3 Ways to Ease the Transition Back-To-School After Summer Break

With summer coming to an end and the school year starting anew, it’s time to start transitioning your little one out of vacation mode. It’s no secret that there is a stark contrast between lazy summer lounging and days full of academic challenge. A few months of lax schedules and no homework can cause even the most astute students to protest school’s return.

Understandably, some children find it difficult to adjust during their first semester. However, as parents, we have the power to ease those back-to-school blues. Here are three ways you can help your children acclimate:

Emphasize the Positive

Your little one may be mourning the end of his summer break, but no child can deny the joy that new things bring. If your student seems glum about returning to school, offer a different perspective by focusing on the positive. The most popular motivator is undoubtedly new clothes and school supplies. As tempting as it is to print off the school supplies list and quickly handle it yourself, don’t. Back-to-school shopping gives your child an opportunity to reinvent their personal style, test the waters on the newest fashion trends and personalize the tools that they will need in class. In addition to new apparel and supplies, a fresh school year also brings new friends.

While school’s main objective is to educate children on a diverse array of academic topics, it also helps develop social skills. Socialization is integrated into nearly every aspect of the school day; consequently, new friends are a big deal. Remind your child that they are going to be surrounded by plenty of classmates who they can have fun with, both in and out of school. If shopping and friends aren’t exciting enough, consider allowing your child to test a new mode of transportation to and from school.

If they normally walk, maybe they can try taking the school bus or their bike instead. Enacting such a simple change can do wonders for your student’s attitude toward the upcoming year. Lastly, new teachers and classes can also be a silver lining. Do a bit of research to find out the basics about your child’s new teacher, schedule or subjects and speak excitedly about those topics.

Make Responsibilities More Convenient

Some students struggle during the beginning of the year because they dislike the responsibility that school brings. Whether packing a lunch, remembering to complete an assignment or mastering time management, responsibility is indeed a vital aspect of conquering school. Ease the burden by employing creative tactics and aids to help your child handle responsibility effectively.

  •     Lunch

o  Try lunch packing stations.

o  Create a binder full of school lunch ideas that your child can reference.

o  Print a copy of the school lunch menu and hang it on the fridge.

  •     Homework

o  Keep a wall calendar with all homework and important assignments listed (hang the school calendar next to it).

o  Install Command Hooks near the door for you child to hang their backpack (so they won’t forget it).

o  Use a wall file hanger where children can put forms to be signed or homework to be checked.

  •     Time Management

o  Estimate the amount of time needed for an assignment, then set a timer to stay on track.

o  Regularly check-in with your child to see if schedules need to be adjusted to accommodate a healthy balance of academics and home life.

Keep An Open Dialogue About Emotions

A little empathy goes a long way. As hard as we try, it’s impossible to prepare for every scenario that will cause tension in the new year. Eventually, your little one will encounter a bout of frustration, fear or anxiety.  It’s important to be proactive by fostering a habit of open communication from the very 1st day of school. This will help your child feel comfortable sharing their stressors with you.

Listen to their concerns and experiences without judgment and offer assistance when applicable. Validate their feelings and be supportive by helping them problem solve. Be realistic about the amount of the time it may take to settle into a new grade, with new people and surroundings. In short, be reassuring. Remind your child that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and you will always be there to help.

From elementary, all the way through high school, letting go of summer can be tough. It’s completely normal to be a bit off-kilter when trying to get back into the routine of school. Make the transition easier by using these three tips and watch how your child’s attitude toward the first semester improve.

Dean and Marcie Whalen3 Ways to Ease the Transition Back-To-School After Summer Break
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Recreational Team Sports That Will Help You Stay In-Shape

As children, it was easy to get daily exercise. We explored our backyards, ran at recess and had neighborhood friends who begged us to come and play outside. As adults, things aren’t so easy. We think of our backyards as nothing more than postponed yard-work. Our recesses have turned into coffee breaks. And our friends? Well, they only beg us to pick up our phones to view the latest memes. None of which help us stay in shape. We didn’t lose our love of play or appreciation for healthy competition; matter of fact, we watch sports all the time. So why do we no longer play them ourselves? Adult athletic leagues offer friendship, exercise and a chance to relive our childhood passions. What could beat that? Whether you want to join a local recreation league, an amateur team or form a team of your own, there are many sports to choose from. (Clickable league links are in each sport’s title)

Basketball(or here)

For those who love high-paced, high-scoring activities

Requires: Agility, speed, hand-eye coordination

Soccer

A runner’s dream! Soccer is a perfect way to implement a high level of cardio and build leg strength.

