hugging

Why touch is so important for mental health

Did you know that humans become nearly unrecognizable without touch?

I found this interesting story. “Over two hundred years ago, French scientists spotted a creature resembling a human running through the forests. Once captured, they determined he was 11 years old and had run wild in the forests for much of his childhood. Originally the child, “Victor,” was determined to be an idiot; French physicians and psychiatrists eventually concluded he had been deprived of human physical touch, which had retarded his social and developmental capacities.”

hugging

Fascinating, huh?

Here’s some other things I learned:

  1. Decreased violence. Less touch as a child leads to greater violence. A child left unhugged, unembraced, feels insecure. Think of any child who has a temper tantrum. One of the best ways to calm a child down is to hold them snugly. Why? Because a firm embrace makes them feel loved. It’s just that simple.
  2. Greater trust between individuals. Touch helps to bond people together. Neuroscientist Edmund Ross found that physical touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, that links to feelings of reward and compassion. A simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin, aka ‘the love hormone.'”
  3. Decreased disease and stronger immune system. Physical touch may also decrease disease. According to research conducted at the University of North Carolina, women who receive more hugs from their partners have lower heart rates and blood pressure: “Hugs strengthen the immune system…
  4. Overall well being. Adults need human touch to thrive. In recent years, a wave of studies has documented some incredible emotional and physical health benefits that come from touch. This research is suggesting that touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.

      6. Less loneliness would add that the more a person is embraced, (hugged, pat on the shoulder, holding hands, etc.) the less lonely they feel even if they are alone.

7.  Older people need touch even more.  A dear friend of mine suggested I hug my mom every time I said good-bye. My mother was not the “touchy-feely” type so I didn’t know if she would be receptive. But by that point, her dementia was getting worse. Not only was she receptive, it did a lot for me as well.  I so wish I had pushed beyond her resistance years before that.

I am thankful for all the embraces I receive but I’m as thankful for all the ones I can give.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of touch to change someone’s day, maybe even save their life.

God bless and have a good day.

A great Dollar Tree Christmas craft

This is a great project. I have a number of these candles started and will show you the pictures when I get them done.

In the meantime, let me explain what these are. These are the tall glass candle holders/candles you can get at Dollar Tree for, guess what, a dollar! Who knew? 🙂

Anyway….

As I thought about them, I I knew I wanted to make them reusable and figured once they burned down, they would be unusable. I mean they wouldn’t hold a tapered candle and it would be too hard to refill them. I thought about those cheap little tea lights from Dollar Tree but that would mean you would have to turn them on and off. That would work, of course.

But I wanted a real flame. So…….I decided to dig out enough of the candle so I could put in a tea light. It was really easy to do, I just used a spoon and started scooping. You can see it in one of the photos.

Next, I used some flannel I had used to make napkins and wrapped them around the glass and secured with a glue stick. I had gray trim at the top and the bottom, tied a red ribbon around the middle, and inserted a twig of holly berries.

They turned out really cute.

I have a number of them I’m working on and will show you when they’re done. I had all the materials so the only thing I bought was the candles. But even if you had to buy all the supplies, they would still cost very little. You could use scrapbook paper, twine, burlap, fabric from anything, scrapbooking supplies, sewing supplies, jewelry making supplies, whatever you have laying around.

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img_4676God bless and have a great day.

Craft ideas from some great stores

I went to some great stores in Plymouth, MI, and Northville, MI last weekend. I find some of my best ideas at these beautiful stores. Things you just don’t see in big box stores.

I almost always buy a little something. And I take some pictures as well. The owners don’t seem to mind at all. After all, it’s free advertising.

Anyway, maybe some of these ideas will inspire you. This first one would be so easy to make. And if you’re like me and have a cat, it’s probably the only tree you CAN have!

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These next few are truly adorable. Find some old cards, buy some cheap cardboard boxes at the Dollar Tree, some tiny trees, etc. and you’re all set.

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Christmas craft 2017

This one is an open frame, some twigs glued in between, and then a little snowman and some artificial snow. Easy peasy.

Christmas craft, 2017

I’ve actually made something similar this year. Might not be able to post it as might spoil the surprise. I’ll see what I can come up with. Anyway, just make an open box and then add slats across and decorate.For my project, I used a 1 X 6 and cut it into squares.

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Christmas craft 2017

This one is hard to see but it’s the same principle as the others above.

 

Anyway, hope you got some ideas.

Christmas 2017

Some Christmas ideas for the less-motivated

I talked with a friend yesterday who said she’s having a hard time “getting in the Christmas spirit”. So I wondered if some of my readers might be having a hard time getting motivated.

