10 Amazing Courage Quotes + 3 Tips

10 Amazing Courage Quotes + 3 Tips

Do you have a collection of courage quotes? Let me ask you this, do you have courage? Are things happening in your life or are they just going with the flow? If you’re finding yourself on a hamster wheel day after day, you might need a little courage to change it up a bit. You’ll be surprised how a few good words make a difference in your life. Check out my favorite courage quotes and get three bonus tips!

Let’s face it; if you don’t have courage, you’re not going to go anywhere. Round and round we go, over and over, and we wonder why we’re stuck where we’re at. It’s because we haven’t ignited the courage in us!  

Courage gets us places. It makes our dreams come true! Yet courage can look pretty darn scary. Well, friend, it’s time to look up and put on some courage today.

Remember this: People can encourage us or they can tear us down. If you are surrounded by depressing people, couch potatoes, and hamster wheels, it’s time to make a change. You have dreams, and I know you want to achieve them, so do something about it today.

3 Tips on Courage

Tip One

Tip #1: Go to the Bible and get to know Jesus. The more you know about Him, the more he can open doors and guide you. If anyone has the courage it’s Him! He is the perfect example of how to have courage and how to trust in God. Read through the Gospels to see how he did it. Seriously, Jesus is the way to go.

Tip Two

Tip #2: Go out and find someone who will encourage you. Encouragers are people who have a genuine interest in you and your future. These people hang out at church; yep, back to Jesus. They can also be a friend, a family member, or you can seek to hire a coach. Whoever that may be, connect with them on a regular basis.

Tip Three

Tip #3: If you don’t have someone in your life who encourages you to take that first step or simply want to try it on your own, read quotes from people who’ve been there and done that. Digging into some books that pertain to the dream you want to go after is a good route too.

Some great books I recommend are:

Jon Acuff’s “Finish” and his book “Do Over”. Holley Gerth’s, “You’re made for a God-Sized Dream”, and Miles McPherson’s, “Do Something”.

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Encouraging quotes along with quotes on courage are kind of like affirmations; they inspire us, they help us believe in ourselves, and they give us hope. With a little inspiration, belief, and hope anything is possible. Head over to my Freebies to download some affirmations today.

10 Quotes on Courage

Here are some of my favorite courage quotes that may help you achieve what you put your mind to.

The secret to happiness is freedom…and the secret to freedom is courage. – Thucydides

Have courage and be kind. – Cinderella

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Make sure you don’t die waiting for prosperity to come. – Lee Iacocca

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Courage is spreading your wings without looking down. – Christy Troy

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin

Every great warrior must learn to endure and overcome the adversities of life. – Lailah Gifty Akita

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. – E. E. Cummings

Be fearless in who you are. – Christy Troy

secret to happiness

The Bible is not that scary

There are no better words than what is in the Bible. The book may be intimidating but it is the most liberating. It’s hard to know where to start. And it’s easy for me to tell you to start wherever. Personally, go for the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Then maybe dive into the shorter books like James, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Peter. Take it a step further and go to the Concordance in the back of the Bible and look up a word you may be struggling with, for instance, “courage”, then look up the verses that pertain to that particular topic. This method has really helped me! As for what version of the Bible? I personally like the NIV Study Bible.

Thank you, God, for your Word, for it is filled with words to live by, with genuine love, protection, courage, and instruction. Help us find the right words, the right people, and to have the courage to keep moving forward. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wrapping it up

Keep shining your light. I believe in you. Seek the words you need to hear to help you move forward. Have courage friend. Here’s another post to help you: How to Reduce Stress in your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips. You got this!

More great quotes coming your way!

Nature Quotes: the power of the outdoors

10 Inspirational Quotes you Don’t Want to Miss

11 Quotes on Success to be Successful

My Top 10 Quotes for Overcoming Challenges

By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.
11 Quotes on Success to be Successful

11 Quotes on Success to be Successful

Quotes on success can carry many of us. For others, a lot of what determines success is how to talk to ourselves. How others speak to us plays a huge factor in our success as well. Yet, sometimes all you need are a handful of quotes on success to keep in your back pocket. Success quotes aren’t just words, but they are the hard work and sweat between the words that come from people who have been there and know what works.

Why success words matter

When we’re inspired, things happen. Not only that, but when we read or hear an amazing quote, something ignites us inside. We are all different people, motivated by a variety of things in a number of ways. When the right words are said or heard, it makes life meaningful.

Some of the most powerful words are the simplest words, like ‘Thank You’ or ‘Good job’. How does it make you feel when you hear, “Keep up the good work!” or “I believe in you”. What about “You’re really smart”, or “You’re full of creativity”? Some of my favorites are, “You’re a hard worker” and “I appreciate you”.

With something as simple as speaking or reading words with a purpose, it’s easier to start things, to accomplish tasks, and to make a difference. Brighten someone’s day by speaking into their goals; heighten your day by fueling your dreams. Remind them to take things step by step.

My top 11 success quotes:

Here are some of my favorite quotes on success. My hope is that these success quotes will encourage you to keep on moving forward. May you be inspired and motivated by this list of quotes.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

– Will Rogers

 If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. – Henry Ford

It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.

– Tony Robbins

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. – Jim Rohn

The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.

– Ben Stein

What we do is never as important as how we do it. – Jane Nelsen

I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals, and I try to ignore the rest.

– Venus Williams

Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein

Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.

– Sir Winston Churchill

We have to keep walking our own path, keep writing our own story, & trust that, somehow, it will all unfold in the right way. – Carrie Green

…a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12b

– Bible, Proverbs 13:12b
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In closing

Words simply said can be a game-changer and open your eyes to the way you should go. It’s time to be successful, let’s feed our minds with words that reflect success. Take it from people who have been there and know what it takes. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward.

Feel free to share these quotes from this post, or download affirmations or scripture to embrace and do more than exist.

Don’t know how to start? Here’s a post to spark your tinder: Gotta Start Somewhere. Check it out!

More great quotes coming your way!

Nature Quotes: the power of the outdoors

10 Inspirational Quotes you Don’t Want to Miss

10 Amazing Courage Quotes

My Top 10 Quotes for Overcoming Challenges

By CT Copyright © 2022 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.

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3 Simple Anger Management Tips- Lion into Lamb

3 Simple Anger Management Tips- Lion into Lamb

Anger management tips are not fun words, but words to take seriously. If someone tells you that you have anger issues, they are… unfortunately…probably on to something. So how do we control our tempers before they erupt? I have three simple ways to turn our lion into a lamb.

