Versatile Grain-Free Pasta Salad Recipe

Versatile Grain-Free Pasta Salad Recipe

Try this amazingly simple grain-free pasta salad recipe. Only seven ingredients and easy to make. Plus it has bacon! I love this recipe because it is versatile. Going gluten-free is hard enough, but grain-free is even more challenging. The beauty of this grain-free pasta salad recipe is that you can have for the main meal, use it as a Meatless Monday recipe, or you can serve it as a side dish to your favorite protein.

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What’s so good about grain-free?

Let’s face it, grains can give your body inflammation. Yep. There is something about the grain that can wreak havoc on your digestive system, allergy response, skin, and even mood! If you have IBD, colitis, IBS, or Crohn’s disease, going grain-free might help your situation.

Chickpea pasta is simply chickpeas. There are no grains involved. My family uses Banza Rotini. The last time I looked, it was still available at Costco. Otherwise, you can look in your local grocer or get it online.

Some chickpea nutritional facts include being an excellent source of manganese and a great source of folate to name the top two. Manganese is important for your bone health, nerves, and is good for your thyroid to name a few. Folate is super important for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. It also helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and lowers blood pressure. Chickpeas in general are a good source of plant protein.

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Chickpea benefits

Some great chickpea benefits include helping to control blood sugar levels. They also help with weight loss by helping you feel full and to curb your cravings. Chickpeas are full of fiber which helps with digestion and to keep things moving! There are more benefits that you can find at Dr. Axe.

Grain-free Pasta Salad Recipe Go-to’s

This pasta salad recipe is awesome for lunches, camping meal ideas, main dishes, and side-dish. My family enjoys it with roasted chicken. Serve it warm or chilled, you could even add a dollop of hummus on top! This is a kid-friendly dish, meaning, there are not super bold flavors. Yet, you can make this dish you own by adding your favorite ingredients like diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives, or avocados.

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Let’s get to the recipe!

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Versatile Grain-Free Pasta Salad

Simple, delicious, and nutritious Grain-Free pasta salad recipe. Easy to make, only 7 simple ingredients, and a great side dish to compliment any protein. Serve alone as a "Meatless Monday" dish. This recipe gives you the flexiblity to be creative!
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword gluten-free pasta salad, pasta salad, pasta salad no mayo, simple pasta salad
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 410kcal
Cost $5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Banza Rotini Made from Chickpeas Grain-free Pasta
  • 1/2 package bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek salad dressing, your choice, but prefer "Ken's Simply Vinaigrette Greek"
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese or non-dairy feta cheese
  • 1 tsp salt to taste

Instructions

  • Boil pasta in a large saucepan and cook until noodles are soft. Drain pasta and wash cold water over it. Dump cooked pasta into a bowl.
  • Lay bacon strips on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove cooked bacon and blot with paper towels, then chop into smaller pieces.
  • Chop washed broccoli. You may either leave broccoli raw or you can steam it, your choice.
  • Add broccoli and bacon to the pasta bowl and toss.
  • Add olive oil and salad dressing then toss.
  • Sprinkle salt on top, and add feta cheese. Tossing is optional.

Notes

This gluten-free pasta, grain-free pasta, is an excellent source of protein. It’s a fantastic main meal or side dish. Add tomatoes, olives, or diced avocados to make it your own. Use any kind of pasta to make for your family. Simple, delicious, and good for your body. Serve it with roasted chicken and you’ve got yourself a meal. 

Hope you enjoy this amazing recipe. I know your body will love you for it. Be sure to check out my other great gluten-free recipes to go along with this dish!

Simple Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Leg Recipe

Better Belly Steak Recipe

Simple Game Day Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Fried Walleye Recipe

Kale Salad Recipe

By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.
Stress Free Moving: 2 Critical Steps

Stress Free Moving: 2 Critical Steps

Stress free moving sounds amazing and IS possible, the trick is to know what stresses you out and beat it at its own game. Moving is one of the biggest stress events in someone’s life. It’s no small task whether you’re moving down the street or across the country; there is nothing easy about moving. And when things get hard, stress is sure to surface. I recently moved and was caught off guard. For some reason, in my mind, I thought moving was a matter of taking our stuff from one place to another, simple, right? Yet, moving is so much more than that. Learn what creates stress when moving and what I did to relieve it.  