So here are some pictures to inspire you. These are plaques are from Dollar Tree. They are really cute. I use my Dremel tool to “etch” in the lines. If you look closely, you can see the indentations. Then I wiped a stain over the whole thing because it was too white.

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

 

Here’s how I used them this year. I’m not nuts with the location but I couldn’t find anywhere else to put them.  If I have time I will mount them on some wood so they have more of an impact.

Some Christmas ideas for the less-motivated

Some Christmas ideas for the less-motivated

This is not my usual arrangement for the top of this cabinet. Here’s what it looked like last year.

Christmas village/2016

All of these were handmade for me by a dear, dear friend and because of Rambo, I don’t want to take any chance they would get damaged.

Anyway, hope this helps you get in the mood.

God bless and have a great day.

superman

Don’t make the exception the rule, men and harassment

(I am reposting this.  I’ve also retitled it. It bears repeating. Especially seeing as this is a story that continues to grow. )

A part of me feels sorry for men in today’s world.

superman

Not the abusers. Not the harassers. Not the jerks or the bullies.

What with all the nasty news these past few weeks as a number of men have been accused (most, rightly so) of exactly that, one would think these few men represent all men.

Not so. We need to be careful that we don’t make the exception, the rule.

I’ve talked to a number of women these past few weeks and all of them said the men they personally know are gentlemen. I can truthfully say that I do not know any man who acts or would act like these men that have made the news.

Most men are decent and well-mannered. 

gentlemen

I was talking to my husband tonight and he said he’s talked some men who are genuinely nervous. They don’t know what they’re supposed to say or how they’re supposed to act toward women anymore. They know what the parameters were, but now it seems the boundaries have changed but no one has told them. 

Is this fair to anyone?

I’m a strong supporter of women’s right to live, work, and be free of worry about such things. But I am also a strong supporter of men who shouldn’t have to worry that every innocent word or innocent act can be misconstrued and labeled as something offensive.

Physical assault and rape are wrong.

Harassment is wrong.

Gender discrimination is wrong.

Period.

No debate.

Men who commit these acts should be held accountable. They need to suffer the consequences of their actions. The law should protect anyone from any kind of abuse and harassment.

But I know the difference between a jerk and a gentleman, don’t you? Is it really that hard?

Besides, over the past couple of decades, the lines have become “blurred”. (Please read the next few lines carefully. 

Women now tell bawdy jokes openly in the workplace and at times their language has degenerated to a level previously ascribed to men. Perhaps it’s an attempt at equality. I don ‘t see it that way.

Even how women dress has in some cases become overtly sexual. Now, don’t go throwing something at your screen. NOTHING justifies harassment and assault. But perhaps a return to certain standards of decency in dress and speech may offer a degree of protection. Doesn’t some of this stop and start with women? Every woman I’ve talked to has said the same thing but no one dares say it out loud for fear of recrimination.

I don’t think that’s right. Why can’t we suggest that women have made some poor choices themselves? I mean, any woman over the age of twenty-one should know enough NOT to go to a man’s hotel room alone.

President Pence was ridiculed during his campaign for his comment about saying he would not have dinner alone with a woman other than his wife. Considering recent events though, and even without those, his stance protects both parties. Even pastors now make sure they are not alone with a woman in their office;  they leave the door open.

I was once put in an awkward position myself.

When I was a young woman living in Chicago, I went to lunch with a male co-worker. We were friends at work. I knew he was engaged. He knew I knew he was engaged so everything was very open. I thought of him as a brother. I thought it was just a quick lunch in a public place. However, he made it clear that day that he’d like to take our friendship to another level and his fiancée wouldn’t have to know!

I about choked on my sandwich. I’d never been “propositioned” before.

As I recall, I laughed. First, I told him I was Christian which I assumed made the situation clear. But to further emphasize my response I also told him that even if I weren’t, there was still no chance.

I walked out. I never suffered any recrimination.

In light of today’s standards, what would I call that? He was older. His place in the company was a few levels higher than mine. But I felt it was up to me to handle it, right then and right there. It never occurred to me to worry about how he would react. I wasn’t worried about losing my job. I wasn’t responsible for anyone buy myself which also made it easier for me not to worry about my job.

I worry that real cases of assault and abuse won’t be taken as seriously if every innocent action a man takes or every innocent compliment he makes is seen as offensive.

This is just my personal rant today and I hope no one is offended. I have great empathy for any woman who has suffered real abuse and/or harassment of any kind but I also have empathy for the majority of the men who are decent and treat women with respect. And that’s far more than are making the current headlines.

It’s often been said that it’s hard to be a “woman in a man’s world” but in the present climate,  I think it might be harder to be a “man in a woman’s world.”

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

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