It’s been a long 6 months. Stress wouldn’t exactly be the one word I’d select to sum up my year but I’ve felt a lot of it lately.
In the grand scheme of life I know my issues are nothing. In fact, I think I’m ridiculous for even feeling stressed. My family is healthy, we have money to budget with, food to eat, and a great home to live in. My husband has a job with great health insurance and I am blessed with a part time job a block from our house that I can bring the kids to.
What more do I need? Seriously. Why should I struggle and be stressed? Why should I want more or for life to be different?
Life doesn’t always happen how I want or plan. When my dreams or ideas of how things should be differ from the reality, conflict can happen. It’s then easy for me to be unhappy and I find myself getting frustrated and stressed and worried about the future and never ending “what ifs” of life. What a miserable way to live.
When looking at stress or joy, which would I select? Easy choice there. Not that many weeks ago, I had a little perspective change and since then I’ve begun enjoying life and have been okay with where I’m at and what I’m doing – what God has put in front of me right now.
I want joy to be what I feel in our home. To be what my family feels. Joy is not from everything going according to my plans and nothing going wrong, but instead from having my perspective in the right place and letting God do His work.
As I look over the last month 9 steps to finding joy in stress come to mind:
1. Don’t dwell on the negative. When things don’t happen the way you’d like, when your child is disobedient, someone is sick, the car breaks down, the perfect opportunity falls through, you feel like your house is too run down – don’t dwell on it! Give yourself a moment to vent and then let it go.
2. Give thanks! Keep a running list of all the little and big things you have to be thankful for. It could be something as simple as your child reaching up to grab your hand, the perfectly ripe pear, or that you have carpeting that needs to be vacuumed. Even on the worst of days, there is something we have to be thankful for.
3. Memorize Scripture. This will enable you to replace the negative thoughts with life giving words. It’s easier to not dwell on the negative if we have something to replace those thoughts with.
4. Exercise. Doing something physical, even for just a few minutes, can really help clear your mind and give you energy to face the next task. 10 minutes of pilates, a 20 minute run, or quick power walk pushing the kids in the stroller all can make a difference.
5. See the Big Picture. When life happens, it’s so easy for me to only be able to focus on the circumstance that just happened. It helps to remember what you are doing, why you are doing it – to always remember that God really is in control.
6. Break it Down. Sometimes stress can be caused by a situation, task, or goal seeming impossible. A mountain of debt, large savings goal, parenting struggle, or medical problem is daunting. Finding a new job is a big thing. Break your task (source of stress) down. Try having monthly goals or celebrating every thousand dollars saved. Focus on applying to so many jobs each week. You might even be able to make your daunting task a little fun. Instead of worrying about the uncertainties of the future, get through the next doctors visit or surgery and face one day at a time instead of trying to face all the unknown future at once.
7. Eat Right. Too much sugar (maybe even any sugar) really can affect our mood and behavior as can processed foods. Decrease or cut them out of your diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and plenty of healthy fats. I noticed a big difference in my mood and emotions during our Whole30. During it I became less irritated and stressed.
8. Get Enough Sleep. When I don’t sleep, my ability to handle stress decreases. Everything seems a way bigger deal than it really is. Sneak in a nap. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier. Maybe even give yourself a little grace on your morning wake up time.
9. Have Visual Reminders. Tape quotes and scripture verses to your computer monitor, the bathroom mirror, and above the kitchen stink. Take the word you want to focus on and make it a piece of art to hang on your wall.
Dayspring has just come out with a new line of art – Letterpress Blocks. You can put together your own words, numbers symbols. The block come in different sizes and fonts.
- Do you have a favorite scripture? Add the reference to your decor.
- A word you are trying to live (such as joy)? Add it to your wall so you are always thinking of it.
- How about your last name or the year your family was established? Yep, you can do that as well.
Head to the Letterblocks Interface on Dayspring’s website and you can put together your words and see what sizes and fonts you like the best and come up with a new piece of art to put on your wall!
As I continue to try and focus on joy during this season of my life, I’m going to be hanging the word in a prominent place where I can be continually reminded to keep my focus in the right place.
How do you combat the stress in your life? What word or phrase would you choose to hang on your wall from the Letterpress Block Collection by Dayspring?
