Today's Devotional Thought
August 19, 2010 by Rachel Piferi
Refresh My Soul
What do you do to refresh and rejuvenate yourself each day? With all the demands that are upon us as women, it is very hard to find time for ourselves. And sometimes, it just feels downright selfish to demand time for yourself. However, it is so necessary to be refreshed each day physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
So, how can we maintain a refreshed spirit each day amidst the busyness and craziness of being moms, grandmothers, wives, friends, employees, and other roles?
Over the next few days, we will be reviewing three domains that we all should be focusing on each day to maintain the energy and strength that we need. We will explore physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health. And today, I am going to present some tips to staying physically healthy.
Being emotionally and spiritually healthy begins with staying physically healthy. Our physical and emotional selves are very intertwined and each affects the other. Your mood and stress levels will affect your physical body and the way that you physically feel affects your mood and emotions as well. So, maintaining a sense of being fresh and vibrant each day begins with taking care of yourself physically.
Of all of the things that you can do to keep yourself physically healthy, I would recommend that you must do the following:
1. Sleep well. Research has shown that sleep quality is vital to physical and emotional health. Studies of longevity and health have led to recommendations that we get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to maintain health. While for those night owls out there, I know it is tempting to use the quiet hours of the night to get all of those things done that you didn’t get done during the craziness of the day, it is imperative that you sleep. Your body, mind, and emotions function so much better when you are well rested than when you are lacking sleep. There are critical functions that occur in your body only while you are sleeping, so don’t deprive yourself of that.
2. Eat well and eat consistently throughout your day. In addition to being affected by your sleep quality, your emotions and ability to handle stress are also affected by how well you eat. This includes the quantities and type of food as well as the schedule of eating that you maintain. Again, I know it is so easy to forget to eat or skip a meal when you are taking care of everyone else, but it will not be good for your physical or emotional health during your day. Make sure you are eating sufficiently throughout your day and that you are choosing foods that will not deplete your emotional reserves. Eating fresh foods like salad and vegetables, as well as adequate proteins, will give you the physical reserves necessary to take on your day. Too many sugars or carbohydrates can contribute to physical and emotional dragging, so try to not consume too many of those. Try to eat fresh and eat regularly throughout your day to maintain energy and pep. And, don’t forget to hydrate – it really matters. Wendy & I have bought stainless steel bottles that we fill in the morning with slices of lemon or lime and then we just fill them up with water all day long. The lemon and lime will keep flavoring it all day long and you will feel so much better drinking that throughout your day than coffees, teas, or sodas.
3. Exercise regularly throughout your week. I know that a daily exercise routine may be next to impossible for some women. Demands of work, family, church, and other responsibilities make it very hard to add another activity to your day. However, it is imperative that all women find a way to add some exercise to their day. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout the week.” Additionally, it is recommended that adults spend an additional 2 hours each week on strength and muscle building exercise. For all of us, adding a 1 to 1 ½ hour workout three days each week would satisfy this recommendation. Of course, the more you exercise, the more health benefits you will receive, but adding even the minimum will result in health and energy benefits throughout your day. I have written previously about how I have combined quiet time with exercise by buying a jogging stroller and walking each morning with my 2 year old. I enjoyed that time immensely because she is occupied and I can walk for about an hour while listening to praise and worship music on my ipod. Since I have moved to Virginia, Wendy & I walk each morning. We meet at 7am before the kids get up and walk for 3-5 miles depending on how we’re feeling. That time is very special to us because we are meeting our physical fitness goals while also spending time together before our days start and without the interruption of kids and other things that demand our attention during the day. I have also have a Wii fit that my older kids just love playing alongside me. I’ll be honest, I haven’t done it recently because I have incorporated other exercise into my day, but playing active games on the Wii with my kids is another way to incorporate exercise into my day while still playing with them. I encourage you to get creative with your exercise routine and find ways to combine exercise with the people in your life who you are taking care of and enjoy being with.
Over the next couple of days, we will continue to explore ways to maintain your physical, emotional, and spiritual strength throughout your day. As busy women who are often pulled in many different directions, it is important that we are mindful of our own selves and how to maintain the energy and vibrancy that we need to take care of everyone else. Your emotional and spiritual health start with taking care of your physical health. Pay attention to your sleeping, eating, and exercise today and become creative with ways to include physical healthiness into your day. And as always, include this in your prayer time and tell the Lord how important it is to you that you stay physically healthy. And, ask Him for the strength to maintain it today.