Anger comes to the party

Let’s start this off with a good old definition of what anger is. According to Dictionary, anger is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Did someone come to mind when you read that definition? Childhood foe? Co-worker? If not, then this person could be you! Anyway…

It seems that every January starts with an unexpected visit from a lion who sets up camp. This wasn’t one of those sleepy lions, this cat was roaring. A New Year, a fresh start, and WHAM, my 2019 was faced with my first of many challenging days. This is 2019, I’m not talking about 2020, or even 2021!

My anger management was being tested and I was on the verge of taking the gloves off. Normally, if it were just one issue I would handle it pretty well, but anger-hungry events kept happening. As I look back at this year, I feel it prepared me for the years to come. So how can we transform a lion into a lamb? I have a few anger management tips that will work and have you laying in green pastures!

What’s up with Diet Coke?

Let me give you a taste of how January 2019 went along. Below-freezing temperatures hit our area, we had no school for eight days in one month! On one of those days my son and I were chatting on the couch when suddenly we heard an explosion from the garage, “What was that?”. My mind quickly questioned ‘Was someone breaking in? Where was the gas can? Did a tire pop? Was that a gun?’ As we peered, ever so slowly, into the garage we were welcomed with a light brownish slush on our screen door. The garage smelled a little sweet. Hmm. As I turned the light on, my eyes widened at the car, garage ceiling, recycle bins, and even our boots. This brownish, familiar smell, stuff had exploded everywhere. Yep, I guess that’s what happens to a 2-liter of Diet Coke when it freezes.

The test

It was at that moment I decided to practice my reaction to this roar, “All you can do is clean up the mess. Just do it and move on. Getting mad is not going to fix it.” I shut the door and stood there for a second. “At least it’s frozen”, I said to my son. I grabbed my stocking hat, tightened my scarf, and went to work.

Later that afternoon I was craving a Diet Coke slushie. After I went through the car wash I went to the store and got one. The funny thing was as I backed out of my parking spot, someone else backed up too…we met in the middle…crunch; hmm. My soul took a deep breath in and out, and my inner voice said, “Okay Christy. No one was hurt. There is no car damage. These things happen. Learn from this, and then move on.” This is just one example of one day I had that January.

Isaiah 41:13
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Anger Management Tips from Lion to Lamb

Even though January was a bit rough, in hindsight, I’m actually glad it all happened. It’s usually through the bad stuff where we grow the most, no? The salty season reminded me that I have values and morals. I have goals. And I have a family who loves me after a bad day…month…LOL. But that’s not all this lion-of-a-month taught me. He taught me how to transform him into a lamb.

Every week was peppered with dire events: work difficulties, health issues, relationship misunderstandings, car problems, communication predicaments, extreme weather conditions, and big decisions to name the least. I regularly thought about the superstition that bad things happen in threes, but there were more than three! “What’s going on?” It kind of felt like I was in a boxing ring dodging punches; then I’d get an uppercut to the gut and a hook to the nose. My opponent would then roar like a lion and stand over my body. Okay, maybe not that intense, but I needed to fight back with class.

Tip 1 – Name the Lion

The first trick to fighting the urge to blow your top is to notice it. Identify it. Give the feeling a name: Doubt, Insecurity, Frustration, Unfairness, Confusion, or whatever it is. No one likes to call these out, but it helps to pinpoint the issue. What exactly are you upset about? Are you mad at a person or are you upset about this person’s behavior? Do you have chronic physical pain? Are you sick and exhausted? Is your work stressing you out? Feeling overwhelmed? Family drama?

Pay attention to what is going on around you, not to sulk in your despair, but to put a stop to it! What exactly is happening? Why is it affecting you so much? Can you name it? In my instance in this particular case, it had been cloudy for weeks, sickness everywhere, bills coming in, and goals were strapped for time. On the not-so-obvious note, my hormones were haywire, my values were compromised, and people-pleasing got the best of me. But when I named why I was getting angry, I could then fight back with the right punches.

Anger Management Tip 2 – Focus

The second tip to anger management is knowing the pace. The frequency of these downers was happening one right after the other. My thinking immediately shifted from rolling it off my back to what was coming next? This can be looked at as a good thing and a bad one. The good help with being alert, ready to act, and prepared for the not-so-fun. The bad taints perspective. It’s like we’re looking for the grim so we see the grim. Here’s the trick with the good and the bad: what you focus on is what you’ll see the most of, pace yourself.

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3 – Skill. Train the Lion

When it comes to anger management tips, this tip is like a tip on steroids. Skill in managing your emotions is a must, and yes, it is a skill! How are we handling the situation? This skill needs to be continuously worked on. My awareness of how I managed these troubles became clear to me. Some I did well with, others…um…I could have done better. I don’t like to admit I blew some things out of proportion, but gosh, it happens to all of us. So how do we train and master the skill of anger management?

Here are 7 techniques:

yell stop
  1. Understand the triggers. Have a plan of how you’d like to react. Play it over in your head and practice.
  2. Use this opportunity to better yourself, not to hurt others, but to strengthen your character. Get to know who you are.
  3. Flip the switch and focus on the good things. Seriously write down or discuss at the dinner table what good things happen that day.
  4. Turn to God. He might be trying to get your attention or even protecting you from something worse. Yes, spiritual warfare happens. Fight off the Enemy with God’s armor, Ephesians 6:13-17. It also helps to call the enemy out on it, “STOP! Away from me!” Jesus did, why wouldn’t it work for us? Ask Jesus to help you.
  5. If you don’t have someone you can trust to vent to, write in a journal. Get it out.
  6. Give your mind a break and your body a good sweat. Exercise helps your brain be more creative and it kicks in your problem-solving skills. Not to mention, exercise helps relieve stress. Here are 10 Breakthrough Tips on how to reduce stress in your life.
  7. Distract your thoughts. Again, get your mind on something else that keeps you busy for a while. It gives you time to regroup.

Practicing these training techniques over and over again will help us see lions as lambs. Give’r a try and keep moving forward.

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Blue Monday? Seriously?

Ironically, during the latter half of the month, my husband heard on the radio that the third Monday in January is called “Blue Monday”. Apparently, a university professor used a formula to calculate the most depressing day of the year. WHAT?! The date was calculated by these factors: poor weather, debt level, post-Christmas blaa, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, and low motivation levels. You can see the formula here. After my husband told me that news I felt SO MUCH BETTER! Light bulb moment here: I wasn’t alone. And maybe that’s all we need to know when going through a lion season…we’re not alone.

In conclusion: anger management tips

Anger management may be kind of embarrassing, but taking the steps to know how to handle the triggers will not only help you have more peace in life, but it’s better for your heart, relationships, and self-confidence. These tips are to be practiced over and over again, so that next time a challenging and tempting situation comes up, you’ll know just what to do to keep your cool. Keep moving forward and pay attention to what sets you off.

