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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - U Care

~ busy, busy, busy ~
Well. You know how everyone is always telling you, you need to take care of you? And yeah, we probably all agree, women need to take better care of themselves. In most households, if the wife/mother goes to her sickbed, the entire household comes to a grinding halt.

Lately, that's something I hear a lot: "you need to take care of you, the caregiver needs care also." I agree, totally, but it's rather dang difficult to squeeze in "me" time when there's so much Dave needs right now. His is the pressing health concern and we're in the last two weeks of treatment. He's still receiving radiation daily but has only had three chemo treatments. Other things have prevented him from receiving the rest of his chemo and it's looking like he'll, probably, not have the other three. We're trusting God.

So, let's see...I've been to the gym once in the last three months; I eat after I've made sure Dave eats but there are a couple of things I'm doing right...I drink a lot of water each day and I, usually, get eight hours of sleep a night. Women who get by on less than eight hours of sleep are, I think, burning the candle at both ends and the middle and, in time, the ole bod will rebel.

In the interest of making sure you're doing something for you, here are some tidbits for you to do for you. Now, y'all know I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on television. I've been known to vet my own animals but these are suggestions only; I'm not making any claims other than what's worked for me. You don't have to do them all but, please, do at least two, within the next twenty-four hours, to remind yourself you're important too. Yes, you're right, "physician, heal thyself" so I'll pick two and treat myself.

~ Eat more protein. I've been reading and hearing that women don't eat enough protein. We tend to eat our fair share of carbs -smile- but we don't eat enough protein. While you're at it, eat more veggies and fruits.

~ Drink! The general rule is drink at least one half gallon of water a day or divide your weight, in pounds, by two and drink that many ounces of water. There are a lot of advantages to drinking more water - you may lose weight, your skin will look better, possibly you'll have fewer headaches and less constipation.

~ Go to bed early and get eight hours of sleep at the bare minimum and, if you can, sleep nine hours. Trust me, it will make a huge difference in both your outlook and your energy. Laundry and dishes will wait on you; trust me, I know this to be true.

~ MOVE! You don't have to take an exercise class or go to the gym. Walk for thirty minutes around the community or, if the weather is bad, walk around your home. Heck, walk in place but move! Stretch your body as well. Watch how cats and dogs get up...they always, always, always stretch when they get up.

~ Chew on ginger root or ginger candies, or drink ginger tea, to lesson nausea.

~ Fill a tub with warm bathwater and pour six cups of Epsom salts into the tub to help relieve muscle tension, soreness and draw toxins from your body. The bathwater may be poured on your garden and some plants because Epsom salts is great for the garden; check out the link to see more tips and info.

~ Devotions help center you so whether it's Biblical or secular, take some time to read something uplifting that will give you a positive attitude. While you're at it, turn off the television.

~ Pray or meditate. I pray because I truly believe, "cast your cares upon Him for He careth for you" and I always feel better after praying. I pray like it all depends upon God.

~ Breath! Practice four square breathing: to the count of four, breath in; to the count of four, hold your breath; to the count of four, breath out; to the count of four, hold your breath. Most of us don't breath enough or correctly. What? Yep, that's right and an under supply of oxygen can leave us feeling groggy, dizzy and it just plain takes a lot of energy to focus and make decisions. If we chronically short ourselves on oxygen, it can lead to fatigue, stress, anxiety and Lord knows what else. While I'm harping on breathing, breath from the gut and not from the chest. Sit or stand straight and breath deeply.

~ Stand up straight, watch your posture. Slumping is bad for your back and contributes to not enough oxygen being taken into your body. My Grandmother, bless her, was a 44EE and she always said, "stand up straight! If I can, you can, so stand up straight!"

~ Light is in short supply in the winter and a lot of people, by necessity, are trapped in a corporate environment and never see the sun.  If you're able, go outside for lunch; walk to work and get in your thirty minutes of exercise or, at the least, wait for the fifty percent off sale at Joann Fabric and buy an OTT light. They range from, about, $80 to $250 but with the sale, they are more affordable and, yes, they do help. Especially if you do any kind of handwork, sewing, spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving, embroidery, stitching, etc. Now that I've used one for years, I couldn't do without it, especially at night.

