Thursday, June 5, 2008

Plan of Attack

So, I am a very practical person. I like practical solutions, straight forward answers. Once I see a problem I want to fix it, and be done with it.

So naturally once I realized I had all this stress looming about me I had to come up with a solution for it.

First, I shall not forget that this is for the purpose of being better equipped for God's purpose for me. Good. Cause some of these things are gonna take work and its nice to know He is on my side :)

Then, I start to keep a list.

I love lists.

They are concise, and clean. I can mark it off and its done. If its not done I can see and it challenges me to take are of it. They keep me on task.

I renamed my "To Do" list, and called it what it was. It is now my "Stress List."

On my stress list I put anything that I realize at any point is causing me stress. I put everything from worrying about a friend or family member, to needing to go grocery shopping, or do the bills. I may put that I feel fat today, or that I havent worked out in a week. I may put the hole in the wall in the bathroom needs fixed, or the laundry needs put away. I may put that my heart is really heavy about a friend losing her dad, or a friend in the last stages of a pregnancy and I worry for them. I may put that I need to study for bible class, or I promised someone I would watch their kids today. I might put that Ty is being really disrespectful, and Canon wont "stop" when I tell him to. Maybe I realize the kids havent been out of the house for a week, or I need out of the house! It may be that I havent spent anytime with my husband, girlfriends, mom or sisters lately, and I need to.

I put everything.

I have used that time that I make my list everyday to also make it a time to give each of the things to God. That first.

I am not sure He cares about the hole in the wall in the bathroom, but writing it down and telling Him about it reminds me to be thankful for the house the wall with the hole in in.

I also keep it running all day. Whenever I realize something..I write it down. Or, at the very least make a mental note of it.

I have my Stress List in my Flylady inspired "Control Journal" You can also put in your "Home Management Binder", brought to you by another home management website called Keeping the Home. I think I am gonna work on my own and call it my Stress Less Journal and combine the two. Or, you can put it anywhere you keep your lists.

Having it written makes it more real, and thus more attackable.

Then, we move on to deploying our weapons.

Stress Less Strategies

I started pondering these and I have learned to use them pretty regularly. They make me less stressed :)

Aside from giving them to God from the realization point, look at your stress and apply one of these:

1) Get RID of it
2) Get CONTROL of it
3) Get it DONE
4) Get OVER it
5) Give it to GOD, again.

I decided this week to add two more, Get a new PLAN ..because sometimes the strategy we chose doesnt work out, and we just have to rethink it. And, Get a new PERSPECTIVE, cause sometimes thats all it takes.

Get RID of it, that one is pretty clear but its a great one! So often stuff makes us feel stressed. Whether its because we have too much of something, we dont have room for it, it makes us feel guilty for some reason (clothes that dont fit in your closet), its old and broken, its dirty or worn out. Getting rid of stuff is SO freeing! And, less stuff means less to stress over!

I wrote on my other blog about this topic, with some tips on how to make it happen. If you are interested, click here.

One other thing you can apply this to, is your schedule. If there are things there that are stressing you get rid of it from your schedule. Too much time away from home? Might need to look at what you can get rid of!

Get CONTROL of it. I came up with this one specifically to deal with my laundry! I hate laundry. It stresses me out. But I cant get rid of it. So, it must be dealt with it. So, I have to figure out a solution to get control of it. Doing things the way I was doing them was too stressful. I waited and did it all in one day, but fell short of completing the project cause I HATE putting it away. I would end up with baskets of clean but either not folded, or folded but not put away laundry. I had to get control of it.

When I am on my game I do one or two loads a day, completing it all the way through the put away. ON a good day. Like I said, I am still on this journey. I havent arrived yet.

Get it DONE. This applies to most of the things on my daily Stress Lists. Its the grocery shopping, the bill paying, the studying for class, etc. Its the stuff that there is no other solution for besides doing it. Thing is, the stress is usually there in the first place because we put things off, thus creating more stress. SO, by having a "get it done", "just do it"attitude we can avoid alot of stress on ourselves!

Get OVER it. You know exactly what I mean girls. There are alot of things we stress over that we really neednt stress over. OR, the stressing doesnt help much, right? The socks he leaves on the floor every day? Stressful ..on you and him when you holler at him for it. But, if you chose (and you CAN) to get over it will avoid alot of stress.

Also, this applies when we allow ourselves to get stressed over things that people say or do that irritate or upset us. We tend to ponder, discuss, ponder, sulk, ponder and create MORE stress for ourselves with the pondering. Our discussing and otherwise can also create stress for other people (the husband, mom, friend who has to listen to it!) if you can, get over it sista.

Remember, you cant always chose what happens to you, but you can chose your reaction to it.

Get a new PLAN. Like I said, sometimes we have dealt with a stressor and it comes back. It may be a sign that we need to handle it differently. Did you TRY to get control of the laundry but you still were overwhelmed by it? Then maybe try getting rid of some of it by decreasing the number of outfits your kids have at their disposal. Did you try putting the dog food up where the 18 month old couldnt reach it (you thought) but they found it anyways? Get a new plan. Reorder. Reorganize. Reprioritize.

