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

7 Daily Mental Hygiene Habits



We take showers, wash our hands, and use deodorant, but a lot of us let stress, anxiety, and fear rule our lives because we do not take the time to keep our minds clean. If you are trying to keep yourself on a healthy and happy track it is crucial to have daily mental hygiene habits. It is far easier to put up protective barriers and prevent a negative spiral from happening than it is to crawl out of a negative spiral mid-storm. Here are 7 ways that you can assist your mental state by taking care of things before they escalate.

1. Worry on Paper – Our brains are fast to worry. They identify the issue, multiply the issue, and then multiply the multiples of the issue! What started out as a small worry quickly spirals into the red zone of worst-case scenario. In order to stop the spiral in its tracks, it is important to not let your brain worry itself into a pit in the first place. Next time you feel a worry rising in your mind, grab a notebook or your notes app on your phone and write it down. The act of writing forces you to slow down and look at the initial issue without all the amplified projections filling your head as well. If you are able to stop the worry from ballooning, you will be in a far clearer headspace.

2. Set Boundaries – A huge trigger affecting brain overload is constantly saying yes or going along with things that you do not want to do. When we do not speak our needs in a given moment we can quickly fall into resentment or frustration over a situation. These feelings are not helpful in achieving a relaxed state of mind, so do yourself a favor and set clear boundaries around your time.

3. Sleep Consistently – A fundamental piece of the puzzle, sleep quality dramatically affects your relationship with the world in every aspect from immune health to mood. In order to receive the best rest, aim to go to sleep and wake up at a consistent time each night, even on the weekends.

4. Flex Time – Take a few moments of your day, I like to do it at the end of the day but do it whenever works best for you, to sit with a journal and say whatever needs to come out. Some days I doodle, others I write poetry, and on others, prayers. Take a few minutes to give your brain space to decompress in whatever way it needs. If you are constantly going without stopping to check in on your thoughts, they have the potential of stewing and building into anxiety.

5. Work Out – I am a huge believer in the benefit of exercise. Whether you walk, lift, or do a HIIT workout, move some way every day. Exercise not only produces endorphins, which make you feel great, but it is a fantastic way to distance yourself from your worries. It is difficult to focus on any other problems when you are concentrating on the weights in your hands or on the next step of your trail.

6. Quiet Moments–Even if I do not have time for anything else in my usual morning routine, what I find most beneficial to my day is taking 5 or 10 minutes to pray or meditate first thing. I like taking these few minutes to reset and be grateful as it sets my mind on a better trajectory for the rest of the day.

7. Eat Good Food – If you are anything like me, food massively impacts your mood and disposition towards the world. “Hangry” is a common term in my vocabulary. To quell this, I always keep a healthy bar on me. Not only that but I try to eat a whole foods diet and avoid things I know do not leave me feeling great. As delicious as fries and a milkshake are, all I want to do is sleep after consuming them. They are not the ideal building block for a clear head. If you know certain foods trigger a negative reaction for you, or you become pessimistic if you go too long between meals, be proactive and prevent these situations from occurring.

The more safety’s you can put in place to protect from negativity causing situations, the better. Whether it is packing a protein bar in your purse or waking up at the same time each day, small changes can make a huge difference on how you feel mentally. Find what works for you and try to incorporate them daily to help keep your mental state in tip top shape!

Alina Gersib