Rest In Motion(Pt.2 in Self-care series)

Rest in Motion seems to be a contradiction of words and ideas but according to Sir Isaac Newton, who was a pretty smart guy, and inventor/scientist/philosopher of the Laws of Motion, these two are very much intertwined. Now before you start to worry that I am going to get all-scientific on you and these words start to look like “blah, blah, blah” let me just say that one of the problems we face in the 21st century was addressed by Newton so hang tight and please, read on. Newton’s first law of motion is often stated as:

newton110An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

To me (a non-physics expert) that means we keep doing what we are doing unless something makes us do something different. It’s very true that we get in a lifestyle rut sometimes and we either go to the side of doing NOTHING or to the side of OVERDRIVE neither of which is good for us. I tend to go to maximum overdrive and it is that problem I want to address here  but I think the ideas presented today would be helpful to both sides.

We have been talking about taking care of ourselves–not as a self-indulgent practice or a ME-focused ideology but as a way to: 1) remain healthy longer, 2) be more productive, 3) set an example. We only get one body, soul and spirit and how we treat them is key to being able to fulfil our purposes and destinies here on earth.

Imagine if when you turned 16 you were given a car and that car was yours for the rest of your time here on earth. You would be given no other and buying was not an option.

firstcar

I can only imagine how well I would treat that car especially when I noticed those who didn’t take care of theirs and were forced to walk or hitch a ride everywhere. Their lives would be EXTREMELY limited in range, possibility, and potential. Taking care of ourselves is key to living life to the fullest. I’m pretty sure I want to be able to do just that.

 

Intentionally caring for ourselves is necessary to crafting a more HOPE-full life.

I gave 3 acronyms for restoring health and hope to our spirit, soul, and body in the last post–Finding Hope…Again. They were R.E.S.T. for the body; C.A.R..E for the soul and L.I.F.T. for the spirit. Let’s take them one by one, working from the outside in and start with the body. In the subsequent posts we will cover the soul and finally, the spirit.

REST

Rest is a four letter word and is viewed by some with a snarl, lip-curl, or eyes rolling. It is hard to admit that we need rest. In our fast-paced, 21st century, the-early-and-late-bird-gets-the-worm mentality, rest is not valued or viewed as an asset despite what research tells us. If you are interested, just google “rest and body health” or check out: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

 

Here’s my take on this idea of R.E.S.T.

R is for Re-think my lifestyle choices.

I can very easily justify my crazy, non-stop got  days:

I’ve got a full house.

I’ll rest when they’re grown.

They need me.

I want to live a full life.brain-cogs-injury_222

Just one more thing

I couldn’t say no.

I feel guilty just sitting around.

I’ll catch up on my rest later.

And my husband’s personal favorite…If I don’t do it-it doesn’t get done.

This type of thinking is caused by letting someone else drive my car. Their plans and their agenda are pushing me. These ridiculous, unrealistic expectations of what a full and fulfilled life looks like are killing me/us. Our kids, too. Check out the research on that if you dare. We could all sloooooooow down a bit and the world would not stop spinning.

Re-think and re-examine your lifestyle choices. If for some reason your couldn’t keep up all of your commitments and plans what would happen?…?

I totally understand that there are seasons in life, I’ve been there when it’s  just crazy…did I mention the part about having and homeschooling 5 kids (4 of which were born in 5 years). Those are season– not a way to live.

 

E is for exercise.

Our bodies will stay at rest or in motion unless we act upon them with something different. Researchers have found that too much exercise is just as detrimental as too little, however, that has not been my problem. I have been told by my doctor, and read research, that walking is the best exercise. 1/2 hour, 2-3x per week–that’s it. That’s the baseline. Take a walk, no weights, just move your arms and breathe deep. public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-shoes-walking-feet-grey-gravel--1000x666

On those days when I am really tired I amble, meander or stroll–just putting my body into motion is an accomplishment.

If walking outside isn’t an option then try this: http://www.walkathome.com. It’s a great program. Super easy, multi-levelled and fun to do.

 

S is for sleep.

I LOVE sleep. For years I didn’t get much (lots of babies and toddlers), and then when my husband was hurt (see post in March 2016) I was up ALOT with him and then my Mom’s illnesses…

Did I mention I love sleep? I have learned the value of a nap–cat or otherwise. cat-sleeping-funny-photo.jpgI think that’s what sitcom reruns are for. I love to nap to Everybody Loves Raymond because I’ve seen them a hundred times and they are usually funny to wake up to.

