5 tips for dealing with stress

Stress. It’s a word we hear and think all too often in our busy world.

“I’m so stressed out!”

“Work is so stressful right now.”

“You are stressing me out!”

I know you can relate. It’s hard to juggle all our responsibilities and commitments and still find time for family, friends,  relaxation or fun.  Managing your stress requires a daily commitment to do and think differently. I understand that circumstances prevent us from living a stress free life, but here are a few tips for what you can do to manage stress:

    1. Make a list. List out all the things that cause you stress.  This can be beneficial in couple ways:
      1. See if there are any commitments/activities that are doing more harm than good and consider letting them go. Consider sharing the list with a trusted friend or family member to aid your perspective.
      2. Cross out the things on the list that you can do absolutely nothing about except pray (aka, the stuff outside your control). Remind yourself that the stuff outside your control is simply that, grieve if needed and work on accepting those things. Look at what’s left and make some plans to deal with them. Ask for advice, if needed, on how to do that efficiently.
    2. Talk to a trusted friend.  Sometimes just hearing the words, “me too” can work wonders!
    3. Do something you love. Do something for yourself. For instance, I always have a lot of nonfiction reading I should be doing for work. I incorporate that reading into my day when possible, but at night before bed I read fiction that serves no other purpose than to entertain me. It’s something I look forward to every day!
    4. Turn off the radio, TV, computer, and put away your phone.  We have enough noise in our lives without adding to it unnecessarily.  I suggest technology free times. I highly suggest this in the car, but at home sometimes too. Putting aside these distractions can free us to absorb and appreciate moments with our loved ones and help us focus on what really matters. Today! Be present!
    5. Ask for help. Sometimes, we turn to busyness and stress as a way of avoiding life, marriages, kids, grief, etc. We seek to distract ourselves from the truth/reality. If you’d like some professional help sorting this out, it is available when you’re ready.  While life will always have ups and downs, counseling can offer you perspective and tools for enjoying life more and living it with joy and purpose.

And as always…I wish you blessings on your journey, friend.

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