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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Shannon Hudson!!!
Shannon Hudson (hudsonsinaf, #5349) has received a certificate of achievement in Make it Easy for earning a Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Level Relaxation Merit Badge!
“I have been blessed to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of seven beautiful children, ages 18 months to 13 years old. While I wouldn’t trade my family for anything in the world, there are times that I am stressed. Add to the everyday chaos the fact that I only have one adrenal gland due to the other having to be removed due to a mass. Your adrenal glands are in charge of your fight and flight response … and mine is maimed! Relaxation is therefore a God-given blessing to recharge and reconnect.
Regular relaxation has been proven over and over again to produce beneficial results in one’s stress management, anxiety, overall physical health, and happiness, as well as depression prevention. Immediate benefits include a lowered heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and lowered cortisol levels. In the longer scheme of things, it can help you sleep better, strengthens your immune system, clears away any brain fog, helps you manage stress, and regulates your emotions.
Every day, around 12:30 or 1, after the children have eaten lunch, we have family quiet time. This consists of the children lying down on their beds, oftentimes with books for the older ones. I do not require they go to sleep, but I do require no talking or playing for half an hour. More often than not, all of the children from the ages 11 down take naps. During this time, I take my water or a cup of hot tea, sit in my chair in the living room, and just breathe! I need the down time as much as they do, if not more!
I am one of those people that does everything I can 100%. I love at 100%, work at 100%, play at 100% … and stress at 100%! Relaxation is key to survival!
There are a few things that I find extremely relaxing … walking is one. Unfortunately, we spend many months under snow, so walking is out of the question on many days (between the snow and the cold wind, it is too much for my youngest). Sewing is also a great way for me to relax. However, pulling out my sewing machine is not something that can happen every day. I also find cooking extremely relaxing … most days! There are some days, however, that cooking is stressful. Reading is also relaxing, though there are days I cannot find time to read, as I prefer to read for longer periods of time than 10-15 minutes! So for my daily relaxation time, I simply grab a beverage (usually hot tea or my water), head to the chair in the living room, and just relax and breathe. By the time 10-15 minutes has passed, I am completely relaxed. We have gotten to where I refer to this time as “Mommy’s Time Out.”
One of the biggest benefits I have found is that after my “time out,” I have a much better attitude and more patience. It has also taught the children that even mommies need breaks and time outs to gain control of oneself.
Due to being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, going out of the house to complete a class is next to impossible. Thankfully, I have found classes that I do not need to go out of the house to complete. One of my favorite ways to relax is to cook. I have been blessed with the gift of hospitality, and I love to demonstrate my love for my family and others through the foods I make. However, I also strive to demonstrate my love for God by making nutritious meals cooked in traditional ways. GNOWFGLINS, or Traditional Cooking School, is a great way to learn how to do this. Through their website, I have been taking classes to not only relax, but as a creative outlet. My favorite course thus far is the Einkorn Baking course!
I also continue my daily relaxation exercises. I thoroughly enjoy the classes I have taken through GNOWFGLINS. Not only are they a fun way to learn, but the foods I create are truly appreciated by my family, which makes it a win-win.”