Stress and Relaxation

Now that the busy season is over, do not forget to rest and relax. While I was at an appointment; just before Christmas, the office clerk mentioned that she was feeling totally overwhelmed about the holidays. She said that she was hosting a Christmas Eve Brunch and attending a Christmas day dinner, along with shopping for gifts, getting the home ready for guests, and the every day expectations and responsibilities.

We chatted about a few supplements that help your body recover from stress, but I also told her that the most important part of stress recovery is to be still. We both had a laugh at the notion of being still during the holiday season. But seriously, stress recovery is vitally important to our health and well being.

Chronic stress can lead to health effects such as increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Muscle aches, stomach pain and digestive issues as well as depression and much more. The remedy for stress is rest and relaxation.

Rest and relaxation do not occur simultaneously. Each must be accomplished individually.  Rest first and then relax. Dedicate at least 10 minutes to rest; once you have fully rested, relaxation will follow. Note that in the beginning a conscious effort must be made, in order to truly relax. Do not get stressed out trying to achieve the perfect form of relaxation. Just be still and be quiet, dismiss thoughts of what happened an hour ago as well as thoughts of what must be done an hour from now.

Rest means that you stop doing something,which allows you to recover your strength. However, relaxation has a further purpose. Relaxation allows us to clear our minds and refresh our spirits. It allows deeper metabolic functions to perform their specific tasks, which in turn is good for our health.

Some of the benefits of really relaxing are reduced muscle tension, improved breathing patterns, slower heart rate and lower blood pressure. Relaxation also improves cognition, memory, learning as well as our daily coping and communication abilities. According to a mayo clinic article on stress, Practicing relaxation techniques 2 to 3 times a week can have many benefits, including:

Slowing heart rate
Lowering blood pressure
Slowing your breathing rate
Improving digestion
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
Reducing activity of stress hormones
Increasing blood flow to major muscles
Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
Improving concentration and mood
Improving sleep quality
Lowering fatigue
Reducing anger and frustration
Boosts confidence to handle problems

Everyone should include relaxation in their lifestyle. In the beginning relaxation may be a challenge. After all, we have to “learn” how to relax. However as noted the benefits are worth the effort. It could literally save your life.

Start with simple stress reduction activities, try 3 to 5 minutes of quiet, clear your mind and just be still. If you are not accustomed to absolute quiet, then use soothing background music.

Consider Yoga, not the twisted like a pretzel yoga that takes years of mastery, but simple yoga stretches, they are wonderful. Yoga stretches improve posture and include all of the relaxation benefits.

Aren’t you worth 5 minutes to yourself. I promise you that the world will not fall apart in that space of time. Try to Increase your quiet time to 15 to 30 minutes at least twice a week. Outside of the listed benefits; in total, these effects can improve your overall well being, improve your appearance and possibly increase longevity.

Our young people can benefit from learning to relax early in life, grab a niece, nephew, neighbor or child and encourage them to sit quietly with you for 5 minutes.

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child, This is My Village Project
Take Care of Your Village,
The Village Mother
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CHARLIE BROWN

Charliebrown

The Charles M. Schultz character “Charlie Brown” seems to be the quintessential under achiever. As Lucy says; a “Blockhead.” But Charlie Brown might be the victim of unreasonable expectations.

He fell for Lucy’s football trick more times than we can count, but he gave it his best shot… time and time again. He knew that she would trick him; but despite their history, he always tried. He hoped that this time would be different. His effort reflects his faith in humanity and hope in his friends. It also shows great perseverance.

In the holiday special, “Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown”, Peppermint Patty invites the whole gang to Chuck’s house, but he has other plans. When they arrive, Charlie Brown accommodates them the best he can under the circumstances. He serves a dinner of toast, pretzels, popcorn, and jelly beans When Peppermint Patty voices her disappointment, about the dinner, Ol’ Chuck feels bad that he let down his friends. Which shows compassion. Being courteous, he calls his grandma to explain that he will be late for dinner, because he still has friends over. She invited them all over and the day was saved.

In the Christmas special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Lucy the therapist, asks Charlie Brown to be the director of their holiday play. After a round of non cooperation from his cast mates, Charlie Brown decides that the set needs a Christmas tree. When he returns with a branch on a base, he was ridiculed by the gang. Charlie Brown takes the little tree home to decorate it. While Charlie Brown is inside, the gang shows up to his house and decide to fix it. So the spirit of cooperation was restored when the kids work together to fix the tree.

So While the average Eight year old  will only see the blockhead in Charlie Brown, the wisdom of life lets us know that Charlie Brown will make it. After all, haven’t we all had our own Charlie Brown moments?  Is Charlie Brown the victim of unreasonable expectations? At the least, he is taken for granted and disrespected.

Please take a moment to discuss some of these character qualities with the youth in your world. Perseverance, Kindness, and Hope are just a few of them.