By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved

How to Get Unstuck in Life: 5 Essential Tools To Break Free

How to Get Unstuck in Life: 5 Essential Tools To Break Free

How to get unstuck in life? Do you feel like you’re going nowhere? Are things not going your way? I get it. It’s a frustrating season to be in. With that said, let’s get a game plan to know how to navigate through these tough times. I’ve got five essential tools you’re going to want in your back pocket. Plus, read about my personal experience that wraps this all together. Let’s break free and keep moving forward.

hamster coming out of wheel how to get unstuck

Where I got stuck

In the autumn of 1998, I took a mountaineering class near Vail, Colorado. I felt lost in life and wanted to get back to nature to get a fresh perspective and a restart. To say simply, I was seeking clarity in life. Being a young adult, I had the time to head to the mountains and take a breather; in a surprising way, I found a piece of my puzzle that helped me move forward.

My group consisted of eight people. The dynamics were a bit of a mishmash…many personalities and many opinions. As you know, this can make it very difficult in any situation. Survival tasks weren’t easy. On top of just existing, we were given a variety of daily challenges…on top of our normal survival tasks which weren’t easy. We weren’t in cozy cabins with a coffee maker. We had tarps to sleep under, water filter tablets, and food rations. Yes, I signed up for this!

A few challenges we embarked on were rock climbing, summiting a 12,500 ft. peak, learning how to identify a storm, experiencing solo time for two days, and knowing how to do search n’ rescue.

On this particular day, our task was to follow a topographical map and use a compass to get to the next camp. Sounds simple, yet it was to be done without our guide and to not follow a trail. According to our instructors, it was a six-hour trip. Easy peasy.

We got this, right?

The day started crisp yet sunny, things were looking good; the challenging aspect of this task was to follow the leader. You see, each person had to take a turn to lead the group. We had to follow their direction; needless to say, it was a mess.

Let me reiterate, that being stuck in life isn’t all about our circumstances; the people around us could also be at play. On this day, our instructors should have added a rule for everyone to shut their mouths! After six hours into our trek, the sky began to darken. A bit of panic settled into some folks, including me. We knew what was coming, we just didn’t know how powerful it would be.

Within minutes rain, hail, and wind pounded our bodies. It felt like the heavens opened up and barfed on us. We thought about quitting; yet, the risk of getting hyperthermic was high, and stopping would put us in danger. Our backpacks felt like cinder blocks and our boots were filled with water. We felt stuck. Exhausted from arguments, weather, and complaining, we wanted to signal our guides to find us…to give up.

Stuck and the power of the mind

The mind is a powerhouse. When you feed the mind with doom and gloom, what do you think will come out of it? We were not in a good place. Yet, we didn’t want to give up. How were we going to change our attitude to keep moving forward? Someone knew what had to change.

This is how we got unstuck

Out of nowhere, someone yelled, “Come on Nina, hot drinks. Christy, dry socks. Seth, spaghetti!” That person was a genius. He rocked us from ‘stuck’ to ‘moving forward’; and all it took was a little visionary picture. We pictured ourselves eating a warm meal, sipping hot tea, and wearing dry socks. As we continued to hike, we kept talking about how good the spaghetti was going to taste and how cozy our feet would be in warm dry socks. This picture naturally encouraged us. Our attitudes shifted. We got along, laughed, and grew stronger. Our goal of being cozy became a reality within two hours.

vision is a clear picture

5 essential tools to how to get unstuck in life

The backpacking trip is a small example of what a new picture (vision) can do. Having a forward-thinking picture for our future is one of the keys to surviving in this complicated world, most importantly, through our personal storms.

1. Focus

Get focused.

Take a few minutes each day and think “big picture”. How are your decisions today going to affect tomorrow; and who will those decisions impact? Got down and journal what you want your future to look like and who is in that picture. Play around with ideas on how you’re going to get there.

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2. Pray

Pray about where you are right now and where you want to go. Prayer is a very powerful tool that can change things. Prayer heals and it protects. We are in a vulnerable state and should be on alert when we are going through a storm. The Enemy has a hay day with our thoughts, attitudes, and who knows what else. Please, stand firm in Christ. I have a post on Spiritual Warfare you might want to check out.

Ask God to help you align to His will and to help you have perseverance.

3. Know your personal values

Line your vision up with your values, passions, and strengths. Personal values play a huge role in managing stress. Joy and confidence will fill us if our personal values align with our decisions. Be sure to check out: How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips

Ask yourself these questions: What is important to me? What do I love to do? What would be the best day ever? Values play such a big role in our happiness; pay attention to how you’re using them. To learn more about your personal values and to know what they are, I have a free exercise in Freebies.

Psalm 91:11
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4. Talk

Talk with someone who understands your big picture or what you’re aiming for. This is huge. Just talking with someone who genuinely listens and asks the right questions can be a game-changer. Do your homework before calling from a Google search. Ask your church or a friend you trust.

5. Get creative

In times of how to get unstuck in life, get your hands busy and start crafting up a vision board. I personally like to call them a “Big Picture Board”. Put pictures with what you want to pursue to make it achievable and motivating. There is power in ‘seeing is believing. There is a free guide to making your Big Picture Board (vision board) in my Freebies.

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Wrapping up how to get unstuck in life

Daniel Harkavy says, “Vision defines what you stand for, why you exist, and who you will become.” Having vision in a storm will make you stronger, wiser, and clearer about how to move forward.

This isn’t new news friends. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 to not put out the Spirit’s fire. Vision is bringing the picture out of our minds and experiencing it with our senses. The first step to how to get unstuck in life is to know you are stuck. The second is to want to get unstuck, this is where creating a vision for your future steps in and moves you forward. Know what you’re going after and envision it happening.

Before you go, make sure you check these posts out too.

Top 4 Sabotages to Our Goals? You’ll Never Guess Them

How to manage money better!

Drama-Free Life? A Strategy You Don’t Want to Miss

5 Important Ways to Measure Success without Numbers

By CT Copyright © 2017 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved.

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

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

Have you ever gotten overwhelmed, in a funk, or frustrated about the pace of life? Having a hobby can help quiet the roar of chaos and make you feel human again. I’ve got some great hobby ideas for you. But wait! I know what you might say, “I don’t have time for a hobby”. I used to think that way too, but after a little experimenting, I found my hobby to be a superhero to my mental health. Let’s get a better understanding of why a hobby helps us then get hobby ideas to try out.

What exactly is a hobby?

A hobby is an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working. The keyword in that definition is “not working”. The hard part is knowing when to stop working. What I love about a hobby is that time isn’t ticking in your ear. You’re not looking at the clock to see when your shift is over. A hobby is your gift to yourself, so you can be yourself! When we’re under heavy stress our bodies produce more cortisol which can be harmful to our health. But when we’re engaged in, let’s say, a hobby, we’re producing the ‘feel-good’ hormones.

