Show Stress Who Is Boss

Good Morning!

I hope this new post finds you all having a productive and rewarding week thus far.  My original plan for Thursday’s post was to write about something a little more lighthearted than my Monday’s post, i.e. DIY tutorials, recipe, workout, etc.; however I have changed my mind at the last minute.  I am working on becoming more spontaneous, so I figured this was a great start (I am way too calculated sometimes).

My decision to deviate from this original plan stems from my stress level over the last 3 days. My current lifestyle is somewhat hectic and something tells me that many of you can relate. I feel like the mid-20’s are some of the most chaotic, unstable, exciting, confusing, and life-changing years of one’s life. Now, I realize that with me only being 24 years old, this is a bold statement to make seen as I have only been on this earth for a quarter of a century, yet I confidently stand behind this theory. At least for me, it most definitely has been.  That in itself and my journey since graduating with my undergrad in 2010 until my current state can be saved for another post. Let’s get back on track here (as you can tell my brain is all over the place right now and I blame part of that for sleep deprivation).

Before you start sympathizing for me or feeling badly that I have had a stressful week, I should tell you that I could have been more proactive on my end to avoid reaching deadlines 5 minutes prior to their end date. The good news however is that I submitted my very first grant proposal yesterday and finished a paper for class moments before heading to the class itself (I don’t recommend procrastinating). I was also so blessed to end day 3 of craziness with my Bible study. The passages in Philippians could not have hit home more for me personally. The most impactful take home point for me was that happiness is circumstantial, whereas joy is the result of our personal relationship with Christ and having him in our hearts daily. We are to see circumstances in light of God’s plan, it is not about how comfortable we are, and rather what is important is whether or not the Gospel is thriving.

God is so good and I am beyond thankful for my health and the amount of energy he gives me every single day to get my tasks done. Over the years, I like to think I have somewhat learned how to balance a busy lifestyle. Between being a student-athlete and now working with student-athletes while being back in school myself, I have really found the importance of having healthy coping skills to deal with stressful times. I am going to use this post to share some of my personal strategies to alleviate stressful days, weeks, months, etc.

In an effort to avoid mornings where stop lights are treated as optimal time to do your eye makeup…

Try some of these.

  1. PRAY. Give your worries, stresses, and anxieties to the Lord. {Philippians 4:6} Pray for patience and an alert mind to get through this busy time.
  2. TAKE “ME” TIME. Something I have learned working with people all day long, is that I must take time for myself. I absolutely love communicating with others and assisting them in any way possible, however it is essential that we take care of ourselves first and foremost. Tuesday afternoon I had an hour break before being back at the office that evening, so I went home, sat outside, and spent time with God. Talk about refreshing and rejuvenating! That short stint of fresh air and food for the soul got me through that evening.
  3. LAUGH. Go find that one person in your office who you know will lift your spirits and get your mind off of your never-ending to-do list.  Laughter is so great for the soul and can really give you a boost of energy.
  4. WORK IT OUT. Walk, run, kick box, lift weights, dance. Whatever your little heart desires, just get that heart rate up and release those endorphins.  I am the first to admit that I was terrible this week about fitting in exercise and that is something I really need to work out. It was so bad that I even voluntarily asked my super-in-shape boyfriend, Jordan to come up with a killer workout for us tonight. I also informed him that I most likely will be complaining my way through it. I will fill you in on Monday as to what exactly he put me through!
  5. COOK. Not only is cooking therapeutic for me, but I also know that I am making a well-balanced and healthy meal which will be great for my brain and give me energy to get through the rest of my day. Check out last night’s dinner of salmon, couscous, & asparagus. If only every meal I made looked like that.
  6. TAKE BREAKS. Rigorously working on tasks is very admirable and instills an excellent work-ethic, however it is not necessarily beneficial for our productivity. I have to take breaks every hour or I become tense, irritable, and short with people. This may look like taking a lap around the office building, stepping outside, or even just checking out some websites that have nothing to do with work itself.
  7. CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK. I am not perfect and you are not perfect. We don’t always have to kill ourselves in the process of getting things done because after all, none of that matters eternally. What matters is how we treat people, how we work under our authority, and if we are living out the fruits of the spirit.

These are just a few of the many coping strategies I implement during stressful times. To combat stress before it creeps in, maybe try making these a routine in your everyday life. Good luck and remember to breathe!!

Sweets update: So far, I am yet to consume 1 serving of sweets. I can’t even believe it as I am typing this. I didn’t even give in to the soft, delicious, home-made chocolate chip cookies last night at Bible Study! I opted for grapes instead….what?! Good thing the rest are frozen so I can dig into them this weekend. If I can do this, so can you!

I hope you all have a productive and joyful Thursday, as well as a fun and RELAXING weekend if feasible. Oh, and don’t forget, take time for yourself. I took this picture on campus this week as we reflected on 9/11 and the lives of those who were taken on that tragic day. 

Let your light shine!

-Abby Dawn

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