From time to time, we all feel a bit overwhelmed when there seems too little time to get things done. Beyond the “must do” chores like brushing your teeth and shopping for food, there are activities one would like to include in life: texting a friend, calling your mom, and reading a story to your child.
Then along comes a new task. Perhaps it is an extra project at work, or a committee meeting for the church or PTA. Maybe it is a bigger deal like buying a new car or a house. Obviously, something will be neglected or “fall off the truck.” But peace is precious, is it not?
Remember that the day is 24 hours only and no more. All we can really manage is ourselves, not time itself. There is much to learn about self-organizing. I will begin with these three tips:
#1: To become more productive, learn where you spend your time. First, take a look at the places where time may be wasted. How much time are you looking at email or texting? Chatting on the phone? Binge watching TV? You will be surprised how much time modern life extracts from just those activities alone, and you can take some of that time back.
#2: Set your priorities after some real, honest thought. Determine the difference between your wants, needs, and shoulds. The internal dialog "should" includes deciding what in your life is a "need" to do and what is a "nice" to do. The value one places on this debate is uniquely individual. Examining our motives often helps. Discerning priorities is an ongoing thought process. As life changes, so to does the challenge to spend our time wisely.
#3: Learn to delegate. Let go of things you aren’t good at or don’t like to do. These could be tasks that are tedious, small in scope, or time-consuming. Look for learning opportunities and teachable moments. Others can benefit from your organization! Then, choose the right person, explain why, give clear instructions, and check back on their progress occasionally. Lastly, remember to say thank you!
Unsurprisingly, there is still plenty to discuss on self-organizing. Stay tuned for more next time!
COVID-19 continues to affect our lives. While spring is not yet here, but it’s time to think about breaking up the monotony of inactivity.
Physical inactivity is one of the four main risk factors for preventable chronic diseases. (The others are tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, and poor nutrition.) More than 15% of adults over 50 in the United States get no physical activity beyond that of daily living. The harmful effects of this sedentary lifestyle can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. But there are many great benefits of regular exercise!
Exercise improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and reduces the risk of dementia. Every week, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Surely we have 15-30 minutes in our day to get moving!
Some people like to go to gyms, join the YMCA, or get home machines such as bicycles, treadmills, and rowers. However, there are plenty of economical or free activities that are easy to do. Walking is the best for a heart-strong and life-long pastime. Take the dog. Ask a friend to join you. Put on the coat and hat, get outside, and listen to your podcasts. Shopping? Park the car at the end of the lot and walk to the door. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. What about washing your own car?
Such activities as vacuuming and sweeping can burn up to 150 calories an hour. Gardening is not only a stress reliever for some, but the digging, raking, and weeding can be aerobic as well as strength-building. When is the last time you danced to your favorite song? Dancing brings flexibility, stamina, and balance in addition to its aerobic nature. It would be remiss to leave out activities like swimming, yoga, and tai chi.
Find something you enjoy––alone or with others––that offers an opportunity to be active for a sustained period of time. Just a few minutes a day and add a few minutes each week. Whether you stay home or get outside, the bottom line is to just get going.
Even if you and your family have managed to escape COVID-19, you may find that you have some of the same thoughts. You have probably done a really good job of masking, sanitizing, and isolating by staying home and foregoing socialization with family and friends. Other losses caused by the pandemic have been extreme. Financial stress, loss of loved ones, grief, isolation, stress, home-schooling...these can all lead to feelings of sadness, lack of energy, loss of control, irritability, changes in mood, and physical symptomatology.
But how do we know if we have become depressed? The National Institute for Mental Health describes depression as a group of symptoms that last longer than two weeks.
If you should feel that you, your partner, children, or other loved ones may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, have a conversation with someone you trust. There are many options for diagnosis and treatment, most of which are covered by insurance. Your family physician is a good place to start. If you are concerned about going to a provider’s office, many are offering telehealth appointments at this time.
The important thing to remember is that you do not have to suffer in silence. Reach out. The Soul Care Team here at Good Shepherd is here to assist you in any way that we can, with information, support, pastoral care, and referrals.