Stress Relief is Acceptance

Sprouting peace in soils of stress

I wake up every morning thinking about all the things I have to get done. I constantly recite the list of tasks in my head every other minute just to make sure I don’t forget anything. There’s a feeling of dread that hits me when I realize that every single day there is going to be something more to do. The worst part is that it’s never going to stop. I’ve realized that life is hard. Life is stressful, and that will be a fact until the day I die. I’ll always feel trapped in a “to do” list and I’ll never feel like I can breathe. That thought makes me miserable. It makes me not like the life I live. Then I feel guilty for not being appreciative of my life, which makes me mad at myself, which leads to me feeling depressed about who I am. It’s a vicious, self-condemning, embarrassing cycle.
Even the way I relieve stress is usually me doing a task like taking a lavender salt bath, going for a run, journaling or going out with friends. Stress relief activities become another “to do”. It’s like I always have an obligation to practice self-care. Obligations lead to stress. I create stress because of my stress.
Why can’t I just stop and relax and be grateful for all that God has done for me? Why do I naturally see the bad? Why am I always so stressed out all the time?
Because I have a problem with accepting that I can’t control my own happiness.
There is a reason that scripture tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts”. Because we can’t do it ourselves and so that means someone else has to do it. That someone else is Jesus, since he is the author of our lives.
So, what’s the trick to REAL stress relief?
Stress relief is acceptance.
Accepting that I don’t control my timeline and I don’t control my outcomes and I can’t mess up God’s plan.
Maybe you don’t even know where to start when it comes to accepting things in your life.

Let me help you start by sharing with you the things that I am learning to accept.
1. Some days are longer than others and that’s okay. You didn’t fail if you didn’t make it to bed on time.
2. Sometimes life takes you far away from family. Call them often and tell them you love them, but don’t feel guilty for moving away. Family is always near.
3. If you don’t want to do what everyone is telling you to do, DON’T DO IT.
4. Understand that you can’t control time. Sometimes you’ll waste time, sometimes you’ll be productive with time, sometimes you’ll plan your time horribly! Oh well!
5. Sometimes you’ll be somewhere way longer than you thought you would and you’ll run out of time to do the things you had planned for the day. Relax. You’re where you’re supposed to be.
6. Sometimes you won’t make it to the gym. You’ll be okay. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

What are some things in your life that have you believing you’re trapped? What makes you feel miserable? Are they things that you’re trying to control?
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts and be thankful (Colossians 3:15). Accept that you can’t do it all. Rarely will you have a “perfect” day. Accept the things that come your way and do them faithfully, without bitterness. Ask God to give you the fruit of peace and HE WILL.

I love all of you. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re unhappy. I’m here for whoever needs me!

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