Linking up to these fun parties!
I love this! I was drawn to your article from the words matter linkup because i almost chose Joy for my word too:) Great tips and reminders!!
Thanks, Rachael! Be Still is great word I need to remember too. Actually, I kept coming up with more and more words as I looked at Dayspring. Maybe there should be an entire wall of words. 🙂
You are singing my song, Deanna. I need to remind myself of these things. I tend to just grab another cup of coffee when I’m stressed instead of focusing on the Word and making time for exercise, two things that never fail to relieve stress for me.
Thanks, Gabby!!! The coffee you grab is probably better than the chocolate I try and hunt down. 🙂 It’s crazy how much a little scripture and exercise can do to change things around. I think when the exercise is outdoors the stress goes away even faster (and the kids get less cranky 🙂 )
These are great tips! Several years ago I went through some really stressful things personally and the first things to go were sleep, eating, and exercise. All I did was focus on my problems. I started to make progress when I started to get these three things back on track and a LOT of time with God. After that it got easier to clean the house, pay the bills, and slowly get life back on track!
Thanks for your comment! I agree, it was when we were doing the Whole30 and not eating any sugar and I was exercising every day that really helped change my stress level around. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts. Have a great weekend!
When I was a younger momma, I didn ‘t have the influence of what I’d like to call the Titus 2 women in my life as much as I would have enjoyed. I think it made me want to be one to others and to help and encourage them. The world of blogging has opened up that door for women to be that to one another. Fast forward through one graduation and now the teen years it took me a little longer to learn these 9 things that you have been able to share and I wish I would have had your post to reflect on many years ago. There is wisdom here, and like you I have penned these lists for others but mostly for myself. You will probably need to come back and re-read often as the days and months escalate and accrue, but you will find that it is a joy-filled journey in the process. Twp of the most important lessons are on your list.. sleep and exercise ( followed by diet and taking breaks..that’s 4) 🙂 . Mommas need to give themselves permission to take breaks but the exercise both makes us feel good physically and mentally.
I think you are right, I’ll need to remind myself of these suggestion many times over the years. Yes! I noticed such a difference when I wasn’t eating sugar and was exercising regularly. It’s nice that those are things we have more control over when the baby still isn’t sleeping through the night. . . Thank you for ministering to younger mommas and sharing what you have learned and being there to encourage. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts – I appreciate it!
what awesome inspirational steps to finding joy even when stressed. Thank you. I didn’t know about the letter blocks. I’m going to have to do more research into that. I appreciate the tip. Have a blessed day.
Thanks! These tips really help me a lot (when I follow them, anyway). You are welcome, I think the letter blocks are a really neat product! Love how customizable they are.
These are such good reminders and with the holidays, it’s the perfect time to be reminded! Thank you for your wise words that encouraged and blessed my heart.
~Lovelle from DaySpring
Thanks, Lovelle! So true, this time of year can add so much stress on top of what we already have in our lives. Thanks for letting me write about the letterblocks – I love them. Such a fun product. Hope you have a great weekend!
Great post! I am working on spending more time hiding God’s word in my heart, slowing down and prioritizing, and beginning my day with a devotional. We are pregnant with our first child and our family is going through a huge transition. I find it hard to hang onto peace with so much uncertainty (not necessarily bad things, just life changing things that come with a lot of stress). Prayer, handing it over to God, and taking it day-by-day are all I can do right now. Some days go better than others! My word would be thankfulness. We are focusing on that character trait right now on my blog. Even in the midst of upheaval there is always so much to be thankful for! Right now I am thankful that my baby is healthy. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Nathana! Love the steps you are taking each day. Yes, uncertainty (even with okay or good things) can be a huge source of stress! So much unknown and not being able to plan. Hope that your transition goes smoothly and things settle for you soon. Congrats on the baby! So exciting. 🙂
All of those are great reminders and remedies for stress. I am intentionally keeping a 30 Days of Thanksgiving this November to remind myself Thanksgiving is more than a day.
Thanks, Jenny! Love doing 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Good way to keep our perspective in the right place. Gratitude makes a lot of difference.
Thank you Deanna for sharing this at the Family Fun Friday Link Up. What a great reminder of being joyful in the midst of stress. I will be featuring this post at this week’s link up on my blog. Blessings!
