Stress is one of the words that I decided to erase from my life’s vocabulary. Although a little of it is good to keep my body moving and doing, but too much of it can cause exhaustion, sickness and worst, death. For many years, I allowed stress in my life making my body suffer a lot of various effects from stress.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
During this time of pandemic, when many people are sick because of COVID-19, many lost their jobs because of the series of lock downs and many people are afraid on what’s going to happen in the future. The breadwinners of the families are worried about how long can they provide for their family. There will be a lot of ” What Ifs” that will create fears, worries, stress and anxiety.
1. Recognize the problem
The first thing that you need to do is to identify from where does your stress come from.
Here are some of the examples from where stress is coming from:
- COVID-19 Pandemic
- Fear of the Future
- Lock Downs
- Fear of losing job
- Lack sleep;
- Kids are sick;
- Someone in the family is sick;
- Conflict in the family;
- Managing our finances;
- Conflict with my spouse;
- Coping up with all of my responsibilities at work and at home;
- Kid’s Module / Homeschool;
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. – James 1: 5
After identifying the sources of stress, lift them all to God and pray for God to help you overcome the fears, worries, stress and anxiety. Prayer should not be our last resort when there is nothing else we can do to solve a problem, it should be our fist resort.
Prayer should be our first action of defense when we are confronted with troubles and challenges.
Even if how much effort I exert towards a thing, I will not succeed if I do it without God. My flesh will just be exhausted and I will just get stressed out.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14
I also learned over the years that every time I get stressed when I pray for other people, it lessens my stress level . When I go out, visit them and pray for them, it helps. But of course since we have COVID-19 pandemic now, I can no longer do that. But I can still call them through ZOOM and FB messenger to pray for family, friends, brothers and sister in Christ. Through sharing bible verses to encourage them, I can also calm and encourage myself and not only that, sometimes I feel so ashamed that I’m stressing over a small thing while other people have bigger challenges compared to mine.
3. Be organized
Being organized is not inherent in my personality. I was really a disorganized person. Since most of my stress come from being disorganized, I am doing my best to keep everything in its place. Below are some of the things I use to help my self become organized:
- Planners- to keep track of everything like events, appointments, work schedule, bills, etc.;
- To-Do List – to make sure that I’ll finish everything that I need to finish;
- Kan Ban Chart -to have a visual reminders of my projects or to-dos;
- Meal plan- for me to lessen the time thinking what my family eat for the week; and
- Grocery list- for me to save time and money in the super market
Just a disclaimer; although all of these things are helping me so much in organizing everything personally, at home and at work but of course I am sure that I am not 100% organized. There is still so much room for improvement. Still, I am glad that I have improved a lot over the years compared to what I was before.
But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner. – 1 Corinthians 14:40
Know your priorities and put them in the right order to avoid overwhelm and distractions. Determine what are the things that need to be done immediately. Focus your time on what is really important to you. For me, this is the order of my priorities: God is first; family is second and career is third. If I will just stay in this order, I know that everything will fall on its proper place.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33
5. Meditate on God’s Word
In Hebrew, “haghah” is “to meditate” or “to murmur; to mutter; to sigh” and when done in the heart, this is considered “musing, or meditation.”
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.- Joshua 1:8
To meditate day and night is to speak the word to our self day and night especially when there are things that trouble us. It is very important to remind our self about God’s promises and that in what ever situation we are in, He is always in control. Though this pandemic seems so big but our God is bigger. He never changes. He took good care of us last year, He’s taking good care of us now and He will take good care of us in the years to come. Let us always remind our selves that God is good and He has a good plan for us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
So instead of focusing on the bad news and problems that give us fears, worries and stress. Let’s meditate on God’s Word. Let’s put our hope in His promises for we know that He who promised is faithful.
6. Delegate work
Don’t do everything! You can only do so much at a time. If you are like me who tries to do everything myself, you will just end up frustrated, unhappy and exhausted. Involve other people in the task ,too. When you are at home, you can ask help from your spouse,kids or helper. If you are at work, you can ask help from your colleagues. Don’t be afraid to ask. I am sure that they will also be happy to help you.
Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. – Exodus 18:25
7. Me time
Take a break and have some ” Me Time”. Do what makes you happy and excited. For me, I am happy and excited when I go to a bookstore and buy myself washi tapes and colorful pens. During this pandemic, it’s very convenient to get them from LAZADA and SHOPEE. My husband is happy when he is crafting his airplanes or playing with his airsoft guns and paraphernalia. How about you? What makes you relax and happy?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
8. Be thankful
Often times, we are stressed with our children whom we prayed for 5 years, with our spouse whom we prayed for 3 years and with our dream job or business which we prayed for 1 year. We asked for all of them,didn’t we? Then, why are we so stressed? So instead of being stressed, let us thank God for the opportunity to raise kids, to enjoy life with our spouse and to lavish in God’s provision through our job or business.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.- Colossians 4:2
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