If naps worked for Einstein,  then they’re good enough for me. http://www.inquisitr.com/1754670/albert-einstein-among-other-great-minds-proved-the-efficacy-of-micro-naps/

It’s always amazing to me how much better life looks after some sleep. The old adage of “Let’s sleep on it” is based in ancient wisdom and modern research.  Here are some great tips from the people at the Mayo Clinic on sleep.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

Our bodies/brains do some of their best work while we are sleeping.

T is for time

Nivens-McTwisp-White-Rabbit-Concept-Art-alice-in-wonderland-2010-11205475-563-675

Time is a finite commodity. In other words, we can’t make more time. What we need to do is use it wisely.

Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

I do myself and others no small favor when I slow down to care for myself. I am NO fun when I am burned-out, run-down and over-committed. Jesus, himself, invites us to walk with Him in a way that is easy and light. In the Message translation of the Bible it says that He will teach us to “walk in the unforced rhythms of grace”. Now that’s an invitation I don’t want to miss. By taking time to care for this body, I am honoring myself, my purposes, my loved ones (they deserve the best version of me) and my Creator. If He can take time to REST on the 7th day who am I to argue?

Heidi Mull, R.E.S.T-ing, re-thinking, and learning the rhythms of grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Comfort is NOT…

We are mid-April with May just around the corner. Tax day is behind us and we could all use a little comfort there.

April is the month of sharing hope through comfort and comfort through giving a gift. Whether homemade (see Tidings of Comfort and…Hope blog for ideas) or through time and care (see On Comforting the Sick or Injured blog post).

I would like to talk about what comfort is not. Comfort is NOT fixing, changing, nagging, lecturing, busy-ness, rearranging, blaming, taking over, or giving advice… you get the picture.

Comforting IS action but it is not an action imposed on another but rather the act of coming alongside where that person is and being there with them.

To offer consolations:

“I know it is hard right now”

“I see you are in pain”

“I’m sorry for your loss, pain, suffering.”

Like the map at the mall or amusement park that says “YOU ARE HERE”. Comfort comes and stands or sits “HERE”. So our gifts say “I see you are…HERE”. No matter how big or small, simple or elaborate, a gift of comfort is filled with hope.

Hope says:

“You are NOT alone”

“This too shall pass”

“Don’t give up”

We don’t have to understand it all or offer wisdom of the sages or do it perfectly. All we can offer is some hope for better days wrapped up in a small gift of comfort.

small gift box

Heidi Mull, letting go of what I can’t fix…

and fixing up a small gift basket for a friend who is grieving the recent loss of her father.

Next stop…HERE.

On comforting the sick or injured…

C.A.R.E.
Thoughts on comforting the sick or injured

This month we are focusing on sharing hope with others. Here is an article that I wrote a little while ago. I hope you find it helpful. I would love to hear your stories of how you shared some tidings of comfort and hope this month.

CContact with cards, calls, visits.

AAsk questions to better understand needs.

RRisk your self and reach out.

EEnd with prayer.

It is sometimes hard to know what to do when someone you know well, or not well at all, is ill or injured. Some people don’t want company but a card is lovely. Some want company and get lonely. Sometimes a card would suffice or would Facebook or an email be better….?
With so many options it’s hard to know what to do. In caring for both my husband and my mom in the past several years, through trial and error, I believe I discovered some helpful tips.
My Mom has had several bouts of extended illnesses including several surgeries, hospitalization and chemotherapy. My husband was seriously injured. He had surgeries, hospitalization and physical therapy as well as a resulting disability.
For both the family and the infirmed, comfort and encouragement are vital to survival and recovery. For someone who is normally outgoing, being sidelined is especially difficult even devastating. For the quieter person, isolation is no less painful and they often find it more difficult to express the need for human contact.
Here are some thoughts on ways and ideas of reaching out and maintaining contact with people in need.

1. Most Notable Award
Most people want to know they are being thought of so cards are great. I know that most stores sell boxes of cards (blanks are great). A short note like ‘thinking of you’ or ‘praying for your continued recovery’ is a thoughtful, unobtrusive way to reach out to the person and/or their family especially in the weeks and months to come when the excitement wears off.

2. To Call or not to Call that is the Question
There is no easy answer to this. So…if possible ask a family member if the person would be up to or interested in a phone call. If there is no one to ask, I recommend risking a call and in the process asking if another phone call would be desired or is there another way they would prefer to hear from you.

3. A Computer Wizard
A lot –I would dare say even most people– have access to and are involved in electronic communication. Don’t assume they aren’t. Ask. In this day and age, emails, ecards, Facebook, Skype, and Twitter are all potential avenues to keep in contact with people. I love cards in the mail but have come to appreciate to expediency and the thought that comes with a Facebook message, too.

