Today, I would like to share some helpful tips on dealing with stress. Since stress can cause depression, anxiety and a number of other health issues, it’s a topic worthy of being discussed and an issue that needs to be addressed so that we can offer the best of ourselves to our family and in the ministry.
Most women deal with stress on a continual basis. The Lord God, in His wisdom, created women with a nurturing spirit. We have a tendency to extend ourselves emotionally and physically for healing and support of our family and friends. Because of this, we can easily get overwhelmed and drown ourselves into a sea of stress.
Here’s 10 Simple Ways to Combat and Deal with Stress…
- Start your day off right.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33
It’s essential to get our priorities in order. If we don’t, everything else will stay off balance, leaving us more stressed.
Begin your day with a personal devotional time. Bible reading and prayer time will help you prepare for your day ahead with the necessary “war” essentials to face conflicts and trying situations. Bible reading builds and strengthens our faith (Romans 10:17), and prayer time helps us win over worry and build a closer relationship with God (Philippians 4:6).
- Create a daily routine.
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:” – Proverbs 6:6
God’s word encourages us to consider the tiny ants, who are ever busy and diligent in their work. They know their individual jobs and roles, and they consistently do them. They don’t sit around and let the workload pile up.
Creating daily and weekly routines are one way to keep your work flow balanced without getting swamped with a hundred things to do all in one day.
Planning a good schedule for your household chores can be super beneficial in avoiding stress. You’ve probably heard the wise advice, “plan your work, then work your plan.” It’s important to be diligent in utilizing your schedule.
- Lean on God’s grace.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:6
Change will happen in life. It’s inevitable. These changes can be really stressful– especially as you find your new normal. It takes patience to readjust during these periods in life, but God’s grace will see you through.
When everything is changing, lean on the ONE who does NOT change! (Hebrews 13:8) Seek God’s help, and don’t get too busy to include Him in your daily life during these chaotic times.
- Get sufficient sleep.
“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” – Psalm 3:5
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” – Psalm 127:2
The lack is sleep is a huge culprit for not being able to deal with stress. What’s even worse is that when we’re tired and exhausted, we’re grumpy with our husband and our children.
David learned to lean and depend on God, even under his stressful circumstances. God designed our bodies to need sleep to replenish our strength, both physically and emotionally.
Did you know that our body not only rejuvenates itself while we sleep, but also does a fantastic job of ridding itself from terrible toxins? It cannot perform this same function while we are awake.
Create a bedtime routine that will help you wind down mentally at night. Going to bed at the same time each evening will help train your mind that it’s time to rest. You’ll find it easier to go to sleep with a consistent nighttime routine, and be more refreshed for the next day.
- Keep tabs on your health.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” – III John 1:2
In apostle John’s letter, he states his wish for Gaius’ prosperity and health. Although this was a common phrase in letter writing, we can also read in the Old Testament where God gives various commands to assure that the Israelite people retain good health and avoid spreading diseases.
Many women end up putting their health on the bottom list of their priorities. Our bodies do not handle stress well when we are not taking good care of our health by means of good nutrition and exercise.
Make your health one of your top priorities so that your body can handle stress more efficiently. Learn about good nutrition, and figure out which exercises would be fun for you to do.
- Maintain a good balance.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
All work and no play will make you grumpy, stressed and burned out. We need time to laugh and enjoy life. We create a happy, emotional balance when we schedule in some play time amidst our busy schedules.
- Look for the positive.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Positivity is a choice. Purposing to be positive takes just as much energy as it does to be negative, but yields much more pleasant results.
God’s Word offers constant hope and encourages us to take a positive approach to life. Negative thoughts lead to more stress. Most of our negative thoughts come from Satan, who would like nothing better than to see a defeated Christian drown in misery.
Work on replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones. What kind of things should occupy our mind? The Bible tells us exactly what we should think about!
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8 KJV
- Put things in the right perspective.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” – II Corinthians 4:17
When we start to lose hope during difficult trials and circumstances, we can quickly become overwhelmed and stressed. We must realize that these days will not last forever. Someday… one day, whether here on earth or in Heaven above, these afflictions will be past. By keeping our eyes on Jesus, we can look forward to spending eternity in Heaven where there will be no more sorrow, tears and pain. And no more sad good-byes.
Another way to get a good perspective on life is to look beyond your own difficulties, and you will ALWAYS find someone who is much worse off. We can have a grateful heart when we look for all the good things God has done for us and given to us.
Taking off our dark, gloomy shades will allow us to enjoy all God’s bountiful blessings and His glorious creation. He loves you and I so much…and that’s the BEST perspective of all!
- Let go of perfection.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” – Colossians 3:23
Nothing can be so quite as stressful as aiming for perfection, especially since it’s entirely unattainable anyway. God has never expected us to be perfect. He remembers we are dust. (Psalm 103:14)
As women, we often have various jobs titles: wife, mother, healthcare provider, household maintenance, kitchen / food manager, Sunday school teacher, and much more. We may find ourselves feeling insufficient and never good enough.
God does want us to do our best, but we need to get our best job done within our scheduled time frame. Then, we need to move on to the next task at hand, and let go of lingering worries that things may be less than perfect.
We all have our talents and gifts that will allow us to achieve better results in some areas than in others, but don’t add stress by expecting more from yourself than you can reasonably do. Remember, we’re to do our best, as to the Lord — and not for the eyes and praise of man, nor even for ourselves!
- Learn to wait.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31 kjv
When we try to rush and hurriedly “fix” things, we put more stress upon ourselves. Our minds work in overdrive as we desperately struggle to work out unresolved issues all by our self. We need to realize that sometimes God just wants us to rest and wait on Him.
God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect! Resting in the Lord, as He does a work that we cannot do, and allowing Him to help carry our burden, will eliminate a huge portion of stress during our difficult situations. (Matthew 11:28-30)
May I encourage you today to work on reducing your stress by trusting God more. Ask Him for daily wisdom and understanding before you face the day ahead. You will find a happy balance and enjoy life more. Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”