 

It takes a village to raise a child
take care of your village,
The Village Mother

 

THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving

This is a re-post from last year and I am still full of gratitude.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day.  But let me share with you an experience that I had a couple of weeks ago.  It was our usual hectic busy week, the grand kids had been over all week long. So my husband and I, were on full time grandparent duty. We drove the kids back and forth to school. We supervised homework and prepared dinners. We Insisted on baths and all the rest.

When the Kids left our house on, Saturday evening, I was especially tired. I went to bed and slept in a deep sound sleep. The kind of sleep that you can’t get when you have to listen out for a busy two year old who will walk the floors, even in a dark house.

Sunday morning arrived. I was laying there enjoying the quiet. My husband came into the room and popped on the light. I raised my arm to shield my eyes. “Thank God I can cover my eyes from the light. Thank God that the light bothers me.” I thought, as I continued to lay there. By then I had lain in just a bit too long, so I got up to hurry to the bathroom.

No pain in my feet. My knees did not hurt. I can get to the bathroom all on my own. So I Thanked God, that I was able to walk. I did my bathroom routine and exited from the warm shower. “Thank God for warm water, some people don’t have that” I thought as I continued on my way. I headed to the bedroom, sans bathrobe, the house was nice and warm. Thank you Lord for the heat.” I said out loud. I got dressed and changed my mind about the outfit. I changed blazers to make a brighter ensemble. “Thank God.” I thought, “I have a closet full of clothes.”

As it often happens with Michigan weather, my lightweight jacket was insufficient. So I reached into the back of the closet and pulled out my long wool coat. Another “Thank God “was whispered. Because I had a coat for the colder weather.

My husband and I headed out for Church and locked the doors behind us. Again, a wave of gratitude come over me,”Thank God that we have a secure home.” We got into one of our three cars; none of them are new but there are three just the same. What a blessing to have three cars. Just at that moment, I thought how grateful I was to have a Man of God as my husband.

We drove to the local coffee shop and ordered coffee and bagels. Again, I thought what a blessing to be able to spend the Five dollars for coffee and bagels. It sounds like a lot Thank You Lords and Oh how Blessed I am’s, but, on that particular day, for no reason at all, I found myself in a state of Profound Gratitude.Thanksgiving is nice, but Gratitude is much more fulfilling. Always be grateful.

Always be grateful.

Pamela Moultrie

The Village Mother

The End or The Beginning?

The End or the Beginning

 

 

doors

 

 

It is the first day of December, the last month of the year. Soon Christmas will be here and we will be toasting a new year and making resolutions.

Is this the end or the beginning?

How was your year? Was it spectacular? Did you accomplish all of your goals? Or Did you plan to start something that you never got around too? Go to your to do list and check off everything that you completed. Give yourself a half check if you started but did not complete some tasks.

If you did not accomplish, all that you planned during 2017, it is not too late. You still have 29 days to start on those neglected goals. Once started, you can always carry them over into next year and move toward completion.

What do you expect in the new year? Do you have particular hopes and dreams? What is the one thing that you most want to accomplish in the upcoming year? Can you envision your main goal coming to fruition?

Now is a good time to work on a vision board. Have fun with your board. Embellish it and include lots of colorful pictures detailing your vision. add your favorite words of encouragement and positive phrases. Post your board in a prominent place. Plan a vision board event with friends and family.

In keeping with the tradition of New Year’s resolutions, a solid set of goals is also in order. set of Remember to outline just a few main goals; and detail the small steps needed to keep you on track to accomplish them. Strive to move forward on your goals daily and to monitor your progress often. Don’t forget to set a deadline for yourself.

So yes, though it is the end of 2017, however, it is also the beginning of 2018, you can wrap up the old and start anew.

Please start a conversation with the youth in your life about goal setting and planning for success

Until next time, carry on time waits for no one.

It takes a Village to Raise a Child

Take Are of Your Village

The Village Mother

THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving

This is a re-post from last year and I am still full of gratitude.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day.  But let me share with you an experience that I had a couple of weeks ago.  It was our usual hectic busy week, the grand kids had been over all week long. So my husband and I, were on full time grandparent duty. We drove the kids back and forth to school. We supervised homework and prepared dinners. We Insisted on baths and all the rest.

When the Kids left our house on, Saturday evening, I was especially tired. I went to bed and slept in a deep sound sleep. The kind of sleep that you can’t get when you have to listen out for a busy two year old who will walk the floors, even in a dark house.

Sunday morning arrived. I was laying there enjoying the quiet. My husband came into the room and popped on the light. I raised my arm to shield my eyes. “Thank God I can cover my eyes from the light. Thank God that the light bothers me.” I thought, as I continued to lay there. By then I had lain in just a bit too long, so I got up to hurry to the bathroom.

