Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

Hacks for Seasonal Suffering

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Woman With Hay Fever Allergy From Flowers

I have had allergies since I was a kid, and they are not fun.  A runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, a scratchy throat, bloody noses, sneezing, and wheezing—I had it all.  As an adult, I have improved to the point where I no longer suffer from them regularly, but I can’t really explain why.  My husband still has frequent flare ups.  We have both run the gamut of remedies from antihistamines and decongestants to allergy shots.  Even after I had shots, I had lots of issues as a young woman. (Living on a dirt road didn’t help.) Though I had suffered since I was a child, I had no idea that one of the symptoms of hay fever is fatigue.  Between that and antihistamines, it’s no wonder I was a sleepyhead.

Over the years, I have had all kinds of recommendations from friends and medical professionals.  Some are preventative. Others are remedy oriented. I am not a medical professional, and I am not here to prevent, treat, or cure allergies.  These are things that I have tried, as a long time sufferer from seasonal discomfort. I pass them on to you merely from my personal experience and encourage you to do your research.  All things do not work for all people.  But here are some ideas that may make a difference in supporting management of symptoms.

  1. Keep the windows closed all the time, especially at night. The widespread installation of air conditioning in homes and cars has made this suggestion much more realistic than it was in past years.  I know we are tempted to open our windows in the spring when we have been cooped up all winter and want to smell the fresh breezes, but this may play havoc with your allergies. If you live on a dirt road or if it is windy, it is even more important. If you must open your windows on occasion, at least keep them closed at night.  The damp, night air has proven detrimental to both my husband and me, as became really apparent in our camping years. We resist the temptation to turn off the air conditioning and open the windows at night, and we breathe easier.
  2. Don’t spend a lot of time outside when the pollen count is high. Now unless you’re a hermit, you can’t avoid going outside, but hanging out for hours in the great out of doors when the pollen count is high is asking for trouble. Weather forecasters usually let you know when things are especially bad, so stay tuned to your favorite weather resource.  If you are responsible for the yard work, and you don’t want to hire a service, wear a mask when doing things like mowing, weed whipping, or leaf/grass blowing. My husband always wears a mask when he is working outside.
  3. Don’t hang your sheets on the line to dry. Despite the convenience of home dryers, many are tempted to save money by hanging their sheets outside to dry.  We love that fresh air smell.  But that fresh air smell isn’t good for your allergies.  This recommendation was given to me by my GP years ago.  Wet sheets attract pollen.  That is not what you need when you lie down to sleep.  Use the dryer.
  4. Fighting the dust is an ongoing battle, but vacuuming and dusting can help, especially in the bedroom.  Keep things as clean as you can by vacuuming and dusting regularly, as well as changing furnace filters. Assign allergy producing tasks to a family member who does not suffer from allergies or hire someone to clean. If you have to do it, wear a mask while cleaning dusty areas. If you are doing a big project like cleaning a basement or sorting through old books, take breaks and get away from the area for some deep breaths.
  5. No pets. – This is hard, and I would venture to say most of us don’t follow it. I didn’t have a pet growing up, but both my siblings had dogs so they were in the house.  When my kids were growing up we had a cat—the worst!  Cat hair everywhere.  If you are going to have pets, you just have to keep up with the vacuuming and dusting even more.  If you do have a pet, avoid having your pet sleep with you.
  6. Change to plant-based cleaning products. – Many people with allergies are allergic and/or sensitive to smells of all types—perfumes, chemicals, soaps, etc. Numerous cleaning products contain fragrances that are not good for anyone’s health, let alone an allergy sufferer. Countless products contain skin and respiratory irritants. (See ewg.org.) We want to use natural products, but “natural” does NOT always mean natural.  Choose plant-based, essential oil-infused products or make your own.  There are several companies on the market that sell fragrance-free, safe cleaning products, and there are lots of recipes on Pinterest for making your own. Do your homework and find safe products.
  7. Shower and shampoo. Some doctors recommend showering in the evening so you are not carrying the pollens attracted to your skin during the day into your bed at night. If you don’t want to shampoo your hair every day, consider wearing a hat when you are outside.  This is not only good for lessening pollen attracted to your hair; it’s also good for keeping your skin safe from sun damage.
  8. Change your clothes and shoes. After working or sitting outside, change your clothes so the pollen you have carried in doesn’t deposit on your furniture. Wear different shoes in the house than you wear outside.
  9. Personal care products. Personal care products, like cleaning products, contain fragrances and toxins that are often linked to allergies. Products like gel and hair spray attract pollen to your head. [droz.com]
  10. Be proactive and preventative with doctor prescribed or recommended meds. My GP recommended that if you take any kind of OTC allergy remedy, you need to take it BEFORE you start having symptoms. So if you don’t take it all year round, you probably need to think about it again when the season comes around and take it until the season is over, which is generally considered to be at the first hard frost.
  11. Try essential oils. I like to run my diffuser using Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint oil. It provides a refreshing aroma.  I also like to inhale scents like peppermint or a eucalyptus blend, which may support the respiratory system. Diluted essential oils may be rubbed on topically to provide an invigorating lift to your day.
  12. Get adequate sleep. We know allergies can make you tired so it is important that you don’t skimp on sleep even when daylight makes it hard to get to bed on time. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, and you’ll feel a lot better.

