more of it then you need to.

Formulate A Payment Schedule

 With your list of debts and needs, put together your payment schedule. Make sure you pay your accounts on time to avoid late fees. Write out what gets paid and when and stick to it.

Begin Paying Down Debt

With the money saved from temporarily eliminating “wants” and reducing the cost of “needs”, start paying down your debt with the highest interest rates. This will help you save in the long run. The other alternative is to pay down off your lowest debt first and when that debt is paid off apply it to the next higher debt. The option is up to you.

The more money you can save from eliminating your unnecessary expenditures, the quicker you can pay off your debt and truly pursue what makes you happy.

What are some ways you have found to save on some of those “needs” items? Please comment below. 

 

Please Don’t Call Me A Housewife!

 

 

Housewife and Homemaker…..

These terms are often used interchangeably when referring to someone whose main occupation is overseeing the care and maintenance of their household. The question is do they really have the same meaning?

I submit to you that while technically they refer to the same thing, they actually have different meaning. Let’s examine…

 

House is defined as as a building designed for human habitation.  That’s it, just a dwelling nothing more.  A rather sterile and institutional term.  However, the word home has a much more personal meaning. It is a place where one feels comfortable or identifies with.  It is a place that one claims as their own or is near and dear to their heart.  A home is what a house aspires to be.

We can get a further insight into this by how people express things. They don’t exclaim, “I’m going to my house”,  instead they say “I’m going home”.

Other expressions that further emphasize this are:

  1. Home is where the heart is.
  2. Home Sweet Home
  3. There is no place like home,
  4. I feel at home.
  5. Make yourself at home

I feel the term homemaker would be a better title for my occupation. I am not merely a married women who works at her house, I am one who devotes her time making her house a home.  I strive to making my house a place where my family is comfortable and desires to be. This term truly encompasses the roles and duties of my job.

So by all means please call me a Homemaker, as I feel that it more accurately defines the roles and responsibilities of my position!