3 Ways to Eliminate Stress Today

A mother and child walking on the beach with the text "3 Ways to Eliminate Stress Today"
 3 Ways to Eliminate Stress Today

We are living in a world that has changed dramatically over the past year. For some of  you, life may seem to be back to "normal" for others it is nowhere close to that.   As an educator the stress of this past year has been extremely difficult.  We went virtual on March 13, 2020 and have maintained 100% virtual as of present. Over an entire year. 

I have gone through burn out, high stress situations, trying to juggle being a mom and a teacher working at home and at school, two devastating hurricanes, the loss of many friends' and loved one's lives, and long hours sitting in front of a computer in virtual meetings/church/class.

Don't get me wrong. It has not been all bad and stressful; there have been some very memorable moments and wonderful times of refreshment. But the negative has definitely outweighed the good.

I used to think I trusted God completely, but there have been moments of panic and worry which tells me that maybe, at times, I don't trust Him as much as I thought I did. But that is for another blog. 

I recently watched a devotional, in which, the speaker talked about us living in a VUCA world.  VUCA is an acronym for  Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.  So he was saying we have all experienced these at some point, but not all at ONE time, like we are now. It changes everything. We are all trying to process and deal with this situation going on around us and maintain our sanity. (I personally don't know how people are able to handle it all without the Lord.) 

Sometimes, I am so hard on myself-which creates more stress- and I have to keep reminding myself that everyone is dealing with this and no one knows what they are doing. 

Again, for some context, we are missionaries in Honduras.  We were under a strict lockdown for almost all of 2020 (like literally not being able to leave our homes). On top of the corruption and complete breakdown of the health system there were two back-to-back hurricanes that destroyed the country...people are still living on the streets.  If I were to count the amount of people I personally know who have died from COVID it would be over 50, one being my father-in-law.  I have been teaching virtually for over a year and homeschooling my children that would have been starting school in August of 2020.

Life has been crazy but in the craziness we have seen the hand of God in amazing ways.  Through friends, family and supporters we raised over $12,000 to feed the hungry in Honduras and provide food to those affected by the hurricanes.  God has provided for our family in a number of ways, right when we needed it, without even asking. 

So in the midst of the craziness I had to figure out how to cope and as I was seeking help from the Lord I felt him speak these things to my heart. 

1. Morning Devotional Time

This was a game changer for me.  If I don't get up a little earlier and have my quiet time with the Lord most likely it isn't going to happen.  I know not everyone is a morning person but I can guarantee if you start this daily practice it helps to set your whole day in order. Christ first; everything else lines up.

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

~Psalm 9:9

2. Do What You Love

Don't stop doing what you enjoy.  I love running and taking pictures. Whatever it is that you like to do, DO IT! Try to do it everyday. Put on some worship music and create; read, paint, cook, crochet, garden, or take a walk. Disconnect from social media and do what you enjoy doing. 

3. Quality Time with Family

So some of us have been stuck at home but just because you are at home 
doesn't mean you have had quality time with your family  Make sure you are dedicating personal time to your kids and spouse. Read books to your kids, play some board games, talk to them,  (they are under stress as well). Enjoy your time with your family. 

These three tips may seem like common knowledge.  Obviously, there are many other factors like exercise, eating well, cutting back or cutting out social media that contribute to lowering stress levels, but applying these three steps to my life helped me to be able to cope with stress in a considerable way. 

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