Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stress Busters

When the weight of the world is heavy and the stress is ongoing, I have small things I turn to which are like a door into an open field full of flowers and sunshine. When I am doing these things, I'm in another place, far away from my troubles, worries, concerns, and pressing responsibilities. I forget about time. I forget about my to-do list.

I live in the moment, for the moment. When I return, my head is clearer. My energy is renewed. I have regained my perspective.

These little activities, these little escapes, are like mini-romances that carry me away from it all and help me to fall in love again. In love with the life that God has given me, in love with the story He is building with my days, in love with Him and all the wonderful aspects of who He is. It's not the doing of the activity, it's the stepping aside to savor and to notice my blessings with Him by my side that brings me to that special place where joy floods in like the morning sun.

I've noticed, too, that when I return to my work, I am so much more efficient, so much more savvy with my choices and resources, that I get more done than I would have without the break. I make up for the time I spent being refreshed and multiply it.

But this is not the best reason for doing it. The best reason is that I live a different life when I pause to savor. That different life is the one I really want. I know that these little escapes are vital to my health and well-being -- that the stress melts off like warm butter while the light of fresh perspective seeps in under my skin. I am able to open my heart, to breathe, to become the person God designed me to be.

When this happens, I know that the activity I have chosen is worthy of my time, regardless of how much I need to get done. I try to do something that transforms my inner landscape 3-4 times a day. Some activities last five minutes. Some last an hour. Most activities are in the range of 15-30 minutes.

During the holidays, I need this more, not less.

I plan to begin sharing my stress busters, to get you thinking about what will work for you. But, ultimately, my list will be different from yours. Each person's refreshment is unique. You will know you have found something that is working when it feels like a door has opened to another place and time -- when you lose track of time, when you forget about the things that were weighing you down, and you remember to laugh and to notice the blessings poured out at your feet.


  1. No one will believe this (but my daughter, HodgePodge Mom) but I move furniture as a stress buster! Love the new prospective in my house!

  2. I understand completely my friend! I turn to books and magazines - a quick visual and mental escape.

  3. I think sometimes we get so caught up in all our to-dos that we think we can't even spare 10-15 minutes to relax, unwind, drink a cup of tea or coffee, read a devotional, give God some praise, whatever it is that is a little spot of refreshment in the midst of a hectic day - whether it be hectic in the schedule or hectic in the emotions. :)

    I look forward to reading about the different little things you do for those rest stops throughout your day. And thank you for inspiring and encouraging us to stop and refresh, to laugh, and to remember the Lord's blessings.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!


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