Get a new PERSPECTIVE. This one could go hand in hand with get over it but a little unique in that it asks for a different view point. Its about changing your attitude, you have a ton to do today but one of the kids are sick and wont let you put them down but, you get a new perspective and realize that you have a good excuse to sit and read books to your kids all day and let the laundry go!

Then, Give it GOD, again. Thing is, there is plenty of things that cause us stress that we can do nothing about. We can continue allowing those things to sap energy from our spirits, or give them to someone who can handle it.

Remember to, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." I Peter 5:7 (NLT)

And dont forget the goal. Its to be more able to hear His calling, to do His bidding and to be used as a tool for Him. Ask Him to show you the best strategy to deal with it - it certainly doesnt have to fit in any of these categories but He will show you if you ask Him!

Pulling it All Together

Now, go back to your list and apply one of these to each of the things on your list.

I found that when I did this, I had a great idea of where I needed to focus my energy. I had an idea of where my day needed to go to come out less stressed by the end. I realized I need to focus DAILY on my get control stuff, and I needed to plan a Goodwill trip for the get rid of stuff sometime this week, I needed to plan a get it done grocery shopping trip TODAY, and I needed to get a new plan for the kids' discipline issues AND get it done. I saw where I just shift my perspective, thus changing my outcomes.

Another little tidbit, when you do this, you come up with a great give it to God list, aka, a "prayer list" ..but that is another journal all together :)

So, make sense? If not, let me know ...and share if you use them or we need to add a strategy or two!

Thanks for taking this walk with me, I feel less stressed just having you here! :)


  1. Courtney,
    all good thoughts on your blog. I didn't comment on each section, but I'll sum up my thoughts here. First, I think the realizing, or maybe just "not ignoring" the fact that this life if full of things trying to take away our focus on God's will, is the key. I feel like it's the same principal as repenting of sin. In other words, you have to be honest about the issue, tell God what He already knows but wants us to tell him, and then go about making the changes. I feel like that's what you're saying. Life if full of stress. We either use it to motivate us to overcome with the power of the Spirit in us, or it controls us because we've failed to give everything to God.

    So, acknowledging the stress is the beginning point. The manner in which we deal with it defines our character. (Not to say if we're stressed out that we aren't good christians, just to say that our scriptual examples show us how men and women were successful in overcoming all with God's help.) And I think that your ideas and suggestions for dealing with stress are not only helpful to you, but also to us. We know God is always there with us, but it really helps me to know there are friends who are there with me too....who understand, who have been there, or who really listen and care. (As you know, one of the ways in which I deal with certain stresses is to share it...but only with a person who I feel will help me deal with it better and get over it because of their perspective.Because in the end, I too want to do God's will. I want to be what a friend should be. It just comes easier with some than with others. But I remember that God loves each of His children, so I need to grow, adjust, accept (to a certain degree) and love.

    Anyway, now I feel like I'm rambling. But all of my thoughts in a nutshell are that I'm glad you're motivated to tackle this very big subject. It's motivating to me and I do feel like God gives us a lot of resources, such as friends, to help us on our journey. I certainly don't wish stress on my friends, but knowing that they've "been there" and aren't letting it consume them is so encouraging to me when I try to tackle the same types of things. So keep blogging and sharing your ideas because it's so productive.

    Hope all of that made sense and wasn't too scattered! Love you-Brandi

  2. So WHY have I never thought of keeping my ever-so-popular lists all in one place?? I have them aLL OVER and lose them so i Have to make another.. Duh! LOL. Now that school is over I am in the decluttering phase myself. Can't WAIT to tackle that playroom on Tuesday!!! :D

  3. I think you are awesome!! I am so proud that you are my sister and have this great gift. You should really keep it up. I really enjoy reading your blogs and I know everyone else does too. I'm looking forward to trying to put it into practice. Love you bunches!

  4. So I thought I'd write a little testimonial about how these techniques helped me "de-stress" my bathroom (and acknowledge its stressing powers in the first place). Feel free to put it in your inevitable book:) :
    Luke's bathroom was really stressing me out, so I sat back and thought about WHY that was. Well, the room is really small, but more than that, it's CLUTTERED. There is a tall clothes hamper which, combined with the "privacy wall" thing, basically cuts off the path to the tub; there is a flotilla of plastic boats and cups lining the tub; and the privacy wall and sink have a bunch of random stuff on them. So I needed to "get control of it" and "get it done." First, I took everything out and cleaned it. Then, I wouldn't let anything back in unless it could prove to me its usefulness. Gone was the clothes hamper. I can take Luke's clothes to his hamper at night, and then all his dirty clothes would be in one place. That opened the room up right away. Gone was half of his bath toys, which were crammed into his mesh turtle bag hanging in the tub. He only uses a few each night anyway. I put them in a plastic box under the sink, which also was newly organized. Now his flotilla can fit IN his bag, and there's only shampoo and bubble bath on the edge of the tub. Gone was all but handsoap and Luke's toothpaste and toothbrush from the sink. The other stuff was appropriated to more suitable locations. So now, when I walk in Luke's bathroom, I feel much more serene. It no longer stresses me out:). Thanks for helping me to think about things in this way!

  5. Yay Kim! Doesnt it feel SO good to conquer that stress? Thanks so much for sharing!


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