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
Advertisements

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

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

Are you living life or letting life happen?

Image

Sometimes we get so hung up in just surviving, that we forget how to live life. We don’t make any plans for the future. We don’t dream big, we don’t dream at all We don’t hope. We just get up in the morning, have our coffee and let life happen.

This is no way to live. The old saying goes, Plan like you will live forever and Live like you might die tomorrow.

So tell me, what plans do you currently have for 2014, I’m not talking resolutions and life improvement stuff. Real Plans, one thing that you intend to do no matter what.

Do you have a bucket list? A wish list? Do you have a list of any kind?

When was the last time you played outside with the kids, the neighbors kids, the nieces and nephews. Jump Rope, Hoola Hoop, Frozen tag with funny poses. MR FOX!!

When was the last time that you went anywhere on a whim? Even at $3.50 a Gallon you can still take a 1 tank car trip.

Do you hate that you never took that art class, music class, camping trip?

Wat is taking so long for you to shoot for that dream job?

I once told a friend that we have 5 or 6 lives in our lifetime. You are a child until 15, you are a teenager til 20, they call you a young adult until 25 and then you are expected to get serious about the business of life. Get a real job, buy a house, settle down, have kids. UUGH!! where is the fun in that? Then you become an ADULT a Senior Citizen, after all of that you become grandparents.

If you don’t have a plan you will wake up to a stiff back, achy knees, and glasses that you can’t do without. So get a pencil make a list. Plan something and live life to the fullest.

Use the comment box to share your list with us, you might inspire someone else.