The title given this blog, Lipstick and Beds…for Troubled Times, may sound odd, but it has some true meanings. When we are having to decide how to avoid depression, cabin-fever and stress, it may be that we have to look long and hard at ourselves and our actions.
There are some things that Mayo Clinic tells us that may help. They call it generic terms like “mindfulness” and the often practiced “meditation.” I would like to add prayer to their thoughts on these subjects. First, I would also like to share that to help with stress, it is also important to maintain a routine. Here are a couple examples from real life:
- Before my Mother passed away at age 93, she lived a short time in an Assisted Living here in Florida. One thing that impressed me when we had our daily visits was the fact that as she prepared to go to the dining room, she carefully put on her lipstick and nicer clothes. Her hearing was almost gone at that time and she often said she could not converse with the people at her table. Most of them had a hard time hearing her also, even if she talked. Nevertheless, she wanted to look her best and by doing so she maintained her own emotional health and stayed the kind of person that she had always been…neat and beautiful.
Having shared this, I’d say to some of you who may be sitting around in your pajamas all day, glued to the constant news about the virus.GET UP, take a long shower, put on clean clothes, take a walk and if you are a lady, put on your “lipstick.” Mental and Emotional health has a great deal to do with our daily activity…or lack of it… as some are becoming total coach potatoes while eating Bon-bons all day!
The worst thing in the world for you to do is to let yourself or the things around you become a mess. Good grief, some people could even begin to look like the TV program “Hoarders” from lack of personal care!
- If you are a young adult bored out of your mind, wanting to go hang out with the crowd that you love, remember the Admiral Willian H. McRaven who spoke to a college graduating class of the University of Texas, who said, “MAKE YOUR BED!” It was his way of saying that you should take pride in the things around you for it will give you a good start to any activity. He later wrote the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World. ” Having said this, it may be the time to clean out your closet, throw out things that are years old or bag up to give away when you can finally go somewhere. Don’t forget your time to spend outside looking at nature. Even if it is a few minutes or a jog up the block, keeping distances, it will do you a world of good.
What about STRESS?
Everyone, when unable to do things as we are used to doing, begins to experience some type of stress. It may be quite observant in some who will find themselves raising their voices to those around them or less for others who simply store it away inside. We used to say that this type is those who get ulcers, but it may be something like not being able to sleep at night…or feeling a knot in the stomach.
Are you with me so far? I would imagine you are and would like to think about some things to help the situation.
So let’s take a look at some suggestions (in part) from the Mayo Clinic:
What about Meditation?
Meditation has been studied in many clinical trials. The overall evidence supports the effectiveness of meditation for various conditions, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Preliminary research indicates that meditation can also help people with asthma and fibromyalgia.
Meditation can help you experience thoughts and emotions with greater balance and acceptance. Meditation also has been shown to:
- Improve attention
- Decrease job burnout
- Improve sleep
- Improve diabetes control
- Pay attention. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
You can also try more structured mindfulness exercises, such as: (remember that you can also pray in any position)
- Body scan meditation. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
- Sitting meditation. Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.
- Walking meditation. Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.
Meditate and Pray Anywhere…Any time
Research indicates that engaging your senses outdoors is especially beneficial. For more structured mindfulness exercises, such as body scan meditation or sitting meditation, you’ll need to set aside time when you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions. You might choose to practice this type of exercise early in the morning before you begin your daily routine. (The same is true of course when we spend time in prayer.)... Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.
In these suggestions from Mayo Clinic, we heard also the words “commitment” and “connecting” which I would also suggest is important to use this time of fewer distractions to connect or reconnect with our God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a time to strengthen faith. I write as a Christian Author and whenever I write, I “preach” also to myself. We all need to become more committed and feel the daily presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. So…make the bed, put on the lipstick…comb the hair…and breathe deeply. God is with you everyday and all the time!
Peaceful, stress-free Christian music by concert pianist for your background music Turn up sound