New On The Blog

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Alina Gersib

5 Tips for Reducing Social Anxiety


With school starting up for the fall, the world seems to be opening again. Groups will start meeting, trivia nights will be re-scheduled, and co-workers will grab dinners together. In the past few months of distancing you may have found not being around people as much has you both excited but also anxious to re-engage. The thought of talking to new people can be daunting. If this is the case for you, do not worry. Below are a few easy to implement suggestions to quell social anxiety and get you ready for your next get together!

1. First Things First

Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day (especially on days when you have plans) to reset and speak some affirmation into yourself. This helps get your mind settled and automatically feel more confident. Some of my favorite affirmations are, “I enjoy socializing. I am a good communicator. I have something important for someone to hear, and I will share it today.” I find that saying these out loud and making eye contact with yourself in a mirror is a powerful way for the words to sink in.

2. Think About the Times You Feel Most Anxious

On a day when you do not have anything planned, sit down, and think through the times when you usually experience social anxiety. Is it attending a house party with lots of new people where you need to make small talk? Visiting a bible study? Going out with co-workers? Grabbing dinner with certain individuals? If you feel incredibly anxious under certain settings but not under others, this could be a sign that you do not feel you are allowed to be your authentic self in those settings. The best idea I can recommend is thinking thoroughly if the purpose of the group outweighs the feeling that you cannot speak from your heart.

3. Consider Finding an Alternate Way to Socialize

If you feel that you could go to a different sort of gathering and feel less anxiety, it is worth trying and comparing the two experiences. I used to feel incredibly anxious when I would meet with a specific group. When I stopped going to that group and joined another, I found my anxiety significantly reduced. If you are experiencing social anxiety it is far easier to build relationships by attending smaller gatherings, especially when there are a few trusted friends present as well. Remember, this is all about assessing why you feel anxious in certain settings. Be honest with yourself and make adjustments where necessary.

4. Go in Prepared

Once you have identified the areas you feel anxious, it is now time to figure out a game plan for the event. It is easier to socialize during an event if you prepare beforehand. If you find that making small talk with new people at house parties is what triggers your anxiety, then prepare a list of questions you could ask. People LOVE to talk about themselves and also love complements. I find an easy way to approach someone is to simply compliment something about them and then ease into a conversation from there.

5. Remember that You Have Something to Share

Many times, social anxiety can feel like a stone on your chest that weighs you down and keeps you quiet. However, this is not the way it was meant to be!! You are meant to speak truth and share what is in your heart for others to hear, not to be silenced by anxiety and fear. You have something vitally important to share. Remind yourself of this whenever you feel nervous. Take the focus off yourself and your own insecurities and put attention instead on the other people and see what you can bring to a conversation that will enhance their life.

At the end of the day, socializing should not be something to feel anxious over. You are simply sharing your life experiences and insights with another human being. With some people you may find a shared bond and continue to pursue the friendship. With others you may part ways after conversing once. This is totally fine! Enjoy yourself in the process and just remember that every other person at the party will feel awkward at some point, too. The easiest way to get out of your own head is to think about someone else. Be there for the person who is standing alone at a party and step out of your comfort zone to start a conversation with them. It will help you feel better, guaranteed.

Alina Gersib