Most of these are common sense remedies, but it always helps to review.  I hope something on this list will help you find relief when your symptoms have got you down. My prayer is that all of you will be able to find relief and enjoy the summer.

Royal Children [redux]

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golden-crown_MyjTzY_d_LWith the birth of another child to the British Royal Kingdom recently, and a Royal Wedding set for Saturday, it seemed a good time to revisit this blog.  Celebrate your own Royal Heritage in the Kingdom of God.

 

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” Matthew 6:33

The British Royal Family is in the news these days due to the birth of a child, an heir to the throne.  Many announcements have been made now that this little one has arrived safely in the world.  A crier reads a proclamation in the streets, news media deliver video, and social media offers comments.  An announcement of the birth of a new royal child is the cause of much celebration in the British kingdom, and the world watches.

Americans vary in how much attention they give to announcements about the British Royals.  We may respond with curiosity, disdain, indifference, or shared joy. But Americans, including myself, probably don’t have an understanding of living in a kingdom ruled by a benevolent king or queen.  And while British royalty is more traditional than authoritative these days, the idea of a kingdom is vastly removed from American traditions of democracy and independence.  Americans are bred to independence.  And I sometimes wonder if that limits us, as Christians, when we come to the place where we are trying to grasp the concept of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 6:33 is a verse that many Christians like to quote, mostly because of the second part, I expect—“and all these things will be added unto you.”  But do we understand the first part—“seek ye first the kingdom of God”—the conditions?  What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God? What is a kingdom, anyway?

Dictionary.com defines a kingdom as “a state or government having a king or queen as its head.”  What does that mean for us?  Luke 17:21 says that the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts]. In the spiritual sense, the “state” having the King as head is the “state” of our being or our lives.  Seeking the kingdom requires understanding what living in a kingdom means.

Living in a kingdom involves

  • Living under the authority of the King.
  • Serving in the King’s army.
  • Serving at His command and for His pleasure.
  • Obeying all the laws of the Kingdom.
  • Following the King’s orders and giving them precedence over any plans you may have; setting aside your plans for the King’s plans.
  • Supporting the King and His Kingdom with your finances.
  • Pledging total allegiance to the King; anything else may be viewed as treason.
  • Giving the King your honor and respect as his due.  Bowing in His presence.
  • Recognizing the King is first in the Kingdom.

These are the few ideas that occurred to me as the conditions of seeking; perhaps you can add others.

But what things are added when we seek? What are the benefits of living in the kingdom?

  • The King provides for and cares for His subjects and is responsible for the state of the Kingdom.
  • The King protects the Kingdom and its subjects.
  • The King provides the identity for the Kingdom and the land.

What are the benefits to living close to the King and serving Him as your primary duty (another example of seeking)?

  • Those who serve the King live in the palace/in His presence.
  • They get to know the King on a more intimate level because He lives with them.
  • They eat at the King’s table and enjoy His fellowship.
  • They enjoy the protection from enemies, provided by the King’s army and the boundaries of the palace or Kingdom walls.
  • They share in the wealth and prosperity of the Kingdom.

What about those who live in the Kingdom but outside the continued presence of the King?

  • They may be outside the protection of the King and his army, leaving them more vulnerable to enemy attack.
  • They may enjoy some benefits of a healthy Kingdom, but they do not enjoy all of the King’s wealth.
  • They may miss opportunities to serve the King, and thereby miss opportunities for promotion, because they are too far away from the King to be of help when He requires it.

