|Image from here.|
First, let me say that in my life, I have not been able to find relief from anxiety or stress outside of Christ. That has been my experience, and I'm so thankful for a mighty God that I can glean peace from in times of hectic circumstances. Okay but what does that actually mean? Good! I'm glad you asked. So often we talk of finding peace and rest in Jesus but HOW?!?! For me, a relationship with the Lord is what focuses everything around me and allows that rest to come. On days where I'm stressed, I love to put on some soft worship music and journal prayers. Or read old, familiar passages of scripture that I know will be encouraging. Google "encouraging bible verses". All good things.
I know that my faith will always be a constant source of encouragement in my life.. but at this stage, what are some activities that relieve my anxiety and fill me with joy? That's exactly what I was thinking about yesterday. I came up with the following things. (Husband, print this out and keep it on your desk so you know what things we should be doing when your wifey is stressed. XO)
1. Working Out
Okay. I know. Eye roll. I never thought I would be this person. But a good amount of the time, sitting around feeds negative feelings, at least for me. Doing cardio and straight up getting a sweat on is great, or doing something that I specifically know will make me sore... Feeling that sense of accomplishment is awesome and always makes me feel like I can take on the world. Or even just getting outside and walking Matilda (aka less than a ten minute walk because bulldogs lack stamina) or something like that... just getting up and active, 9 out of 10 times is going to make me feel better than being a couch potato.
2. Being a Couch Potato
Let's be honest. Every once in awhile the only rest that's going to sound good is sweatpants, Netfix, and a good snack. I think what's important about this is to not feel any guilt over doing this. I know for some people breaks like this feel like the ultimate lazy.. but it's okay. Everyone needs to curl up and do nothing every once in awhile. Well, I know for sure that I do. (Ps don't even get me started about the joy that is about to come into my life as far as guilty pleasure television goes.... Next week = Grey's Anatomy comes back and TWO episodes of The Bachelor)
3. Getting out of the house and getting a small treat
Once every few months on a bad day, the Straders take a trip to Sonic Drive in at around 8 pm. My treats of choice are either a vanilla soft serve cone or an Ocean Water (sprite and blue coconut for those of you not around a Sonic). We don't tend to eat fast food or really ever stop for drinks at places, so this little, manageable treat every once in awhile brings a smile to my face.
4. A long phone call with a friend or talking with someone in person
Even if you talk about the things in your life that are bringing stress, struggling with others is always going to be better than struggling on your own. Always.
5. Completing an Organizational Project or cleaning
Again, a feeling of accomplishment can always make me feel like I'm a little more focused.
What do y'all do to relieve stress?