I like to look at a hobby as a type of recreation that rejuvenates your spirit. It’s an activity that challenges you in a way in which you want to be challenged. You see, your hobby is YOUR hobby. No one can tell you how to do it unless you welcome the suggestions.

Top 13 reasons to get a hobby:

1. Helps enhance meaning in your life.

2. Gets the creative juices flowing.

3. Increases personal satisfaction.

4. Builds self-confidence and self-esteem.

5. Relieves stress.

6. Gives you something to talk about other than work.

7. Helps you meet new people.

8. Contributes to society or the community.

9. Boosts brain power and cognitive function.

10. It has the potential to create extra income.

11. Gateway to happiness.

12. Helps prevent boredom when boredom can be harmful to you. Let me expand: overeating, depression, drug use, looking at things you know you shouldn’t, or alcohol use usually come into play when we’re bored. Boredom and its adverse effects are going to get the best of us at times, but when we have a hobby we have an easy way out and can focus on that.

13. The icing on the cake about a hobby is that it actually helps you do a better job at work. CNBC posted an article about how a hobby can improve your work performance. For one, it helps prevent burnout. As said earlier, it helps inspire creativity and enhance your problem-solving skills. A hobby helps reduce stress. 

More on hormones.

silhouette standing in start

Hormones are a love/hate relationship. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. As said earlier, the most damaging hormone is cortisol which is produced in our bodies when we’re under stress. The good news is that happy hormones do exist, but to get them we must do a few things. There are four major blissful boostersendorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Each hormone serves a different purpose, in a nutshell, this is what they do:

  • Endorphins are essentially the body’s pain killers. Vigorous exercise or even eating spicy food releases endorphins.
  • Serotonin is the mood mediator. Get outside. Being in the sun helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which helps produce serotonin. Or even low-intensity exercise helps.
  • Dopamine is a gratifying hormone, in terms of goal achievement. It’s all about goals and achieving them to bring on the dopamine. We set an achievable goal and go after it, when we reach it, dopamine is experienced.
  • Oxytocin. This is the love hormone. I think my husband has an abundance of this one! LOL. Physical contact, hugs, massage, and sex release this hormone.

When it comes to your hobby, aim to achieve one of these hormones. Now if you want to experience all the bliss boosters at once, you might want to look into “R5HHPJ” as your hobby: Run 5 miles while holding hands with your honey, drinking hot pepper juice from your water bottle…now that’s a hobby!

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What are some great hobby ideas?

This is a loaded question because you can make a hobby of your own; the trick to finding one you love is to try some on. Here are some hobby ideas for you to check out:

Knitting, exercising, reading, sales shopping and discount hunting, start a blog, music, woodworking, organizing, auto work, boating, horseback riding, hobby farming, candle making, photography, dance, winemaking, beer brewing, cooking, traveling, wilderness survival, Bible memory, drawing, painting, decorating, gardening, hunting, fishing, camping, running, write a book, kayaking, cycling, walking, surfing, sewing, essentially any sport, collections, puzzles, and pretty much anything other than work.

Remember a hobby is something that gives YOU personal enjoyment yet still a little challenge to enhance your well-being. Think of it as keeping your hands and mind busy getting lost in creativity. This could very well be the peacekeeper you’ve been looking for to help balance life.

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In conclusion

There are some great hobby ideas out there to suit you, you just need to experiment with which one or ones find your fancy. Hobbies do change too. Pay attention to when you might be phasing out of one hobby, so you can start searching for new hobby ideas. Just remember, hobbies are not a waste of time, they are our therapy to keep us happy.

By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved

5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Health in Youth

5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Health in Youth

Mental health is just like taking care of our physical health. It’s not a bad word, it’s not “crazy”, and it isn’t something to take lightly. How to manage mental health is a daily exercise, just like going for a walk or drinking water for our bodies. How to manage mental health in youth is a whole nother ballgame. I’ve got five valuable ways you’re going to want to check out to know how to help manage mental health in your teen or child.

manage mental health in youth peace sign

Children are resilient, you think?

As parents, we are told to feed our children a variety of foods, to get enough sleep, and to exercise. We want them to learn how to read, do chores, and know how to share toys. But what about their mental health? No one told me as a parent to teach my child how to deal with stress, depression, or low self-esteem; we were told children are resilient. Yet, are children really resilient?

In some instances, yes we all are resilient. But with traumatic events that cause deep wounds, resilience isn’t going to work. From a loss of a friend, a major illness or injury, physical or verbal abuse, or embarrassing events, some experiences or words, for that matter, will stick with them and affect their psyche. Heck, it happens to us parents! No one wants to be depressed, let alone their child or teenager. But how do we help them know how to manage mental health?

There are many things we can try at home before jumping to a therapist and prescriptions. **Please know I am NOT a professional counselor, nor am I trying to be. I share information I have either experienced myself or are extremely interested in. I like to keep things simple. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician before jumping into new things.**

How to manage mental health in youth: the first steps

For young children knowing how to manage mental health starts with them watching you do things. They aren’t going to naturally know how to manage depression, they need you to encourage them, to show them, and walk alongside them.

My parents were big outdoor people. My mom gardened and my dad worked in the yard; we were outside doing projects and playing all the time. I learned at a young age how to develop a relationship with nature. It was not until later in life I realized how important that relationship was going to be. Nature is my #1 go-to because that’s what my parents did. For instance, gardening is essential for my mental health. There is something about putting your hands in dirt that helps reduce stress. I learned this from my mom.

Martin Luther King Jr. quote walking
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It’s not too late for your teen

What if you didn’t have the chance to show your young child how to process foul events? You can help them now. It’s not too late to walk alongside your teenager who might be going through a rough patch. Your teenager needs you more than they did as a toddler. As you know, parents helping teenagers is a delicate balance. Let’s face it, there is only so much a parent can do before your teen gets annoyed.

Forcing them to talk isn’t going to work. But being a non-judgemental friend is going to help. Start by confiding in them. Tell them you’re dealing with something and you’re going to go for a hike or head to the beach. Tell them you need them to come with you, to hang. As much as they refuse, the more they need to come. Show them how you manage mental health. Personally, I garden, walk outside, pray, journal, talk to a trustworthy friend, memorize Bible scripture, and listen to instrumental music. My son knows this because he sees me do it. Comforting hurting people is essential to their mental state, it also helps you too! Here are 6 Easy Ways to Comfort Hurting People. You may find some good stuff there.

