Sunday, May 8, 2011

Refresh and Renew

Whether Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Athiest, Agnostic... Any religion that may exist... Every person, young, old and everywhere in between deserves a time to renew themselves.

Many parents forget this. Too many of us forget about ourselves while taking care of our families. We see a time to relax and rest as something to do in the future, when the kids are asleep, at school, grown.

It is too important to remember our own needs. How, I ask, are you to be expected to give and give and give when you have had no chance to refill your energy? What happens? If you are like most parents you eventually reach your limit. You get grumpy. Your patience wears thin. You start snapping. Does your family deserve this? Do they really deserve the sub-par care that an over-worked parent provides? Or, do they deserve a well rested, happy, energetic parent?

Let's look at ways we can renew.
-Meditate, stretch, yoga. Relax your mind and body. Focus on your breathing, slowly, evenly, deeply. Close your eyes and minimize stimuli, such as light and noise. Learn simple stretching and/or yoga techniques such as back stretches and pelvic tilts

-Sleep. Take a power nap in the middle of the day. A 15 minute nap can renew your energy in astounding ways. It relaxes your muscles, but allows you to remain aware, preventing the grogginess that happens after reaching REM sleep.

-Kind deeds. Showing kindness to others allows us to feel a larger purpose in life. We feel fulfilled when we've done acts of service. Look at the needs of your neighbors. Is there a widow/widower in your neighborhood who would appreciate a weekly chat with you? A new mother who needs a meal? Though it takes more energy to provide most forms of service, they renew your spirit and make you feel involved in the community.

-Take a walk. Just a quick, refreshing walk around the block can benefit you in many ways. It's a moment to reflect without the distractions of everyday life. It allows you to think and clear your head. The activity gets your heart beating, allowing oxygen to reach your muscles and brain. Have you ever noticed how you feel energized despite a vigorous workout? It's because your body was doing what it is designed to do. The air outside of your home, even if you live fairly close to a busy road, is usually cleaner than the air inside. Why? The air in your home gets trapped. It doesn't move, and when it does it's typically recirculated, leaving contagions and the air.

How do you renew yourselves? Do you have a set schedule for renewal? Remember to invite your friends to share their ideas as well.

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