Requires: body control, balance, conditioning

Hockey

Hockey offers a bit of variety with the option of ice or field play. Master skaters who love being on the ice find joy chasing down a puck and making the big shots. Field hockey is played on foot.

Requires: Endurance, speed, hand-eye coordination

Tennis

With quick bursts of energy and powerful racquet swings, tennis is a full-body workout.

Requires: Flexibility, quick response, hand-eye coordination

Volleyball

Played both indoor and outdoor, volleyball is a know for short spurts of high-intensity play.

Requires: Multi-level movements, spatial awareness, quick bursts of energy

Baseball/ Softball

America’s favorite! Time to put all those catching lessons from dad to the test. A slower paced activity for those who are okay with lower-scoring sports and long breaks between action.

Requires: Arm strength, patience, running, hand-eye coordination

Football

Most adult leagues feature flag football, which increases safety while maintaining the fun.

Requires: sprinting, agility, balance

Other Unique Team Sports: Ultimate Frisbee, Roller Derby(or here), Kickball, Quidditch, Dodgeball

Cautions

Don’t Over-Commit

As tempting as it is to commit to a team on a whim, don’t fall victim to impulse. Many teams require practice, weekly matches, and extra time in the gym. You may also need to travel for playoffs, championships, and tournaments. Sans proper research, the unexpected time commitment can lead to burnout or lack of follow through. Make sure to pick a league that aligns with the time availability that you can handle.

Listen to Your Body

Starting a new sport, or even a new season of an old sport can cause strain on the body. Suddenly increasing your level of activity can be a jolt on muscles that haven’t been conditioned. Instead of jumping from no (or low levels of) activity to high exert play, make the transition seamless by preparing for your sport weeks in advance. If you feel irregular pain and fatigue during the season, listen to your body instead of pushing yourself past your limit. Let your teammates know that you need to sit out or rest and jump back in during the next game.

Don’t Forget About Your Mental Health

At their best, team sports feed an internal need for socialization, physical activity, and challenge. At their worst, those three things can go awry. If you find yourself on a roster where tense interpersonal relationships are causing issues, don’t overlook how that affects your mental health. Some teammates will take the league more seriously than others. The varied levels of competitiveness are a common cause for dissension amongst the group. As is the varying level of skill. If the level of physical activity or challenge is causing strife, the mental weight of the situation can also negatively affect your health. The goal is to remain happy while your body benefits from the workout. If that isn’t happening, there’s no shame in finding a new team, or a new sport. Your physical and mental health comes first, even when you are a part of a team.

Be Mindful of Your Budget

Before you consider joining a team sport, first look into the cost. For some, the fees can be higher than assumed. If that’s the case, instead of giving up on joining, research other local teams. Gyms, rec centers, independent clubs, and sports complexes all offer adult sports programs. If your first choice is too pricey, there’s no harm in placing budget over preference. If your heart is set on playing in an expensive league that isn’t necessarily budget-friendly, consider playing one season a year while supplementing your exercise regimen with a less expensive alternative during the off-season.

Adult team sports greatly benefit both your physical well-being and your social life. Enroll in a local club today and restore your rightful title as a lifelong athlete.

Dean and Marcie WhalenRecreational Team Sports That Will Help You Stay In-Shape
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How To Cope If You Have Outgrown Your Business Mentorship

Entering mentorship comes with expectation on both sides. Mentors expect to impart wisdom on the future leaders of the field. Mentees expect to have reliable support during the rocky beginning phases of their careers. Schedules are discussed, contact information is exchanged, and hopes are high. Understandably, neither party spends time thinking about where the mentorship will be in a year, 5 years, or even 10 years. All conversation centers on the now. But in 5 years, will things still be the same? If not, what’s the proper way to handle the changes that will occur?