Seeking first the Kingdom of God is putting Jesus first in everything.  That may sound difficult.  It is impossible to do it on our own; however, our King has provided for even that.  He has sent us the Holy Spirit to be our Guide.  The Holy Spirit helps us to obey the King’s commands.  And when we do fail, the Father forgives us when we ask because of King Jesus and His sacrifice.

The truth is, we are Royal Children, heirs of the Kingdom of God.  Our spiritual births were celebrated with as much joy in the Kingdom of God, and our continued spiritual growth and maturity is as important to God as the physical birth, growth, and maturity of the new heir is to the British Royals.  But to claim all the benefits of our Royal Heritage, we must seek to live in service to the King.  Every day we must await His pleasure.

If you are a Royal Child of the Kingdom, all this talk of royals may affect you as it has me.  I want to reaffirm my allegiance to the King of Kings.  If you are not a Royal Child, you can be through spiritual rebirth.  Ask the Father to forgive you because of the blood sacrifice of King Jesus, and pledge your allegiance to His Kingdom first and foremost.  An announcement of the birth of a new Royal Child is the cause of much celebration in the Kingdom of God. And serving Him will bring the blessings and benefits of His Kingdom.

 

Let’s Talk Lime!

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Young Living Lime essential oil and Lime Vitality are great oils to celebrate in May!  Why? First, it’s Cinco De Mayo, and there are lots of recipes for using lime! So, get your party on!  Second, Lime Vitality is FREE this month from Young Living when you place a 100 ER order.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use Lime and Lime Vitality!

LIME VITALITY

GUACAMOLE
1 avocado mashed
Dash garlic powder
Dash cumin
Dash Himalayan Sea Salt
Dash black pepper
2 drops Lime Vitality
Combine ingredients.  Serve with tortilla chips.

LIME YOGURT SAUCE
1 quart plain unsweetened yogurt
6 drops Lime Vitality

Sweeten to taste with agave, Stevia, maple syrup, or sweetener of choice.  Add all ingredients together and stir. Use the sauce over fruit or dessert. Better yet, layer it with your favorite fruit for a delicious parfait!

LIMEADE
2 cups crushed ice
1 cup water
Fresh fruit (strawberries, cherries, etc.)
1-2 drops Lime Vitality

LIME

DIY DEODORANT
3 T Coconut Oil
3 T Baking Soda
2 T Shea Butter
2 T Arrowroot (optional) or organic cornstarch
15 drops lime essential oil

STRESS BUSTER DIFFUSER COMBO
3 drops lime
3 drops Stress Away

RELAX AND REFOCUS DIFFUSER COMBO
2 drops of lime
2 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary

“ZEST!”  Roller Recipe
When you need a boost to get your day going, try this combination.  Combine in 10 ml roller.
5 drops Lime
5 drops Grapefruit
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Juniper (Another free oil this month with qualifying orders.)
Top off with your favorite carrier oil.

The Heart of God

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 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you… Isaiah 30:18

If you follow this blog, you have by now ascertained that I am a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils.  I have said before that becoming an “oiler” has sparked a journey of health and wellness in my life.  And as I learn, my educator’s heart wants to share what I have learned.  As with most oilers, it has become less about selling something to someone and much more about encouraging people to make wise choices for their health in all areas.

This desire to educate people leads me to host wellness events in my home or at vendor tables in local festivals.  I work hard to prepare and provide as much information and hands-on experience as I can so people can gather knowledge in a comfortable environment.  When I host something in my home, I clean, I prepare food, I set up stations, and then I wait.  When I host a vendor event at a festival, I load my car, unload my car, set up a display, and then I wait.  And sometimes, I wait in vain.  Sometimes, even when people have said they will come, they don’t.  Sometimes, all that work seems wasted.

What I prepare out of a heart to give and help goes unacknowledged or unappreciated because no one comes.  And yet, I keep trying.  I plan again, and I hope, and I wait.

And today as I sat in prayer, asking God to give me a pure heart and pure attitude and guide me in my journey, I had a profound revelation.  This is how God feels.

God sent His only son Jesus to earth, to live a pure and sinless life.  And then, He provided Jesus as a sacrifice—the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  God provided a Way to atone for the sin of mankind.  He planned and He prepared.  He carried out that plan.  Jesus died and rose again.  He sent the Holy Spirit to be Counselor, Convictor, and Gift-Giver. God has a plan for each and every human who lives or has ever lived.  Jeremiah says, He has plans to prosper us. (Jeremiah 29:11)  God wants us to have a great life.  He wants to give us good gifts.  But He wants our hearts.  He wants us to come to Him.  And so He waits.  Each and every day He waits for someone to come. He has so much to give.

