on living stress-free

ON LIVING STRESS-FREE

This is part 6 of my minimalism/decluttering series. To read other parts of the series, click here.

I am a worrier by nature. I mean, if there were to be a weird award ceremony where the World’s Greatest Worrier would be rewarded, that would be me. I am not proud of this.

I worry when I wake up in the morning. I worry about how my day will turn out. I worry whether I will finish my assigned tasks for the day. I worry if I would homeschool my kids enough. I worry if anyone would bother to read my blog. I worry if I would be able to feed my kiddos sufficiently for that day (Because they are always hungry again shortly after I just fed them and I’m like “you just ate!!”)

And on days when I’m crushing it, grinding like I should and basically scoring a 10/10, I still worry if there’s anything left undone. Then when I sit down to relax in front of the TV, eat popcorn and tell Mr. N all sorts of stories about nothing, it is then that I remember the overflowing basket of laundry that hasn’t been folded. Laundry is my nemesis. But that’s a story for another day.

The point is I do not know how not to worry. I feel a strange sense of guilt when there is nothing left to worry about. Then I start to worry about not having anything to worry about. You know what all this spells? It spells STRESS. It means constantly living in pressure, constantly having a worked-up mind and it is just not good. I mean, since I started worrying it hasn’t yielded me any pleasing fruits.

My life is busy. I have kids to keep alive and educate,  a blog to fill with content, a home to take care of, YouTube videos to shoot and a husband to connect with so we do not end up being mere housemates.

On some days, I am so stressed up that I forget what day of the week is, where I am, or who I am. It is serious.

For this reason, I was so excited about this week’s topic in my minimalism series. I NEEDED to eliminate the vicious pattern of worrying and stressing out. I can’t continue living like this. So here is what I am doing:

How to live stress-freeI begin my day with a deep communion with God.

This goes beyond quickly praying religiously first thing in the morning. I discovered that I had been praying every morning for so long that on some mornings, it seemed I merely uttered vain words. So vain that after praying I didn’t remember what I prayed about. This means I didn’t commune with the Father as I should. My resolution is if I do not touch heaven, I won’t touch the earth. If I do not have a deep deep communion wth the Father, in which I can speak to Him and let Him speak to me, then my prayer is worthless. This kind of communion sets the pace for a stress-free day. I know that He is there guiding me every step of the way. He helps me make the right choices rather than fill my schedule with things that would only further stress me out. I can’t seperate living stress-free from God. I just can’t. Because He is the very person that teaches me to live this life He gifted me.

I say no to a lot of things.

I am a certified yes yes girl aka a girl who does not want to hurt other people’s feelings. But these days I am learning to say no. I can’t be everywhere, pleasing everyone. That kind of thing does not exist.

I work in breaks.

Writing to me is something very spiritual. And sometimes when I find the right words, I could be in front of my computer for hours without end. But I’m learning to work in shifts. So I write for about 20-30 minutes at a time then I stand up and stretch and move around. Each break takes about 5-15 minutes. That way, my body and my eyes rest and I am refueled to continue writing. My productivity is at its premium when I do this. At the end of a working session, I do not feel burnt out like I would normally feel when I sit at the computer for long without moving.

I open up for more human interaction.

This means driving for 30 minutes to visit a friend, making a phone call just to chat and going to the grocery store just so I could see other adults other than my kiddos. It relaxes the brain so much.

I take days off.

This week, I am not homeschooling so yay! Yesterday, during our “calendar time” when we learn the day of the week and month of the year, I saw that a sticker for this week read, “Spring Break”. So I announced to the girls, “We are on Spring Break this week!” Ha. We still did story time, though, but no intense learning like on normal school days. It feels so good and I can guarantee that I will be so charged to continue homeschooling next week.

I declutter my mind.

