“Motherhood is not a hobby. It is a calling. It is not something we do if we can squeeze the time in. It is what God has given you time for.” -Neil Anderson
Sometimes life for a can feel like a constant stream of requests and demands, non-stop mommy-taxi service, errands, “have-to-do’s” and appointments. It’s stressful and can leave the best of us wishing for just a little bit of peace.
Stress is one of the great saboteurs to a happy family. It causes headaches, fatigue, stomach upsets, sleep issues, anxiety, lack of motivation, focus and so much more, not to mention dissension, dissatisfaction, tension, disunity, and discord. If you want to feel well, focused and peaceful, and have a (relatively) quiet and peaceful household, then finding ways to reduce that stress is pretty essential. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Five tips towards finding that peace that I’ve found helpful are:
My go-to for a quick destress is usually to find a temporary escape. Whether it’s getting alone somewhere (introvert trait!) or taking a quick nap to sleep off the stress, either usually work. I’m the type of person who picks up others emotions whether I want to or not, so if I’m around a stressed-out person, guess what? I’m stressed too. Getting away from the stressed-out person or stressful situation helps tremendously. Just make sure that person knows not to take it (too) personally in the meantime. 😉
– Just say no
Do you have a tendency to take on more projects and responsibilities than you can handle sometimes? This is something I’ve needed to work on. I have a hard time letting people down. (Even when saying no to them might not be a big deal to them at all, I’d still feel like it’d be disappointing them!) I’m getting better at delegating and letting those “asks” for volunteer help roll right off my back when I know I’m really already too busy to help, but it’s a work in progress. Lysa Terkerst has a great book on this subject if you’re wanting to delve into it in more detail, called “The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” and it is full of helpful advice on this topic.
– Analyze and Refocus your Priorities
Are your values and priorities in the right order? Sometimes in the busy-ness of life, the family can sometimes, unintentionally, take a back seat to jobs, ministry or just get lost in the craziness of day-to-day living. Make sure that if something’s been neglected you put it right. God, family, career, in that order, usually fits the bill.
Are you living in line with your values? Take a deep breath and an honest look. Are you living up to your own expectations? If not, what can you do to change that? Taking a periodic honest reassessment and re-evaluation of your life is a good thing! Get all those ducks in a row, or at least get them headed to the same pond.
– Create routines
When you’ve got littles toddling around, you probably often hear about how important it is to keep them to a routine. Keep mealtimes, naptimes, bedtimes predictable to avoid meltdowns and overtired, fussy little ones. But really, I don’t think age matters when it comes to the comforting predictability of having routines. They may be a lot harder to maintain as kiddos get older and drop naptimes and the number of outside-the-home activities pick up, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of having a regular routine and set expectations for the family.
It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day minutia and lose sight of who were are, and who we once wanted to be. Didn’t you once have goals? Dreams? God gives those to you for a reason, so don’t lose sight of them. I once was a very goal oriented person. You know, graduate high school! Then college! Then career! Then marriage! Then kids! And then the goals change to focus on the kids: First words, first steps, etc. It was like a staircase with one set goal right there in front of you, accomplish one, then immediately it’s off to the races to accomplish the next. Now that my kids are out of the baby-phase though, and my goals are recycling back around, only for them, I’ve realized that I haven’t had any personal goals in quite awhile. It’s so easy to get caught up in being a mom that I’ve forgotten what being ME is really like. Set some new goals. Know who you are, and what you’d still like to accomplish. Then make a plan and get it done!
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
What are some ways you de-stress? Any helpful hints or ideas you’d like to share with the other Chickadee Nest readers?
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