The #1 thing you must do for stress free moving

This post isn’t about packing boxes or creating piles of “keep”, “donate”, “recycle”, or “pitch”. Let’s imagine that the boxes and furniture are dropped off at the new house. You have packed up your old house and are now in the new home. At this moment in time, your mind is swirling: I need to make the bed, clean the toilets, wash down the kitchen, change the address, set up the internet, grocery shop, get the kid’s rooms figured out, etc. However, if you’re like me, the very first thing my mind gravitates towards is getting the environment functional so I can accomplish all these jobs and get organized. In other words, if my “workspace” isn’t pleasant, I won’t be pleasant.

Step 1 in stress free moving: Home Odor 101

Satisfy the nose. This is the air you breathe! What does your new home smell like? Are you happy with that? If not, what can you do right now to fix it?

The smell in our new home was not good. I said goodbye to stress free moving because the smell was driving me nuts! The home is 19 years old, as you know with age comes odor. The first thing my nosed grabbed was the numerous scented candles the previous owner lit. I actually asked her about all the candles when we walked through the house for the first time, and she told me she was stressed and candles calmed her. Well, she certainly was stressed a lot, and come to find out, I think the house stressed her out!

Most of the time scented candles smell good, but when you get too much of a good thing, nothing is good. Yes, candles can help the house smell better in the short term, but it’s just masking the real problem. Hence, there was a smell in the basement, which gave me a sense that mold was present.

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HOW TO FIX THE SMELLS

There were a few things we did to fix the smell issue in our new home. For the candle smell, we ended up painting the walls and getting new carpet. I know painting and new carpet isn’t something we all can do right away, but a good wash of the walls and a carpet clean will help! You can rent carpet cleaners if you want to do it yourself.

As for the basement and the musty/mold smell. We hired a mold guy who found the mold right away. Please note; bleach is not going to kill all molds, you can actually make it worse. Hire a professional. The other thing we did to help with the home odor was get a dehumidifier. This helps prevent mold from growing and aids the musty smell. In addition, I placed bowls of baking soda around the basement. After all that, the smell is gone! You can also try new charcoal briquettes. The fresh charcoal will absorb the odors. Take an empty coffee can or decorative container and fill it up with the new briquettes. Change them out every so often.

Step 2 in stress free moving: Good Drinking Water

This may sound simple but how to move stress free is to get your water working for you. Normally, I wouldn’t talk about this because we never had a problem before, but since we did this time, I felt I should address it. We moved from city water to well water. I was not prepared for the challenge of drinking water. Thankfully we were involved with heavy iron content, in which we would need an iron curtain. However, the new home has a water softener; this was something we were not used to. Drinking softened water is not my thing; my body clearly told me to stop. So now what?

To keep a long story short, after I tried many options including bottled water and various water filters, we ended up filtering the well water twice for our drinking water and I love it!  I have a post on this if you want to learn more about how we did it, you can find it here.

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6 Bonus steps I don’t want you to forget

Since recently going through this experience I didn’t want you to forget about a few small things that make a BIG difference in moving stress free. Here are an additional 6 items you want to pay attention to.

1. Kitchen cabinets – be aware!

Other issues in a home you should keep your eye on are the kitchen cabinets. Are they sticky? Do they have handles? Do they slam? A quick fix for us was a good scrubbing with Dawn Dish Soap and putting soft pads on the doors so they didn’t slam. We still don’t have handles, but we can easily add those later. If you’re handy you can install a soft-close on the cabinet door. The kitchen clearly stressed me out.

2. Lighting

Be aware of the lighting. Where are the dark spaces? LED light bulbs or LED lights do the trick. Again, these are quick fixes until you get your more permanent plan. In a pickle? Grab a box of string lights and have fun with them. String lights also lighten the load and can reduce stress!

3. Cleaning

Clean everything. Everything should get cleaned unless you want to live with the previous owner’s dead skin cells. This includes the windows and the sills. If you can clean before you move in this would be ideal. If you can’t clean, hire it out or clean after you move. I know cleaning the house is not fun, but get a jumpstart on your housecleaning from the get-go!

4. Change the filters

Make sure you change the furnace filter and clean out the dryer. Change the refrigerator filter while you’re at it, then you know how long you have until it needs to be changed again. Please check the batteries on the smoke detectors.

