Stress is one of those things that everyone deals with at some level or another. A lot of times I’m extremely stressed and I don’t even think I am. That’s how used to stress we are. Stress can do a number on your body, your family, and your life. It affects everything. Doctors, friends, and family tell you to let go of your stress and not worry, but how in the world are you supposed to do that?
You have a family to take care, a job, a house to clean, errands to run, church obligations, kids’ activities to get to, a homeschool (or other types of school), etc, and that’s just the beginning! Don’t forget bills to pay, relationships, family issues, illnesses; I think I’ll stop here. I’m stressing myself out! How are we supposed to “let go” of these stresses? They are a part of life that we can’t escape? I’m no expert, but I am trying to find ways to deal with the stresses that come along daily. Here are some ideas that I have found to help with stress is annoying to life-altering.
Prayer: It’s the easiest and yet the hardest thing to do and it’s probably the most overlooked. It’s the easiest because it really doesn’t require anything of us, except to take a moment and do it. Start the day off with prayer. Pray when you feel stressed. Pray to close the day. It doesn’t have to be full of thou’s and shall’s, just normal honest conversation between you and God. Tell Him what’s going on (Pssst! He already knows by the way!) and how you feel about it. Not sure how or what to pray? There’s an app for that!
Try the Abide: Prayer & Meditation app. It’s guided prayers. These can really help for when you’re at a loss for words or when you need something to help you remember to pray. It has tons of prayers for different topics.
Bible Study/Devotion: Again something that’s so simple that we often forget about it. Pick a topic and it doesn’t have to be something heavy. Sometimes choosing something that is different or light can be fun! A good study can also help us learn coping skills for whatever is going on in our lives. Try YouVersion, it’s my favorite!
Exercise: Go get some fresh air! Take a walk around the yard. When it’s warm, I strap my phone to my arm, record my walk in Map My Walk and crank up some music while I walk. Depending on my mood, I could choose anything from Contemporary Christian to head banging. Anything that gets the heart rate up is great for your mood. Do some yoga, or stretching. It does wonders before bed. There are tons of yoga videos to choose from on YouTube.
Meditation or Mindfulness apps: This is new to me, but I love it! We forget during the day to breathe. I’m using Pacifica, but there are several out there. I’m learning how to take time to breathe. It’s like a mommy timeout! There’s nothing religious about it, but you certainly could use it as prayer time. This app in particular checks on my mood throughout the day and exercises on how I can improve it. It’s teaching me techniques to deal with things that cause me stress, anxiety and even depression. I love it!
Planning: Take time to plan your week/day. You can’t plan for everything and you certainly can’t get everything done. Planning helps you to visualize what you need, or want to get done. Meal planning ahead of time takes away the stress figuring out at suppertime what to fix. Organizing who needs to be where at what time and who’s taking them, removes some stress. Checking things off a list can make you feel empowered and less stressed with each check mark. Planning your homeschool keeps you on schedule and more efficient with your day.
Journaling: Write down your feelings, your emotions. You can also use apps for this. Pacifica and others are great for this! Somethings just writing things down, puts everything in perspective. Grab a Wreck-It Journal for something really fun!
Call a confidant: Sometimes we just need to talk it out or cry it out. They may not be able to solve our problem, but just having someone to talk to can take a massive load off our shoulders. We need to communicate more. Too often we’re so caught up in our lives, or we don’t want to burden anyone. But that’s what our friends are for if they are real friends. If you don’t want to talk to a friend, find someone like a pastor, or counselor that you can talk to. Pick up the phone!
There are tons of things that can help you manage your stress. I think stress is with us all the time. Right now, we are dealing we the life-altering stress of my husband possibly having cancer and my daughter’s seventh surgery and I’m learning how to manage all the stress that comes with those. I have to, my health depends on it. My stress level had gotten so bad that it sent me straight in for a CT scan and really did a number on me; so I have to teach myself and my body how to deal with it. Learning to deal with it will make you a better wife, mom and a healthier person and it will for you, too.
These are just a few ideas on managing stress. But the great things is they are ideas that you can put into practice today. How do you deal with stress?
P.S. That’s me in the picture, at the orthopedist’s office. I just found out my daughter was going to have to have her seventh surgery. She thought she would secretly snap a picture of me finding out. Silly girl!