All I can say is THANK GOD TOMORROW IS FRIDAY!!!! This week has been CRAZY! In some ways that's good...the week flew by! But it also completely exhausted me! I am looking forward to a "doing nothing important" weekend :).
As I was contemplating what to discuss in my blog this week, I actually had several different things come to mind that would have been interesting to talk about (I won't spell them out now...maybe I will actually do some writing on them in the future).
For the time being, I just wanted to share a few tips that have, thus far, gotten me through this, and many other hectic weeks. Now, I do NOT, in any way, want to put anyone under the impression that I've got my act together and never have a freak out moment during a crazy day! That is ABSOLUTELY NOT the case! I am just as human as everyone else (just ask anyone who's been around me for more then 3 seconds...they'll tell you!). I tend to be a rather emotional female and, more often than not, get caught up in the stress of the moment and have some sort of meltdown, whether it be in front of God and everybody (OOOOHHHH, the memories!) or in the privacy of my own little mind. Now, having said all this, I have dealt with this...um...shall we call it a handicap? :) I have dealt with this "handicap" long enough to have learned a thing or two about how to deal with it.
The following are tips and tricks that have benefited me in my own personal life and I just thought I'd take a chance that maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there who struggles with similar issues :).
#1 - Plan ahead
I try (I'm not always successful, but I do make the effort)to know my schedule at least a week in advance. That way I have a guideline in my head of when and where I will be doing everything that I need to be doing. It's very easy for me to "double book" myself when I don't have a clear schedule in my head (or on my phone). This also helps eliminate long moments standing in front of the closet trying to decide what to wear...if I know that tomorrow is going to be a "run-around-like-a-crazy-person" day, I will know to dress in clothing that is more comfortable and functional versus sassy-but-I-have-to-remember-to-keep-my-stomach-sucked-in-'cause-this-top-is-a-little-snug...:) (Admit it...that made you smile).
#2 - Know Your Limits
I am not Superwoman...never have been and never will be...and honestly, I have NO desire to be! Even when I have a week meticulously planned out, there is always SOMETHING that comes up to add at least one more item to my "To-Do" list. If that little "Pop-Up" is something that you CAN say "no" to, it's okay to say "no" to it! If I'm already stressed to the max, I will only be putting MORE stress on myself if I accept yet another chore.
#3 - Schedule a Break
If I know I've got a busy week ahead of me, I make sure to have some time set aside for me to just breathe and relax a little. Sometimes, I LITERALLY have to schedule this break into my week. In the past, I have pushed myself to the breaking point before I applied the brakes and took a break (sorry...couldn't resist...the pun originated in my ADD brain and I had to share it!) Anyway, I know that kind of continuous stress can and WILL damage a body and spirit. To give you an example, last night I made sure that I took a long, relaxing soak in the bathtub before going to bed for two reasons: (1) I sleep better if I have a hot bath before going to bed...and we all know how vital a good night's rest is during a stressful week! and (2) it gave me a little break from the stress of the week. I didn't rush. I took my time, enjoyed soaking in the hot water, read a little bit, and just unwound from the day.
#4 - Remember You're Not Alone
It helps me IMMENSELY to remember in the midst of a stressful week that I'm not facing the craziness alone. Jesus said in Matthew 28:20b "...and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Jesus understands stress. (If you don't believe me, read "In the Eye of the Storm" by Max Lucado...trust me...it will change your perspective and your life if you let it.) It's not His Will for us to face the challenges and everyday roller coasters of life without Him. In the moment when I feel like I can't take anymore, acknowledging that He is still in control of the Universe and walking by my side facing EVERYTHING with me helps. And it helps more than a little bit. And furthermore, He WANTS to help! Scripture tells us what to do! "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (I Peter 5:7 NIV)
#5 - Take a Minute to Laugh
If I look hard enough, I can ALWAYS find SOMETHING amusing in my life. Yes, even when I'm stressed to the max! In my case, that is one of the great rewards of working with children on daily basis. Kids are a delight when nothing else seems to move me. And that is just the plain truth of it! Similarly, laughter has a way of making us feel better when we're having a rough day. If you really seek it out, you will find a reason to laugh...and, I know it makes me feel better, I hope it does the same for you!
Today, I will provide your laugh...enjoy! :) (This is only a clip of the original, but it still made me smile)