Our guest blogger, Dr. John M. Crowe, offers this advice to pastors who are caregivers for their own parents, recipients of care from their own family members, or counselors to congregants in the caregiving role.
This advice comes from my own experience over the last year and a half plus being part of the agingcare.com online support group.
Wow! There are plenty of people devising software and gadgets to help other people organize their time. This is a topic that could fill many posts – there are whole blogs devoted to the subject – but below are some suggestions that I’ve found useful (and a few I plan to try).
Prioritize. "Do-lists" only work if they really help you organize, as opposed to totally overwhelming you with how much you have to accomplish. I found a simple tool for helping prioritize tasks on Slideshare that involves assigning tasks to a spot on a four-box grid. The point is to focus on fewer, high-impact tasks, and only tackle one task at a time.
This month, our regular Tuesday health resource posts will introduce readers to useful tools or online resources.
Online support groups for the chronically ill and their caretakers can be a lifeline for reducing isolation, enabling us to connect with a community that really understands what we're going through (especially when symptoms or finances make travel difficult) and enabling us to connect to resources that we might never find on our own. Some of the most frequently visited sites -- Health Central, Patients Like Me, Healing Well -- serve as hubs. From there, users can access discussions on any of a broad spectrum of chronic diseases. Others are disease-specific, such as Diabetes Daily and the arthritis support site on About.com. Many users of these sites like the breadth of information they find; the availability of other voices who share their experience, day or night; and the non-judgmental attitudes of their online friends.
At this week's 2010 Faith and Health Summit, the North Carolina Council of Churches' Partners in Health and Wholeness Program debuted the Beta version of Recipes for the Heart and Soul: A Guide to Cooking Healthily in Large Quantities. For information, you can contact the Council on the web.
I remember my mother telling me that when she was young, people looked at recreational runners as though they were crazy. Running…just for the fun of it? If you wanted exercise, your best bet was to play mixed doubles at the local tennis club or – if you’re from the Midwest or Florida – perhaps even a quick match of Jai-Alai or Shuffleboard.
For many Christians, the season of Lent is all about "giving up." Whether it is desserts, soda, French fries or Facebook, we routinely commit ourselves to various forms of abstinence and self-sacrifice.
The historical practice of "giving up” for Lent has multiple levels of significance. We give up that we might prepare ourselves for the Holy Week journey of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion. We give up that we might be reminded of our sin and need to turn back to God. We give up that we might learn to give over our lives – its pleasures, pains, and practices – to God. Sometimes, we give up because it’s a good excuse for a diet that we haven’t otherwise been able to keep, or breaking a bad habit that we’ve allowed to form.
But what if Lent was about something more than giving up?
In the spirit of the Olympic Games, my Lenten discipline is 10 minutes of exercise every day. I went looking for some exercises you can do at your desk, and, lo and behold - WebMD has two pages of them! Warn the church secretary and the nosy volunteers if you're going to go all-out, or, better yet, invite them to join you.
Shortly after the Clergy Health Initiative grant began in July 2007, the Duke Voice Care Center (VCC) came to call, offering to help us with vocal health education, and to be a referral source for people having voice difficulties. Their term for clergy, teachers, music directors, actors, and other performers is "vocal athletes". You use and depend on your voice all day.