4. Knock Knock-Who’s There
Once you’ve made the decision to visit face to face-now what? It can be a little scary. Whether it’s a home visit or hospital there are things to consider that will help put you both at ease. Keep your visits short unless you are also providing physical care like food, hair care, massage, etc. Ten to 15 minutes is good to start (unless already discussed with person or family) and no more than 30 minutes. This will help with most awkwardness. Illness brings vulnerability in the area of the physical body. People vary in their comfortableness with bodily functions and visiting in their pajamas/hospital gowns.
It’s great to come prepared with some interesting news or story. Perhaps something that may be of interest to them. Keep it positive and encouraging. It is better to skip the economy, politics, recent arrests, crime rate–think “Guideposts-type” stories. It might be a good idea to read and/or bring a Guidepost or Reader’s Digest with you.
Share something that is happening in your family but again keep it somewhat on the lighter side. The weather, seasons, pets, kids or a hobby are good places to start or maybe a local event. Don’t feel compelled to talk either. There is much comfort in just being there. Asking questions, taking interest in what they’re going through makes a person feel important. A mix of your chit chat and questions about them usually make a good combo. You can usually tell if someone doesn’t feel like talking. If other family members are there they will usually engage in the conversation.
Don’t forget to ask if there is anything they need or that you can do for them. And always offer to pray. Keep it short and sweet: Lord bless _______ with your comfort and peace as You walk with them thru this storm. Thank you for keeping ________ and his/her family close to you. Amen.

However awkward and difficult it may be, sharing hope and comfort brings just that back to the giver. Be brave. Sharing hope is an excellent way to intentionally grow some for yourself.

Heidi Mull, sharing and caring and growing some hope.

And baking some cookies for a friend, who will make the tea, and the circle of life goes on…

Tidings of comfort and…HOPE

Welcome to April. It’s been a long, cold journey and although I love winter and snow, I am ready for spring.

   Thought

This month’s thought is about comfort. Hope is very much involved in comfort as the definition implies. “Relief from distress of mind: the ease and quiet which is experienced when pain, trouble, agitation or affliction ceases. It implies some pleasurable sensations derived from hope.” Webster 1828. It doesn’t take long in this life to be in need of comfort–I have comforted many newborns fresh from heaven.

Part of being intentional with hope is being able to grow it for yourself and then to share it. We all know someone or some family in need of comfort. Aches and pains, bumps and bruises, colds and sore throats are some of the everyday items in need of comfort. Then there is disease, severe illness, surgery, disabilities, and even death. The everyday stresses of 21st century living can put us in need of comfort–it’s tough out there. It is hard to know what to do or what to say to offer comfort. We don’t want to intrude or be rejected. This stops us and we all lose in the end–both the comfortee and the comforter.

When in doubt think of a kindness that you have experienced in your life at a stressful time and reciprocate. Kindness brings comfort and comfort brings hope.

Try these out:

A hug

flowers

favorite treat/candy

card in the mail

a phone call just to say hi

watch a movie together

a chat over a cup of coffee

and the list can go on.

I have been on both ends of the gift of comfort. I have found that giving comfort/hope even when I am in need of some myself has magnified returns.

This month is about giving… comfort and hope, kindness and friendship.

Craft

I want to encourage you to give comfort to someone this month. I have several ideas of things to make. Some less crafty than others. If you want to comfort yourself, also–make two.

  • A cute idea that requires no sewing…you could use some leftovers from the sachets we made to add some fragrance.

http://krokotak.com/2015/01/heart-pillow-no-sew/

no sew heart pillow

  • A get well mug or a beautifully wrapped bar of soap with a crocheted washcloth

get well cupwrapsoap

  • A prayer box or a box of comforting sayings /prayers

http://travelersdream2012.blogspot.com/2013/09/diy-altoid-tin-prayer-boxes.html

prayer box

How about a gift of homemade treats especially to those who can’t or don’t bake.

treatsondoor

  • A homemade hand/foot/body scrub.

http://www.tipjunkie.com/tutorial/diy-coconut-salt-scrub-3/

coconut scrub

  • A fun gift in a jar–these are endless…candy, tea, coffee. or whatever comes to mind. Jars are a great way to package gifts.

http://www.freebiefindingmom.com/homemade-mothers-day-gifts-in-a-jar/#_a5y_p=1528335

manipedijar

Some other ideas :

A mug with bag of favorite coffee

A book that you enjoyed with a new book mark inside

Fragrant lotion and a pair of soft footies.

A new journal and pen for thoughts or prayers.

The list is endless. What brings you comfort and says I am thinking about you?

No crafting skill necessary–just a thoughtful approach to reaching out to someone else and offering hope and comfort.

Heidi Mull, sharing tidings of comfort and hope with my fellow travelers on the road of life.