Screen Off Fun

Screen Off Fun!

Now the children are back at school and in some parts of the world we are feeling touches of Autumn creeping towards winter, it’s not always possible to play outside and all too easy to rely on screen entertainment. That may be TV, Netflix or social media channels and while there are certain benefits to be discovered in those virtual places, it can become addictive and unfortunately can be very unsociable.

When you walk into your sitting room is everyone glued to their phones or slumped in front of the TV?

And when you ask a question do you get any coherent answers? If you do, you’re on a roll because all too often this doesn’t happen when the whole family is locked into their own virtual world.

And trying to make rules about screen time or banning phones between 6 and 7 o’clock can cause resentment, arguments and moody kids… oh dear.

So, is there a way out of the pattern? Yes, there’s always a way but it will need a little encouragement and perhaps some crazy parental behaviour, but then again we are all a little crazy and kids deserve to enjoy their craziness as well.

The secret is play!

Yep, simple ay? and if you think you’re too old, consider this wonderful quote – one of my personal favourites – from George Bernard Shaw.

“You don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing”

Right or right?!

So get in the play zone and make up some silly games to play with your kids. A few tips though:

1. Don’t ask, show them. For example put a waste paper bin in the middle of the room then throw a soft ball or a screwed up piece of paper from somewhere in the room, even it’s from your armchair. Get up, retrieve the ball, then move to somewhere else in the room. The fact that you are behaving out of sync will invariably get noticed and probably one of the little darlings will want to do a better job of getting that ball in the ‘basket’. Before you know it, you have a full on game going on.

2. Whisper something exciting or fun to one of them and tell them to pass it on very quietly. It could be about an upcoming family party or holiday or something silly like “I’ve just written to Santa Claus”

3. Invest in a few very inexpensive props like a pack of ‘Beat your neighbour’ playing cards, a set of ‘jacks’ or some yahtzee dice. Leave them in an obvious place in the room. When one of the family ask about them say “I thought I’d buy myself some toys” and take it from there. If no-one notices (aaargh!) then simply start playing. If you have a partner willing to join in your quest, start playing together and make a show of how much fun you’re having.

The benefits of a few minutes of getting the message out there will be huge.

– Quality fun family time – loving and being with each other in the real world
– Conversation – finding out what each other feels and thinks about
– Laughter – always a good thing

And the extra bonus is that those screens may be voluntarily turned off for a while! When my children were young, we traveled and then lived off the land for many years with very little money, and it was before the age of everyone having mobile phones – So we made our own entertainment and encouraged each other to be creative and enjoyed our time together.

Give it a try. You really really really won’t regret it 🙂

Have Fun!

Linda x

P.S. If you want a few ideas, I’ve put together a fun ebook you can download right now and get started tonight. There are 30 indoor family game ideas – that you could still play outside, weather permitting…. Choose from your favourite supplier..

website-IndoorFamilyGames

Indoor Family Games

Amazon USAmazon UKiTunesKoboPayhipBarnes & Noble,

 

How Can I Lose Weight?

Losing Weight

‘How Can I Lose Weight’ is Googled around 9 million times a month… phew!

Have you ever wondered why some folk never put on weight and others spend their whole life trying to lose it? There are a few mythical answers to this very popular question:

– willpower
– metabolism
– glands
– various other medical conditions
– time
– money
– lifestyle ….. ah, now this one may not be so mythical!

In fact, how we live our lives in general has a lot to do with how our bodies respond. This wonderful biological miracle we live in responds directly to how we treat it.

“But I eat salad every day and count calories almost religiously and still can’t shift the weight”

Is this you? Counting calories, panicking if you go over your daily quota and generally allowing your ‘diet’ to run your life?

STOP RIGHT THERE!

This isn’t working is it? You’re still not happy with your weight and general health. I was going to mention fitness but that conjures up unpleasant images of push ups and bossy personal trainers.. so we won’t go there – not just yet anyway 🙂

One of the biggest issues most of us have is instant gratification. We live in an instant world. From instant coffee to instant world access through the internet.