~ Eliminate the unnecessary. This one is easier than it sounds, but when you've done it a few times, it becomes even easier.  I developed various tricks when I worked for an overbearing company and south end of a donkey boss who told me, "well, if you can't get your work done in sixty hours, perhaps you should find another job." It never seemed to dawn on him the reason I couldn't get all my work done was because a lot of it was his work. Gee, I still don't wish him well. Anyway, I would ink in "me" time and when he, or other company bosses would say, "Can you meet with us on Saturday?", I'd say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I have a conflict." That was a lot easier than begging for a few measly hours off the job.

~ Listen to something soothing like your favorite music or the wind whistling through the trees or bird song. My favorite music is God song and there's nothing I enjoy more than porch sitting and listening to the animals, birds and sighing wind. I've been doing a lot of that this last year at Thistle Cove Farm and I intend on doing a lot more this year.

~ Scents are a lovely aid to what ails you. There are those in the religious arena who claim aromatherapy is "not of God" and to that I happily say, "you're crazy!" God made scents and and everything else for us to use as long as we don't abuse it; says so in the Old Testament so it must be right, eh? Lavender is very calming and a nice addition to bathwater prior to bed. Peppermint is great as a wake-me up in the morning shower as is eucalyptus and other mints. Right now, I'm on an almond kick because it centers me and leaves me calm. No one uses a lot of heavy scent around chemo patients but almond is soft enough that it's unobtrusive. It's also difficult to find so if you know of a good source, please let me know.

~ Schedule a thirty minute break in your day, every day, to have a cuppa and a cookie. There are a lot of herbal tea companies around but my favorite, Celestial Seasonings, has been around the longest. Not only do you get an excellent cup of tea, you also get positive quotes on the box. I'm all for more positive in my day, how about you? My goal is to sit down at 3:00 p.m., daily, and enjoy a cup of tea and a small snack and it's even better when Dave is able to join me.

~ Write a thank you note. It doesn't even have to be to someone you know personally. I've written thank you notes to people because I enjoyed a performance in a movie or heard someone speak at a conference. Just today I received a thank you note and have already read it several times and will keep it handy so I can read it again and again. In time, I'll stop reading but, until then, those few simple lines written from someone's heart to my heart gives me great pleasure. What an absolute gift!

So, nothing earth shaking in this post but small changes add up to a better you and me. Small changes are the first steps towards seeing more positives in our lives and that's always a good thing. Let me know which two you decide to do in the first twenty-four hours after you read this post. I'm headed upstairs now to enjoy a warm bath, lighted candles, a good book and tomorrow I'm writing a thank you note. Be well.

Blessings ~ we all have the same amount of time ~ wisdom ~ a warm bath ~ almond scented bath wash and lotion ~ herb tea ~ stretching ~ water ~ gratitude ~

Soli Deo Gloria,


  1. Thanks for all the helpful hints and tips..will make use of them, that's for sure!

    have a good week.

  2. I always enjoy myself so whenever I stop by! You always have a word of encouragement, fun tips or links and generally useful information and godly wisdom!
    Thank You!
    I will pick two or more and think of you while doing them!
    Blessings to you,Sandra!

  3. Sandra, I love this simple and practical post, and you have written in from the midst of the fire . . . with experience. Why oh why, don't I drink more water . . . I am going to get a glass right now.

    So glad you are getting the needed rest.

    I heart this post.(and you)


  4. Very good list of needed things. I plan on walking on the treadmill today (it's f-f-frreezing outside). And I'll drink LOTS of water. Did you ever try the water recipe with lemon, cucumber, mint leaves and ginger root? I'm totally addicted. I drink 2 pitchers a day!

    Praying and thinking of you...

  5. All important points. I know what I need to do is move more and remember to stand up straight.

  6. Good , sound advice - now are we going to take it?

    I am with you on all but the water. I am bad, bad, bad about that. I do better than I used to. Winter is the problem - summer I lap it up.

    Have you been to DVMs Wife blog? If not you may enjoy it. Allot in common you have.

  7. Good advice for everyone. I'm going to schedule a 30 minute break to drink a cup of herbal tea and listen to some soothing music. I may even light a scented candle.

  8. 2 weeks to go! Hurray!

    What an uplifing and encouraging post, sister to sister. I like that.

    On the eating point... I'm thinking that if I ate fewer carbs, my protein and veggies would probably be in better balance. ;-p And right now I'm going to get up and get moving and grab another glass of water.


