Monthly Archives

July 2016

How To Combat Empty Nest Syndrome

July 25, 2016
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Perhaps you are entering a new stage in life. Maybe your kids are leaving for college. Or they have married. You have tried to stay busy. But you are chasing happiness.

According to Psychology Today, “Empty Nest Syndrome is a feeling of loneliness or depression that occurs among parents after children grow up and leave home.”

When my daughter graduated from High School, I began to experience a foreboding sense that life was about to change. A feeling of loss started to creep into my life. I knew I had to do something.

Stepping into the New

 

Trying something new is like trying on a new pair of shoes. You will never know how they fit until you slip into them and walk.

Suggestions

  • Art work
  • Crafts
  • Writing
  • Learn to sew, knit or crochet
  • Gardening
  • Exercise class

I had been a librarian at my church. During that time, I discovered Inspirational Fiction. Gilbert Morris became one of my favorite authors. His historical series called “House of Winslow” stirred a long buried desire to write. I’d been interested in writing since my early teens. I bought my first book about novel writing and dug in.

Develop new interests. Take an art class.  Perhaps get involved in a community project such as volunteer work. There’s something rewarding about doing for others. Most public libraries need volunteers.

My own experience began with learning how to navigate on the internet and then MS Word. It took time. Sometimes I experienced frustration. But eventually I was able to navigate well enough to begin my first novel. One step led to another, and I joined a writing organization. I made many new friends and received the encouragement I needed to develop my writing skill.

Utilize Extra Time

Use the extra time to spend with or spouse or friends. You may have friends going through a similar situation. Invite them over or go out to dinner. My husband and I found we liked to go out to breakfast occasionally.

If you’ve never been able to find time for prayer and meditation, this is the time to get started.

There was a TV commercial that showed a young man leaving for college. As soon as he pulled out of the driveway, his parents ran into the house and began remodeling his bedroom.  I’m not saying you should get that drastic, but if you need more space there is a vacant room.

You still may have moments when you feel blue. You can always send a text to your children. With time you adjust to the empty nest. I found that when my kids visited, I appreciated that special time with them. Have you experienced Empty Nest Syndrome? What are some things you’ve done to fill the void?

 

6 Remarkable Ways Music Can Improve Your Life

July 18, 2016

Is it possible that music can improve your life? My answer is a resounding yes. For those seeking serenity, exploring the benefits will prove helpful.

 

“The music in my heart I bore long after it was heard no more.” William Wordsworth file9571346985888 Mogue

 

What Music Can Do For You

  • Activates different areas of the brain

  • Lifts mood

  • Provides relaxation

  • Reduces anxiety

  • Benefits those dealing with serious illness

  • Provides spiritual strength

 

A Finnish study indicates multiple areas of the brain are affected by music. Emotions and creativity are affected by rhythm and tone. The beat influences the body’s motor network.

 

Research shows that listening to music benefits the brain by increasing spatial reasoning. Adults who had music lessons as a child are more sensitive to music. This doesn’t mean that you can’t appreciate music, if you’ve never had training. But it does prove that music is beneficial during a child’s development.

 

As a child, music was a part of my world. My parents were involved theater work, so I was exposed to a variety of music. From Broadway music to Rock and Roll in my teens, music became a part of my life. But Classical became a favorite in my adult years.

 

 

A Natural Mood Elevator

Music can lift your mood. Classical music is soothing and used in hospitals. In surgical and OB units, music provides relaxation, aiding in pain control.  Oncology units use music therapists to work with cancer patients. The therapy is known to improve mood and decrease anxiety.

 

 

A Spiritual Connection

Music provides spiritual strength. Christians sing praises to The Father making a spiritual connection to Him. Hymns provide comfort during grief. Other forms of Christian music elevate the spirit through uplifting words and rhythms.

 

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! Psalm 57:7

 

 

A way To Destress

I believe music helped me through nursing school. During those years, I belonged to a group called Up With Charity. Accompanied by guitars, we sang religious folk songs for churches. Through my participation, I experienced hope and courage.

Inspirational music can lift your spirit and send positive messages to your brain

Consider listening to music on your drive home from work. Taking time to destress after a long day can be beneficial. Hearing a melody can redirect your thoughts. If insomnia is a problem, try listening to tranquil music about 30 minutes before going to sleep.

What benefits have you found in listening to music? What type do you find relaxing?

When Reliable Faith Turns To Fear

July 11, 2016

photo-1437243964124-5379b751d09a fishing boat

What happens when life is speeding along, and suddenly, you are hit by a storm? It’s life changing. Life is rearranged. How do you survive? You ask, “Where are you God?”

  • Life’s storms bring Change
  • Panic threatens
  • Faith is replaced by Fear

 

“So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14: 29-30 

 

 

Changing Circumstances

My life took a sudden turn when my mother could no longer live alone. She needed supervision. After much prayer, it became clear that I was to be her caregiver. I stepped out in faith and moved my mother into my home. We settled into a routine.

One day after  visiting my sister, mother seemed confused. I tried to reorient her to her surroundings. Then I went upstairs to fix a meal. When I returned with her supper, she had put all her clothing into piles and said she was going to California. She didn’t want to be alone.

It was the blustery wind that caused Peter to worry. And during my mother’s confusion, I began to feel anxious.

 

The Situation Calls for Action

I called for help, and Hospice sent a nurse to evaluate the situation. After several days, it became clear my mother required round the clock supervision. When my husband suggested a nursing home, I panicked. Like Peter, I felt I was sinking.

Hospice was great about offering support. But emotionally, I wasn’t prepared to send my sweet mother to a nursing facility.

I begged God to help me make a decision.

“Fear is, somehow or other, the archenemy itself. It crouches in people’s hearts. It hollows out their insides, until their resistance and strength are spent and they suddenly break down.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Why Did You Doubt?

 “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:31

My siblings helped me decide on an Assisted Living Facility. But eventually, my mother required skilled nursing. She had to be put in a Nursing Home.

I’d be lying, if I said the situation was ideal. But to my amazement, mother enjoyed having a roommate. She made many friends and liked the personal attention. She even entered a Beauty Contest where she received First Runner Up.

In spite of my doubts, Jesus had the situation under control the entire time. Can you relate to a time when your faith was replaced by fear? How did you handle the situation?