The brain

Get a load of this. National Geographic wrote, “Nature provides us essentials like clean water, food, medicines, even recreational retreats… it also helps regulate our weather and climate. But these systems are extremely fragile…we know that once they are gone, there are no replacements.” We didn’t need National Geographic to tell us this about nature. However, isn’t that statement similar to our mental health? Our brains need clean water, good food, and recreational escapes to help normalize our well-being. If we don’t get these things, our minds, too, are fragile and will break.

how to build self esteem
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What’s next?

Probably the biggest step in helping ourselves and our children with mental health management is to digest that we have something going on. Upon discovery, many may experience anger at first, but others will feel relief that they finally figured a piece of the puzzle out. Does that make sense? All in all, when we can embrace it and understand it, we’ll have a better chance of managing it and living that amazing life we always envisioned.

5 valuable ways to help manage mental health in youth

Here are some creative ways to help you and your family manage our mental well-being at home in a natural way. Be sure to check out my post on How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps and How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips, these posts have some great information in them.

1. Get outside

Remember that relationship with nature I started talking about? The National Academy of Sciences performed a study that shows a simple 90-minute walk in nature {a place with trees} decreases negative thinking about oneself. Taking a walk in an urban area like a city or industrial park has zero effect. This study reveals that there is a “…pathway by which nature experiences may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health…”

We may not have 90 minutes to take a walk but I’m sure we can do 20 minutes. The University of Minnesota says there’s “a growing prevalence of depression caused by ‘nature deprivation,” which is largely due to screen time… Push your kids outside. Yes, even your teenagers. Go with them. Just last night my son and I went outside and played with our dog.

More nature quotes & the power of the outdoors

Other outside activities for teens and kids

As for other ideas with your teen, start an outside sport together like tennis, pickleball, or throwing the baseball around. Do a project together outside, like a garden, build a hunting blind, do yard work, or have a campfire. Don’t have a yard? Head to the park. Go for a walk. Take up fishing together. My personal favorite is gathering the family together (all ages) and doing The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt Challenge. This is so incredibly fun and inexpensive. You can download the instructions in my Freebies.

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For little kids, show them how to build a fort, climb trees, make an obstacle course, look for birds or pretty flowers, or play in the snow. When my son was little I liked to grab a camera (a camera separate from a phone) and ask for certain pictures to be taken, for instance, anything that is yellow, rocks, funny-looking sticks, things like that. My son absolutely loved it!

Plant trees or volunteer in a park or nature event. If nature goes away; so will our sanity.

2. Do something kind for the body.

Our bodies take most of the brunt of stress. So instead of cursing your body, bless it! As much as my body and mind are not getting along, I’m still kind to it. When you feel good, you are kinder to yourself and others around you. Do you need to go for a run, have a yoga session, a massage, hot bath, or a cup of tea on the couch? Do something that makes you feel better that is good and pure. This teaches our kids how to comfort themselves when pampering is needed and you are not around.

As for your teenager, you can encourage them by getting them a simple gift that brings comfort, you can get some comfort gift ideas here. And don’t forget the power of prayer. Simply giving it all to our Heavenly Father to sort out, gives us natural peace. I also encourage prayer for protection over the Enemy. Body, mind, and spirit are all connected and affect each other.

John 14:27
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3. Eat foods for your brain

Food matters! Your brain needs fats, the good fats. And getting the clean kind in your body helps your body and brain fight off free radicals…those are the guys that destroy the good stuff. Here is a post about Omega Oils that will help you out. And don’t forget the avocados. I’ve got a great recipe here.

Your brain also needs to be hydrated. Drinking more water really does help with mood and clarity. There are many benefits to water. Stick with filtered water, there is no need to add sweetener or bubbles, your body knows what to do with plain water.

4. Journal

I know this sounds like old news, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Journaling works. When our thoughts are written down on paper, more so than typed, it’s like you’ve given yourself permission to let the hurt get out of you. Encourage your teen to write about their journey. Journaling is a great exercise to help express emotions yet feel like they have privacy. When asked the right journaling questions, there can be a lot of healing. Plus it’s fun to shop for their very own journal.

teen planner
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5. Head to a hobby

A hobby can do loads for mental health. It keeps your hands busy and your mind focused on being creative…and being you! Here’s a post on hobbies with a list of different ones to try. It’s time to get creative and feel the goodness enter your heart.

Anger Management 101

I could end on that, but it’s important to reiterate that a ‘lack of understanding’ usually gets us upset in the first place. Why? Because we don’t understand! That’s why fights happen and judgments lash. We don’t know why people act the way they do, because we don’t live in their shoes. For all we know, they could be sick, have a chronic illness, be abused, have social issues, or be on drugs. And when we don’t know how to manage those things, a mess of emotions implodes and then explodes on others.

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When we have anger about something, we usually want to do something about it. I’m not talking about anger towards a person when you want to lash out at them for saying something stupid, that’s a different post. The anger I’m referring to is about how we react to either ourselves or a cause that affects other people. Some call it anger, others call it passion. You can take it a step further and call it uniqueness. There is this great book by Matthew Barnett, “The Cause Within You”. I highly recommend this book to not only inspire your own life but to motivate how to help others. Super good! And your teen would probably love it.

Moving forward

I’d have to say the majority of people try to ignore their mental state or try to numb it with something else like drugs, alcohol, shopping, or eating. You don’t need me to say those things just lead to other issues. You can also look at these things as signs that your teen is going through a tough season.

If you have tried some natural ways to manage mental health and it’s just not helping, another route to managing our mindfulness would to find a therapist, a Christ-follower if I might add. The only true healer and protector is Jesus. Your church would know of someone, or you can ask some friends. Be sure you straight-up ask them if they know Jesus, if they hesitate with their answer, walk out and find a new one. For more ideas, this post from Mental Health America is a good one!

Just so you know, I’m happy to pray for you and/or your teen. Simply contact me with your prayer request.

By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

Nature Quotes: the power of the outdoors

Nature Quotes: the power of the outdoors

If you can’t physically get outdoors, reading nature quotes will take your mind there. We were born with this internal love that connects us to nature. The awe of sunsets, oceans, and majestic mountains gets our attention. The outdoors is extremely entertaining and incredibly powerful. Things like storms, trees, flowers, and even vitamins like vitamin D can bring healing to our mental health, bodies, and even hearts.

Nature quotes the power of the outdoors scenic mountains

Preparing to enter nature

Do you ever get that feeling something is off-balance, that you just need to get out and breathe? I sure do. In fact, this past weekend I said to my husband, “I have got to get outside and surround myself with nature. I’m feeling anxious and need to clear my head.”

One of the things we can do to prepare for the outdoors is to get in the right mindset. Reading nature quotes is a great way to anticipate your outdoor venture. Nature quotes do a couple of things, they give you a mental visual of what you might experience, and they set the stage. They open your mind and prepare you to open your eyes to things you might otherwise not notice.