  9. Sandra thank you for this wonderful information. I never heard to divide your weight by 2 and drink that amount of water. These are all great things we all can incorporate into our daily lives and i'm sure we will be better for it. Keeping you and Dave in prayer. Blessings.

  10. glad to see you writing down some of the wise self care for caregivers. Your situation is common to so many - although right now we are not facing an acute health crisis - they do come with the territory of major illnesses. I'm with you especially on the protein and the sleep - I think I could eat steak and eggs for breakfast every day if I weren't trying to get below the obese level of BMI!! and speaking of sleep time for me to get some. Hugs to you and constant prayers for both of you.

  11. These are all wonderful things to practice every day, Sandra!

  12. We all need to take some time for ourselves but it is difficult to do. I already drink lots of water but I am going to try the Epsom salts in the bath, my sister recommended it too. I am taking on two toddlers and soon a couple of babies so I will need some rest for my body does have its aches and pains. You have some really good ideas. Thanks so much.

  13. Oh how I needed this, Sandra! I have been doing pretty good. No huge Flares for a month and then today....I couldn't get out of bed!
    But, I did it to myself :(

    I love this post. I printed out last Tuesays and will do the same with this!

    Keep us posted. I like to know what I need to relay to God! Ha! I am sure he rolls his eyes at me :)
    But, hey. HE is a busy guy!!

    You and Dave take care of each other!
    xo, misha

  14. I was practicing my breathing after reading this.You are so right about sleep making a big difference. I often go without sleep and food, because I get busy and distracted. After a few days of this I am bone tired and can't get off the sofa, then a bit of depression sets in. A good sleep and a brunch of scrambled eggs with cheese cures this and then I remember I have neglected myself to the detriment of my family and livestock.

    Good thing Dave and your animals can count on you Sandra, and thank-you very much for the reminders and tips, I will use them.

  15. yes, I too liked the breathing tip. I know I breath too shallow but forget to change that in myself. All your pointers are terrific and I will try to make use of every one. Especially the epsom in the bath. Great post Sandra. Dave is lucky to have you and he and you are in my prayers.

  16. Anonymous10:02 AM EST

    Taking care is a good thing. One thing I have adopted (or should I say adapted?) just last week: I am letting go my attempts to control certain aspects of my life at work -- I have been butting heads with my supervisor for too long and I have decided that it is not worth it... my day-to-day is what is impacted, not anyone else's... so I wonder though how to 'let go' with other control issues... any thoughts? For those who don't know me, I am being serious, not being funny, when I ask this. Stress robs me of too much and I am done with it! You have a lovely heart, Sandra. Thank you.

  17. This is my first visit to your blog, Sandra. I've printed up these wonderful Tidbits - thank you.

  18. "physician, heal thyself" - words I try to live by! But not so great at it lately. You have a wonderful list, Sandra. I'll MOVE more and DRINK more h2o in the next 24. Thanks for the inspiration, and I pray for blessings for you and yours. -Tammy

  19. Lots of sound advice in your post Sandra. I agree with all of it. I'm a great believer in walking and resting. I'm sure your lifestyle will help you to cope with the problems you face at the moment and I wish you well, as always.

  20. aaawww...thanks for the kind words about my bread...i have pizza dough rising on the counter for tonight

    and a lovely post, my friend

    happy to see you today
    take care of each other

    kary and teddy

  21. I say Amen to all of this!

    Sending love,

  22. Well, don't you know I was slumping until I read this. When I got to that point, I straightened right up.

    And decided to drink another glass of water.

    Good tips, all of them.

  23. I only just now read about your husband and will pray for both of you.

    Those are great tips, and a great reminder to me that I need to start drinking more water. I used to do it, but things get in the way sometimes, as you well know, and I forget to remember. :)

    Take care, and God bless.

  24. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom about this. Many of these things I've been trying to get my MIL to do better as she's been caring for my FIL who's been in poor health for a number of years.

    But now she's been recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I'm planning on helping out as much as I can as they live about 1 hour away from me. I will definitely take your advice to heart so that I can make sure my husband and I stay healthy so we are best able to take care of them.

    Blessings to you too!

  25. After reading this post, I am thinking that all the things I thought about today weren't that important.


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