Growth

A difficult aspect of mentorship, which often gets glossed over, is the conclusion. There are several reasons that mentoring relationships can come to an end, but one of the most common is mentee growth. Typically, mentorships begin with the intent of easing the novice’s transition into a new career. During that time, mentors share networking connections, wisdom, and expert advice when problems arise. But what happens down the line when the mentee is flourishing and no longer needs the same type of guidance?

Mentees:
· Should you keep a mentor who has no experience in the direction that your career has led you?
· What should you do if you feel your success has surpassed the level of your mentor’s?

Mentors:
· If your mentee is asking questions about technologies and best practices that you weren’t trained in, should you still try to help?
· Are you holding back your mentee from moving on to someone who better suits his/her current position?

These are all plausible situations that many people face every day, but fail to address head-on. So, what should you do if you find yourself in the same position?

You have two choices; redefine your relationship or end it. Redefining your mentorship could include transitioning your former teacher-student dynamic into a friendship where you both seek and give information equally.

Mentees: You can now show gratitude by helping your former teacher through some of her business problems.

Mentors: You should be proud of how far your protégée has come; now you can reap the benefits!

However, if egos are causing a problem, tensions are mounting, or your bond is growing weak, it may be time to (amicably) part ways before damage occurs. Growth is a healthy part of life, but it can alter your perspective about who you will need around to help you with your next step. If it’s time to say goodbye, do so knowing that the time you shared was well spent. Remember that ending the mentorship doesn’t need to be a negative experience. It also doesn’t need to be the end of all communication. The benefits of mentoring are vast – it would be pointless to completely ruin the connection you worked so hard to build. You still have an opportunity to preserve your business connection (in spite of ending the mentorship).

Mentees: Express your gratitude. Your mentor didn’t have to share her time, knowledge and expertise with you, but she did. Credit her when you have a chance to, and check in every now and then to say hi.

Mentors: This is your chance to be understanding and wish your mentee the best of luck in his future endeavors. Speak kindly of him in his absence and be cordial to him when you see him in the field.

Most mentorships skip this step altogether and let things fizzle out over time. One person stops calling, the other stops returning emails, and before they know it, they’ve become nothing more than distant acquaintances. When they coincidentally bump into each other in public, things can be awkward and strained. Instead of maintaining what was formerly a viable connection, they’ve lost it.

Don’t let a similar sad ending be what comes of your mentorship. If you sense that growth is the source of the changes you’ve noticed, schedule a conversation with your mentor/mentee and have a heart-to-heart about what the future holds. No matter the outcome, remember that there is room for friendship after mentorship.

Dean and Marcie WhalenHow To Cope If You Have Outgrown Your Business Mentorship
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Eight Habits of Happily Married Couples To Emulate

Marriage vows promise, “Till death do us part”. In no way is that a light commitment. A lifetime of happiness requires hard work. It is cultivated through consistent effort, effective communication, and a lot of patience and love. But outside of those large foundational cornerstones, marital longevity is built through small daily interactions. In other words, it’s the little things. Here are 8 small steps that make a huge impact on maintaining the bliss in your relationship.

1. Have a Heart of Gratitude

Keep in mind that your partner doesn’t have to do anything; every kind of action is a conscious choice. The way your spouse loves you is a direct result of his/her purposeful intent. Don’t fall into the trap of taking your loved one for granted. Be thankful. Exude gratitude in your words, your actions, and your thoughts.

2. Do at Least One Extraordinary Thing a Day

Extraordinary sounds big, but it doesn’t have to be. Commit to performing small, “outside of the norm” acts that will make your spouse smile. Leave a handwritten love letter in her car, run that errand he’s been too busy to tackle, call her at work just to compliment her – do something thoughtful.

3. Ask “What Can I Do to Make Your Day Better?”

When you live with someone, it’s easy to assume that you know what he/she needs. You cross off all of the daily to-dos, pay the bills, and take care of chores, what more could your spouse need? While you are probably handling the major day-to-day responsibilities, there’s always more that can be done. Asking this simple question shows that you are willing and open to do a little extra to make his/her day easier.

