I live a go-go-go type life and it’s
only taken my almost two decades to realize I don’t handle stress well. I suck it up and get done what needs to be done, but generally, at the cost of my mental health and my happiness. It was a little bit of a bummer to realize that I am terrible at handling stress as I have under the illusion for a long time that I am pretty successful at it, but since my views of success differ from the worlds, I’m not. The world may value the ability to get many, many things done efficiently, but I value joy and being able to spend time with those I love, in addition to having personal time. Oh, I love personal time, partially because I am very frequently robbed of it by those darn derivatives, and partially due to my introvertedness, and I need to find a way to take it back.
Ultimately, the lesson here is I need to slow it down. A family friend [who is also a pediatrician] told me this Friday that the habits I set in High School will stick with me through college in beyond, and that things will only get harder once I officially enter the rat race. And she is so very right, and thusly I need figure out how to slow down and smell the roses, er, we’ll say gaze at the roses – it is allergy season.
Steps I Intend to Take:
- A main place I need to take the speed down is in my decision making. I highly value maintaining my commitments, and so I need to be sure of what I’m committing to before I bind myself to it. I need to take the time to pray and think things over instead of spouting out answers because I think people need to know immediately. In most cases, people can wait for an answer with no harm done, and I’m sure most will understand if you ask for a little time. I’m so indecisive that I need a lot of time to figure out the difference between the answer I think is most practical and the answer that I think is right, if they do differ; that is okay! [Side Note: this is a podcast about ENFP decision making that was incredibly enlightening for me and might help others understand their decision making needs & difficulties.]
- I also intend to start making to-do lists more regularly and making decompression time a priority, otherwise it doesn’t happen. Putting that vital necessity off is never good for me or the other champs in my life who know to just keep the tissues coming and have Aleve handy for the resulting head pain [thanks guys!].
- I’m going to make a priorities list and see what I can cut out. At this point I don’t know if there is anything I can cut out- I’m pretty committed to everything I’m taking part in right now, and as I said before, I’ve a big issue with pulling the plug on commitments, but I’m in hope there are a few things I can whittle out of my schedule like a master carver.
- I’m going to keep keeping the Sabbath.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11 NIV
It is one of the ten commandments, and I can’t explain how nice it is to have a whole day per week dedicated to Jesus-&-me time. I feel like most people skip over this commandment because they don’t feel that they aren’t hurting anyone by ignoring it; but I’m sure if it wasn’t important God wouldn’t have put it in the Ten Commandments. I do all my work and homework ahead of time, and after having kept it for a while, I understand how important it is. God loves us so much, and this day is meant as a gift. Some may view it as an impediment in their lives and a waste of a day, but this day has become the pinnacle of my week and a day of pure joy. It’s a day to make decisions about whether I want to sew, read, or walk instead of whether I should do calculus or chemistry. It’s a day to revel in God’s creation and love instead of the aforementioned [yes, it’s one word- crazy, I know] to-do lists. If you don’t keep the Sabbath, I can’t recommend enough trying it, and not only because it is one of the ten things God really wants us to be doing; keeping the Sabbath is a must for slowing life down.
Hopefully these steps won’t just have a positive influence on me, but everyone else in my life too. By restoring me to my cheerful optimistic self, I can hopefully poor that cheer into others instead of vice versa.
Thanks for reading- hopefully these planned steps help you if you’re fighting excessive stress, which I really hope you aren’t!
We should have the same response to stress as to tragedy: to remember we are held by the King of all.