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 Steps for an Anxiety Free Day



Mornings can make or break your day. No matter if you are a student, stay at home mom, or entrepreneur, the tone that you first engage the world with each day will affect how the rest goes. Let us look at two different scenarios:

You wake up from a deep slumber and stretch, hearing birds chirping peacefully outside of your window. Standing up you cross the room to turn off your still silent alarm (you naturally woke up before it, score!!) After a quick bit of stretching and exercise you are able to enjoy some reading and writing while eating a nourishing breakfast and sipping on a hot cup of coffee. After you finish you are able to jump into work with a clear head and full belly!

Contrast to,

BEEP BEEP BEEP your final (and most obtrusive) alarm is blaring at you. After snoozing 4 times it was left with no choice but to give you it’s loudest warning bells which signal that you must get up now or you will be late. You stumble out of bed and barely have time to brush your teeth and choose an outfit. Scrambling to assemble your work bag you quickly grab a granola bar and rush out the door.

Whew!! I can feel the anxiety bubbling.

It is irreplaceably important to have a morning routine to stick to. This might seem counterintuitive but routine and structure are what actually create the most space and freedom in our lives. If you do not have clear guidelines and goals for your day then you turn reactive to life as it is thrown at you, which heightens your anxiety. Parkinson’s law famously states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” I find this to be especially true on days when I neglect to start off on the best possible foot by not setting my intentions and goals. If I wake up late and rush around, the rest of my day feels frazzled and I am far less productive. I find that giving myself enough time in the mornings is crucial to keeping me in a good headspace for the remainder of the day.

1. Wake Up Right Away – Snooze is not your friend. If you snooze your alarm and fall back to sleep, you confuse your brain on if you should actually wake up the next time the alarm goes off. Causing you to feel groggier once you do wake up.

2. Drink Water – A great way to ease your body into waking up is by drinking water first thing. I fill up a reusable bottle every evening and keep it on my bedside table to grab before I am even out of bed.

3. Wash Your Face – Nothing wakes me up more than splashing some cool water on my skin. Though sometimes a bit jarring it feels instantly refreshing.

4. Stretch/Workout – If you enjoy morning workouts then do your thing! If you are in the afternoon workout crowd though, a few simple stretches to wake up the body are a must, especially if you sit at a desk all day. I typically spend 10-15 minutes doing some active stretching while I listen to an audiobook, (currently I’m going through Waking the Dead by John Eldridge, and it’s incredible.)

5. Lay Out Your Clothes – I find it easiest to get ready if I lay out clothes the night before. The fewer decisions you have to make on menial tasks, the more cognitive resources you save for the important stuff. “Without realizing it, you can fritter away a fair portion of your mental energy on the day’s minor choices: what to eat, what to wear, when to exercise, when to sleep,” writes Executive Coach Caroline Webb.


6. Pre-Prep Your Breakfast – Every night I aim for pre-prepping my breakfast for the next day, for me that means overnight oats with chia seeds, flax, cinnamon, collagen powder, and some sort of fruit. Simple, delicious, and easy to customize. I grab it out of the fridge and enjoy it with a matcha while journaling and filling out my planner for the day.

7. Everything Easy to Go – Though I now work from home, I previously worked in an office and found a few habits incredibly helpful. First, always pre-pack your lunch and keep everything in one spot of your fridge to make it incredibly easy to transfer to your lunch box. Second, keep anything you need for the day in a specific bag and double-check it the night before. The last thing you want is to have a peaceful morning and then realize you misplaced your car keys.

These are the seven steps I include each morning to lower anxiety and give myself a solid foundation for the rest of the day. But I love seeing what works best for other people, so if you have a morning ritual you swear by, please let me know. It is also important to note that if you do miss an alarm or wake up late, the best thing to do is to not stress. If you prepped for the day the night before it should still be seamless to get out the door on time. Even if you have to eat your overnight oats in the car!

-Alina Gersib