Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: January, 2016

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Cultivate a Healthy Selfishness



Mindfulness meditation: Pause, Inspiration, Life, Quotes, Thought, Meditation, Yoga, Powerful Sense

As wives and mothers and people, like you, who desire to be good and do good in the world, we find it difficult not to worry about everyone around us all the time. We want our families to have good nutritious meals every day, we want them to get the right amount of sleep and exercise. In our work lives we hope to always be helpful to others and kind, to work our hardest and put forth genuine effort for the betterment of our workplace. And we think about those who are less fortunate than us, whatever the reason. We seek to donate, volunteer, lend a helping hand when time allows. The problem with this – and we know it is a good “problem” to have – is the risk of burn out. With the giving of self and the constant thinking of “other”, the “self” can become depleted.

Following up to last week’s post, meditation is something we have found to be very helpful to cultivate that “healthy selfishness”.  It is time for you, on an individual basis – whether you are participating in a class or practicing on your own – to shut out the demands of every day life and regroup.  Recently, we heard a mother telling a child, “Just worry about yourself” in response to the little girl’s innocent enough tattles on a sibling.  These words were for the little girl’s benefit and they stuck with us.  The word “worry” is what’s key here.  Even when we are not physically involved in taking care of others (i.e. cooking, cleaning, working, etc.) we still have a tendency to worry and so our minds stay too busy and that restorative rest is hard to find even at bedtime when the day is done!  So meditation is one tool that can help to quiet our busy minds.  It can be as simple as closing your eyes and thinking about nothing.  Just focusing on your breath and letting any thoughts that creep up float away in little clouds over your head.  Even five minutes a day can be effective.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

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We grew up in our mom’s dance studio, taking classes and teaching. We did everything; tap, jazz, ballet, acrobatics. While we were no strangers to exercise, we had never tried yoga until adulthood.  Dancing was usually fast paced, pumped up music, all working together on choreographed routines.  Yoga is slow, calming, peaceful, individual.  There are many benefits; here is what we have found personally.

You can be in a stressful situation, go to a yoga class and leave feeling much more centered and relaxed.  Poses and stretches are moving your body toward health, getting the blood flowing, gently working on everything from your spine to your hips, neck, feet and digestive system.  Deep breathing gets the oxygen flowing to your brain.  There is a meditative aspect to yoga, usually at the end of each class.  You close your eyes and lay or sit for a bit in silence.  It is very restorative since, by the end of the hour session, your mind is not racing with the 5 million things you came in thinking about.  Give it a try if you haven’t already or make it part of your lifestyle.  Imagine if we were all walking around more peaceful and relaxed, and feeling great.  What a benefit to yourself and everybody you are sharing your life with!

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Be Understanding

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Everyone has different ways of living. Some people relish alone time, others need lots of outings and social time.  That is how they are happiest living.  We would like to shed a little light about being understanding of people living with health issues.

Not everyone who owns a handicapped parking sticker comes out of their car looking disabled but they could have a heart condition or Parkinson’s disease. Be understanding that not every reason for that sticker is visible.

Some people have breathing problems like asthma or emphysema. They simply cannot tolerate pets, smoke, even fragrant perfumes. Even though your dog may be hypoallergenic, it still has dander and saliva…we love animals but let’s put people first.  It is a horrible feeling not to be able to take a breath.

Lots of people choose certain ways to eat.  Whether they are dieting, vegan or cutting out gluten let’s try not to judge or make comments of their preferences.  They can bring a dish to your house if you have a dinner party, don’t worry!

You never know the reasons why people do what they do.  Let’s try to remember that and be understanding.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Happiness in the Winter


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We do not love the extremely cold weather of winter here in the northeast, nor the long, dark days coupled with the post holiday let down. It is a hard time of year and we were just having a conversation wishing that spring was not so far away. Then we started thinking…appreciate each day, there is a purpose for each season, and we remembered when we were talking not so long ago about looking forward to wearing our fall sweaters and getting cozy in the winter. In that vein we decided to think about ways in which we could look forward to some indoor time and try not to wish the cold days away. It always helps to put things in perspective and try to live in the moment. Here are some things we are trying to help beat the winter blues:

*Put soft flannel sheets on the bed to keep warm and stay cozy at night. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference.
*Watch a favorite comedian perform stand up on You Tube. A good laugh helps lift your mood and really breaks up the monotony of routine.
*Make a fire in the fireplace and grab a good book and some tea or hot chocolate.
*Get out the crock pot and make beef stew or chicken soup full of veggies.

We have done most of these already – it’s a tough time of year!

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