No pain in my feet. My knees did not hurt. I can get to the bathroom all on my own. So I Thanked God, that I was able to walk. I did my bathroom routine and exited from the warm shower. “Thank God for warm water, some people don’t have that” I thought as I continued on my way. I headed to the bedroom, sans bathrobe, the house was nice and warm. Thank you Lord for the heat.” I said out loud. I got dressed and changed my mind about the outfit. I changed blazers to make a brighter ensemble. “Thank God.” I thought, “I have a closet full of clothes.”

As it often happens with Michigan weather, my lightweight jacket was insufficient. So I reached into the back of the closet and pulled out my long wool coat. Another “Thank God “was whispered. Because I had a coat for the colder weather.

My husband and I headed out for Church and locked the doors behind us. Again, a wave of gratitude come over me,”Thank God that we have a secure home.” We got into one of our three cars; none of them are new but there are three just the same. What a blessing to have three cars. Just at that moment, I thought how grateful I was to have a Man of God as my husband.

We drove to the local coffee shop and ordered coffee and bagels. Again, I thought what a blessing to be able to spend the Five dollars for coffee and bagels. It sounds like a lot Thank You Lords and Oh how Blessed I am’s, but, on that particular day, for no reason at all, I found myself in a state of Profound Gratitude.Thanksgiving is nice, but Gratitude is much more fulfilling. Always be grateful.

Always be grateful.

Pamela Moultrie

The Village Mother

Fun Times With Dad

my dad

I just finished a term paper, for a class that I am taking.

The topic was, How a fathers care and attention impacts a child’s life. It was based on a research article about a Fathers’ Warm Care giving.

It stated all of the obvious data, and a few new things to consider. A child fares better when there are two parents in the home. A child in a single parent situation is more likely to face poverty and the troubles associated with poverty.

A child who does not have a father in the home is more likely to become a teenage parent and more likely to indulge in drugs, alcohol, and cigarette smoking. A child without a father in the home is more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. You get it.

That is not to say that, because, a child is in a single parent home, the world is going to come crashing down on him or her. There are many fatherless families with children who turn out to be just fine, and in some cases spectacular.

This is the result of powerful parenting on the part of the mother or single father.

Sometimes there is support from friends family and the larger community.

Every now and then things turn out great because they were wonderful children anyway.

Warm parenting is described as nurturing, responsive, positive, interactions by the father.

You know, the kind of stuff you see on TV. The report studied how a father’s warm interactions with his child, between the ages of birth and age 3 affected the child in later life.

The children who had the warm interactions, whether the father was in the home or not, did better on every measure. The did better in preschool, 2 grade, 5th grade and on into adolescence and early adulthood.

This got me to thinking about how it was growing up in my nearly perfect two parent home with a stay at home mom and a kind dad who made good money and did not run the streets.

It was great. We had simple fun, if my dad mowed the lawn, I was walking in his footsteps. If my dad fixed the TV, I was hanging over his shoulder and requesting that he take out all of the scarey stuff.

When my dad put up a picket fence, I was right there, of course, the picket that I cut was totally backwards. It was so backwards that you couldn’t flip it over. So my dad used that as the interest piece on the gate.

Friday was ice cream day, it didn’t matter how many kids were on the sidewalk, we all piled in and rode to the local diary queen or we made these fantastic grape soda ice cream floats in the kitchen.

Our fun came from long rides exploring the country side. The challenge was to see how many fox you could spot. We would drive over to Drayton Plains and Watch the parachute jumpers. And we would spend long days at the state park.

It was all so simple, but so much fun. Dads, whether you are in the home or not, make it a point to spend warm, quality, simple time with your children. You can’t underestimate the impact of that.

My dad is still alive today, I am 55 he is 84.

Thanks Dad for a Wonderful Life.

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child, This Is My Village Project.

Take Care Of Your Village,

The Village Mother

The Things We Take For Granted

I opened the fridge to get a glass of juice. I turned back to put the juice away. Oh no! Panic set in. The fridge was dark. Flip the lights, fuse okay. Open the door again, still dark. Push the little light button, but nothing happened. I close the door and whisper a silent prayer.  HMMMMM, just then the fan kicks in. Thank Goodness, it is only a blown bulb.

 

I never realized the importance of that little bulb in the back of the fridge. So I began to think, what other mundane things do we take for granted? Tissue in the bathroom? Soap in the closet?

 

 

 

 

What about the things that make our lives easier or more interesting?

 

Here are some things that we would all miss.

 

Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

television since the 30’s Color TV cable TV since the 40’s VCR DVD MP3 electronic download

 

 

 

 

 

 



microwave they cost around $500 in 1967

 

The Car. The best development of all times. The keyed ignition you’ve seen the hand crank on old movies. Automatic transmission Everything was a stick shift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cell Phones

 

 

 

 

computers copy machines

 

the furnace, beats the fireplace or iron stove.

 

pre packaged food Jiffy mix shake N bake and hamburger helper, were the start of it all.

 

Vanilla Flavoring not widely available before 1900

 

 

Remember, it all started somewhere. We are thankful that it all exists. Let’s not take it all for granted.