April’s Most Purchased

April’s Most Purchased

Good Housekeeping released an article with the top 11 most purchased (non-essential) items in April 2020! Check them out!

1. Cloth face masks
(during this time they were recommended but not required)

2. Dip-powder nail kits

3. Walking shoes

4. Pajamas/sweats

5. Puzzles

6. Hand lotion

7. Bread maker

8. Air purifier

9. Blue light filtering glasses

10. Bed sheets

11. Air fryer/toaster oven

Avoid Burnout in a Pandemic

Avoid Burnout in a Pandemic

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged stress. Over the past couple months many of us having been living in a state of higher stress and anxiety which can quickly lead to burnout. There are strategies that we can employ, even in an era of physical distancing and lingering fears about our health and safety.

Know the signs of burnout.
People who are burnt out often detach from others, feel drained, are unable to cope, and lack their usual energy. Sometimes they can also show physical symptoms of headaches or stomachaches.

Stay connected with others.
We may need to practice social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative in finding new and different ways to connect with others.

Shift your standards.
This may mean cutting down on the hours of school that are done at home each day. Or not taking on extra duties at work for the time being. It is important to be selective about what we take on and practical about what can be done with our current constraints.

Set boundaries for yourself.
They can help make your load at work and home more manageable. You have to be okay with saying no to some things.

Schedule time for yourself.
We tend to put everything on the calendar, except time for ourselves. Which means we don’t prioritize it like we need to.

Have a change of environment.
Even a simple change like moving from the living room to the kitchen, or going for a walk around the block can help.

Move your body.
There’s a big connection between moving your body to stay strong and healthy and your mental health. We are currently a lot more sedentary than usual and by moving our bodies we can fight off some of those effects of the abrupt changes to our routine.

Practice mindfulness with your diet.
Stress and being at home all day are not a good combination and often lead to more snacking and more unhealthy foods. It may feel better in the short term, but be mindful of what you’re putting into your body and how it is impacting you in the long run.

Power naps are rejuvenating.
If you’ve got twenty minutes, consider taking a power nap to reset and boost your energy and productivity. Find a quiet place and set your alarm for twenty minutes. It may be hard at first, but power napping becomes easier with practice.

Notice your words.
Allow yourself to vent, allow yourself to release those fears and worries. Then take those and channel them into something productive.

A side hustle can help you feel in control.
If you’ve lost your job or are worried about it, learning a new skill or bettering one you already have may give you purpose and help ease those fears.

List your fears.
Start by listing them all out, then go back and come up with strategies of how you will cope if they were to come true. Making a plan around them will help them not seem as worrisome.

Full Lifehacker article here.

Thank You Teachers

Thank You Teachers

This week is teacher appreciation week! Due to the circumstances right now, many of us have an even greater appreciation for teachers than normal. Or at least a new understanding of what teaching is like for them. We’ve compiled a list of some of the specific things we appreciate teachers for. Don’t forget to thank them this week!

– How they make “boring” concepts fun
– How hard they work to connect with each student
– How much patience they have
– How tough it is to teach more than one kid at a time
– How much they put up with from parents
– How they roll with the punches
– How fast they have to eat
– How incredibly organized they have to be
– How teaching kids is more than just sharing information
– How their workday never really ends
– How they are therapists as well as educators
– How creative they are in teaching the same thing different ways
– How much weirder math has gotten
– How much extra stuff they do in the classroom
– How knowledgeable they are
– How school librarians don’t get enough love
– How much they care about the whole family
– How much they really love the kids


Boost Your Happiness

Boost Your Happiness

The longer this pandemic goes on, the harder it can be for many of us to keep our spirits up! The Today Show had a segment with different tips to boost your happiness during this time! Here’s what they said:

1.Double down on physical self-care – especially exercise. Research shows that a mere 12 minute walk is sufficient to create an upbeat, happy mood.

2. Improve sleep hygiene. It is recommended to set an alarm to go to bed, just as you would to wake up in the morning.

3. Connect with other people. We’re fortunate that we have so much technology we can use to connect with people who aren’t nearby. Now’s also the time to look out for our loved ones who may not know how to use these technologies. Make sure they’re not left out or isolated.

4. Make your bed and declutter your space. Decluttering can be difficult now, with more people home and a heavier load on your household, but whatever you can do can help give you a sense of control over your life. Making your bed, for instance, actually can make you feel better.

5. Experience nature – even if it is just looking at a photo. Exposure to natural environments has been linked with better general health and less stress. Check out some of these virtual tours that can help you do that!

6. Say thank you. The trick here is to really immerse yourself in gratitude not only by say, writing down a list of things you’re grateful for, but by thanking everyone who crosses your path, including yourself.

Tips for Teaching Kindness to Your Kids

We’ve all told our kiddos to “play nice” or “be kind to your sister.” And most of us would agree that we feel it is important to raise kind children. But is kindness something you can really teach?

This article from the Today Show says yes, but most of that teaching comes from example.

“Kindness isn’t taught, it is learned. In order to be kind, you have to experience it at home,” says Mary Gordon, founder and president of Roots of Empathy. Here are four ways that you can start to teach your kids.

1. Walk the walk
Children understand kindness through their everyday interactions with their parents. “The way you speak to someone when they come to the door or respond to your child even when tired,” Gordon explains, “are how your child learns to model behavior and treat other people.”

2. Talk the talk – give them kind language.
She defines kindness as the ability to take another person’s perspective and then tailor your words and actions accordingly. For older kids, Masterson recommends asking explicit questions about unkind behavior or language: how do you think that makes another person feel? What is it like to be in their shoes?

3. Reward big acts of kindness, but don’t go overboard.
Weissbourd, who runs the Making Caring Common project, advises parents to reward “uncommon acts of kindness” — like if a child starts a lemonade stand for a good cause or goes out of their way to help someone. However, Weissbourd says we shouldn’t praise children for everyday helpfulness like taking out the trash or playing with a younger sibling. “That everyday kindness should be expected,” he said. “That’s how it becomes part of who we are, part of our identity.”

4. Force them out of their comfort zone to teach empathy.
Young adults should interact with people from different backgrounds, to learn how to place themselves in someone else’s shoes — whether that means taking a summer job that gets them out of their comfort zone or living in a different culture.

Foods That Will Boost Your Mood

Foods That Will Boost Your Mood

The easiest and most common thing to do when we’re feeling stressed or anxious is to reach for some comfort food. What we really need to do is consume healthy, mood-boosting foods that will deliver the important nutrients our brain needs and positively impact our well-being. Here’s a list of some healthy options!

Green veggies: spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts
These veggies are a source of folate, a vitamin B that is essential to help your body produce serotonin.

Probiotics: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi
Not only can probiotics help keep your digestive track healthy, studies are finding they also play a role in keeping your spirits up.

Whole grains: oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread
Whole grains are rich in B vitamins that are important for energy and optimal brain health. Carbohydrates including whole grains also boost levels of serotonin, the “feel-good brain chemical.”

Vitamin D: Egg yolks, fatty fish, fortified milks
Not only is vitamin D related to bone health and immunity, they’re now finding a connection between vitamin D and mental health. Especially with this winter like weather we’ve been having, it is important to seek out those vitamin D rich foods.

Dark chocolate – in moderation 😉
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which is a compound that can affect your mood. What’s more, dark chocolate also contains healthful flavanols that have been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve cognition.

Coffee and tea:
Coffee and tea are sources of caffeine, which can give us a lift.

Full CNN article here.

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