|Posted on March 7, 2019 at 7:30 AM|
Image by Anna Demianenko on Freely Photos.
I hear it over and over, “We are too busy to do what we need to do for ourselves! Isn’t that selfish anyway?” What a common mantra people of different walks of life, faiths, and family status! You know what is so sad? Christians rarely see it differently! I recently addressed Christian health, fitness and wellness in my blog posts Personal Stewardship Principles 1-7 so you understand what this is. Although we all have 24 hours in a day, many people don’t feel like they have control of much of their time. So, If you consider your own day, you would have 6-8 hours to sleep (was that a sarcastic, “HA!” I heard?), 8 hours of work (okay, I heard that one, too!), then the other 8 hours is open (Really? Absolutely!). What we allow to happen with it depends somewhat on our family status. Are you married? Do you have children? If you commute an hour or more each way to work, as many do, then subtract 2-3 hours on the road. That leaves about 5 hours. What is contained in that 5 hours? Okay, let’s say that you truly only have control over 1 to 1-1/2 in the morning and 1 to 1-1/2 hours in the evening. What happens during that time? By the way, what about your lunch hour? Yes! This is where we actually can have an advantage over our time. The time we have, “Free”, yes, I said, “Free,” is under our control more than you may realize. I fight the pull on my time like you do even though I work from home. Work time is work time. I've found that certain boundaries have to be set and the rest has to be integrated into the rest of my time. Personal time belongs to my family and me.
Here are some ways you take charge of your time to put your Christian fitness, health, and wellness practices to work for you:
1. Morning Prayer and Devotions (Faith, Wellness)- While you get ready for your day in the bathroom or while you eat breakfast, pull out your smartphone with your Bible app or devotional app and read it. Praise God for His goodness to you and your family. Pray for your day, your family members’ day, work, traffic, boss, company, whatever comes to your mind. Bring it all before Him before you go out the door. You can pray while you drive, but eyes open please! Don’t pull out that phone or you might get pulled over.
2. Breathing and Stretching (Health)- When you first wake up and get out of bed, during a break at work, or in the evening, take the time to breathe deeply filling your lungs from top to bottom, then gently pressing all the air slowly using your abdominal muscles and ribcage. Stretch areas of the body that are tight. Work on your body posture even if you only do it for 1-2 minutes, but better if you can devote 5 minutes for this.
3. Set a Regular Bedtime Routine (Health)- Nothing can shorten your life more nor wreak havoc on your work like too little sleep. One thing we’ve learned to do at our house is set a timer. That timer is our alert to finish up what we need to do so we can go to bed at a reasonable hour.
4. Get at least 20 minutes of brisk walking or moderate cardio daily (Fitness)- If you've followed #COMMITYOURHEART, you learned about different ways to take care of your heart physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Take care of your heart and arteries for a lifetime of better living. It will also boost your mood, give you energy, and reduce the risk of thrombosis, if you sit for long periods of time at work.
5. Step away from your work station or area periodically (Health, Wellness)- Give your brain a break from what you are working on to get your creative juices flowing. It is in the mundaneness like making copies, going to the bathroom, or delivering something to another area of the building to reboot your brain. It also reduces your stress levels because you aren’t wracking your brain about a blank screen in front of you.
6. Get basic strength at least 2 days a week with some grunt to it (Fitness, Wellness)- Women are prone to osteoporosis as they age. Basic strength training combined with eating calcium-rich foods will help ward that off. Another benefit of strength training is that mentally you will feel more confident about yourself. Your composure and posture help in interactions at work, home, and church.
7. Choose the mindset you take with you in your workday before you head out your door (Faith, Wellness)- There is almost always someone or something that gets under your skin at work. How easy it is to lose your cool in heated discussions. If you choose to think the best in all things, while being wise and discerning, you may be able to diffuse situations and gain respect with those who disagree with you.
8. Listen to uplifting Christian music or read your Bible app on your lunch (Faith, Wellness)- Get your head out of work by filling your heart and spirit with the beauty in God’s Word and music that turns you toward Him. We may or may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can give those circumstances over to God while retuning our attitudes.
9. Pray over your co-workers, clients/customers, your boss, business, and yourself on your way to work or on your way home (Faith, Wellness)- If only we could fix people and issues, right? Honestly, we can’t but He can. Giving it all over to God will help you walk into your home ready to be available for your family.
10. Set boundaries with work regarding your personal time away from work (Health, Wellness)- make an agreement with your family about what is reasonable to accept from work when you are “off duty”. Do share with them what you know you will absolutely have to do from home. Your company does not own you, even if you are salaried. Once you have that agreement with your family, stick to it. You may have to discuss your limits with your boss so they understand why you don’t work at home instead of going to your child’s recital or out to dinner with your spouse. You and your family need undivided time together.
Where will you begin putting these into practice? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to share in the comments below.
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