1. Have you really prayed about "it"?
I know that when we pray things don't instantly go away. It is still hard to stop stressing even when we have asked God for strength. However, He does give us peace about our struggles and wants us to trust Him with whatever is bothering us. A quick five minute conversation with the Creator can truly change your day around. Give it over to Him, friend and go forward in faith.
2. Have you had a solid meal?
I don't know about you but when I haven't had a solid, healthy meal all day, I get emotional. A huge cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer only goes so far, friend! Ask me how I know... make sure you're eating at least three meals a day with a snack or two in between! I know pizza and brownies are wonderful in moderation but try and eat healthy and balanced meals 80% of the time.
3. How much water are you drinking?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to water intake is: Drink half of your body weight in ounces. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and effect your mood. I don't know about you but I already have to deal with crazy postpartum hormones so I don't need any additional mood swings. It helps if you have a special water bottle that you only use for your daily water intake. I also keep up with how much I drink in my planner each day. P.S: After you drink a lot of water for a few days, your body will start to crave it. It is wonderful!
4. Have you overloaded your schedule?
I am Type-A. That means I like to set unrealistic goals for myself and overload my plate. It always ends up biting me in the tail later on but yet I keep overloading. Too many items on your "to-do" list or too many commitments on your plate almost always causes you to be overwhelmed. Author Emily Ley in her amazing book, Grace Not Perfection says, "Don't sacrifice the good to chase the perfect."
"Don't sacrifice the good to chase the perfect." -Emily Ley
5. Have you done something to relax today?
You may be thinking that I am crazy. How could you possibly take five minutes to yourself in the midst of your crazy day? I feel ya! It is so important to stop for even five short minutes and breathe, drink some water, read a chapter in your latest book, or even paint your nails! You deserve a few moments to yourself!
6. Have you exercised?
A quick walk around your neighborhood or even to your mailbox will release Endorphins that will make you feel a little less stressed. Just recently I was having a hard time waking up and getting going so I decided to do a quick 15-min workout. I did a fast circuit workout and fifteen minutes later I was ready to do all the things. Exercise is a great way to burn off unwanted stress! Take a class at the gym or find a workout plan on Pinterest to do at home.
7. Have you rested?
My youngest child is nearing ten months old so I know how annoying it is when someone tells you to rest. He is just now sleeping twelve hours at night and it is glorious! Friend, you may be up all night and then up all day at your day job. Even in the midst of a really busy life you have to take time to rest. Try going to bed earlier or napping during the day on your lunch break. Rest is so important.
8. What have you been filling your mind with?
The Bible talks about our mind a lot and how we have to guard it. If we fill our minds with junk then we will most likely feel like junk. If you're letting negative thoughts and self-talk fill your mind then you're going to be stressed. I try to avoid things that I know cause my stress levels to rise. I used to obsessively keep up with our local news. It was always depressing and made me so anxious. I stopped reading the news. Take inventory of what you are allowing in your mind and kick it to the curb.
9. What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with?
One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 18:24 that says, "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
Who is in your corner? Do you have people in your life who are encouraging you to be who God created you to be? Or do they bring you down? Maybe you're in a relationship with a person who is toxic to your well-being. Friend, you deserve more than that! If you're in an abusive relationship you need to get out as quickly as you can. Who we surround ourselves with is who we will eventually become. I wholeheartedly believe that God can change any marriage, person, friendship and life. I also believe that we are called to love all people even when we can no longer associate ourselves with them if they are toxic to our well-being.
10. Is there something you can let go of?
Maybe you have committed to way too many work projects (I am guilty of this) or you are trying to take on too many church committees. Is there something you can let go of? Or something you can finish and then not recommit to again? I am ALL for finishing what you start but if you can get out a committee or extra commitment, you should! Free up your schedule so you aren't so stressed!
It is my prayer that you will be encouraged by this list and that you will be able to let go of some extra stress in your life! Praying for you always!