Look, the mind is where the stress begins. I discovered that the way I think is the way I will live. No wonder, scripture says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT) So I have put a fence around this treasure called my heart. I am not letting in any worry, any unforgiveness, any envy or bitterness or malice or anything that is not healthy. Scripture says in Philippians 4:8 that we should think only about good things.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Guard your heart

Apart from the above, I am toying with some ideas:

  • Having a Sabbath day. I am thinking of having a day when I just do nothing, you know just like God did nothing on the 7th day and He says we should do same. I don’t know how this would work with kids who can’t wipe their own butt but we’ll see.
  • Hiring someone to handle the Facebook part of the blog. Sharing my posts on various Facebook goups is a ton of work. I am seriously considering hiring someone who can take care of this task for me while I focus on other aspects of the blog.

That said, I would like to hear how you fight stress in your life. Any further tips for me to add to my list? Let’s talk!

Next week is the final week of this minimalism series and I am decluttering… wait for it… the basement aka the children’s playroom aka the junk room aka the (supposed) homeschool room. I can’t wait!pre-signature-pro

9 Comments

  1. Very long but worth every read. This here practically summarises my life. I might not be home with kids or a husband but daily challenges so overwhelm me. The last 2 years I have been in and out of depression. Stress is part of my routine. Worst still Insomnia is just part of me. Don’t know how to get put of it. I have tried everything. Tried to withdraw from friendships and things that bring me stress. I do constant meditation and all. Lemme say I have just resigned myself and it has become a routine.

    • Oh dear, I feel your pain. Try meditating for a while. Just have quiet moments to think, reflect and connect with yourself. Also trying decluttering areas around you. If you read my previous posts in this series, I recently decluttered my kitchen and wardrobe. That has brought me so much peace. It is funny how being surrounded by so many things negatively affects our minds.
      I would also say try some physical activity like working out or dancing. They might wear you out physically then cause you to sleep and hopefully, you do not have to battle with insomnia.
      Also social media makes stress worse these days – that’s if we get addicted.
      I just said a prayer for you. May God uphold you. He’s got you.

  2. Wow, there’s so much on your hands but God is your strength, that I believe. Thanks for sharing these tips Precious.
    Then work-out is also a great way to relieve stress as I observed. I remember when I was carrying out my research and I was cramped and hardly slept due to the cups of coffee I was also consuming. I was also blogging at the time. I resorted to an hourly exercise almost everyday and it really helped.
    The communication part with God is so true! There’s just something about communicating with God first thing in the morning and even during the day as I believe prayer shouldn’t be restricted to mornings or evenings alone. The Bible reading also gives me direction and leading as I hear God speak through His word, calming my fears. I’m someone who can worry too! God has really been helping me in this aspect.
    This was a great post Presh! Xx

    • Wow! Thank you for sharing, Itunu. I always learn tons from your comments.
      I will definitely indulge in working out as a way to relieve stress.
      I agree that prayer shouldn’t be restricted to mornings and evenings. We can communicate with our Father any time of the day. Thanks dear.

  3. ….So I’ve been MIA for a while. Missed a whole lot but I’m back!!
    BTW, your post did get to me, really worth the read.
    It ain’t easy to live a worry/stress free life.
    I worry just like you, things that are worth and not worth worrying about; just that I’m single.
    My mum always say “worry never gets it done, God does”.
    By God’s grace, this year I’m learning how to worry less. It’s amazing to know God has me in mind and the fact that it is ALL about God’s time not mine so I try to always remember that.
    After all, God says “He makes all things beautiful in His Time”.
    When I’m about feeling bad or worrying; I consciously say positive things to myself and  this has really helped a great deal.
    I’m learning to say ‘No’ just like you… I’m a yes yes person but I understand better now that “it’s okay to rest and let others do it”, “you can’t please everyone” and ” it’s okay not to know how to fix everything, I ain’t God”.

    “For we know that all things works together for the  good to them that love the Lord………….”;  my antidote for worry…

    Thanks for this post Ma’am.
    God bless you.

    • I missed you Tosan! Hope you are good, dear.
      I love those words of wisdom from your mom! Worry never solves anything. I always try to remind myself of that.
      And yes, there is tremendous power in positive speaking. I love that scripture. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I was in that “worry” state last week. It was CRAZY. What you do is what I do too. Praying and basking in silence helps a whole lot.

  5. Pingback: DECLUTTERING THE HOMESCHOOL ROOM | Precious Core

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