5. Window coverings

A good clean of the blinds or drapes would be recommended if you have them. If you don’t have window coverings, do you want blinds or curtains? We lived in our house without window coverings for a good three months before we decided on curtains. Please note, we moved to the country.

One more thing about window coverings, natural light does wonders for your mental wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to open the shades during the day and allow light to come in. You can learn more about natural light in my post: How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps

6. Find your space. This is SUPER important!

One last critical step to how to move stress free is to find your space. This may sound silly, but everyone needs to find their private space in their home. This is a place where you can go and be yourself without judgment. For instance, I have a little room in the basement where I write my blogs and create my Etsy products. It’s a little messy but organized in my mind. It is my playground, where I can be without having to think about toys, order, and other house details.  Be sure to set boundaries so you can have some time for yourself and relax.

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Wrapping it up

Moving stress free is possible. When I move again the 3 things I would do differently is to have the mold guy come before we moved our stuff in. The second step would be to check the water. If I have the time, I would for sure take the time to clean the new empty house before unloading our stuff. Moving isn’t my first rodeo. I have moved at least 10 times in my life, however, this move was by far the most stressful!

Remember, you don’t have to change everything at once. This was hard for me to do in this stressful house. Be strong and live in the house for a while. Pay attention to your patterns. When it’s time, put your own spin on your new home. And don’t forget to introduce yourself to the neighbors. Enjoy your new space!

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By CT Copyright © 2022 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.
Benefits of a Garden: One Huge Reason to Take Up Gardening

Benefits of a Garden: One Huge Reason to Take Up Gardening

The benefits of a garden are more than growing pretty flowers and organic vegetables. A garden serves many purposes, but on this particular day, it served a HUGE purpose I didn’t see coming. Walk with me into my garden, this just may be the best-kept secret to peace, gratification, and an anxiety antidote.

benefits of a garden

The garden draw

There is something about flowers and vegetables growing in your very own garden. The benefits of a garden beam from our yards with vivid colors and luscious greens. The garden is so soothing to the eye, it draws me to be a part of that picture. If my garden looks peaceful, maybe if I go to it, then I will become peaceful?

Let me ask you this: where do you go when your heart is a mess? I hope that place is a haven for you and not somewhere toxic. Our hearts need tenderness and embrace. Whether that be a cozy corner in your home, a decorative closet, or the bathtub for a long soak. Depending on the season, my safe place is my garden.

In 2018 I found myself walking to my garden, but I didn’t go there to do my normal tending of it. I went there to sit in the dirt. I had a troubled heart and felt like dirt, so why not sit in it too? That was my attitude. If you don’t have a garden, don’t think this post isn’t for you. Each and every one of us has and needs a ‘garden’ for gardening, maybe for the sole purpose of why I needed it on this particular day.

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Dirt meets dirt

I was completely dumbfounded by how I got myself in this state. Do you remember as a kid when you got in trouble with your parents…the flush of prickly heat bursting from your heart like a firework going off? Yeah. It’s that feeling when you know you really messed up.

Believe me, this wasn’t an easy post to write; in fact, I wasn’t going to write it. But it dawned on me that when my human self learns something hard and valuable, I should probably tell someone…maybe it will help them in some way.

So here it goes. I unintentionally hurt a dear friend of mine. My doing screwed up a valuable friendship. I messed up. Part of me wanted to crawl into a cave, but the other half wanted to go to a place that knew me. So I went to my garden. As I looked over the rows of flowers and herbs I wrestled with scenarios. I tried to foresee the future. I played back my actions. Why did this happen? How did this happen? This came out of nowhere! My identity jolted.

In my garden that day, my gut was a trembling mess. My heart was anxious. I paced the paths and hid my face from my neighbors. As I dug for a tissue I knelt down and stared at the dirt. “Dear God, forgive me. Help me see the root of this action.” I blew my nose, took a deep breath, and got my hands busy. As I plucked little weeds and churned up the soil, layers of thoughts peeled off and exposed the truth. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. How juvenile. We all have our adolescent times, this was one of mine.

What blooms from dirt is beautiful

His presence in the garden that day was strong; there is no doubt Jesus met me where I was at. I felt His comfort yet discipline. “What must I do to mend this mishap?” I asked Him. As I walked to the other side of the garden, facing a dripping mess, Jesus’ words “the truth will set you free” squeezed my heart. But I don’t want to tell the truth, I’m embarrassed, I said. 

