This is an excerpt from the Ladies Home Journal, June 2007, article titled Don’t Stress The Small Stuff by Beth Levine.
“I know that each of these irritations by itself is No Big Deal. I know I should be grateful that I am not facing “real” stressors…””It’s not one big problem that drives us bat crazy, but the constant pick, pick, pick of the little stuff…Nonstop minor stress can have a serious impact on our mental and physical health. According to experts, constant stress (the aggregate of minor day-to-day stresses) packs a bigger wallop on the brain and body than acute stress (experiencing a single stressful even, such as chasing an errant child who’s run in to the street or finding yourself on an elevator in free fall). For the latter kind of emergencies, your body mobilizes its resources, acts and then recovers; when you experience constant niggling stressors, your body drains down the same reserves without ever having a chance to recoup the losses. If that daily stress doesn’t stop, the over load can weaken your immunity, strain your heart, affect your memory and cause depression, anxiety and weight gain, says Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D,,,at Rockefeller University and author…”
That part of the article rang a bell with me. Sometimes as a mother I start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and drained. I want to just rest and refresh, but then I feel guilty because my stress seems small compared to so many other people’s problems in the world.
God has told us in the Bible that rest is important. He set the example himself in Genesis 2:1b “…and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
It is my experience that it is better for me to take a short break and “recharge my batteries” before going on. To continue tiredly plodding along with the mountain of chores looming over me is worse for me and my family. There will always be dishes, laundry, and dirty floors; and telling myself to be thankful for what I have doesn’t always help – though it is a good thing.
Ps 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
The best way to relieve stress and get a better outlook is to read the Bible and pray. I have found that it is better for me to read the Bible early in the day – it puts a better outlook on the whole day. It was not as important for the reading time to be early before I had children.
Ps 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Other stress relievers that work for me:
- Exercise – even if it is just a walk around the block.
- Music – I don’t always feel like singing, but my fingers can make music.
- Water – I grew up by a creek where I could go and work out problems. Even now, on occasion I will head to the nearest body of water to see the beauty and talk to God.
- Gardening – yank those weeds!
- Cleaning – not straightening or organizing, just scrubbing and rubbing. (Non-mental)
- Personal time – time by myself – even if it is just behind a (locked) bathroom door. Although, if you are potty training and only have one bathroom it doesn’t work as a place for a break. =)
What works for you? Find what God has given you to use as a stress reliever.
Sometimes I just feel drained – like I have nothing left to give. The kids and pressures have been after me all day and I feel like I poured out all I could – I am empty and have nothing. Then it is time to be still.
Ps 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.