03 Jan Managing Stress and Anxiety in the Everyday
Happy New Year! With the beginning of a New Year comes the feeling of a fresh start and the hope of new habits. This New Year let’s focus on making new habits for our mental health. In a world that seems to be growing more anxious with every passing day let’s cultivate peace and rest in the New Year. There are many ways that our anxiety can be managed and controlled. We can choose to set ourselves up for success one day at a time. These are some of the things I do to help manage my anxiety in the everyday stresses of life as a mom and wife.
Tips and tricks for managing anxiety and stress in the everyday:
We all know this can be taken to the extreme. We began to believe the lie that we are in control. We aren’t in control (something those of us with anxiety struggle with by the minute). Plan what your day will look like, what NEEDS to be done, prioritize by when things need to be done, and most of all be realistic. We all would love to plan all the meals for the entire week, go to the grocery store on Saturday, cook on Sunday and just open the fridge on Monday with everything in its place. For me, that’s just not always realistic. I often find that plans change throughout the week. If I buy too much food, then I end up throwing half of it away. I often feel guilty about wasting food and money. I’ve learned to plan for Monday- Wednesday and then re-evaluate. Have easy things in your fridge. Every night doesn’t need to be a Pinterest worthy meal. Release yourself from that burden. Sometimes life happens.
Make time for exercise.
I’m guilty of not carving out the time in my schedule. I’ve learned to schedule a work-out just like I’d schedule a doctor’s appointment. Because I have small children and I stay at home with my kids, I work-out in pockets throughout the week. When I work-out changes by the day. I’ve learned I have to work-out, for my mental health. Most of the time I work-out at home because I know I will always have the time. Sometimes I walk my neighborhood or swim some laps, but that requires more time. Figure out what will work that week and what you will realistically have time for. At minimum, take a twenty minute walk.
Start your day with a quiet time.
Reading Jesus Calling on your phone when your eyes are barely open doesn’t count. Ask yourself if you really are retaining what you read. Odds are once your day started you can’t even remember what you read. I’m not knocking Jesus Calling, it’s up showing up and spending that time well. Brush your teeth, get out of bed and spend 5 minutes praying and reading your Bible. As you develop the habit you will begin to add more time. This should not be a task we mark off our to do list.
So often we get through an entire day and we haven’t laughed. This may sound silly, but laughter is great medicine. Laughter releases. In times of grief, laughter brings so much joy, the same can be said in the midst of anxiety and depression. I intentionally end my day with a funny show, not the news. Whether it’s something that you listen to, watch or read, end your day with laughter.