“If its freedom you seek, the truth will set you free”. After I wrestled with it for about 20 minutes, I dusted myself off and wound up the courage to do just that…tell the truth. What do I have to lose that I already have lost? As soon as I expressed the truth of the matter to my dear friend; my stomach stopped tossing, my mind stopped spinning, and I felt the imprisoned shackles unlock. I exhaled and knew I made the right choice. Thank you.

rose garden

The benefits of a garden

Gardening is a task where we get our hands busy. Our garden is a place where we can be alone. It is a moment in time where our soul is unguarded, where we can let it free and know it’s safe. A place where we cradled the unique ability our Creator gave us. So what’s your ‘garden’? What place knows you? A woodshop, craft table, mixing bowl, knitting basket, sketch pad, kitchen, garage, where is it?

The benefits of a ‘garden’ no matter what place that is, will take you to peace and to resolution. It’s there where we can be raw, where we can lament, and feel safe. It’s the garden that serves as a therapy session, to think through our struggles, to problem solve, and let go of what’s holding us back.

When we’re feeling troubled where do you want to go?

me in my garden

Our ‘garden’ opens her arms. She knows that when we get on our knees, we need her touch. She knows we need to get busy, so little projects present themselves. It’s quiet. We’re focused. As we work, the surface looks brighter. It feels good. But as we move throughout the ‘garden’ and dig a little deeper we find a few deep-rooted invasives. These weeds have been there a while. Seeds from their fruit are ready to plant themselves. Is that what we want?

The thistles on the stalk pierce our touch. We may step back for a bit, but find that if we gently grab the very thing that hurt us, we’ll then have the power to wrench and wrestle it free.

Our garden understands the pain that comes with breaking free. So she prays. And because our soul is defenseless to her love, we feel the hope she prayed for. It’s within our gardening where tears nourish her beauty. Where truth is told. And where strength and might persist. It’s a place to rejoice when we pull the weeds out and plant new life in its space.

Benefits of a garden conclusion

Gardening does more than entertain and strengthen our talents. Our gardens listen, they heal, they comfort. I’ve got some questions for you: What is keeping you captive? When are you going to do something about it? Who do you need to talk to?

I encourage you to visit your special place this week. When you’re there, whisper loud enough for you to hear, and talk about what imprisons your heart. All you’re doing that day is getting the frustrations out. Then revisit your place again later in the week. Get your hands busy. And ask God for help. You may not hear anything right away, but as you live your life over the next couple of weeks be aware of your surroundings, open your senses. He’ll talk to you and give you the answer.

Before you go, check out these posts:

Claim Your Life Back: 7 Steps to Fight Spiritual Warfare

How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

Nature Quotes: The Power of the Outdoors

Hobby Ideas +13 Reasons Why You Need a Hobby NOW!

By CT Copyright © 2018 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved.

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

One of the pillars to a happy life is to know how to reduce stress in your life. If you think you’ve heard it all about stress management, think again. Get these 10 impressive tips on how to reduce stress in your life so you can live a healthy happy life. Seriously, you’re going to want to check these out.

We’ve all heard the key to stress reduction is to manage your time. Yes, that helps. But there is one thing that gets in the way of all the stress management techniques out here and it is this: we are all different. If you learn anything from this post it is this: understand who you are. When you do, you will know what stress management tip will work the best for you.

how to reduce stress in your life puppy in basket

What triggers stress?

How to reduce stress in your life starts with knowing what triggers the stress. Ask yourself what gets your goat. Is it time management, getting stuck in traffic, not being able to say no to people, what about what you’re eating? It also could be a who. Who is it that stresses you out? Your stress trigger might even be a certain time of year, like the holidays, or even a certain event. What about regrets?

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that stress and anger go hand in hand, but usually, when we are stressed, anger follows. Not a good combo. Take a look-see at these 3 Simple Anger Management Tips. Just FYI, when someone in your family is angry, they’re stressed. Take what you learn here and gently pass it on to them.

10 Impressive tips on how to reduce stress in my life

#1 Drink more water.