4. Be Polite

Saying please and thank you is a common nicety that we often extend to strangers, acquaintances and coworkers. We hold doors open, quickly apologize for mistakes and maintain friendly body language and tone during communication. If we do all this for the people outside of our houses, why do we suddenly deem them unnecessary inside our homes? Your spouse deserves to be addressed the utmost courtesy. Never let the behavior you display for strangers to outshine the behavior your display with your spouse.

5. Touch Often

Small touches throughout the day are a form of intimacy, bonding, and attachment. At home, in public, in the car – touch your spouse. The goal is to stay connected. Hold hands, hug, sit closely, cuddle, and kiss. Touch is a perfect way to keep the romance alive.

6. Be Spontaneous

Marriage can fall victim to the comfort of routine. Keep things fresh by being spontaneous every now and again. Try a spur of the moment vacation, a date in a different city, or unexpected surprise. Your partner will love that you put thought into doing something new.

7. Find a Common Interest

For long-term couples, time apart is a vital element of a healthy relationship, but you don’t want to create too much separation. Investing time in a common interest is a fun way to stay united. Make a list of all the things you mutually enjoy, then try to find a class, club, or group that is centered around that hobby.

8. Create Traditions

Strengthen bonds by creating family traditions that celebrate the uniqueness of your union. Pick an annual custom that you’ll be able to maintain throughout the years. As your family grows, you’ll be able to share them with your children, who will go on to teach them to their own future generations. If you don’t know where to start, consider holiday traditions, sport rituals, or yearly vacations.

Countless threads of commitment hold happy marriages together. Committing to seek marriage advice, and put it into action, is one way to do your part in strengthening your union. When you make small deliberate choices to put your spouse and your marriage first, you are investing in the success of your future. Start by personalizing these 8 tips to fit the needs of your relationship.

Dean and Marcie WhalenEight Habits of Happily Married Couples To Emulate
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Top Reasons Philanthropy Should Be An Important Part Of Any Venture

Earn a huge profit. An entrepreneur starting a venture would usually have this end goal in mind — and there is nothing wrong with it! If you invest a considerable amount of time and money for a project, you would naturally want to see gains.

So you design a brilliant business plan and plot foolproof strategies. To help ensure success in any venture though, you may want to consider philanthropy. A clear and solid corporate social responsibility immediately gives an enterprise a distinct edge over competitors. It would likely enjoy the following benefits too:

Boosts Morale

A company with great visions of success requires a team bursting with undeniable enthusiasm and confidence. You can easily keep a team’s morale high by making it a priority to include philanthropic activities in your business calendar. In the 2017 survey conducted by Deloitte, a professional services network, seven out of ten respondents said that participating in charitable work is more effective in boosting their morale than engaging in leisure activities.

Promotes Satisfaction & Increases Productivity

The thought that your action can create a positive impact on others can be so empowering that you can easily carry this vibe up to work performance. Thus, philanthropy can efficiently motivate a team to accomplish more. Aside from increasing productivity, altruistic efforts can also make someone happier. A research study from the University of Zurich in Switzerland published in 2017 reveals that generosity leads to happiness. If you feel good about the work you do, it would likely result in job satisfaction too.

Builds Good Reputation

One of the main challenges and concerns of a new brand is to gain the trust of clients, making philanthropy a smart move for any startup venture. An organization that includes giving back to the community in their vision and mission statements elevates the reputation of an organization, which increases the potential to generate high earnings. Furthermore, people working for the company will be proud to be part of it and will be confident that a favorable future awaits.

Opens Opportunities for Advertising & Network-Building

Advertising is a critical factor in the success of any venture because even the best idea, product, or organization will be doomed to fail if no one knows about it. This is why seasoned entrepreneurs willingly allow a big chunk of their budget to advertising. Surprisingly though, philanthropy offers a better alternative. Organizing events that will help a cause is an indirect way to introduce your brand to the community. You will know you are on the right track when people start associating your organization with good deeds and worthy causes. Aside from the free publicity, it also opens up opportunities to grow your network.