You are welcome and thank you so much for hosting and for featuring this post! Being able to find joy in stress really makes a difference in how I enjoy life.
Isn’t it interesting how we can get all stressed out over relatively nothing; I can totally relate. Thanks so much for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday, I know many of us need this reminder. Hope to see you again this week.
So glad I’m not alone. It’s kind-of crazy how the little things can cause so much stress. Some days I just need to chill. 🙂
We are going on year 2 of very tight finances after an international adoption. I can relate very much to the first part of your post. But knowing that God is providing and living with the very real financial strain is hard. I love the suggestions you have like getting enough sleep and eating well. Sometimes just treating our bodies better can help us gain perspective. Thanks for this post! (visiting from Good Tips Tuesday)
So true, living with real financial strain day in and day out would be a big source of stress! Agreed, treating our bodies better makes a huge difference. The exercise, fresh air, and healthy foods really help me a lot. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Absolutely in need of this right now. Thank you so much for sharing on Motivation Monday!
Me too, Lauryn! Life has been stressful and I haven’t handled it well. These things have made a big difference. Thanks for stopping by!
Deanna, you are so inspired to bring this post to all of us right now with the holiday’s coming and the distraction and additional stress it naturally brings. I love your advice and tips. I am so guilty of going for sugar, skipping my exercises and rushing scriptures in the morning. I am going to do better, and I thank you for the motivation. I featured you on my fb page and thank YOU so much for linking up at Wonderful Wed. Blog Hop. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow
Thanks, Carrie for your comment and hosting! I hear you. I eat way to much sugar when I’m stressed and don’t make time for what’s important. The Whole30 helped a whole lot because I couldn’t eat sugar and that made me more motivated to exercise and get up earlier. I felt way better and less stressed. Now that it’s over. . . Well, I need to work on cutting back on the sugar again. (I think it will help when the trunk or treat candy is all gone. 🙂 )
I love this post! Such a great reminder to stop focusing on the small things that stress us out. I sometimes tend to stress out if something doesn’t go as planned- when I lose control of a situation. But it’s such a great reminder to just relax and enjoy! I LOVE the decor letters! I will have to check them out. Have a great weekend!
So true, Edith! Those little things really can stress me out as well. I love the letters too – such a fun product!
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Thank you for posting on Motivation Monday!
Some really good practical tips! I find stress creeps in all of our homes these days…it just always feels like there’s SO much to do, doesn’t there? With social media also increasing our availability, and our blogs!!, it seems like there’s so much opportunity before us, but so little time (I mean the kids, the house, the hubs, the work, whatever). Good reminders here 🙂
Visiting from Inspired By Me Mondays; hope you come & join us again this week! Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough
So true. There’s a never ending list of home/mom/wife stuff and then blog stuff on top of it, it can get crazy! Some days/weeks I need to remind myself of these tips more than other!
Hey love, thanks for partying with me this week at Live Randomly Simple! So many great content this week! Hope you make it back this week! Party starts 10pm Monday night and runs through Saturday!! Cant wait to see what new goodies you have for us!
This is something we all do I think. Sometimes it gets hard to see the joy when you feel overwhelmed with stress but these are some great tips! I am pinning this 🙂
Have a great week
Thanks for pinning. I think you are right, we all find ourselves doing it at some point. Some days I need to remind myself of these points more than others.
It was a great inspiring post, thats for sure! 🙂
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Thank you for this post. Crazy things are happening right now – beyond our control. Your tips are timely and inspiring! . . . . this, too, shall pass . . .
I hope that life will soon calm down for you, Suzanne, and that in the meantime you can find peace and joy! Those times are so hard. Hang in there!!! Hugs! (And thank you for taking the time to comment!)
I love this so much! I may just have to print it out and reread it everytime I start to freak out about something that happens. I get so stressed in sick to my stomach then my husband gets stressed and it’s just a mess. I think these tips are going to help me SO much. I seriously can’t thank you enough for writing this I’m so glad I found it!!!
Thanks, Rebecca, for your sweet comment! Stress is miserable, and I agree stress seems to spread! Hope that you are having a good (stress free) week! 🙂
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