Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Week 6: Stress Strategies

This week, we are making a turn towards practically decreasing our stress levels. For the purpose of managing our limited resources better, we need to focus on HOW we will better utilize what we have to work with ..thus decreasing our stress levels.

These are some strategies that I have developed for myself. They are a list of possible plans of attack for the stresses that I note at any given moment or day.

I start out with a "Stress List" ..this is a list of all the things I cant think of that is weighing on my heart, mind, heart, spirit or body. Its a running list, whether mental or written, that I add to constantly. When it is written, I find that its easier to come up with a plan to manage all those stresses better.

Once I have a nice list of things that are stressful to me, I can work on a strategy to decrease the burden they create.

Here are the strategies that I work with ...

Get it DONE - this one applies to a good portion of the things on my list. I find that often something that simply needs doing, and hasnt gotten done is causing me some burden. Having a "just do it" attitude will go a long way in better managing your resources! Examples: grocery shopping, cleaning the bathrooms, paying bills, cleaning out the car, painting the house. Set a time, and just do it.

Get CONTROL of it - Often times, things that need constant attention can quickly get out of control. Mama of all things in this category, the ever present MOUNT LAUNDRYMORE! Getting control over things like this can help us put less time, energy and effort into in. And, its better than trying to attack it when its overwhelming. Another biggie, our schedules. Those monsters can loom ever larger if we dont watch it! Getting control of our time can help us regain some lost energy in that area (easier said than done, I know ..we will talk more about that this week)

Get RID of it - I have found that STUFF causes me alot of stress. Whether is too many clothes in the closet (none of which fit!), more sheets/towels than fit in the closet, too many kids toys, or just too much clutter ...get rid of it. Here is a link to a past post where I spoke to this issue ..I hope you find it helpful!

Get a new PLAN - sometimes the way you have been doing it for a long time simply doesnt work any more. It may mean that your resources have changed or the needs of you or your family have changed. If you figure out that the routine, system or plan of attack is not working anymore .. get a new one. It was easy to keep the house clean when mom was at home, but now that she is working ..we need a new plan! Before dad's work schedule changed we always went grocery shopping on Monday mornings, but it doesnt work anymore ...chose a different day to shop.

Get a new PERSPECTIVE - Often times, our perspective on an issue is weight bearing in itself. If we consider a different perspective of a situation or an issue, you may find that you are able to manage things better. For example, when the baby is sick and in order to meet his needs you have to sit all day and get NOTHING that you need to get done can be frustrating and stressful. But, if you work on a change in focus, and look at this as a time to read and cuddle, a precious time that you can use to bond with your little one ...the sitting is less stressful, and you are able to use your resources of that moment better.

Get OVER it - Oh yes, you know what I mean. Us girls have a tendency to dwell on the things that worry us. We ponder, fret and worry and then start the cycle over again. Another, nicer, way to put it is, let it go. Whether is something you are fretting over that you have no control over, or that you keep thinking about what "she" said to you yesterday. If its that he keeps putting his socks on the floor, or you are frustrated that the gal at the check out was rude ...get over it. If its not worthy of your energy, then let it go.

Give it to God, again. We start our process by asking God to show us the areas that we are misusing our resources. We want to constantly ask Him to take our burdens off our shoulders, and then allow us to rest in his promises. Often, we are weighed down by things that we have no control over and no amount of stress strategies can take care of it. Only God can take those things away from us give it to him.

We will keep looking at these strategies this week ..for now, ponder what things are weighing on you then see if you can work to decrease that burden of your heart, body, soul, mind and spirit.

Pondering Point: How can you apply these, or other strategies to improve your use of your limited resources?

Verse of the Week: Stay tuned ..we are gonna come back and look at some scriptures that will helps in this area this week!

Discussion Question: Do any of these strategies seem like they would, or have they worked for you? Tell us! If you have some ideas of other strategies ..share!

1 comment:

  1. I hate that I missed class on Wednesday! As you know, Luke had a fever. And we'll be out of town this Wednesday. Grrr..:)

    Getting a new perspective has been helping me a lot lately. One concept that has stuck with me for years is the idea of glorifying God with our WHOLE lives, like every moment, in whatever we are doing. I really think that is the goal, but it is so hard sometimes to picture what that looks like. Now, I'm beginning to feel that God is showing me what that means. Yes, there are always "mundane" things that have to get done, but I've found that I can offer up those things as acts of worship to God and do them with joy and praise in my heart.

    Case in point: The other day, I needed to clean the master bath, which I hate. I don't like cleaning bathrooms, and the master bath is by far my least favorite. I had a definite "Get it done, asap!" attitude toward it--like, "Get it over with!" And I realized that my thoughts at that moment weren't glorifying to God. I was frustrated and even kind of resentful that I had to do something that I really didn't want to do. So, I know this sounds weird, but I stopped and prayed to God about cleaning the bathroom. We talked about some other things first, but then I asked Him to give me His Spirit so that I could make cleaning the bathroom an act of worship to Him.

    And let me tell you, He delivered! When I stood up again, I felt like a new woman, and I scrubbed that bathroom from top to bottom with joy in my heart and gratitude to God.

    So, the perspective that my whole life is supposed to be an offering to God and that whatever I do, I'm supposed to work at it with all my heart, as if working for the Lord (Col. 3:23?) really helps me not to be stressed and negative.


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