Leads to Better Teamwork

When you give staff or employees a chance to work together for a cause that will greatly benefit others, you also give them time to connect with each other. This, in turn, may lead to better relationships that can make working together a more enriching experience.  

Some start-up companies may think that they can conveniently forget the idea of giving back to society until they see a steady flow of dollars coming in. However, including philanthropy right from the start of the planning period may just be the move that holds the key to success.

 

Dean and Marcie WhalenTop Reasons Philanthropy Should Be An Important Part Of Any Venture
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How to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Whether you’re a picky eater in search of ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, or you have a child who perpetually leaves “the healthy stuff” on his plate, I’m here to help. There are plenty of creative techniques that will assist you in your efforts in meeting your nutritional needs, without feeling like you are forcing yourself to eat things that you dislike. Keep reading for a few easy tips.

Purée or dice them

Mashing, processing, or blending a cooked fruit or vegetable, create a purée.
Traditionally, the skin and seeds will be removed and liquid will be added, to create a smoother end result. You can purée an array of foods such as carrots, beets, bananas, and blueberries; the possibilities are endless. Fruits and veggies can even be combined to double the benefit. Purées can be used as a base for soups, smoothies, and sauces. Depending on your choice of ingredient, purées can also add fun and vivid color to foods, which increases their visual appeal to children. A win-win.

Dicing means cutting into small chunks. Diced vegetables add color, flavor, and important vitamins to dishes. Many recipes like salads, pasta sauces or egg rolls already include diced vegetables, but they can be added to other foods as well. Below are a few examples:

· Scrambled eggs with diced asparagus, red bell peppers, and onions
· Rice/quinoa with diced mushrooms and broccoli
· Flaked tuna with diced carrots, celery, and grapes

If dicing is too difficult (raw carrots are hard to dice) try using a peeler or food processor to make the process a bit easier.

Make fruits and vegetables look like other tasty foods.

Popular foods like fries, chips, pasta and ice cream can be elevated to fit into a healthy lifestyle. Simply replacing the core ingredients with nutrient dense foods can make all the difference.

Here are a few substitutions that will leave your whole family wanting more:

Fries
· Zucchini fries
· Carrot fries
· Beet fries
· Apple fries

Chips
· Kale chips
· Banana chips
· Apple chips
· Eggplant chips

Pasta (*use a spiralizer)
· Spaghetti squash
· Eggplant lasagna noodles
· *Carrot noodles
· *Zoodles (zucchini noodles)

Ice Cream
· Nicecream
(Blended frozen bananas are the base for “Nana Cream”. Nicecream can be combined with other fruits, purées, and flavors to increase the taste complexity)

· Fruit popsicles
(Purées, mixed with chopped fruits, can be frozen to create healthy popsicles)

· Yogurt popsicles
(Greek, dairy-free, or traditional yogurt, with added fruits, make a perfect frozen treat)

Pizza
· Cauliflower crust
(After pulverizing the cauliflower in a food processor, combine it with garlic, herbs, egg, and spices, then bake)

Bake them

Fruits have been baked into muffins, breads, and cakes for centuries, but did you know that vegetables could be included too? Most of us only have extensive experience with carrot cake, a fan favorite, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

A list of untraditional (vegetable based) baked goods:

· Zucchini bread
· Red beet pancakes
· Coconut butternut squash bread
· Chocolate avocado cake
· Spinach muffins
· Cauliflower bagel bites
· Chickpea peanut butter cookies

Fruits and vegetables are a vital part of sustaining any healthy diet. Each meal should contain at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable. Reaching that goal doesn’t have to be difficult. Be creative when preparing your food and use the tips above as a guide. Before you know it, you’ll have formed a habit of eating foods that are both delicious, and good for you.

Dean and Marcie WhalenHow to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
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Three Essential Steps To Living A Life of Freedom

Close your eyes, and imagine for a moment that you are living a life that is designed by you, driven by your passions and based on your desire to fulfill a larger purpose. In this life, you are not held back by a heavy work schedule, you do not have any financial limitations, and you are not only satisfied but excited to wake up every morning and be finally living out the life that you have always wanted. Now back to reality, does that sound like a farfetched dream, impossible of attaining? Well, it’s not. You can make a change in your life starting today towards living a life of freedom. Focusing on three essential steps of holistic living, you can fulfill the life you have always dreamed of.

