I get it. Sometimes life is overwhelming. Believe me. I’ve been there. Recently.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with life’s demands. During those times it’s hard to see God’s blessings in your life. In fact, sometimes things come at you so fast, you just can’t process all of it.
I remember a time when my husband left town on a business trip when the kids were smaller. I was juggling all the children, the house, my part-time job and an upcoming out of town speaking engagement when suddenly all hell broke loose. My daughter suddenly had an involuntary muscular response (I learned later that this was because of a medication reaction.) It caused her head to turn to the left without her being able to face forward again. Weird, right? As if that wasn’t scary enough, my oldest son began having severe headaches. I found out later that they were migraines caused by a thyroid imbalance. And this all came to a head the DAY I was supposed to drive all of us out of town to a speaking engagement! By myself! Talk about overwhelmed!
But God gave me the strength to get through it and address the needs of my kids. I even made it to the speaking engagement. (Of course, that was only because it was in the same town as my in-laws and I knew I had backup in case of another emergency.)
My point is, sometimes things get crazy and you feel like you’re drowning in stress. So what do you do?
One-Two Punch Strategy for Dealing With Stress
I’m not a doctor or a counselor or even a “life coach” but here’s what works for me. Let’s call it the One-Two punch for dealing with stress:
- Step one: Pray and Breathe. Take a deep breath and pray (or beg) for God to send his Holy Spirit upon you to give you strength and wisdom. If you ask, He’ll do it. I promise.
- Step Two: Pick the single most important thing that needs to happen and work towards that. Deal with the rest later.
That crazy Friday years ago I had to decide what to do and fast. I quickly decided that the most important thing right then was to figure out how to help my daughter. So, I called the doctor and kept her calm and comfortable while I pretended not to freak out inside. We were able to resolve the issue somewhat quickly and move on to my son and his headaches.
In that type of situation, it can be obvious what the priority is. But sometimes it’s not that easy. Sometimes it’s the constant stress that builds up and overwhelms you until you feel frozen with indecision of what to do next. That’s when the One-Two Punch strategy works really well.
When life is overwhelming and you don’t know how you’re going to handle everything that you’ve got to do, ask yourself, “What is the ONE most important thing I need to do today?” You may need help figuring out the answer at first. Don’t hesitate to ask someone close to you for help. But, the more you ask yourself this question, the easier it gets. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself approaching each day this way and not just the overwhelming ones.
It gets easier the more you practice this approach. And, in addition to handling stresses better, you’ll also be able to see God’s blessings in your life better. And who doesn’t want that?
What about you? What are your strategies for handling stress and being overwhelmed?
Copyright 2016 Laura B Nelson