There are times when I give up.  I think about planning an event, and then I don’t do it.  I feel it may be a waste of my time.

But God never gives up.  His Holy Spirit is continually at work calling sinners to repentance.  God is not willing that any should perish.  This is God’s heart.

Your physical body will one day die, regardless of whether you take great care of it or neglect it.  Physical wellness is temporary. But your residence for eternity will be determined by your response to God.  He has everything to offer you in this life and for all eternity.  And it is all free.  You will never get a better deal.  Have you made a choice to serve God?  Is He calling you?

I hope He will not wait in vain.

My Cup Runneth Over

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Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Psalm 23:5 KJV

I pulled a mug out of the cupboard this morning. It is decorated with a Bible verse.  As I poured my coffee, I thought about how long I have had that mug, who gave it to me, and on what occasion.  It is one of the mugs I use frequently.  It was given to me by a church friend as a housewarming gift when we moved into our previous home, not the one we are in currently.  That was 30 years ago!  I don’t see that friend for years at a time, but I think about her every time I pull that mug down to use it.

That got me thinking about how many mugs and cups I own compared to how many I use on any regular basis.  I have two complete sets of mugs that match respective dinnerware. These mugs are rarely used.

A mug I use needs two things in order to be right.  It needs to have a large handle and it needs to hold an adequate amount of coffee. There are six in my cupboard that meet the criteria:

  • I have a mug that is decorated with a violet. I bought that one myself on a vacation.  I honestly can’t remember where, but violets and pansies are my favorite flowers.
  • I have a pottery mug that is a little large, but it has a round design and is different from any of my other mugs. I bought that at a craft show when I was with my daughters.  They each had a mug like it, and they had been raving about these mugs for a year; so I got one, too.  I think about my daughters and our day out when I use that one.
  • One of my favorite mugs is one I got as a gift when I visited a local church. It is black on the outside and orange on the inside. It is labeled with the church name. It does not match my kitchen décor, and it is not from my home church; so why is it a favorite? It is the perfect size and shape with a large handle. It is comfortable to hold.
  • I have a red and white mug that came from students one Christmas. It was filled with candy. The candy is long gone, but the gift reminds of me of my teaching days.
  • And I have a cup that says Nana given to me by my grandchildren.

These six mugs are the ones I use over and over.  Truthfully, I could probably get rid of every other mug I own.

As I write this and reflect on my six mugs, I realize they are even more significant because they represent the most important areas of my life.

  • The Scripture verse mug from my church friend represents church friends and my faith in Jesus Christ.
  • The violet mug I bought on vacation represents special time spent with my husband.
  • The pottery mug represents special time spent with my two daughters.
  • The red and white mug represents my teaching career.
  • The Nana mug represents my status as grandmother to five amazing boys!
  • The black and orange mug represents those people in our lives that touch us, even though the time may be fleeting.

Each morning I choose a mug, pour some coffee, and spend time in the Word of God.  These quiet times with my Bible, my coffee, and the view of nature out my window emphasize the many blessings I have in my life.  The simple pleasures that we sometimes take for granted are gifts from God.  When I meditate on His blessings, even after my coffee cup is quite empty, I can truly say, “My cup runneth over.”

Choosing the Right Exercise Plan

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When the New Year rolled around and I chose the word WELLNESS as my #onelittleword for 2018, I had to decide how I was going to get back to exercising for my physical wellness.  I had been limited to exercise in the previous six months due to an injury and surgery.  But let’s be honest—I had fallen off the exercise track before my injury.

Over the years I have tried lots of options.  I have a treadmill, stationary bike, an exercise ball, and free weights in my home.  I have had gym memberships and a personal trainer.  I have joined Jazzercise and gone to yoga classes.  I have tried videos in my living room and walking outside. All of it.  But consistency is hard.  We go through seasons in life when one method works better than another; however, physical fitness is important, especially as one gets older.  There is no more time to procrastinate. It’s use it or lose it!  Even my mother-in-law, who is well into her 89th year, attends classes at her independent living facility.  These classes do not have the same intensity as a young person’s workout.  The goal is motion.  They say, “Motion is lotion.”

The thing I have learned is that all of these exercise methods have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to type of movement, cost, times offered, and social aspects.  I believe when it is time to re-evaluate your exercise plan, writing a pros and cons list can help you choose the best option.  So, here are some things to consider.

