Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dealing with Stress

When a New Year starts, life can get a little crazy for all of us. Between traveling (work or leisure), cooking, new personal or career goals, work functions, it seems like there are weeks where every night is booked. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Managing stress can sometimes be hard when you feel like you never get to just sit on the couch. But I think the key to all of that is to find joy through what you are busy doing. At the end of the day, we all deal with stress in different ways… like reading a book, painting, spending time with Jesus, hanging out with friends/family, working out, a bubble bath, etc. I want to share different way I manage stress during busy weeks (really, all the time).

Getting outdoors. You might live somewhere where getting outdoors in January/February is rough because of the cold weather, snow, or rain. For myself and others in Fort Worth, we never know what the weather will be. One day it can be 37 degrees and the next 80 degrees. In the middle of my work day I try and get outside for a quick run or go to the gym that is upstairs in our building. Sometimes all I want to do is walk the neighborhood and listen to worship music and pray. No matter what you do, getting outdoors can be such an amazing stress reliever. Breathing in the fresh air helps remind yourself that life is about so much more than what is on your schedule, phone, or calendar.

Staying active. Many people ask me how I stay motivated to consistently workout 5-6 days a week. The answer to that, honestly, is that I truly just love it. Working out is probably one of my biggest stress relievers. Whether you go for a jog/walk outside, spin class, or a simple workout you got online… staying active is one of the best ways to manage all of that stress. Even if you are saying to yourself right now I dislike working out so much – make that goal for yourself to do something active for about 30 minutes a day only a few days a week. I can promise you that you will start to feel somewhat less stressed, plus you will feel better about yourself!

Serving others. During those busy weeks, it can seem like you haven’t carved any time out of your schedule for others. But I can tell you it will be worth it. Choosing to serve others when you have way too much stuff on your schedule is an important reminder that you are not the center of the universe. There are many people out in the world with hurts and needs that you can give your gifts, resources to help, and to bless them. There are so many opportunities in each community to serve others, such as volunteering to read to students at a school or helping serve at your church. The smallest things can mean the world to others. By just inviting others into your home and cooking a meal for them, remembering to give a sweet treat to your neighbor, or just sending a sweet message to a friend is a great way to serve others.

I want to encourage you to try one of these things when feeling stressed. Call a girlfriend and go on a walk or meet up with your boyfriend/husband to check out the local farmers market.

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