I will admit, I am an over-achieving, type A perfectionist. Phew! Glad to get that out! While I enjoy accomplishing things and I enjoy the work I do, I realize that at times I do too much. I think that this "too much" is affecting my health, my relationships, and my overall happiness! In short, my cup is empty and I keep trying to pour out of it! The bad part is, however, that I am this way by my own making. My husband doesn't require it. My kids don't demand it. My ministry would function well without it. The "it" being the stress! I am sure that half of what I do would still get done even if I took a little time to relax.
God does not want a bunch of pack-mule women to serve him through pain and suffering. He says,
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28and he goes on!
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden in light." --Matthew 11:29-30That sounds nothing like my daily routine! So I began to do a little research on reducing stress in your life. What I found medically completely supported everything found in Scripture (go figure!) So if you, dear sister, like me, need a little de-stressing in you life, join me in trying the following ideas!
Calming music and sounds are supposed to lower one's stress level. Looking back to the life of Saul, this king hired David to come and play music for him then he "would feel better." (1 Samuel 16:23)
I have attempted to play some classical music each day this week while I am doing chores or taking a shower.
Call a Friend
It is proven that when one feels stressed and gives a friend a call, just the thought of sharing the burden with another lowers the level of stress. If we think of this, Proverbs 17:17 has already shown this to us when it says
"A friend loves at all time, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."Eat Right and Exercise
Well, we all know this one, so I am not going to get into it too much... Do you recall Daniel 1? By eating healthy and as the Lord had instructed, Daniel and his companions were "healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food." (Daniel 1:15) This week I am attempting to get up each morning and do some exercises. I am also cutting back on my caffeine intake (gasp!) and taking daily vitamins!
Meditation and Deep Breaths
Well, while this may bring to mind some Eastern religious mumbo-jumbo, we must not forget that we are supposed to be meditating - on the Word of God! There are passages after passages to remind us of this, but consider the following:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. --Joshua 1:8Laugh
Remember the Proverbs 31 woman? It says that she can "laugh at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25).
Laughter is proven to be a huge stress reliever! Remember the old saying "laughter is the best medicine?" There is truth to that! My kids always serve for a good laugh if I just take the time to sit and play a little with them! I also love to watch Psych. Thirty minutes with those quirky guys and I am rolling in laughter! Find what tickles your funny bone and take some time out for it!
Doctors recommend that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Those of you with young children laugh at this idea. Think about the following:
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves. --Psalm 127:2Sounds like God values sleep, doesn't it? Make the effort to get a good night's sleep each night.
This last one is from me. Don't let the things you do as a result of your life's purpose become your life's purpose. Always remember why you do what you do.
My goal is to implement all of these into my lifestyle. What about you? What can you do this week to de-stress your life a little?