Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Health for the Homemaker -- Energetic Attitude

A few days ago, I talked about specificity of physical training, or, in other words, training our bodies to be fit for our tasks as homemakers. There's one component of physical health that we didn't mention, and that is mental attitude.

This is too big a topic to discuss in one post. But, today, I do want to look at this from one particular angle. Next to her faith and her faithfulness, the one quality that jumps out at you about the worthy woman is her energetic attitude. In fact, the Hebrew word translated as worthy or excellent can loosely be spelled chayil in English, and it was originally a term for a well-prepared army of soldiers who were strong in body and valiant in heart. It also denotes someone who is fit for his or her tasks, because he or she combines physical vigor with moral excellence and a willing attitude.

Now, some of us are born with a stronger physical constitution. Some of us are born with a naturally strong temperament, or we are taught healthy ways of thinking from a young age.

Others of us are naturally more challenged in this area. Even if we do have physical or emotional infirmities that make it difficult for us to be at peak vigor, chances are we can -- with God's help -- improve our situation. At the very least, we can count our weaknesses as opportunities for God's power to be displayed in us.

At any rate, even worldly scientists are discovering the role that a sound attitude plays in our overall health. So, if we want to be fit for our tasks as homemakers, it makes sense to invest in our emotional attitude. Here are some things to consider:

1) Sometimes, we can let our minds wander when doing household tasks. If I'm not careful, my mind can wander to negative things. There is a time to recognize problems and face them head on. But, what I'm talking about is allowing random brooding or fretful thoughts to run through the back of my mind. I may be hardly aware that I'm letting my train of thought derail until I realize that I've talked myself into a sore mood for no good reason. So, I have to consciously decide to keep my mind focused on both the tasks at hand and on positive things. If you focus on the positive long enough, your mind will usually drift there by habit rather than to the negative. But, even after you have developed a positive habit, you can't take it for granted. You need to be aware if you start to drift down a negative chain of thought.
2) Take a few hours one day and think about why you do what you do. Guilt? Duty? A desire to be loved and appreciated? A romantic dream in your mind of how things should be? For the Lord? Do you really believe deep down in your heart that the work you do in the home is important, whether or not you have an outside job, as well? How do the activities of your days fit in with your ultimate priority of loving and serving the Lord? Have you and your husband talked over your priorities? Don't linger long on this; too much introspection isn't helpful. But, taking a day now and again to ponder these things can help you stay focused and positive.
3) A wise woman once told a boy who was reluctant to do his chores, "Son, most of this world's work is done by people who don't feel like doing it." Some days, you may not feel motivated. But, if you push through and get going, likely you will become more motivated as your mind and body become engaged in your chores.
4) Every job, including homemaking has tasks that are pleasant and tasks that are unpleasant -- or, at least we humans find them so. When doing something that is needed, but isn't your favorite thing to to, focus on the benefits. Think how nice it will be when the chore or whatever is accomplished. Everything that you do will benefit someone, or else you wouldn't be doing it.
5) Try to find at least fifteen to thirty minutes in every day -- in addition to your usual devotions -- to re-surrender your day. Read the Word. Have a glass of something to drink. Make a conscious decision to relax. Go outside on a pretty day and just let your mind and your muscles rest as you enjoy the sun on your shoulders. This extra time of relaxation may not be realistic for every day. But, work these rest periods into your life on a regular basis, and you'll feel better for it.



Anonymous said...

I'm new here, and I don't know if you can see this from your end, but the google stuff is right on the header of your blog name. I can't even read it. And the search engine is in the middle of your blog. Very distracting.
I wonder if you can fix it? I'm enjoying your articles though! :)

Elizabeth said...

"Think how nice it will be when the chore or whatever is accomplished. Everything that you do will benefit someone, or else you wouldn't be doing it."

Thanks Elizabeth. Tomorrow is a big cleaning day for me (a bit overdue) and I will think of your wise words as I'm chipping away at my chores.
Elizabeth (Flowers)