It’s that time of year again – taxes, spring cleaning, summer around the corner – all great reasons to be stressed out. It’s April already and you’ve been meaning to get to the gym since December 31st when you made your New Year’s resolution to lose weight; it’s almost April 15th and you had great intentions to get your taxes done early this year, but somehow it snuck up on you just like last year; your house and yard are a mess but it seems like you never have the time or energy to get everything clean - does any of this sound familiar? So now that you’re feeling sufficiently hopeless and overwhelmed, take heart, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Part of the problem is procrastinating. Yes, you may have a million and one things to do, but the key is to prioritize, plan, and execute. Write a list of things that need to get done. Not big, vague things, but specific things you can actually do each day until your big things are done.
Stress is one of those annoying but inevitable aspects of life. It’s manageable if you work at it. There will always be some kind of stress in your life, but you can work to avoid or lessen it sometimes. If lists aren’t your thing, or if they don’t pertain to your certain brand of stress, get creative. And don’t forget that you can always ask for help. Sometimes your friends and family are just waiting for you to ask.
Another thing you can do each day to relieve stress is to take a little bit of time for yourself. Spend some quiet time with just God, your Bible, and a place where it is quiet and peaceful. Find sometime during your busy schedule where you can just stop, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and be still.
I know all of these things sound like a generic self-help article you can read in practically any magazine or book these days, but just try them out for a few days and see if there’s a difference. More importantly, most of those articles don’t tell you to add in the most essential part of your day with God, though. I know that there is also a stress that stems from a bone-deep weariness of life itself. All of us know this feeling. But put Him at the top of your daily list, and then just see how big your problems seem after you see how much bigger God is.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
-- Matthew 11:28-30
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
-- Isaiah 40:29-31