How many of us grumble when the connection is a bit slow? A few short years ago it may have taken hours to get through to someone on the other side of the world by phone. Nowadays we complain if we have to wait 10 seconds. Internet marketing experts will tell you if you haven’t grabbed your audience’s attention within about 5 seconds, they’re gone!

But I digress, losing excess weight should not be treated as an internet download. It took a while to install those pounds… it will take a while to uninstall them.

“But what about all those ‘Lose 10lbs in 10 days’ diets?”

Great in theory, but what usually happens is that even if you do lose 10lbs in 10 days, 20 days later you will have 11 or 12lbs to lose. Fast weight loss is not effective because your body doesn’t have time to address the underlying issues about why you were carrying the extra weight in the first place.

Our survival instincts are often to blame. Instinctive behaviour is deeply rooted in our subconscious from days when we lived in caves and fat was essential for survival. Unfortunately our instincts haven’t yet updated to blend with 21st century living.

So it’s NOT YOUR FAULT!!!

Stop beating yourself up about it and take positive action that suits your lifestyle and results in the healthy body you deserve.

Don’t listen to the excuses. None of them are real. One underlying issue is responsible for all our excuses.

Lack of self-love.

Even if you think you’re pretty stable, respect and love yourself and everyone else loves you too; if you’re reading this you probably have a body issue going on.

If you aren’t in shape, something somewhere flipped you into survival mode and left you there. You don’t have to book into therapy to find out what it was, just accept that something occurred and now you’re gonna deal with it!

So the plan is to create;

—a comfort zone that bubbles over with confidence,

—and the healthy gorgeous body you always dreamed of.

Once that’s taken care of, everything else falls neatly into place…

So here’s the challenge:

Decide how many pounds you want to lose and stick to the plan for the same amount of weeks – don’t try to cut corners by trying to lose more than 1lb a week. 1lb may not sound much but go and pick up something that weighs 1lb (500g) and then relate the weight to actually losing it from your body.

Whether you think this is impressive or not, go with it.

Allow 1lb a week weight loss only. It’s tempting to get rid of the first few pounds quickly and this often naturally happens in a diet plan, but it doesn’t really help because we allow thoughts like ‘I lost 3lbs last week so I can eat cake today and tomorrow.’ to take hold.

A dangerous strategy – the point of healthy diets is that you gain a healthy attitude to food and re-educate that survival software.

The best way to see the bigger picture is to know that you won’t be ‘suffering’ on a ‘diet’ for ever more. But will enjoy and feel at ease with your new way of seeing yourself and the world around you.
Processed food does NOT nourish living bodies.

If you look at the number of posh vets and animal surgeries our society supports, it seems clear that by feeding our animals on processed foods they are suffering from the same adverse medical conditions as humans.

Before you start your healthy diet plan, give yourself a little time to think about real food as well as a gentle physical pursuit.

Treat yourself to a walk in the woods and a super healthy meal

Perhaps consider a few of the reasons why you haven’t sorted this out yet – don’t stress though. Remember we all have self-limiting beliefs, and blasts from the past that keep us locked in a revolving door.

And the most important point I’d really like to stress is ‘Take it slowly’ – Any pressure will keep that survival mode firmly switched on. Rushing isn’t a good thing – you miss the details, you sometimes fall over, and most of all you don’t particularly enjoy the journey.

Enjoy the journey – it’s a challenge yes but, as neuro-science proves, if you accept the challenge you’ll release tons of feel-good hormones.

You may also be nervous. One of the biggest obstacles in human society is FEAR. When we decide to do something, we get excited and positive about our upcoming results. Then the fear kicks in…. again our survival instincts … and puts doubts in the way.

Ride those fears because they’re not real – don’t ignore them. Acknowledge, accept, then move on…

Takeaway Checklist:

– Be realistic in your weight-loss plan
– Don’t allow your thoughts to push you into ‘instant gratification’ or get-thin-quick schemes 🙂
– Start enjoying ‘real’ food more than ‘processed’ non-foods
– Decide what you like to do that involves moving around –

if you are physically challenged, there are chair workouts and other pursuits that you can enjoy that will help you get rid of excess pounds. Even knitting burns up a fair few calories an hour.

But most of all … “Love Yourself”

To your good health!

Linda x