As the busiest time of the year approaches, I’m sure you’re finding there’s still too much to do and only one of you. In order to keep this the “most wonderful time of the year” rather than the most stressful – or drama-filled –time of the year, here is a follow up to last month’s blog on “Three Things That Need to Go So You’re Not Juggling It All.”
Here are four things you need to let go of so you can sail smoothly into the “holydays.”
- Your fear of disappointing others.
Is your plate full because you fear disappointing others more than you fear disappointing God? We often take on more than we can handle because we want to impress, we don’t want to disappoint, or we love the kudos we receive by being the one who brings the “extra.”
Determine the priority people in your life – the ones who will cry the most at your funeral one day. That should help you remember whom you least want to disappoint and therefore what to let go of and what to keep. It feels good to get extra credit or extra appreciation for doing some extra work on an extra-curricular activity or project at work. But if the extra project is causing extra stress, it needs to be extrapolated from your life. 🙂
2. The person or element that is draining you.
What is draining your tank? Is it a negative atmosphere in your office? Your volunteer work at your child’s school? Caring for an aging parent or spouse? Service takes a lot out of us, but so does immersing ourselves in something that – or with someone who – drains us, rather than fills us up.
If a friend or an extended family member is causing the strain, establish some healthy boundaries around your relationship. If your rebellious child or step-child – or an ex-husband – is draining your cup, draw the line on what will not be allowed into your home or into your heart and mind to start that negative thought process. You are no good to yourself and others if you are too drained or stressed to deal with life.
3. Your unhealthy habits.
Stress kills. So does lack of regular exercise, poor nutrition, and poor eating habits (like not eating at all due to time restraints or eating too much, due to stress). A recent surgeon general’s report stated that “failure to exercise at least 2-3 times a week is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.” That’s right. Failure to exercise your heart is just as hazardous as putting extended stress on your heart through smoking. Ouch!
Give up whatever is dragging you down physically and contributing to your stress –addictive substances, poor eating habits, being too sedentary. Seek help through a recovery program, an exercise program, or through a healthy lifestyle program offered through your insurance benefits. (You may be surprised to learn what is covered by your insurance in order to keep you healthy and prevent stress-related disorders). Your body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). Take care of it and it will take care of you.
4. Your unrealistic expectations.
Busyness is not today’s badge of success; it’s more like your ticket to the hospital as the faster you run and the harder you work, the more stress and toll it takes on your body, as well as your family and those who love you most.
If you find yourself saying “there’s not enough hours in the day” then you’re being unrealistic about what you can handle and imbalanced in what you are attempting. God gave us the exact amount of hours in a day that we would need to work, serve, rest, and live a quality life. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, it’s time to re-evaluate your motives and priorities and determine why you are not allowing yourself to rest. (See my books, When Women Long for Restand When You’re Running on Emptyfor some practical ways to slow down, surrender the need to succeed, and add peace, trust, and rest into your overwhelmed life.)
Which of the above steps do you most need to focus on this holiday season? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below so I can pray for you and encourage you in your desire to live stress free, worry free, and drama free. 🙂
Excellent message that I needed to read today. Thank you. 🙂
You’re welcome, Melissa. As always, thank you for taking the time to read and leave an encouraging comment. 🙂
Cindi, I am so glad I get to read your email every day. I look forward to reading daily. My husband passed away 6 months ago he was a disabled Veteran and I have not received a widower’s pension
check yet. I am so far behind on some of our bills. That is a lot of stress on me. I pray for victory
every day. It seems as though VA doesn’t care. My husband spent 14 months in Vietnam.
Thelma, you are not the first to tell me that the VA takes its time with matters like a widow’s pension. I imagine there’s a lot of paperwork. Your husband served his country and it’s time for his country (the VA) to serve his wife. I will be praying for Godspeed in this matter. Thanks for letting me know.
I’m so blessed by this article, thank you. I need prayer in the area of getting more rest for my body. I do exercise but I’m tired. I believe one reason is not enough physical rest and possibly some other minor health things. Please pray for me.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for your honesty, too. I remember those days of being tired because I wasn’t getting enough physical activity, which gives us more energy in the day and helps us sleep better at night. You are in my prayers….
Your message came on the perfect day…my gas tank is not only empty, I honestly believe it is not even working anymore :). I am so broken and tired – I can say my faith is what has gotten me this far. I have enough on my plate taking care of my 12 yr old son who has major health issues and autism. (Drs called yesterday to tell me there was nothing else they could do, he needed rehab therapy for the pain – they can’t see us until June 2020 and he needed a therapist that helps chronically ill children.) I know God is the great physician and I am not giving up on my child – I know miracles can happen. In addition to this – I am taking care of my elderly aunt (83), parents (both 78 with dementia), sister with downs syndrome/dementia (57) – trying to be there for my other children and grandchildren – plus now my sister has been diagnosed with stage 3b cervical cancer…I am driving anywhere from 100 to 200 miles a day to take care of everyone. Sorry for going on and on about it – just needed to get it out tonight. Love your messages and your books – you are an awesome gifted writer. Thank you so much for using your gift God has given you to help women like myself. Have a blessed week.
I do not know you but hear you and hear your heart. I do 3 Jobs, one is caring for a special needs 20 year old in my home. I am property manager for 10 apartments and I do the bookkeeping for 48 condo units where I live. My sister has 3 brain tumors and now waiting to have a kidney removed. My sister in law is dying of ovarian cancer anytime. Nothin more than a miracle can save her. My mother is 85 and hard to deal with. God did not intend for us to be this loaded down. Be strong and of good courage. This too shall pass. My heart aches for you and I will pray for you. Weeping comes in the night but Joy in the morning. Its in the morning, in the sweet by and by that this will come to an end and there will me no more sickness, pain, or suffering. There will be sweet rest for all of us. Look up sister and know that soon and very soon we are going to see the King and all will be bright and beautiful. Hang in there and keep telling yourself, this is for a season. There is a miracle waiting for you. God Bless! Bernice, from Canada
Thanks Blessed Cindi, I am refreshed and strengthened in mind and soul. Thank you for the message. God bless you.
You’re welcome, Ama. Thank you for reading. 🙂
Bless you. Cindi, my writer friend. May this holiday season bring you much joy and peace.
God bless you.
Great message; all the points you are making pertain to me.
My job requiring me to go back to school is very stressful!
Thank you for praying for me.
Maura Foughty / Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach
Thanks, Maura, for keeping in touch and letting me know you are with the Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach ladies. 😉 I will be praying for this stressful time for you, that you will do your best and commit to God the rest. 🙂
Always great info.
Love your blogs & so blessed to have met you back in 2013.
Thanks, Jayne. Was it really 6 years ago that we met? I appreciate you keeping in touch all this time.
Thanks for your words that are refreshing my soul. Been feeling so weary this past season. Restless and troubled. Trying to get back to making Jesus my first love again. I’ve been distracted. In poor health and have many needs, and believe that only Jesus truly satisfies.
My oldest son Billy is addicted to Heroin and has overdosed five times in the past couple of weeks, twice he died. We need your prayers. My desire this year is to make Jesus first in my life again.