Tuesday, October 30, 2012

5 ways to catch your breath right now

"it's been one of those days. already."

"i'm barely keeping my head above water."

"i just don't know how other moms balance everything!"

been there. said that.

and i have since vowed to do whatever i can to prevent myself from ever getting into a day (a week, a season) that overwhelms me in that way. stress is suffocating. joy is breath. 

my family doesn't need a stressed-out mama. and yours doesn't either. when i catch myself reaching that point, that fragile state of stress, when my mind is racing with too many balls up in the air and a to-do list that makes me feel like i'm drowning, these are the things i do immediately to re-set my sanity, catch my breath, and reclaim my joy. 

1. say no to something. i look at my calendar and start erasing obligations. i realistically prioritize. there's always at least 1 thing i can cross off that when i say no, it is a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.  

2. rest. i call a "home day" and we don't go anywhere. i stay in my jammies and put my feet up. open the windows for fresh air. pour a tall glass of ice water. go slow. be intentional. i take care of myself and the stress starts to fade away.

3. close my laptop & open my Bible. God's word is life. reading Facebook status updates, my Twitter stream, or another blog about being overwhelmed isn't going to make me feel any better and it isn't productive. want peace? hope, grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, rest? spend time with God.

4. say yes to the kids. my stress spills over to the way i parent, and can even stress my kids out. if i'm not careful, my stress can throw us all into a vicious cycle of anger-upset-fussing-crying at one another. the fastest way to break the cycle is to relax and play. read a story, get out the crayons and paper, Play-Doh, or a few puzzles. stop being a grown-up for just a little while and say yes to the kids.

5. declare peace. anyone within earshot might think i'm totally nut-so but i don't care because this works for me. wherever i am, whatever i'm doing, when stress starts to get heavy, i say out loud "thank You Lord for peace! peace in my mind, peace in my heart, and peace in our home! thank You Lord for strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow!" i declare PEACE and speak out against anything less.

God didn't create me to be stressed out! i will guard my peace and not let life stress me out. i will breathe!

Everything I hope for comes from God... 
He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul
Psalm 62:1-6

Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding...
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
Proverbs 3:13, 17

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

photo credit: Idiolector via photopin cc