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Taking a look back to move forward

There is just something about being outdoors; you’re surrounded by beauty and uniqueness that our pioneers and Native Americans lived in every day. This gives me awe that in some areas of the outdoors it looked the very same as when our ancestors were around.

When I was a child I would play in the woods for hours. I’m sure you can relate if you lived in rural areas. I’d make a fort and pretend where my kitchen was the living room and the bedroom. Making a broom out of a stick and pine branches made me feel purposeful and resourceful. Know what I mean? This is probably why I enjoy camping.

Napoleon Hill quote about oaks

Our children and nature

Outdoor play is so good for our children. It not only stimulates their creativity, but nature actually helps them be creative. Playing outdoors creates confidence. It helps our kids develop a relationship with nature, and it comforts their natural spirit. Playing in God’s creation also brings them closer to Him. Here’s a post you gotta check out: 5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Wellness in Kids & Us. It talks about developing a relationship with nature. And gives ideas on how we can get our kids outdoors. It also covers our mental well-being and how to manage it naturally.

Nature can be our secret haven

For some people, like myself, nature is one of our favorite worship sanctuaries, it’s our haven, refuge. It’s informal and a perfect place to be one on one with God. Even if we don’t go into the woods or visit the meadows and mountains or beaches with the intent to worship God, nature has a way of rejuvenating and healing our souls. It’s like osmosis.

Christy standing by tree reducing pressure

Being outdoors doesn’t mean you have to exert a lot of energy to benefit from it, like climbing a mountain or going mountain biking; you can just be, and soak in that unexplainable need for it. It keeps our minds fresh and it maintains equilibrium with our daily lives. There is nothing more pleasing to the eye than the serenity of God’s creation. 

7 Amazing Nature Quotes

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.

Verna M. Kelly

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

– Albert Einstein

Beauty heals.

– Unknown

The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence’ the stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.

– Mother Teresa
Albert Einstein quote nature

When I get into the woods my cluttered mind says “Thank you”, my soul says “Ah”, and my spirit whispers “Be still”.

– Christy Troy

The oak sleeps in the acorn. The bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of reality.

– Napoleon Hill

I can’t change the wind, but I can adjust the sails to reach my destination.

– Jimmy Dean

Wrapping it up

John Muir loved nature and God. He published over 300 articles and 12 books about wilderness, nature, and preservation. He co-founded the Sierra Club which helped establish a number of national parks. John says it perfectly here,

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

– John Muir

May you make an effort to get out into your haven over this next week, to read some of these nature quotes before heading out in nature, to take a step back into time and see the world through the eyes of the pioneer and Native American. You may be surprised at what nature does for your heart and soul.

More great quotes coming your way!

11 Quotes on Success to be Successful

10 Inspirational Quotes you Don’t Want to Miss

10 Amazing Courage Quotes

My Top 10 Quotes for Overcoming Challenges

4 Tree Planting Tips

By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.

Kid Activities at Home: 10 Things You Can Do Right Now!

Kid Activities at Home: 10 Things You Can Do Right Now!

Need some fresh kid activities at home? There are three words that wreak havoc on a busy mom, “Mom, I’m bored”. Remember we’ve all been there as kids too. Bored is not a bad thing, but it’s a lot more fun when we can spark an interest in our kids and get them out of their funk. Here are 10 fresh ideas you can pass on to your kids and even teenagers!

I'm Bored

Chores are not what they’re looking for

Mom is great for thinking up solutions to boredom questions. A few ideas I like to rattle off to my son are: clean your room, organize your closet, dig a hole, read, vacuum the living room, wash windows, sweep the driveway…and the chore list keeps building. But chores are not what a kid wants to do when they are bored.

Outside fun to cure the ‘bored’!

During the pandemic the phrase, ‘I’m bored”, went from hearing it three times a day to 20 times a day! We, moms, get so sick and tired of hearing it. And yes, we can say to them to go outside and play; there is nothing wrong with that. They’ll find something to do in God’s creation.

In fact, the Outdoor Industry Association states in their study, “Reconnecting youth with the outdoors has become critical to the health of future generations and the health of our natural landscapes.” Getting outside is HUGE for our kiddos. Take a gander at these nature quotes and understand the power of the outdoors. Please encourage them to do so. To help you out I created a slew of printables for kids that encourage them to learn more about the outdoors and have fun doing it. You can head to my Etsy Shop to check them out.

10 kid activities at home

1) Make them laugh.

When they say “I’m bored” reply with “Hi Bored. I’m Mom, how are you doing today?” Encourage them to read some jokes or to create three new jokes for supper time. Try to avoid the eye roll or a harsh reply. Instead, give them a tickle in their side and tell them you want a comedy show after supper. Reiterate their creativity and how funny they are. Here’s a joke book I created filled with the same family-friendly laughs as Lunchbox Note Jokes.

Lunchbox Note Jokes
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2) Create a talent show.

Speaking of shows. My family enjoys watching talent shows on TV. Why not have your own talent show? Have your kids put together their very own talent show? They can do multiple talents and practice, practice, practice. Have them make a talent show sign, tickets, a curtain, and maybe even create a theme song or commercial! This is super fun. Kids can do magic tricks, dance, sing, do bike tricks, trampoline routines, swimming tricks, trick shots, drawing, card tricks, jump rope, chalk art, you name it. Golly, I want my son to do a talent show now!

3) Restaurant fun!

Have them play restaurant for real. This isn’t necessarily a chore. But have them cook dinner, complete with menu, table service, and multiple courses. They’ll need an appetizer, soup or salad, main meal, and dessert. If they aren’t old enough to cook, have them make a pretend meal and menu.

4) Get out the scavenger hunt on steroids

Get them busy with a scavenger hunt. There are many scavenger hunt printables out there, or you can simply create your own, it only takes a few minutes. If you have older kids I highly recommend my very own Scavenger Hunt Challenge! This involves a little bit of set-up, but it will keep them busy for three hours, yes 180 minutes. Personally, I found it very fun to watch. This is a fun teenager activity, seriously, it is! You can download this hunt by subscribing to my newsletter, you’ll find it in my Freebies!

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5) Write stories or comics

Some kids love to read, others do not. My son is the NOT one. Instead of reading, have them create a comic book with pictures and bubble text. Give them ideas of what to write about by what your child likes. Is he/she into gaming? Pizza? Sports? Robots? Hunting? Cooking? You can get these blank comic books on Amazon to help guide them into making a masterpiece! My son made a whole series of comics about his superpower and his superpower friends. It was hilarious! To get the juices flowing read them their favorite children’s books. On that note, check out my new children’s book, INK!

6) Photography at its finest

Find it on Amazon!

