This week, while sitting in the tire store for my car, I felt the stress mounting. Sick friends in need, many commitments to juggle, my back speaking a bad note, so many things needing attention all at once. I realized I couldn’t help anyone else until I created a game-plan to handle it better myself. There may be a few surprises here that could help you, too. We’re going to take four weeks to put them into play, but here’s the highlights, with sections for yourself, for others, for fun, and for perspective.
1.Find a corner of light – Dwell someplace where you come first. Try to visit it a couple times per month or more and listen to the little voices inside that are encouraging change or affirming you, rather than those on constant critique.
2. Tackle the lurking monsters – Well, I’m the creative type but sometimes I feel there’s a challenge that’s overwhelming and dark. I want to hide, but it’s best not to. Whether it’s cleaning out your office or looking for ways to love prickly people in your life better, facing into it is so much better than sweeping it aside.
3. Reconnect with health goals – I’m including something fun as well as more vigorous goals. Listen to the echoes of your deepest needs, and try to brush them aside less often.
4. Donate for a new beginning – Getting more organized and being vigorous in ridding yourself of clutter is good for you and could bless someone else. If it makes you sad, consider clothing and objects part of an emotional economy. You are worth more than it and so letting it go can be very freeing.
5. Start a walk-and-pray group – When you get those requests to lift others up, it’s nice to connect and feel you’re helping those in need.
6. Laugh with children – Whether it’s volunteering to be a MOPS mentor with young moms or playing board games with young kids, their outlook is infectious, in a good way.
7. Do something ridiculously outrageous – Find something that speaks to your inner child. Smiling and laughter are such great stress-busters. Is it riding roller-coasters? Or making candy apples? Just take a step that makes you giggle a bit. We’ll come up with a good list of ideas.
8. Invest in creativity – Whether it’s joining a book club or painting or playing an instrument, touching the creative part of self releases a kind of bubbly joy like champagne bubbles. Joy sweeps out the cobwebs of disappointment and gives energy to tackle new challenges, too.
9. Look for picture frames – Sort through photos of the last few years. Create a storyboard of things you’re grateful for and frame those moments. Make a gratitude wall. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or blue, remember those moments.
10. Guilt-free passes – Give yourself permission to know your limits. Whether it’s an invitation or something for your children, begin to cultivate a less frenetic life-style and invest more in what’s worthwhile.
Let’s take this journey together and end with more smiles and fewer frustrations. What have you planned this month to tackle your challenges? I’d love to hear from you too.
Image courtesy of num_skyman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net