Drink at least one more glass of water a day. Doing this simple task helps give you more energy. Water also cleans out the toxins that linger in your body. With that said, make sure you have the right kind of water filter. Plus, who wants to be dehydrated…talk about stress!

Along with drinking more water, gradually start to clean out the processed foods. When our bodies are filled with crap, we’re going to feel like crap, let alone look like carp or crap. The processed foods mess with your digestive system and could leave you with leaky gut…which causes all sorts of issues including food sensitivities, allergies, and weight gain. Aiming for a clean diet is a fantastic goal. Experiment with going gluten-free or dairy-free. I’ve got some recipes to get you started. Here are a couple of other posts to help you out:

How to help your digestive system: 10 triggers to watch for.

Food Combining Does What? Manage Stomach Acid Now!

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#2 Step on the scale

Another super effective way to know how to reduce stress in your life is weight loss. Touchy topic, I know. Just a suggestion here, you might want to explore the idea to know how to lose weight. Being overweight stresses our bodies out and how they function. The excess fat actually smooshes our internal organs. I get it, I experienced it. Being 20 pounds overweight did a number on me…talk about depression. Within 6 months, I lost all the weight and then some simply by making a few small adjustments. This was back in the 1990s, I’ve kept the weight off ever since. I’m telling ya, it’s not rocket science. The secret to losing weight is this…you gotta want to lose weight. If you want it bad enough, nothing is going to stop you from getting it.

Don’t forget to exercise. Tie up the walking shoes and get out there. Walking has SO many benefits. Get your body moving when you’re stressed out. Exercise gets the blood pumping, clears your head, and increases the feel-good hormones.

Get yourself on the right track to good health and stay healthy: How to Stay Healthy: 15 Simple Ways

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#3 Put on the organizing hat

Get organized. I recently moved, talk about stress in my life. Why? Our stuff was everywhere! I’m the kind of person who likes to have certain places for specific things, like the toothbrush, which should be in the bathroom not the kitchen. When we moved, I didn’t feel at peace until I got organized. Boy, I learned a lot about how to make moving stress-free.

Organizing isn’t just for moving or packing for vacation. Organizing is kind of like having a routine. Studies have shown that we humans like routine. This goes for your kiddos too. How to reduce stress in your life starts with a routine. When a routine is in place, our days are happy and nice!

One of the simplest ways to get organized, especially in organizing your time is to get a planner. Sure we can remember most things in our head, but when we write things down and see them on paper, we can be a lot more productive and purposeful. Writing things down includes a daily to-do list. Every day I have a make a list. My daily to-do list is like my compass for the day. Be sure to take a look at these posts for more tips:  

3 Problem Solving Strategies People Often Forget

The Best Daily Planner for Teens Ever! What to look for.

5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Health in Youth

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#4 Declutter all together

This is an instant way to know how to reduce stress in your life. Declutter your environment. Along with organizing, decluttering is similar. With organizing, you are simply moving one thing to another place. Decluttering is actually getting rid of excess things and things you don’t need anymore. When we moved, I made a trip to the donation center, a trip to the recycle center, another trip to the dump, and a sold a few things. I can’t stress enough how FREE I felt when I got all the clutter gone. Decluttering is a fun way to get instant gratification in knowing how to reduce stress in your life.

Another way to know how to reduce stress in your life is by decorating with certain colors. You can find a lot of decorating ideas on Pinterest or Houzz. But when it comes to accent walls or pillows, choose colors like whites, greens, blues, and purples. Studies have shown that these colors and a few more help reduce stress. What else? Here are a few more posts to get you motivated:

How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps

Cleaning the House: 5 Factors to Understand

The #1 Way to Simplify Your Life for Good

#5 Time to play outside

Get outside, daily. We are beings that need nature to survive and thrive. There is something magical that happens when you get fresh air and are amongst the trees. Take a break at work and step outside, even if you have to walk to your car and down the sidewalk for a bit. Look at the blue sky, walk around the parking lot, and listen to the sounds of what’s going on outside. Getting outside naturally resets your mental mindset. It breaks up your day. Here are some amazing posts about getting outside:

Nature quotes: the power of the outdoors

How to Make Camping More Comfortable: 7 Critical Tips

The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt Challenge

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#6 Time for a hobby

Dust your hobby off and dig into it. One super fun way to know how to reduce stress in your life is to get a hobby. A hobby is a healthy way to break up the pressure to perform and balance out the hormones. When people think of a hobby their first answer is typically knitting, gardening, or woodworking. I like to think of a hobby as something to get your creative juices flowing while keeping your hands busy. Here are some suggestions for you to explore: Hobby Ideas +13 Reasons Why You Need a Hobby NOW!

