Yep! Gulp! De-stress!
Battle stress? This one got you out of whack before? You are not alone, beloved!
Want to know the #1 complaint in our culture? What about among moms? What about among homeschool moms? The booger behind despair? The reason that most quit? The reason that many never begin? You have got it!
The lack of organization or ability to “keep it together.”
Want to battle for balance in life? Want to be faithful to your call? Want to run the race faithfully? This little devil will give you quite a challenge!
Yep! If there is a need among the body of Christ, this JUST might be it. But, how? Here are some quick tips for when it all gets bumpy from the stresses of life…
- Find Your Stressors. What throws YOU for a loop? What takes you into a “nose-dive?” What “stalls” your flight? What are your biggest stressors? What causes YOUR stress? Identify the REAL culprit—HINT: it is NOT your husband (!!) or your children (!!) or God (!!). Look at your life honestly and objectively. What REALLY stresses you out? Holding onto your stress? Carrying a burden you do not have to carry? Anxiousness? Discontent? Strife? Expectations? Willfulness instead of willingness and total surrender and total abandonment? Find YOUR stressors. Know what REALLY “punches” your buttons.
- PLAN. Plan ahead. Well in advance. One saying that always pops into my head when I think of the word plan is, “If we fail to plan, we really plan to fail.” Nothing brings MORE stress than living life without direction, without a plan, always under “crisis” management, making decisions on a moment-by-moment basis. If this is stressing you out, try to plan ahead. Plan out your goals. Plan out your schedule. EVEN the mundane things—plan out those daily routines, even going so far as to write them out. How does this help? Well, decisions are made, saving those precious brain-cells for other uses. Trust me this works WONDERS! So, plan. Plan well. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan…then, you can settle in to go a slow pace.
- Write it DOWN. Give your brain a rest. Talk about stressing out—our brains will stress out if we are keeping all of our to-do’s…plans…goals…heartbeats…EVERYTHING on our brain. Write it down! Not only will it help to keep things from slipping between the cracks, but it will also help us to evaluate where we have come from and where we have to go. Plus, the best yet. We will have a sense of accomplishment when we look back and see all that we have really gotten done.
- Watch that attitude! There are going to be some life-stresses that quite honestly cannot be changed. However, we need not walk in a life of defeat and stress. Instead, when we recognize life-stresses that cannot change, that is the time to sit right down at the feet of Jesus. Ask Him to show the purpose. At minimum, KNOW that victory is guaranteed. There is no temptation or trial that is original with any of us. Nor is there anything that we are allowed to walk in that is not first filtered through the loving hands of God. He always guarantees VICTORY! So, watch that attitude. When things cannot change, change what can be changed—that perspective…that attitude.
- Delegate. What is it that makes it so hard for moms to get help? Isn’t this a toughie? Our children LOVE to be Mommy’s helpers. We really steal their blessings when we do not delegate to them. Even toddlers can help fold a load of laundry. They LOVE it! Don’t try to do it all by yourself. You will only wear yourself out. Delegate and you will find some of the stress dissipating.
- Get enough rest. Oh! This one is soooo tough for me. But, let’s honestly look at what happens in our families when we get tired: don’t get enough sleep > get cranky > don’t enjoy life > not too great to be around > others get cranky > irritates you more > get more tired… Why not simply get that rest?? Sleep AND that rest in body, spirit, and soul.
- Self-control. Hummmm… Such a challenge! However, we will find ourselves constantly stressed out until we learn to say “NO” to those activities, commitments, all that stuff. Bit-by-bit, they wear us down. Saying, “NO” eliminates the whole threat of stress from the onset.
- Keep everything simple. Don’t overload. We already KNOW we cannot do everything, but we have to remember this when choices are there to be made. Always look at anything new, whether an activity or a possession, judging its importance by what you are willing to swap for it. This works for everything—shoes, books, activities, commitments. Keep everything simple. You can’t do or have everything, so go for the very best!
- Give yourself a break! Don’t pick yourself to death NOR let others pick you to death either. It is so easy to focus on the negative, get overwhelmed by the weaknesses and inadequacies, and get frustrated about how far you have to go. Then, PEOPLE sure do not help! Let another person loose in your life with the license to critique you or your situation and you will be ready for the nut-farm! Give yourself a break! See this thing as a process—you will not arrive until it is all over but the shoutin’ so relax, enjoy life, and give yourself a break.
- Find ways to fill your cup. We are each wired so very different. Certain things stress some of us that do not bother others. Likewise, certain things just fill our cup. STOP. Regularly pull back. Step back. Shift into low gear –or reverse! Do what it takes to DE-STRESS. Rest. Relax. Rejuvenate. Renew. Refill. Whatever it takes, find those things that fill YOU back up! Oh! The benefits go beyond de-stressing and restoring balance—you finally have living water to pour forth into the lives of others.
- Make the most of EVERY minute. Cherish this time. You will not come this way again. Make sweet memories. Take time for the most important—the best things: your husband, your children, your family life. Don’t let life just slip by! Grasp on to all Christ died to give you–He died to give you life, abundant life! Look at life and decide what you would do if this were your last year…last month…last week…last day? Would you go to the park to enjoy watching them play? Would you cuddle up and read a great book? Would you take off to the beach? Why not make those things YOUR thing? Oh, and probably find that education can be EASY along the way too.
So, beloved, what do you think? Want more? Want that breathing room?
Crawl up into the great big comfy arms of our loving Heavenly Father. Let Him hold you during the most turbulent or trivial stresses of life. Let Him restore your spirit.
What you are doing is vital! Essential! Not an extra!
Your enemy wants you stressed out, overloaded, out of balance. Sweet friend, he is defeated. When he snarls, throws forth his darts, and lies to you, just snuggle up closer to your Lord. Give Him the struggles. Give Him those crazy expectations. Give Him every single burden! You won’t be sorry!
Got more ideas? Share them! Just leave a comment with your ideas for destressing!