Thursday, June 19, 2008

DeStress: Your Body

DeStressing our bodies has to do with preparing our bodies for the stress that comes with the full lives we are blessed with, as well as taking unnecessary stress away.

We have talked in length about how stress takes our physical energy, and that its so important to get control of it because God uses our physical energy to fulfill our spiritual purpose!

The way we feel physically has much to do with how we feel otherwise. Ask anyone struggling with chronic illnesses, or constant pain - it effects everything. When we feel exhausted, painful, hungry, or dehydrated we feel mentally wearied as well. It makes us susceptible to being easily overwhelmed by smaller stresses, and less likely to manage larger stresses well.

So, we need to do what we can to get our bodies in the condition to take on energy, and spend it on the things we need to (in so much as it depends on us).

Some things that are required by our bodies to produce the most abundant and healthiest energy, are
  • REST! ..never underestimate the need for sleep and quiet rest
  • Eating right. ..I know, you want to roll your eyes, but its true. This is one of the most important ways to gaining the right kind of energy
  • Exercising. I know, again, but its important!
  • Taking vitamins.
  • Regular Checkups ...not only for you, but for the family that depends on you!
  • WATER WATER WATER ...we all need at least 64 oz a day.
  • Avoiding things that sap our energy like too much sugar or caffine
Doing all this keeps our natural energy levels up, and our weight down (an extra bonus!) but most importantly, it gets us in the frame of mind to face the stresses that are sure to come.

Let me go into a couple of these a little further. I think we all know alot about the right food, and the right type of exercise to make part of our lives. That information is easily accessible, so I would encourage you to do that.

One thing I think isnt talked about enough is the need for proper rest!

So, lets talk about it.

Sleep is a very important way that our body restores itself from the stresses of the day on our organs, skin, heart, lungs, brain and immune system. Is role is profound, and often not fully understood.

Some of the benefits of sleep are immune system restoration, mentally organize stimulation from the day, weight control, hormonal balance, stress tolerance, organs/tissue repair, memory retention, and improved concentration (just to name a few).

Some of the effects of lack of sleep, and proper rest are decreased efficiency of the immune system, weight gain or inability to lose weight, increased craving for carbs/calories, increased risk for breast cancer, impaired glucose metabolism, increased risk for heart disease, increased risk for depression, increased hormonal imbalance, increased risk for GI problems, decreased skin health, increased risk for anxiety disorders, decreased emotional tolerance, and decreased alertness which increases risk for injury for yourself or those in your care.

These arent all the problems associated with lack a sleep, but they are a good enough list to get us realizing now important it is to rest!

Rest doesnt alway mean sleep - as we well, know, often being a mom means lack of sleep and the few hours we get are often interrupted by our family's needs.

Rest may mean just a decrease of stimulation. A shut door for 15 minutes when daddy gets home, or a quiet bath when the kids to go bed. Rest is a precious commodity, but one very important to keeping our bodies healthy, and able to manage all the jobs we have to manage.

Finally, dont forget that part of taking care of all of them means taking care of you too.

We cant possibly take care of them the way they deserve if we are exhausted, overwhelmed, malnourished or unhealthy (again, within our control).

So, consider this when you make your schedule. Allow for quiet, rest time. I know its seems like craziness to consider, but if you make it something that is important to you, it will happen.

Stress Strategies: get control of it, get it done, get a new plan, get a new perspective

1 comment:

  1. Because of you, I actually wrote "Nap #1" and "Nap #2" on my to do list today. And guess what - I took 2 naps :) Now, I didn't sleep as much as I wanted to with either one, but they were restful and I felt better. Since I knew they were on my list, I knew they were coming. And somehow it just made the day go easier knowing that I was going to/did get to take naps, and I didn't feel guilty about it, nor did I want to "waste" the day sleeping so much... I had more stuff to do so that I would have less stress :) Thank you!


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