If you want them off the gaming, turn on camera mode. Have them head outside and take pictures of what’s going on around them. You can ask for a gallery of photos that you all can review at dinner time. Have them take pictures of leaves, flowers, wildlife or bugs, or anything blue, yellow, or red. They can create a game with photos too; for instance, you have them take 10 pictures and you have to guess what they all have in common…like things that move, things that fly, etc. Don’t want them to have a phone in hand? We had gotten our son this fun children’s camera. It worked great and he absolutely loved it!

7) Obstacle course to the rescue

Have them create an obstacle course. With American Ninja Warrior going on, this is super fun for kids. Essentially, sidewalk chalk can go a long way here. They can draw different jumps, hopscotch boards, cartwheel areas, and walk on a line. The kids can set up things to climb and jump over. If you have a play structure or live by a school or playground they can do things there. They can even pretend to not touch the ground as one of their obstacles!

8) Playlist creation

If you have an older kid or teenager who can navigate a phone and a playlist, have them create a playlist for YOU! This can take them forever but it also helps them feel needed and special.

9) Puzzles and Printables

As I mentioned earlier, have them do puzzles. I created some amazing activity pages for kids that will keep them busy and have fun doing it. My activity pages include camping, fishing, fireflies, trees, sports, and more. They are fun to do as a family too! You can find them all here.

tree printable for kids
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10) Start a business

Have them think of a business and plan it. They could start a coloring business, mowing business, flower arranging, baking, trick show business, LEGO building business, video making, practice being a nurse, toy cleaning gig, toy fixing, dog walking, swing-set testing, Hot Wheels cleaning, cookie baking, you name it.

Bonus!

BONUS IDEA! This has been one of my favorite kid activities at home EVER! Create your very own putt-putt golf course around the yard or at a park. All you need is a putter, a few golf balls, and a cup or a piece of yarn to make a “hole”. Seriously, this is fun for your toddler to teenager.

And don’t forget to camp in the backyard! What a fun activity for all your kids and your dog. Pop up a tent and roast some hotdogs on a fire. Here are some ways to camp more comfortable!

Wrap up

There you go! Ten ways, plus a bonus, to answer the dreaded “Mom, I’m bored”. Remember to be happy, thankful for their honesty, and to encourage their creativity. Be sure to check out some of my favorite family games and children’s books to read as a family!

Before you go, check out these blog posts:

How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps

5 Valuable Ways to Manage Mental Health in Youth

17 Road Trip Essentials to Simplify Your Trips

4 Simple Reduce Stress Strategies for You & Your Kids

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By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.
The Best Daily Planner for Teens Ever! What to look for.

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

Planners aren’t just for adults, teens need them too! Get a daily planner for teens today and teach them how to manage their time and develop this amazing skill. Teens may think they know everything, but we can help them learn how to get organized. As you know, when you’re organized you feel better, you’re happier and nice to others. A simple planner might just help everyone get through the teen years.

Planner history

In the 1700s the planner was invented by your very own Benjamin Franklin. And in 1984 the Franklin Planner was brought to our eyes thanks to Richard I. Winwood. One of our most valuable things on this planet is our time. How we plan our minutes determines the outcome of our lives. Let me be bold: No one is to blame, except for you, for how you use your time. A planner is a great tool to help you guide your teen in planning their days, know what to look for, and make this year a great one.

best planner ever what to look for

Two things that need to happen for a productive life

For you to experience an amazing, productive life there are two things that need to happen. The first is to know yourself to the best of your ability. When you understand who you are and where you want to go in life, directing your time becomes a little easier. And when your time is managed the way you like it, you are at peace. Understanding your identity isn’t an easy thing, we are ever-changing beings. I’ll give you some tips in a minute.

The second thing that needs to happen is for you to have a plan, at least something to go by. Organizing life starts on paper. As we all know, we can plan all we want, but the Lord directs our steps. Wandering aimlessly is straight-up stressful. Try traveling without a map…this includes your phone navigation. Think about a time when you were lost. Do you remember how that made you feel? Is being lost, the source of all stress? Hmm. Yet, there is one thing that keeps on ticking, time.

Teens and tweens struggle with time management, it’s okay, managing time is a skill they need to develop. The other thing that needs to happen in life is encouragement and positivity. I created a daily planner for teens to do just this. To focus on the good things, to give encouragement, inspire, and speak truth into their hearts.

Identity, how it orchestrates our day

Understanding identity is a HUGE thing right now. People are exploring what they like, who they like, what they believe in, etc. Identity is a controversial topic because it involves all the things people get mad about race, religion, sex, politics, vaccines… The crazy part is that we all want to be liked, so in some weird ways, we go along with the crowd even when we don’t want to. This creates a whole different ball of twine and a blog post, but my point is for us to understand who we are.

As the Bible says, we are to not conform to the pattern of this world, but instead, to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, for then we will be able to test God’s will for our life, his perfect, pleasing, and goodwill (Romans 12:2). In other words, seek your Creator to understand who He made you to be, then you will understand where you should go.

journal prompts
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That was some fun theology, this is not to discourage you, this is to encourage you. Because when you think you have to do this life alone, that you need to figure everything out yourself, and you have to make every minute count, not to mention, keeping up with what everyone else is doing…give it to our Mighty God in Heaven. Ask Him, your Heavenly Father, to help you, direct you, open your eyes, and protect you. He will. I guarantee it!

Planner plan

In 2020, we faced a dead stop in life with the COVID pandemic. The time came to a screeching halt. Many of us went bananas, others went on an extended mental vacation. There were many things we learned while being at home, some things we didn’t want to know like how lonely we were, how much we depended on others, and how much we needed “me” time. Getting sick wasn’t the only fear going on, knowing what to do with our time competed for first place. To help you with your time there is one thing you can invest in: a planner. Yes, even if you work from home, a personal planner is a must!

As 2021 came to be, life seemed completely the opposite of 2020. There was a new super speed! Traffic got heavy, people got rude, and many of us tried to fit as much as possible into our days. Were we trying to make up for time lost during the year before? Did we have different priorities? The year 2021, was a transition year and we were trying our hardest to get back to “normal” as much as possible. And now we’re all cranky and have headaches. My planner was definitely full, yet it was a true life-saver in staying sane. 

What to look for in a planner

There are a lot of planners out there that not only address our day-to-day but also have journal prompts and inspiring quotes, etc. Planners have come a long way since the 1770s; in fact, planners started out as journals. However, depending on your needs, we should be careful of what kind of planner to get; some can be time-consuming, stressful to keep up with, and distracting. Many planners look beautiful and fun, but I worry some people may get too focused on filling out their pretty little planner instead of living life and making things happen. Planners are a tool to keep you focused and sharp.

