Are you tired, stressed, or in any other way overloaded by the pressures of this life? Well, I have good new and bad news.
Bad news: Join the crowd! All of us experience this from time to time. In our busy society, this is not going away. (I know, encouraging, right?)
Good news: These pressures of life can be limited to short seasons and not the daily ‘norm’ that most Americans have come to believe.
Let me suggest 3 methods that I have personally begun to implement over the past year. Don’t get me wrong on this. I’ve still got some improving to do here, but I’ve come a long way in this area. I hope and pray for you to experience the same.
#1 Take a real day off: Everyone needs rest…both mental and physical. You are not super human. Seriously, there’s no law that says you cannot take care of you. And let me say this loud and clear. If you happen to be employed at a company/business that expects you to work 10-12 hours a day seven days a week (and even working from home), you need to find a different job! You can read more on how to take a day off effectively here.
#2 Set healthy priorities: I’m not talking about writing a productive task list for work. Try spending a couple of hours contemplating your current life while sitting in your favorite coffee-house. Take a notepad (or notes app) with you to jot down your thoughts. List 2-3 lifestyle changes you would like to make. Maybe its reading a good book for half and hour each night before bed. How about not responding to email or phonecalls (texts) after 6 or 7pm? Perhaps its doing some intentional grocery shopping on the weekends so you’re prepared to eat healthier during the busy work week. I think you get the picture.
#3 Plan ahead: To make the prior two points a reality you must schedule them as if they are actual appointments. Before my daily morning quiet time and trips to the gym became routine I actually put them on my iCloud calendar. Place all your work and personal items on the same calendar! This way they won’t overlap. And we all know what happens when they overlap…….our personal time gets bumped every time. Plan your entire week before your work week starts. If your job is a difficult one to do this with, plan for each day on the evening before. Trust me, mastering this practice will greatly decrease your stress levels. It has for me.
Whether you are an executive in corporate America, fast-food worker, pastor, parent, or student…these are all possible for you. Make them a reality, both for your sanity and for your future (not to mention for those around you).
Pray and meditate on this Psalm each day. Give your life focus.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (ESV)
Prioritize your life, or life will make your priorities for you!