#7 Forget the drama

Say no to drama. One of my goals in life is to manage the drama that comes at me. Whether it’s the news, a family matter, or another relationship fiasco I will achieve a drama-free life!

One way to say no to drama is to meditate. I’m not a person who meditates. But I do enjoy listening to instrumental music when I’m stressed. Meditation helps a lot of people and I encourage you to try it. But if you’re not someone who enjoys meditation there are other things you can do. I already mentioned listening to instrumental music, notice I didn’t say Metallica. When we listen to music without words, our minds don’t need to process both words and music. Instrumental music naturally calms the state of being and allows free thoughts to flow, which lower those nasty stress hormones.

Another alternative to meditation is to simply enjoy the silence. Turn the background noise off for a few minutes. Talk to yourself. Open the window and listen to nature. Silence is soothing when you need to think and rest. Enjoy the silence.

Sometimes when there is an overwhelming amount of non-sense drama circulating around you, how to reduce stress in your life right then and there is to laugh. A good old belly laugh turns the stress hormones off and the happy hormones on. What’s even more fun is laughing with your family. There’s nothing irreplaceable than a good corny joke the whole family can enjoy.

Check out these 5 valuable ways to manage mental wellness in kids and us.

lee Iacocca quote on stress

#8 Get your volunteer game on

Give others what you need. Volunteer, be generous. Giving your time to someone else helps your mind shift from circling around you to helping someone else. When we give attention to someone who needs it, a.k.a. love, this releases those feel-good hormones which will melt away the good old stress hormones. Volunteering also helps with depression. When you’re feeling down and out about yourself, go help someone. Don’t know how to start volunteering? Ask your local church, search online at library events, ask your child’s or grandchild’s school, or head over to your community center. Heck, you could even voluntarily pick up garbage around your neighborhood.

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#9 How to manage money

Get a handle on your money. I know this is a sensitive topic, but if you understand how to manage money smartly then you will be set free from stress about money! The very first step in how to manage money is to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. At the end of the day, there should be a little money left over. In my Freebies, you can download a budgeting spreadsheet. Here are some great posts to help you make your money work for you.

How to manage money better!

How to Help Money Problems: 9 Must-Do Steps!

7 Surefire Ways to Save Money Grocery Shopping

Gift Ideas for Hard to Buy People

Isaiah 41:13
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#10 Know yourself better

How to reduce stress in your life final tip. To get to know yourself and your values. When you align your values to the choices and decisions you make, you will naturally have less stress. Talk to yourself. Seriously, talk out loud to yourself about your day, what you want to get done, what you got done; talk about your dreams, what you want for dinner, how amazing you are, things like that. There is nothing silly about talking to yourself.

Wrapping up how to reduce stress in your life

Simply put, learn how to relax. When you can get your mind and body to relax, you have a direct stress management technique to lean on. All this depends on your identity and understanding who you are.

Find what helps you relax that is not dependent on another person. This is your thing, not theirs. Things like going for a walk, taking a bath, reading a book, or for some people can be chores that serve as therapy; for instance, doing laundry, ironing, washing dishes, vacuuming, or mowing the lawn. If chores work for you, then keep it up! Keep your relaxing regimen clean without the use of drugs or inappropriate actions. After all, kids get stressed too and they may ask you how to manage stress.

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By CT Copyright © 2022 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.
4 Simple Reduce Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

4 Simple Reduce Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

When we look at our children we can easily think they don’t have any stress. We might say, “What possibly could they be stressed out about?” Kids have stress, just like us. It might look different, but they do, and knowing how to relieve it can be confusing for them, even for us adults. No wonder stress is the #1 cause of illness and ailments. Reduce stress strategies are sure to help. You may be surprised at what you find out!

reduce stress strategies tress

Who is Stress?