  • What amount of money can you afford to spend on a monthly basis? (Now, before you answer, consider that you are investing in your health and are likely saving money you would spend for medical treatment if you are not in good health.)
  • How convenient is the location? Is it on your way home from work, close to your home, accessible on weekends?
  • How convenient are the times? Are there classes at set times; is it open 24/7? Is it really going to work with your schedule?
  • What kind of coaching is available? Are there trainers available, is there an added cost for trainers, or is it teacher-led?
  • Are you self-motivated? Do you have knowledge of fitness so you can exercise without injuries, or do you need guidance?
  • How important is social interaction? Do you have a friend to go with you; do you prefer to be alone? Do you like classes and large groups? Even if you are working out alone, are you comfortable having other people working out along with you?
  • Do you have accountability? A partner? A spouse? Someone?
  • Does the workout plan offer all aspects: cardio, strength, flexibility?
  • Do you have any physical limitations that eliminate some forms of exercise?

What is the variety of workout options? Here’s a few I’ve tried.

  1. A gym has many options—lots of equipment choices, on-site staff to assist, availability because they are open frequently. Some centers also offer classes, both exercise and wellness. Some facilities have a pool.
  2. Jazzercise classes focus on cardio but also offer strength and flexibility as a part of their routines. Zumba offers similar classes, I believe; however, I’ve not tried those.
  3. Yoga can help with stress, flexibility, core strength, and even cardio.
  4. A home gym – Will you use it? Can you afford to purchase equipment? Do you have the space? How does the cost compare with memberships over time?
  5. Video – There are many internet sites offering subscriptions these days—yoga, dancing, and probably others. There are also free videos on YouTube. Are you motivated to workout at home? Do you have space? A designated time?
  6. I know there are others I haven’t experienced. Swimming, karate, kick-boxing, organized sports.  What will work for you?

As I made my own list of pros and cons, it changed my decision about my 2018 choice.  For me, in this season of life, the best choice was a membership at a local community fitness center.  I did not choose the one closest to my home, which was less expensive, because it did not have extended hours and is closed at my prime work out time.  It offers some level of social interaction, even if I attend alone, and I am a social creature.  I also have a couple of friends who are already members. It has a gym and organized classes at various times of day. And as the “parent” fitness center, I can still attend the one closer to my home if I find it more convenient at times.  The advantages were worth the cost.

Though I have enjoyed both yoga and Jazzercise in the past—and they were the right choices then, the fitness center is right for me now.

I have gotten back on track with physical fitness in 2018, and I am motivated to continue to strengthen my body after recent surgery.  By thinking through this decision and weighing my options, I have been more successful than when I just choose something impulsively.  And as I have tried various machines and routines at the center, I have been more motivated to complement those with things I do at home on the days I do not travel to the gym. I have also realized my limitations and given myself permission to go slowly.  I will not regain all of my strength in a short time.  This must be a lifestyle for now and the future.

Though physical fitness is only one aspect of my goals in choosing the word “wellness,” I am happy to have made a strong start to my year.  This was the area where I felt weakest, so it feels good to have made this decision and stuck with it.

I hope my journey inspires you to start exercising if you don’t already.  Get out a pencil and paper, find out what’s available to you locally, and start making that list of pros and cons.  Find something that works for you now, and then stick with.  Put it on your schedule as a non-negotiable.  And if you can, find an accountability partner.  You’re on your way!

Happy Exercising!

 

 

Discovery Never Stops

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Back in 2015, my #onelittleword of the year was DISCOVER, and God revealed to me things about my life, my relationship with Him, my new journey as a business owner, and many others.  Discovery did not stop when the calendar turned to 2016, 2017, and now 2018.  We will never discover everything about God in this life, and neither, I think, will we ever discover everything about ourselves.  Our potential is unlimited in God, but our time is limited on earth.

Job 11:7.  “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?”  (NAS)

As I read this verse, I think, “Wow!”  I will never discover all the depths of God, but searching and seeking to know Him more each day is a challenge to embrace. I will never discover the limits of the Almighty because that is a rhetorical question.  God has no limits. He is limitless.  And I am His child.  His power works through me.  What are the limits of my own vision, ministry, outreach, success when God is my Guide?  No limits.  Only that which I allow to limit me–a lack of faith or walking in my own counsel.

If I surrender all to God, if He is really living through me, I cannot even fathom the places I will go, the achievements I will contribute, the discoveries I will make.  I’m breathless with the thought of it.