Body, Soul and Mind – Caring for ourselves during Covid 19

 Body, Mind and Spirit – A resource for Whole Health during Covid 19

 This resource was compiled using resources from a number of members and friends of Knox Church, St. Thomas.

 

Special thanks to Kathy Bell, registered massage therapist, Brian Cunliffe from RBC Financial and Rev. Dennis Cook for allowing us to freely share their resources. 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   Mark 12:30

Body  –  Movement is Medicine   by Kathy Bell, registered physiotherapist

Physical activity has beneficial effects on every body system and even has the added bonus of positive psychological benefits to help manage stress, anxiety and depression. During this time of COVID 19, physical exercise is more important than ever.

Adults and Seniors need to achieve 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity involving aerobic activity such as a brisk walk and muscle building activity like weights, Pilates and yoga per week.

For children, the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends at least 20 minutes of moderate intensity and 10 minutes of vigorous activity daily. This can be increased in intensity and duration to 90 minutes every day.

All these goals can be met at home while observing the important physical distancing guidelines of the times.

If you are new to exercise, start slowly and listen to your body. You should never feel pain during exercise, only effort.

Some helpful websites are included for specific exercise programs.

  • doyogawithme.com – offers classes for any level, and has a senior section of mostly seated classes, as well as options for children. It is free for 2 months!
  • Eldergym on YouTube – has some good seated options, balance exercises, weights and a bit of cardio
  • Fitnessblender.com – has many types of exercise and intensity options and no equipment workouts and includes child friendly options.

Walking is also a great functional form of exercise.

Active games are good for families and there are many ideas online – like yarn across chairs for balloon volleyball, crab, run, hop races and dance parties!

Finally … remember to dance like no one is watching – because, right now,  no one is!

You will feel the important physical and psychological benefits before long and wonder why it took a pandemic to get you moving.

Mind  –  borrowed freely from a resource from Brian Cunliffe

While many of us may feel as if our minds have been stretched to capacity learning to online shop, navigating working from home and figuring out church and school “online”, there are still opportunities to nourish our minds and explore our world in fresh ways during this time apart.  Below are some resources and activities to explore.

Visit a Virtual Zoo or Aquarium

  • Visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto to keep an eye on the sharks.
  • The San Diego Zoo is livestreaming a number of animals on its website, including koalas, pandas, giraffes and polar bears.
  • You can also bring exotic animals like snow leopards into your living room with a selection of live video streams from Australian Zoos.

Travel from the comfort of your own home

Cook Meals From Around the World

  • com offers free lessons with daily cooking videos for parents and children.

Appreciate the Arts

Or pick up a new hobby

  • Learn to knit, crochet, grow vegetables from seed, do sign language – there are websites to learn almost anything!

Spirit – with thanks to Rev. Dennis CookIn the busyness of “normal life”, it’s sometimes difficult to make time to nurture our spirits beyond Sunday morning worship.   These days without organized activities are an opportunity to grow in our faith.  Below are some suggestions from Rev. Dennis Cook, a retired Presbyterian minister who recently led a workshop on Spirituality at Knox.  His resources are based on his previous involvement in the Week of Guided Prayer.

Try Praying Scripture by using one of these two methods:

  • Contemplative Imagination (particularly useful for stories in scripture)

Read the passage once. Read the same passage a second time.

Put yourself into the passage.

Imagine all the details not written down.

Become a character – speak to someone or let others speak to you.

Use all your senses.

As you do this you may find that you add things to the story – that is okay.

Be free – go where you are led – there are no rules or should’s.

Read the passage a third time. Listen for what new things God is teaching you.

  • Lectio Divina (Divine Reading) – can be for any passage in scripture.  Find a quiet place in your home that is set apart.

When you are relaxed seek to open yourself to God.  Read the passage slowly and reverently.  Don’t worry about the context of the passage. Don’t get caught up in questions about what the passage means.  Instead, see if a word or a phrase catches your attention.  After a few moments read the passage again.  Read the passage slowly a third time.  If after reading the third time nothing has caught your attention, don’t worry.  Give thanks for the time of peace and quiet and wait for the next time.  If a word or phrase has caught your attention take some time to quietly consider what God might be saying to you by drawing your attention to this word or phrase.  What’s happening in your life that this word or phrase speaks to?  Talk to God about it and then simply rest in the quiet embrace of God’s presence until you’re ready to carry on with your day.

Journal

Journaling is meditative writing. As soon as we begin to place pen to paper, our bodies and spirits work together to set our true self free. Sometimes it is as we write that we experience God’s word for us.

Journaling is different from keeping a diary. A diary records the facts and events of my life; while a journal records our prayer experience, feelings and awareness of God’s presence. When we journal, we experience ourselves in a new way and allow images and feelings to surface from our subconscious. To journal, we need to set aside preconceived ideas and controls that often hinder expression.

Some methods of journaling include:

  • describing what was imaged in scripture . . . sights, sounds, feelings
  • writing a letter addressed to God
  • writing a conversation between yourself and a scriptural character, such as Jesus or another significant person, or the dialogue can be with a value, experience or event with whom you talk as a person encountered in conversation
  • writing an answer to a question, e.g. “Do you believe that I can heal you?” Matthew 9:28, “What do you want me to do for you?” Mark 10:51, “Why are you weeping?” John 20:15
  • letting a scriptural person like Jesus speak to you through your writing

 

Questions for Reflective Journaling

What stood out for me in the scripture passage? How did I feel about it?

What feelings surfaced during prayer? Did they change in any way?

Where was God at work, and how did I respond?

What did God reveal?

What did God ask?

What gift of grace did God offer?

Does something from the passage draw me to return to it?

What action am I being called to take?

What prayer am I being invited to offer?

What can I take with me to my next prayer time?

Below are some useful websites to nurture your spirit

**Pray As You Go** web site (http://www.prayasyougo.org.uk/) and phone app  (provides daily devotional with music, scripture, reflection questions from the Jesuits in Ireland that are 10-13 minutes in length.)

**Sacred Space** (https://www.sacredspace.ie/) and phone app  (much like Pray As You Go but you read through the pages at your own pace)

**Encountering peace** https://encounteringpeace.libsyn.com/  is a website that one of our busy parents finds helpful for quiet meditation and reflection that is scripture based.