Think of it this way, whenever we have something important to us get compromised or threatened, ‘Stress’ comes to visit. Let me refer to stress as a person for a second, Mr. Stress. When things don’t go according to our plan, Mr. Stress welcomes himself into our home. When there are projects and deadlines to be met Mr. Stress sees an opportunity to break-in and steal. Hear me out, projects and deadlines aren’t bad, they’re actually super good, what is bad are the distractions that keep us from achieving those goals. And it’s the distractions, when not managed well, that act as precursors to our foe, Mr. Stress.

Mr. Stress can cause memory issues, sore throats, and digestive tracts havoc to name a few. That’s only a few headaches he causes. What happens at this moment is that Mr. Stress wakes up a hormone in our body called cortisol. Cortisol is the ‘bad stress hormone’. So what do we do?

Awareness is critical

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” The very first step to ignoring Mr. Stress is to be aware of his triggers. This year I was on a quest to destroy my cortisol feeders. Awareness helps us recognize the cord before it is struck. With awareness, we will then know what circumstance to avoid or to mentally prepare for. On a personal level, I needed to kick Mr. Stress out, so my plan was to simply pay attention to the little things, because the little things add up, and then do something about them. Be sure to check out this post on: How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

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4 discoveries that fed my killjoy

  • The step-counters. At first, I found it curious. But then it became an obsession. I had to reach my 10,000 steps or it wasn’t a good day. This equaled a DISTRACTION for me. My fix? I took it off and just made a mental note of how much I walked.
  • Social Media. “I’ll just check it”, then 45 minutes later I’m like “What just happened?” Another DISTRACTION. My fix?  I set a timer or don’t check it at all.
  • My purse. Wow, this was really stressing me out. My purse was awkward on my shoulder. It was too slippery…yes, slippery. Too HEAVY! Not organized. Weird zipper. I had no idea how much of a DISTRACTION my purse was. My fix? I changed my purse.
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  • Paper Clutter. I enjoy a clean countertop. What took up the most real estate on my counter was paper. Junk mail, receipts, sticky notes, magazines, old homework, sale ads, and newspapers were piling up. This was not only a DISTRACTION but a stress bomb. My fix? I got a recycle bin and an organization station.
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Tasks are done, stress is gone, or is it?

When the big “tasks” are complete, cortisol levels go back to normal. Everything is fine, right? Not necessarily. Think of a wave approaching the shore. When a wave breaks how does it hit the beach? It crashes. Sand and shells stir and water splashes. It takes time for the water to settle and be calm. Like an ocean, the wave of cortisol might be gone, but our bodies take a lot longer to recover. How do we fix this?

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4 reduce stress strategies

1. Set a daily routine. 

Routines help reduce anxiety, we sleep better, and we are more productive. Let your kids write down what they would like their routine to look like. You can compromise with them to give them a little responsibility and to show trust. Here is a guide to help you and your child achieve their daily goals!

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2. Make a daily to-do list

‘daily to-do list’ that includes errands and simple things like laundry and walking the dog helps your kid have purpose and importance. Having a to-do list is another great habit to teach your kids. It helps them see what they need to do, and then feel that amazing gratification when it’s time to cross it off the list!

3. Reduce Stress Strategies: Get outside

Getting outside every day for at least 20 minutes does wonders for our mental wellbeing. This is harder for us parents, but it teaches our kids that nature is their friend. As a parent, force yourself to get outside, even better you’re your kids. Show them how important it is to connect with nature.

4. Know what’s going in their minds

Cut out (as much as possible) disturbing TV shows and movies, even the news. We know bad stuff is out there, but we don’t need to be reminded of it day and night. News especially freaks kids out. A friend of mine loves the news, however, she had it on all day. She also has two kids who were around the news. As time went on, the kids got afraid to go outside and play.

Reduce stress strategies come to play with what’s on the screen. A big tip is for our kiddos to watch what is right for their maturity level. For our kiddos and TV shows, be wise with what they watch. Their brains aren’t developed to determine what is real or fake. Even if you say, it’s fake, seeing is believing. So unless you can show them how they make movies, keep to the ‘G’ or ‘PG’ ratings, and turn the news off!

Wrapping up reduce stress strategies

Putting into practice the right reduce stress strategies takes time. You need to get to know yourself and your kids on a personal level. What makes you/them tick? Taking charge of your stress needs awareness and self-discipline. You got this. Here’s another post about stress you may find helpful: 5 Stress Fighters That Most People Forget About

By CT Copyright © 2022 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.

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