I had planned to publish a gift guide for you today but I decided for this post instead. It’s been on my heart and I wanted to share it with you.
Have you ever had a time when you were hanging onto your very last nerve for days at at time? When the littlest thing could just push you over the edge and you’d burst into tears?
I’m not normally a person who cries and I have a high tolerance for stress, but I’ve had some stressful months in my life recently.
As parents, we’re conditioned to manage this stress and push it aside, and just get through the day. Eventually, however, it’s just too much and something has to give. (Aside – the back story to this time was when we quit homeschooling which I later wrote about.)
Recently I realized I was in a bad place and I needed to make some changes in order to get back the joy in my life. Thankfully the changes my husband and I made have made a huge difference in our family and my stress level.
If you’re stressed out or perpetually overwhelmed, here are 6 things to do that can help you recover a bit.
I am a big offender in this category, but I’m working on it. Truly, if I’m stressed out, Facebook and Pinterest are probably the worse places for me to hang out. Shutting the computer and turning off the phone for a while can almost instantly take my stress level down a notch.
2. Pare back commitments.
This one is really hard. I’ve recently given up some small commitments and one very big one. It’s scary to take a step like this – who will step up if I can’t do it? Is this the right choice for my family? What will people think?
But I’ve found that when I make a decision to cut back, the relief is almost instant. If you’re in a stressful season, reducing your obligations is practically a must. If it helps, tell yourself you can always take them back on again in the future if you find the energy.
3. Get outside or get a change of scenery.
If I’m having a bad day, I’m always surprised at how much better I feel by just going outside or leaving the house. I’m definitely a homebody, but getting some fresh air or even going to the grocery store sometimes makes me wonder why I was so upset in the first place. Stepping away can help put your problems in perspective.
4. Ask for help.
This is so critical! I find this so difficult to do – it feels like complaining to me. But confiding that you’re overwhelmed is not complaining. Again, just admitting there’s a problem can bring some relief.
Hopefully your confidant can help you think of ways to lessen your stress or even offer to take on some of your responsibilities.
5. Make a list.
If you’re an analytical type (and even if you’re not), it may help to take an objective look at your situation. I’ve got instructions for a decision-making strategy with a worksheet that walks you through evaluating a problem. Maybe you’ll find some small changes that will have a big impact.
Plus making a list always makes me feel better 🙂
When I manage to turn off all the noise of the internet or leave the house, those are the times I naturally turn to prayer. Asking God for perfect peace is life-giving and always quiets my mind.
If your stress relates to circumstances beyond your control, you may have to just wait things out.
You may not always be able to make changes to remove the stress from your life. But you can almost always take steps to improve your situation while you wait for bigger changes to take place.