I thought this post would be especially relevant today, given the fact that we are 6 days from Christmas. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, relax and de-stress! Already read this post the first time around? Then CLICK HERE for a funny video by my son, Ryan...it is guaranteed to make you laugh.
When Stress Starts to Strangle: eMpowering Mondays
Stress isn't always bad for me. Sometimes stress motivates me and makes me productive. But then there are times when I feel its nasty grip around my neck and I begin to suffocate, panic, and give up. Last night was one of those times when I felt like stress was strangling me and taking the very life out of me. I sent a Facebook message to a friend of mine and it said something like this:
Please pray for me right now. I think I am just tired and a bit overwhelmed. I had the opportunity to speak at a church this morning and that went well...but I have struggled ever since I got home. My house is a wreck, I have so many to-do projects, lots of writing to do this week, AND I am preparing to speak at our church's women's retreat this coming Sunday morning. Needless to say, I am not emotionally or spiritually prepared. I know this is an attack and I just need someone to pray for me. Your name came to mind. Would you please?
Have you ever felt this way? That's a rhetorical question. Because if you are alive, I know that you have. So, what do we do when stress starts to strangle us?
1. Pray and ask for prayer. Prayer ushers in the POWER of the Holy Spirit that comes alongside us, that strengthens us, encourages us, and motivates us. Don't be afraid or too prideful to reveal your stress to others so that they can pray for you. There is POWER in prayer.
2. Put it all on paper. (or your computer...whatever tool you use most.) Often when we actually write everything down that we need to do, it is less overwhelming. When things are just floating in our minds, we cannot manage them as well. So make a list. Write down everything that comes to mind that you need to do, or even want to do. Then...
3. Prioritize your to-do list. What has to be done today? What can be done tomorrow or even next week? Honestly, organizing your closet can wait. Cleaning out your kitchen catch-all drawer is not necessary today. (Oh, wait, that was my list!) You get the idea.
4. Pass on duties to others. Delegate! Are there things on your list that others can do. My sweet friend that received the above Facebook message reminded me to even involve my children in sharing the load of duties. (Thanks, Melanie.) Yes! Bekah can fold clothes and Ryan can unload the dishwasher. Those responsibilities can seem minor, but when combined with many others, they can be overwhelming!
5. Procrastinate. NOT. Oh, this one is a biggie for me. A friend just shared with me last week about this very subject. She told me I needed to read the book titled, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. Though I haven't read it yet, it is on my book list. And, I just can't help thinking about going ahead and eating that "frog"(that one thing that I don't want to do) and moving forward with my list. (Good stuff, thanks,Teri!)
6. Plan some time with the Lord and with friends. Fellowship with God brings perspective and peace. When we spend time with Him, thanksgiving inevitably results. We realize how much He has blessed us and He gives us perspective on our impending to-do lists. Fellowship with friends provides accountability and much needed laughter and conversation. Don't ever estimate the power of spending time with God and friends!
I hope this list of six will help you with your to-do list of sixty. Stress will come. It is inevitable. But it doesn't have to strangle you.
Update: I made it through that crazy week that I wrote about back in September. I have had several more crazy weeks since then. But I am trying to put my own words into practice and not allow the stress to rob my joy. Have a wonderful week...I am so blessed to have you read.
Have a second? I would love to hear your thoughts, even if it is just..."Merry Christmas!" All you that subscribe by email can CLICK HERE if you want to comment.
Unwrapping the gift of de-stressing,