Download this daily planner for teens today

With that said, I created two downloadable planners in PDF format that is simple and essential to anyone’s life. I prefer the downloadable planner because you can print as many pages as you like! Both Simple Living planners come in three sizes so you can find a fun binder and put your own spin on it…which is great for making it your own.

Simple Living Planner Plus
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The Simple Living: All You Need Planner will help you stay on task. I designed it so it still gives you a few daily journal prompts that are fun to do. It is 17 pages. My goal is for this planner to help you get through your days feeling confident and productive. It focuses on the important things that will save us time and headaches.

The second planner I designed is the Simple Living: All You Need Planner PLUS. This 25-page simple planner PLUS is a great way to kick off a new beginning and to be strong and successful throughout! I absolutely LOVE this planner because it feeds my mind, energizes my goals, and makes me feel good! This planner is like your personal life coach. It’s filled with healthy mental goodness that anyone can benefit from no matter what age. It has all the same great pages as the first planner, but with bonus pages suited to feed the mind and creative spirit. Designed for a daily planner for teens or tweens but so good for a planner for mom or grandma. Feel the love through this planner, truly a game-changer.

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Wrapping the planner up

Using a planner is an excellent way to get the most out of our time, but choosing the right planner is what will make or break you. Start the New Year on the right foot and allow happiness to penetrate your heart. It all starts with your time, organizing, and utilizing it well.

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By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved
How to Manage Stress in a Healthy Way: 4 Tips

How to Manage Stress in a Healthy Way: 4 Tips

Are you feeling like you need to slow down? Get ready for a showdown with your opponent: speed. Going at a fast rate and stress go hand in hand. However, there are ways to manage stress in a healthy way while keeping the pace of life. But first to have endurance and finish strong, a ‘whoa back’ is in dire order. Today I have four questions to help you manage stress in a healthy way before stress takes you out.

“She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes.”

While writing this post a lyric from the old childhood song, She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain got stuck in my head. She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes ‘whoa back’. Busyness can take many forms: a badge of accomplishment, a strained ball-n-chain, or simply a lifestyle without margin. When we get in the busy mode we have blinders in our peripheral vision, our backs are heavily weighed, and we kick ourselves to go faster. The term ‘whoa back’ isn’t in our vocabulary, so slowing down would be a crime.

However, at some point, we will get bucked off and hit the ground, it’s just a matter of how hard we hit. After we dust ourselves off we most likely will ask what the heck was that? Or where did that come from? Staying on the horse is about knowing when to say “not right now”. It’s about knowing where we need to slow down. And it’s about knowing how to do it.

teen planner

4 tips on how to manage stress in a healthy way

Question 1. What is causing me to stress out and fall off my horse?

I recently got bucked off of not knowing what caused my unstoppable momentum. My schedule had no margin. If I wasn’t working on my blog, I was working on my second job, and if I wasn’t doing that, I was busy with some other project, and then finally…I would fill in the cracks with my family. My priorities were out-of-whack, seriously backward! The harmony of the many roles I played each day was out of tune. And the problem was that I knew I had too much in my schedule. Does anyone hear me? I knew it but ignored it.

Was I addicted to being busy? Running from something? Trying to impress someone? I’m not 100% sure, but I know when I fall prey to comparison, my schedule builds. If she can do it, I can do it. The word “no” doesn’t exist. The word “stop” is blasphemy.

How comparison happens

busy horses running wild

During these comparison seasons chatting with colleagues and hearing stories of massively insane schedules makes me wonder how they get it all done. Am I doing something wrong? Am I not doing enough? Are they really getting it done? This thinking catalyzes my expectations of myself, which can be good and bad, but differentiating between the two is a challenge.

Why am I so tired?

This superficial race is mentality exhausting and frankly, it’s stupid thinking. No one is perfect. Who has it all figured out? No one is ever skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with all her ducks in a row. Everyone has different strengths. Yet, the problem with comparisons, whether it be on social media or in grocery store conversations, is that we don’t know the whole story. We don’t always see the condition of others’ hearts and how it weighs on their wellness. We just see the ‘yes man’ and subconsciously start to compete.

The ‘yes man’ is a vicious cycle and a damaging one. We agree to things we don’t want to do, we fill our schedules to please others, and we constantly aim for perfection. But what happens to us in the process? What happens to OUR well-being? What happens when we’re running here and there and everywhere with no time to spare? Mistakes. Mistakes happen.

Simplify Firefly Etsy

2. When do I know when something has to change?

My red flags come from a variety of sources. One source is my family when they voice their opinion. Another source of red flags is when I don’t have time to get outside to garden or walk. The biggest warning that something has to change is from my body, the one vessel that makes it all happen. If there is one thing that will slow us down, it’s our bodies. My mistake is not listening to these messages. Before you know it your body will tell you when to change things. Unfortunately, in 2019 I ended up with horrible piriformis syndrome which forced me to slow down, way down. Injuries aren’t the only signal from our bodies, but being overweight, being chronically sick, and developing a disease can tell you too.   

woman laying on log slow down time

The Bible talks a lot about slowing down, taking a Sabbath (Exodus 20:9-10), just be (Psalm 46:10), and coming to Him who are weary and need rest (Matthew 11:28). These are just a few references in the Bible. But the Lord has a reason for teaching us how to slow down. I believe one of those reasons is to give our bodies and minds rest so we don’t make big mistakes.

3. Where do we need to slow down?

This question is simply answered by paying attention. Where are you most stressed? What is occupying the majority of your time? How is your schedule affecting others? Are the people around you agitated? Needy? Lonely?

Perfecting balance in every area of your life is not a destination. It’s a moment. We can’t be everywhere at once. There will be days when the schedule weighs heavier in one area than another, but the key is to recognize it. Quieting the mind and sitting in silence helps see where there is congestion. Slowing down a racehorse isn’t easy, so start by giving yourself five minutes of silence. This awareness helps you try harder the next day to find that harmony. Consciously be aware of how you’re using your time, you’ll see where it needs to slow down.

4. How do we slow down before it’s forced upon us?

This is a great question. I’m still figuring it out. One thing is for sure, we need to set boundaries. Setting boundaries gives us permission to say “Not right now” or “No, but thank you for thinking of me”. Boundaries give us our space to recuperate so when we do say ‘yes’ we can be our best. You can say ‘no’ to others, but it’s imperative to also say ‘no’ to yourself and the expectations you’ve created.

Wrapping it up

How to manage stress in a healthy way starts with being aware of what you’re reacting to. Asking yourself key questions will help you understand why your body and mind are reacting on overdrive. What is causing this stress? When to change something. Where you need to make that change. And how to slow down. Please note that racing with other horses is a game, not a lifestyle. Set your boundaries and take the time to love yourself.

By CT Copyright © 2019 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved. 

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