Sunday Seven

Sunday, December 19, 2021

This past week was very stressful. Here are 7 things I learned. 

1. I have tools to manage stress. The only time I won't have to manage stress is when I die. While I'm here, I'm going to have to use the tools God graciously gave me. I use multiple tools: exercise, nutrition, rest, journaling, talking to a friend to name a few. I'm always grateful for the existence of tools. 

2. There is always something new I can learn about myself when I am managing stress. I can also discover which strategies work and which do not work as well. This past week, I used a lot of grace with myself. I didn't force myself to get out of being so stressed out. I graciously accepted where I was. I knew that at some point, things were going to change. They did. Sometimes, grace is the best medicine.

3. When I'm lost in a stressful situation, I find what my purpose is and I pursue it. Purpose does wonders for my brain and heart. It gives margin and structure to my days. It gives me a goal for the day. It also reminds me that I love the life I chose, therefore, peace comes. 

4. Most people agree that eating junk when you're stressed out feels good. I'm most people. What I learned about myself is that if I keep going to junk food as a tool for stress management, my health and well-being will suffer. I learned last year that I am completely able to manage stress without food. I learned to ask myself what I need. If it's food, I go for the best nutritional value. If it's rest, I rest. If it's a helping hand, I ask for it. What I can't do is to shoot myself on the foot. 

5. Being outside does wonders for stress management. Letting of screens and enjoying God's creation brings calm. It doesn't require a 45-minute drive to the forest. One can just step outside, listen and feel. 

6. Surrounding myself with positive people is a gift. The truth is, I want to be that positive person others rely on for joy and a positive perspective.

7. I learned a while ago that when I'm stressed, I should focus on what I can give to others. This week, I learned that pushing myself to go out and be present in celebration makes an impact on wellness. The natural inclination is to try to stay away from celebrations. The thing is, the joy, laughter, and camaraderie are great medicine to get me back to where I'm supposed to be.