Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Stretched Too Thin

Stretched Too Thin

March 27, 2019

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive
By Jessica N. Turner

Chapter 4: Practicing Self-Care
Mental and Emotional Care
"Have you ever been so busy with work and caring for others that you ended up feeling mentally or emotionally frazzled? When we don't practice proper self-care, our minds experience a never-ending roller coaster of emotions. Unexpected challenges easily push us over the edge when we're feeling stressed. And our good intentions quickly fade when we become angry and impatient with the people we love most. I know that when I work too much and am stretched too thin, I become short-tempered, moody, and not very nice to be around. To mitigate these feelings, we must take time to nurture ourselves mentally and emotionally" (Turner, p. 69).
  • Pursue Your Passions - What do you love to do? Make time and space to do it.
  • Journal - Free-form, prayer, list, gratitude, and electronic journaling → brings clarity to thoughts
  • Seek Out a Counselor - Get an unbiased perspective and gain new tools for living well

Physical Care
  • Listen to Your Body - Pay attention to your body and take the necessary steps to take care of it
  • Drink Water - The body is 60% water and needs water to function at its best. Drink up!
  • Exercise - Do what you love to get stronger, feel less stress, have more energy, and have fun
  • Eat Healthily - Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits/veggies, lean protein, and whole grains.
  • Rest - Sleep is critical to overall health; you’re more productive and happier when well-rested.

Spiritual Care
  • Meditate and Practice Mindfulness - “Be still, and know that I am God.” Quiet inner chatter; trust.
  • Read Spiritual Books - Foster spiritual growth and deepen one’s faith. Turner’s favorite books: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - seeing life through a lens of gratitude and A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman - transforms perspective about God, art, and creativity
  • Keep a Prayer Journal - Beneficial to spiritual health; writing reduces distractions and increases focus
  • Gather with Other People - Select gatherings that fill you up rather than drain you to encourage your faith; can be a source of encouragement

Prioritizing and Practicing Self-Care
“Focusing on your family and career is not enough. You must take time to practice self-care. Don’t become so busy that you forget to love yourself well. Doing so is going to make you a better wife, mom, co-worker, and friend.

“If you are someone who finds it challenging to prioritize self-care, schedule time for yourself in the same way you schedule meetings at work. Put going to the gym, gathering with friends, or having a quiet lunch by yourself on your calendar. You may also want to consider having a friend hold you accountable so you don’t push yourself aside. These simple acts can ensure that you take care of you” (Turner, p. 87).

And now, a special (and ancient) self-care secret... LAUGH!

Who Switched Off My Brain? (Controlling Toxic Thoughts & Emotions)
Dr. Caroline Leaf
“Having fun will detox your through life, improve your health and make you clever to boot. It’s one of the most powerful antidotes to stress you will ever find, and it’s free. Fun is a tremendous resource God built into your brain to bring perspective into your life, help surmount problems, add sizzle to your relationships, and make you feel good.

“Many studies show why laughter deserves to be known as ‘the best medicine.’ It releases an instant flood of feel-good chemicals that boost the immune system and almost instantly reduce levels of stress hormones. For example, a really good belly laugh can make cortisol drop by 39% and adrenaline by 70%, while the ‘feel-good hormone,’ endorphin, increases by 29%. ...Other research shows how laughter boosts your immune system by increasing immunity levels and disease-fighting cells” (Leaf, p. 133).

This is why we had so much fun at last month’s TLC Night. We laughed together, reduced our stress, and brought healing into our minds and bodies!

How can we add more fun and laughter to our lives?

Cathlyn shared the following...
  • App called Calm -- it tells stories; helps boys and her fall asleep; by paid subscription; her kids love it; reads and slowly quiets until it automatically turns off; nature sounds; white noise
  • Games
    • Spot It
    • Pie Face