December 3, 2017

It's the Season for...Relaxing (?)

“Be still, and know that I am God…”—Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
“Be anxious for nothing…” Philippians 4:6
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you…” –John 14:27

We aren’t meant to live in chaos or confusion. That’s helpful to remember when the planning and attending of holiday events brings us stress.   It’s easy to allow family visits, the buying of gifts, and various projects, to overwhelm us.

The duties and obligations may seem to never end.  When we factor in the challenges we’re usually dealing with, it’s enough to make us want to pull our hair out.

The Need for Rest

Mary and Martha
In Luke 10, Jesus visits the house of sisters Mary and Martha. Mary is happy to sit by Jesus and listen to his teachings. She is relaxed and peaceful. Martha, on the other hand, is anxious about fulfilling the household duties. Jesus tells Martha her sister has made a good choice: relaxation.
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah is allowed to sleep and eat before the angel puts him back to work. He needs a break from the trauma of fighting Jezebel.
Solutions for Stress

1. Prioritize

It won’t be the end of the world if we decorate the Christmas tree a little later than usual. Some individuals might decide they don’t need the usual amount of decorations, also.

We often cannot do everything expected of us. A person must simplify his life and reduce his workload, which allows for optimum mental and physical health. Hard choices are often necessary, such as choosing between the “should do’s” and the “must do’s

Finish a long-term project at work or home.
Help your kid with a homework assignment.
Attend a scheduled party with friends.
Plan your upcoming family holiday gathering.
Organize and clean your workspace.
Get your home in order first.

2. Take a Break

There are a variety of relaxation methods. Individuals know what works best for them.
What helps you to relax? What winds you down and makes you actually forget the passing of time? Let’s look at some options:
  • Music
  • Reading/Writing
  • Crafts/Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Sports/Exercise/Physical Activity
3. Laugh

The benefits of laughter are widely known.  It releases endorphins. These are neurotransmitters that relieve pain and create feelings of deep pleasure. In other words, endorphins promote a natural high and a release of tension. What’s not to like?

Obviously, what’s funny to one person may not affect someone else in the same manner. Humor is subjective. For instance, my husband enjoys puns; I don’t. Each person must find what works for them.

I’m a reserved person, but I enjoy laughing at certain things I hear, read, or see. Laughter can instantly clear my mind of darkness.

4. Give Service

This is giving the gift of us, which is priceless. In the process, we forget our problems. We take the focus off our challenges, if only temporarily.

Individuals have a variety of options for officially and unofficially giving help to others. Religious and medical organizations, schools, and charities are examples of official avenues to helping people. Unofficial ways to help may come up anytime, anywhere; there’s no limit. We just have to keep our eyes and ears open.

My Conclusion

The holidays are a hectic time for many of us. We have no option but to choose where and how we spend our time and energy. Another good idea is to take breaks from routine. Some options are to do something we love, to laugh, or to give service. These activities will help keep us mentally and physically balanced.

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How do you balance your life?

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