Make Your Health A Priority

Being able to live freely, and without restriction starts with taking care of you and your body—You can’t make a car run unless you maintain the engine and fuel it properly. A healthy lifestyle starts with changing your diet to eating clean and balanced meals. Consuming whole, quality, and organic foods will provide the fuel your body needs to perform at its best. By eating good, you will feel good and in turn, will live a better life. Eating healthy also boosts your immune system helping to decrease illness and avoid disease. You also need to take care of the rest of your body—be sure to get enough sleep, relax, and slow down when your body tells you that it needs a break. By taking care of yourself, it allows your body to function at its highest potential so you can live a better life.

Establish The Right Mindset

Once you get your body right, it’s time to get your mind right. The right mindset focuses on mindfulness, and actively living in the present moment. Take time to think about what is currently happening around you, and use both the positive and the negative situations to propel your thoughts and actions towards success. Meditation is a great way to attain that perspective and it really opens your eyes to see what your life looks like from day to day. Being mindful of your actions and what is happening around you helps develop emotional intelligence, which is just as important as general knowledge. You should also clearly determine what it is that you want to accomplish in life, and outline goals that will help you to get there. With a positive and mindful mindset, let your passion fuel you and chase those dreams. Your thoughts lead to your actions, so always keep in mind how your reality is directly related to your state of mind.

Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

The old saying of, “It’s not what you know but who you know”, could not be truer, especially in relation to a life of holistic freedom. It is essential to find a community of other purpose driven, mindful people who will help you to chase your passions, achieve your goals, and teach you along the way. We are never too old to learn and by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, you are bound to meet someone who has gone through similar experiences and can mentor you on your own journey. The people in your life should inspire you and add value to your life. By growing your network with other individuals that align with your goals, they can provide you with new doors of opportunity related to your passions, in addition to the support in pursuing your life of purpose and freedom.

Living the life you have always dreamed of can be done, freedom is attainable. By taking care of yourself, being positive and mindful, in addition to finding a community that aligns with your goals, you will live your best life. Ultimately, by nourishing your mind, body, and soul you will find that you can fulfill your life’s purpose, pursue your passions, and truly achieve holistic freedom.

Dean and Marcie WhalenThree Essential Steps To Living A Life of Freedom
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3 Things That Make a Happy Home

Your household should be a safe space for your entire family to come home to after a long day, after a fun trip or just after running some errands. One of the most effective ways to turn your home into a welcoming, warm space for everyone is to make an honest effort to fill it with happiness and love. A happier home makes a happier family. However, we all know sometimes that’s easier said than done, so we came up with three things that have helped us make our home a happier place. Here are three ways to make a happy home.

Make coming home an event

We fall into the routine of life all too easily, and by doing so, ordinary events just become a part of our schedule. However, if you make an effort to make simple things that happen every day a special event, your family will start recognizing the happiness that lies in the small moments. For instance, start welcoming your family members home with a joyous greeting and a hug. Let everyone know how glad you are to have them home even if your spouse was just running errands for the afternoon. By doing so, your family members will feel more appreciated, and your house will always be an optimistic place to come home too. Remember to embrace the small moments because that’s where life lives.

Turn meals into a family affair

There are all kinds of studies that prove families who sit down to eat dinner together as often as possible form better relationships, adopt healthier lifestyles, and experience more happiness. Sharing meals together gives you a chance every evening to connect and make memories with your family. Sit-down dinners with the whole family allow the perfect opportunity to build your relationships and strengthen your family bond. These conversations over the dinner table foster a space to share excitement, challenges, and laughs. From the planning stages to the cleanup, make sure your meals are a family affair as often as possible to increase the happiness in your home.

Use positive words

Never underestimate the power of words. Using positive words of encouragement and love on a daily basis will directly impact the positive energy in your home. Leave positive notes for your family members around the house and focus on positivity when you speak to each other. Never let a family member leave your home without a positive reminder so they go about their day with an optimistic mindset. If you focus on the positive and avoid dwelling on the negative, your home will be a happier place.

