Tag Archives: balance

Stress? 9 Simple Ways To Reduce It

How Do You Handle Stress?

Stress had grabbed my entire body.

Stress

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Recently I realized I had been making my days to be full with no time to just sit and breathe. I would either be on the computer, painting, doing woodworking, making meals, seeing shows, dancing, going for walks or at the gym. S

I read the newspaper during breakfast.

I checked my phone at lunch.

It was only at dinner that hubby and I turned off our devices and concentrated on talking. That usually led to fact-checking on the computer. lol 🙂

My husband and I seldom get mad at each other — certainly not yelling. But this week it happened. I lost my temper — big time.

I felt tired, anxious, upset and mad.

This had happened before!

I wrote about how I felt and how not to get into that situation again. I was stressed.

I’ve written before about that lesson. I have to keep reviewing the lessons myself.

Why Do Fights Start and How to Stop Them?

But I realized seeing the stress is not enough.

I needed to look at this deeper. To look at days gone by and learn again so I don’t go down into this mire again. God teaches us to remember in His Word.

Remember your history,
    your long and rich history. (Isaiah 46:9, MSG)

Former memories

This past week reminded me of years ago.

As soon as we started our business, I went back to work as a part-time teacher because there had to be some income and extra health benefits and life insurance. In our second year of business, I went back to full-time teaching while still helping with the business. I also took courses for credit in my teaching profession. And I signed up to be the one in charge of all the athletics in our school.

Family Life

We had three kids ages 14, 12 and 8. They were in three different schools at one time; high school, junior high and public school. Juggling all those balls took a toll on me, and wrecked my body because I didn’t know how to stop taking on too many things.

I didn’t know I needed to stop.

I didn’t know how to stop.

Over the next five years, my health took a slide downwards.

I couldn’t walk upstairs (knee problems). Lifting my hand above my shoulder (writing on the blackboard became increasingly difficult). I developed TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) so my jaw was very sore. Because I clenched my teeth at night,  my whole body ached.

I got angry easily. I yelled. I complained. I ranted.

I was fearful, and not healthy.

I felt stressed every minute of the day.

I was a mess.

Stress

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I decided to take a half-time position in teaching to see if that helped. I visited a physiotherapist and massage therapist.

But I still kept doing things.

I didn’t stop.

I decided to take a leave of absence from teaching for 2 years. But I went back to our business and upgraded our technology, expanded our office space, and hired two employees. I didn’t stop.

It took some time but finally, I understood.

Two things happened

  1. I saw the problem.
  2. I worked at the problem.

A decorative plate reminded me to “stop and smell the roses”. This is what finally helped me — to slow down, take breaks, be still.

We still have this plate in our collection.

stress

From my personal collection.

In this world that seems to be running faster and faster, we need to STOP.

The quality of time you have for downtime is important to your mental and physical health. It helps deal with stress.

Here are 9 ways to reclaim your peace and health and reduce stress

  • Take breaks during the day. Even 10 minutes can refresh your spirit, mind and soul. Take a stroll (notice I didn’t say walk) through somewhere green — with life surrounding you. Dance around for a few minutes to release tension.
  • Take deep breaths once an hour to bring in the needed oxygen to your brain.
  • Plan vacations. Even small times away can refresh our bodies and spirits.
  • Date nights. If you are married, plan date nights with your spouse. Honestly, we forget to do that in our hurried lifestyles. Soon we drift apart. Be there to just be there, to enjoy each others’ company.
  • Turn off social media. This has been something that takes away from life — it doesn’t give life. We crave the dopamine that it elicits and we want more. We check our phones way too often. [I am guilty of this.]
  • Make a list. Sit down and look at all that you do. List everything out. Then circle the things that give you pleasure. Put a line under the things that have to be done anyway. See what remains. See if you can drop those things.
  • My Quiet spot. Whatever you want to call this — find time to be in a quiet spot. If you are a Believer, then sit with Jesus. Discuss things. If you are not, then sit with yourself and talk to yourself. And in both cases LISTEN to what you hear.
  • Read. Get a good book and plan time to sit and read. Not scan like we tend to do on computers. But read the book for enjoyment — not for what you can write about it later. lol 🙂 [I am at fault for this.]
  • Listen or play music. That has a very calming effect on our souls. Classical music is wonderful to enjoy.

