Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

stock-photo-transform-your-thinking-on-blackboard-background-238546603[1]What does it take to transform a widow’s grief into a renewed life?

My friend, Ferree Hardy, has compiled 5 Turning Points in scripture to be aware of to help in a Widow’s Transformation. As Ferree writes on her blog, Widow’s Christian Place, she states that grief is not our destination but part of a journey of love. “We grieve because we’ve loved.”

Ferree suggests how we can watch for turning points in a widow’s grief with Wisdom, Knowing God Better, Contentment, Gratitude and Purpose.

Follow Ferree’s link to her website and see how she uses scripture references to help in 5 Turning Points That Help Transform Grief for Widows.

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Our New Life in Georgia

Our New Life in Georgia

In a family shouldn’t your spouse be first and children second? But what happens when your spouse dies? Should the children become first priority?

The way I prioritize, is that God comes first. In my marriage, my spouse came second and our children came third. When my spouse died, my children stepped into second place until they became adults. It was an enormous sacrifice. They were 6 and 7 years old when their father passed. I was only 34 years old.

Keeping God first meant He was the only Father to my children. Yes, they had a huge void in their hearts from a human father, but they had some very supportive uncles and grandfathers who filled in. They were happy children for the most part. It was very challenging however to be the only parent.

Now human nature calls, and some years down the road, I’m lonely. I begin to date and find someone that makes me happy. My girls express to me that they are not fond of this new man in their mother’s life. I first feel that they have no business in my business. Luckily, they were still in second place and not first place. It was really what God’s plan was for my new life.

Keeping God in first place, I wanted to keep my lines of communication open with Him. Through my years of dating throughout my widowhood, I had made a promise with God that I wouldn’t sleep with any man unless I was remarried. My choices of men were not your men that had “God first” in their hearts, if you know what I mean. So most of the time, any dating relationships usually ended quite quickly.

All this to tell you that I remained a single parent until my daughters were adults. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The sacrifices were enormous. It was not easy but so well worth it! Both of my daughters have blossomed into caring, responsible adults that are giving purpose into this world. Isn’t this the whole point of sacrificing for our children?

And me? Once my children were independent adults, I then married a guy worth waiting for!

How many of you can relate????

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I found this website WHAT’S YOUR GRIEF?  through Twitter and wanted to share this article on Self-Care:


Self-Care tactic #752: Lock yourself in the closet until the crying stops.

Self-Care for the Rest of Us

Posted by Eleanor Haley on Feb 25, 2013  at What’s Your Grief?

Self-Care is a phrase thrown around quite a bit in the mental health field. As in, self-care is important for individuals dealing with grief in order to avoid nervous breakdown; or as in, it is important for mental health professionals to practice self-care in order to prevent burnout and continue to function in the normal world.

Both of these statements are true, I don’t dispute them for a second. Still, whenever I hear someone talk about the importance of self-care my eyes glaze over and I vacantly nod my head and say “Oh yes…self care…super duper important”, while inside my head I’m thinking “uh oh, they’re starting to talk about self-care…just walk away…no one will notice”.

For those of you who don’t even know what self-care is, you’re not alone. When I set out to write this post I asked a group of family if they knew what it was and my brother responded, “yeah, it’s like getting manicures and stuff.” I was the only one in the room who knew he was wrong.

When we talk about self-care, we are referring to efforts towards healthy lifestyle and stress management. This is something I fully support, what irks me is that it’s often prescribe it in such an un-relatable way that I can’t get behind it.

As a working mother of two, I reject the idea that in order to take care of myself I must give up bad habits like Lifetime Movie Marathons and adopt healthy lifestyle choices like organic diets, daily exercise, and yoga. Lifetime Movies help me to escape and, although I understand yoga and exercise are good,they require perseverance and hard work, resources which those most in need of self care – the distressed, over stressed, overworked, anxious, angry and depressed – may not have in abundance.

If you fall into this category, please don’t give up on self-care. Not until you have a true understanding of what it requires and have considered how it might be realistic for YOU.

Here’s a word for you…BAR

Woah, not so fast, put that bottle down. In this context BAR is an acronym that stands for…

Balance, Awareness, and Realism

…let me explain

Balance can have quite a few implications when it comes to self-care. It could mean that you try to maintain a good balance between your needs and the needs of others (your children, your work, your significant other). Or it could mean finding a balance between coping strategies that are typically thought of as negative (staying in bed all day, drinking every night) and coping that may have a more positive impact on function (going on daily walks, seeking therapy).

The basic underlying idea is that you should appropriate a decent amount of time to things that will make you feel better by increasing health and happiness and decreasing stress. Your efforts might be as deliberate as scheduling an hour to play tennis, or as subtle as allowing yourself a 15 minute break to put on your headphones and listen to music when things get tough.

After a stressful event like a death, I suggest looking introspectively at how you are coping every so often. This can be hard because it means having to be honest with yourself and possibly say, “I’m not doing that great”.

If you find yourself saying “I’ve let my drinking get out of control”, “I’ve spent too much time on the couch”, “My eating habits have become very unhealthy”, “I spend more time crying and feeling anxious than I think is normal” then it may be time to make lifestyle changes or get help.

It should be noted, when you are at your lowest self awareness can be hard to come by. It may be hard to be objective so consider talking things over with some of your more rational and trusted friends and family.

This one is simple. It means that it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself; go easy on yourself and chose coping methods that are realistic for you. The things that enrich your life may be totally different than the things someone else might choose. Take some time to make a list of the things you enjoy, and strategies you might realistically utilize to reduce stress.

Here are a few examples. As you will see, self-care doesn’t have to be complicated and can include any variety of different activities.

1. Go outside:
o Get 20 minutes of sunlight and/or fresh air
o Take a walk
o Garden
o Open the windows
o Be active: bike, hike, explore

2. Put on headphones and listen to music

3. Read a book: Choose books that will help you escape (mysteries & romance)

4. Watch a movie

5. Deliberately unplug:
o Turn off your phone
o Shut down your computer
o Dont respond to e-mails after work

6. Get a hobby:
o Journal
o Scrapbook
o Photography
o Ceramics
o Stamp collecting
o Cooking/Baking

7. Get enough sleep/Take a Nap

8. Yoga/meditation
o Practice Mindfulness

9. Make a date with yourself

10. Make a date with family or friends

11. Do things that make you feel fulfilled:
o Volunteer time
o Raise funds
o Donate items

12. Do things that make you laugh

13. Get organized

14. Find out more about nutrition and make positive dietary changes

15. Don’t overbook: take a look at your schedule. What can you eliminate?

16. Take a bath

17. Find solitude

18. Find silence

19. Slow down

20. Find ways to feel close to your loved ones memory

What are some ways that you take care of yourself?

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