Skip to main content

Get Up Offa That Thing!

Does Quarantine have you sitting in one place for hours at a time ... Get up! Move!

One of my congregants reminded us in stark terms how important this is. Her husband was busy working from home, as so many of us are. She posted last week that he was "in the hospital overnight as he got a large clot in his leg as well as several lung clots (2 pulmonary embolisms too) from sitting 8-10 hours a day." She urged everyone -- get up every hour! Move around!

Even if you're not sitting at a desk all day, we all need movement of some sort. Most of us are avoiding going out in public, which means that our need to be active may have slipped down the priority list. And we're not moving in the ordinary ways we were accustomed to - my kids aren't walking from class to class, spouse isn't walking up and down the aisles of the store, I'm not wandering the grounds of the church, to ask the Rabbi down the hall a question or to find answers out on the labyrinth.

So, how can you bring movement back into your routine?

Good old fashioned walks are good, especially if you're avoiding other people and wearing a mask. Here in Texas, I know that the oven we call "summer" is fast approaching, so I'm looking for other ways to move.

Guess what? The internet has been invented!

Another of my congregants is a tap dancer, and reports that her tap-dancing classes have continued - via zoom! Want to support a local business while still isolating? Call up a local dance class and see if they're doing Zoom classes. Or search youtube for dance or exercise lessons.

Having kids or being willing to admit to having a fun-loving spirit means you may already have a video game system. If you don't maybe now is a good time to consider it, especially if you choose one that integrates with real physical activity. (Just google "exercise" and "game console" to get reviews and articles.) We have one that allows us to play as a family with boxing, beach volleyball, and more. Don't forget to put on some decent shoes, as my shin splints will warn you!

And if you are just tired of the internet and screens of all types ... do what people have been doing since the start of time. Dance! Close your drapes if you're self-conscious, put on your favorite music, and dance like no one is watching. Or dance like the world is watching, if that's what motivates you.

The other reason for moving? You'll feel better. There's tons of research about how even moderate movement, like arm exercises, lift your mood and sharpen your mind. But for me, I'll take the advice of renowned expert, James Brown:

Get up offa that thing 
And dance 'till you feel better!



Popular posts from this blog

Don't Trust Your Instincts, or, "Well-Meaning People Can Exacerbate Big Problems"

My evangelical friends talk about being "convicted." That moment when you hear or read a message and like an arrow, it dives into your heart, and you know that you have been guilty, and you have some growing to do. At the very beginning of my learning about Bowen systems theory, the professor was laying out the basic idea: that we all feel anxiety, and when we do, we act (often in unhealthy ways) in order to lessen our anxiety. And in an unhealthy system with emotionally immature people -- a family, a business, a church -- one person's anxiety can trigger the anxiety of others. Here's a great primer on that. Really great. Like, watch it 20 times in a row. Or every morning as you drink your coffee. (I'm not kidding. I think your life would be better. Consider it a spiritual practice.) So back to my conviction moment. The professor went on to talk about how when we see someone who is "vibrating" with anxiety, our instinct is often to rush over,

The Most Controversial Thing I'll Write All Year

Back when you were a kid, you learned a lesson. It was wrong. And it's time for you to unlearn it. You learned that you were responsible for other people's feelings. Not that you should care about other people's feelings. (You should.) Not just that you should be sensitive to other people's feelings. (You should.) But you were taught that you were actually responsible for other people's feelings. It happens in almost all homes, even the loving ones. In abusive homes, it's more blatant. If Dad is unhappy, you get hit. So you learn that it is actually your responsibility to keep him happy, or there would be consequences. But even in non-abusive homes, it happened. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  You are not responsible for other people's feelings. That's their job. And in fact, you are crossing their boundary if you try to control their feelings. They get to decide how they feel about something, not you. They may decide that you

Me and My Collar

You may run into me on a Friday, in my neighborhood, so it's time I let you know what you might see. When I was doing my required unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), my supervisor suggested that any of us who came from traditions where a clerical collar was an option, take one "collar week," to see how we were treated, as opposed to wearing regular professional clothes. After a couple of days, I joked to the Catholic priest, "How do you manage the power?" In regular clothes, I would walk into a patient's room, and it would take about 5 or so minutes of introductions and pleasantries before we could really get down to talking about their feelings, their fears, the deep stuff. With most people, as soon as that clerical collar walked in the room, with me attached, they began pouring out all the heavy stuff they were carrying. I was riding the bus back and forth every day, and though not quite so dramatic, the collar effect was alive there, to