I am not there yet. As I read over my thoughts I need to do at least 4 things. Hopefully, as I do these my mind, body and spirit will recover. I especially need to focus on number 6.

 

To keep stress at bay I need to stop and smell the roses.

How about you?

My favourite verse from the Bible:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)

May I pray for you and me?

Lord, there are so many opportunities to “do” things. All may be good but all might not be in Your will or purpose for us. Help us to focus on Your voice so we can choose only those things that will do Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Watch for Sunday’s post – it has a linky for sharing your Christian poetry.

Blessings,

Janis

 

How Can I Balance my Life in This Day and Age?

33 Dots: Balance

I am still challenging myself to draw 33 random dots on paper; then connect the dots without intersecting any lines; then paint. Today it turned out to be the theme of balance.

This challenge has me inspired. I never know what I will see.

This time was very different. I couldn’t see anything for a while. First I saw a foot but it looked like it was stepping on the head. Why would someone be stepping on a head? I didn’t like that. I saw the little dog but wondered what he was doing up there at the top of the page.

Step 1: Connect the dots to make contour lines.

balance

Outline when I connected the 33 dots.

Do you see anything? I turned it around and around but kept coming back a foot, a head and a dog. At one time I thought I saw a whale’s tale but there was no whale.

Step 2: See if I can make anything out of this.

balance

The outline of the picture as I saw it. 33 Dots.

As I looked at my rough sketch I changed the bows on the triangle on the dog to make it a real bow. I erased some lines and added some.

Step 3: Draw with micron pen and paint.

This is the final outcome.

balance

The final picture for 33 dots – Balance

Step 4: See where God leads my thoughts.

Balance:

This year is the first time I have found a balance of how to write, paint and enjoy retirement. I have focused on God for the past 17 years but have been balancing ten times more things that I had to.

My Focus:

To me I have learned balance by learning to focus on the one thing I heard God say to me. And that was: “Encourage believers to read their Bibles and pray.”

That also has led me to try Bible journaling and getting out of my shell and talking and listening to others. God is teaching me to become a spiritual mentor.

Here are a few of the latest Bible Journals from our study of Proverbs in Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. Join us.

balancebalance

Listen to God:

In this study of 33 dots, Instead of just “painting” listen God before I paint. He helps me connect the dots. Then after I paint I see what He shows me – the meaning of my painting. By doing the 33 dots challenge it forces me to trust God and it makes me look, and create.

What this painting means to me:

The person at the bottom (me) is learning to carry a heavy load as well as balance a dog on a poll. I think the standing person represents my work in writing and painting. It is steady on its own. The little dog is the rest of my life. It moves around so I have to watch it carefully so it doesn’t topple. But it’s the fun part. Even though my “work” of painting and writing is delightful I can also take fun in the other people in my life and the experiences around me.

And the Holy Spirit helps keep all things in balance.

Notice how the person at the bottom is looking forward. And that’s where I am looking. Not down or up but following God on the path He is leading me. My word for this year is “Go Forth” and as I pray and listen to God I am willing to change my direction. The things I am balancing are light because Jesus is right beside me or should I say inside me.

Jesus is my strength. He leads and guides me. I do what He tells and shows me. I listen.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

“The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Are you struggling to find more time with God? Where is your path headed? Do you want to feel His strength in your life?

CALL TO ACTION

Are you feeling disconnected from God?

Is your art or writing suffering because you are struggling do work on your own?

Do you want to tap into God’s unlimited creativity?

If you want a safe place to connect with other believers, to grow stronger in God’s Word and learn to listen to Him, please visit us at Growing Through God’s Word Facebook Group. We would love to have you.