A happy home is the key to a happy family. Try these three tips to make your home the happiest it can be.

Dean and Marcie Whalen3 Things That Make a Happy Home
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Our Favorite Tips to Keep the Family Healthy

Adopting a healthy lifestyle for your family is important for every member to reach his or her full potential. In our household, we focus on health in all areas of life––mentally, emotionally, and physically––because we know that well-rounded health leads to a well-rounded life. Our home encourages this all-inclusive healthy lifestyle because our family is the happiest when we make our health a priority. However, we know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle in every area of life can be difficult when life gets busy. That’s why we came up with three of our favorite tips to keep the family healthy even when life gets in the way.

Stay active

An active lifestyle leads to health in multiple areas of life. Not only does it help maintain a healthy weight, but it also reduces the risk of conditions like a stroke and heart disease. Perhaps most notably, staying active increases children’s self-confidence, enhances cognitive function, and provides them with a healthy way to improve their mental health. Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, a pickup game of basketball in the driveway, or soccer practice after school, make sure your family members participate in physical activity every day.

Make sleep a priority

When life becomes overwhelmingly busy, sleep is often compromised. However, make sure sleep is a priority in your household because a well-rested person performs exponentially better throughout the day. Overtiredness leads to lack of energy, crankiness, and laziness. One of the best ways to ensure that your family members get enough hours of sleep each night is to establish a nighttime routine for your whole family and stick to it as often as possible because consistency maintains our internal body clocks. Also, make sure you don’t over-commit yourself or your family because two big nights in a row may not be worth the meltdown on day three.   

Eat meals together

Sharing meals with your family provides an opportunity for everyone to catch up with each other on a daily basis. But, your family dinners are also so much more beneficial than that. This time together provides your family with an opportunity to learn how to choose and pair healthy foods together, understand what foods make you all feel and perform your best, and establish healthy eating habits to use as a guide throughout life. Not to mention, family time around the table can also foster healthier relationships and improve communication within your family.

It’s easy to let the business of life take advantage of your family’s time and health, but follow these three tips to keep your family healthy no matter what.

Dean and Marcie WhalenOur Favorite Tips to Keep the Family Healthy
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3 Ways to Get Your Family in the Holiday Spirit

There is a reason they refer to the holidays as the most wonderful time of the year. The lights, the decorations, and the holiday cheer really do bring the spirit of Christmas into each day. This year make sure your family remembers the reason for the season by making an effort to spread the holiday spirit every chance you can––whether you’re spending time with your family, running through your daily routine, or out serving your community. Here are 3 ways to get your family in the holiday spirit in no time at all.

Create a new tradition

Old traditions give your family a sense of identity and have the power to teach values across generations. This Christmas continue your old family traditions just like you always have, but establish a brand new one. Start a Christmas activity calendar, so each day there is a different activity to do. Bake holiday cookies together, decorate the tree, or hang lights outside. The opportunities are endless. Or maybe just decide from here on out, your family goes ice skating together one night every holiday season.

Embrace small acts of kindness

As you go through your day-to-day schedule, look for ways you can spread the holiday spirit to the people you encounter, and try to do on small act of kindness each day. Bring up your neighbor’s trash cans, pay for coffee for the person in line behind you, or just give up a closer parking spot to the person behind you in a packed parking lot. Whatever you do, be an example for your family, and encourage everyone else to do one small act of kindness each day for someone different in their life.

Give back to your community

Embrace the true spirit of the season by taking the time as a family to spread holiday cheer within the community. Donate blankets to a local homeless shelter. Drop holiday treats off at an assisted living community. Or volunteer your time as a family to decorate a hospital this holiday season. Do whatever it is your heart calls you to do to spread holiday cheer throughout your community. In doing so, together you family will remind those around you what the holidays are really all about.

Make this holiday season extra special with these 3 ways to get your family into the holiday spirit in no time at all.

 

Dean and Marcie Whalen3 Ways to Get Your Family in the Holiday Spirit
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